Winter 2014If you are on the East Coast, or even in the south, you’ve probably been hit with a snowstorm or two-- or three. If you are able to stay home and not drive on the dangerous roads, you are what most northerners call, snowed in. It’s easy to get frustrated with the inconveniences of the weather: the demands of getting to work, finding childcare if you must go in to work, catching up on schoolwork, keeping the kids occupied, trying to get work done from home, etc. This list is endless.

One may think, “Why does this keep happening?” or “Enough is enough!” That was definitely my thought as I woke up to the scene pictured below.

As Catholics, we believe that when things (good or bad) happen, God allows it. We may not understand why, but we do know that everything He allows will benefit us in some way. It may help our spiritual growth and prayer life, or humble us enough to help each other. Whatever the reason, we know it all happens for the good of God’s people.

sttSo what good could possibly come from this historic winter? As a mom of a teenager, preteen and third grader, we have busy schedules. This winter has provided us with much needed family time. My middle child helped me cook a pancake breakfast complete with sausage. Later, while Dad was out shoveling, the kids made snowmen and snow forts. As I prepared some hot soup for lunch, I was sure I saw a snowball whiz by the window. Finally, we had family game day and just enjoyed each other’s company. We got silly and told jokes. We laughed and hugged. We even put on a movie, munched popcorn and sipped hot chocolate.

These are all little things that can easily be overlooked on our regular, busy, scheduled days. Sometimes with our busy schedules, we can forget about doing these “little things” together. However, as St. Terese showed us, “the little ways” can add up to a great accomplishment. In this case, the accomplishment is adding to the strong foundation of the family. These memories will be recalled years after this winter has gone.

As my family and I stand by the window and watch the white soft snow fall to the ground, we reflect on the fun we’ve had together. We know we’ve had a fun day together and created wonderful memories from the winter of 2014. So this winter, if you are snowed in, make it an impromptu family time.

What are some ways this winter has inspired family time for your families? What do you do on a “snow day” together?

Copyright 2014 Jennifer Gladen