Praying for Snow

A few days ago we had our first real, honest-to-goodness snowstorm. It’s Dog’s first and she’s not sure what to make of it.

A change of scenery

I, on the other hand, love it.

I also love the gray skies and the way my phone claimed it was -4° when I woke up yesterday.

Screenshot_20181113-053944

Mind over matter, folks. Mind over matter.

I’ve always loved snow so this desert gal is glad to be back in it. The -4 and dropping?

Hey, I can handle it. As long as I have my LL Bean boots and down coat, I’ve got this.

boots ll bean

I’m pretty sure our neighbors think we’re crazy. Moving from Phoenix, AZ to central Minnesota was the first clue, but when a grown woman tromps around in the snow and giggles?

Yeah, she’s a nut-job.

But then I’ve always been a little crazy when it comes to snow. Like, for instance, the time when I prayed for it.

I was an innocent preteen, back when there were such things, and we were headed to South Dakota in early October to celebrate my grandparents’ 50th anniversary. We usually visited them in June or July, on account of school, but I was a good student and my teachers gave me plenty of work to keep me occupied for the entire 10-day trip. (I finished it in two.)

When my parents announced the trip, I was beyond thrilled. For the first time in my life, I might see snow!

Okay, let’s back up. I’d seen snow before, but I’d never been in it. Never felt it upon my face. In the winter Dad might drive us a couple hours north of Phoenix, point out the window and say, “Look guys, there’s snow.” That was about it.

Twelve years old and never built a snowman.

But now, in South Dakota, in early October? Will it snow?

“It’s too early for that,” Dad said.

Mom agreed. “It never snows this early.”

Never? Never ever?

“Well, it’s highly unlikely.”

So there’s a possibility?

“Don’t get your hopes up.”

Too late.

But I wasn’t leaving it all to chance. Every night, I made my requests known unto the Lord.

Please, oh please, oh pleeeease, let it snow! I don’t need a lot, just enough for a snowman. That’s all. All I want is to feel it on my face and build a snowman. That’s it. Please?!

Every night, over and over. (I was a strange 12-year-old.)

We left Phoenix on October 2. Two days later we were at a motel in Nebraska, right at the border to South Dakota. It was morning, our last day of travel, maybe three hours from my grandparent’s house. Dad took our luggage to the car.

He walked back in. “It’s snowing,” he said. Not happily.

What?!”

I zoomed past him.

“Christi, get your shoes on!”

“Prayer works!” I cried.

Alleluia and praise be!
This is the snow that the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

My South Dakota relatives were not amused. It was one thing to deal with an early snowfall, but to find out your young relation had prayed for it? Hoo-boy, that didn’t sit well.

Even so, two of my uncles and one cousin aided me in my quest for a snowman. Despite everyone’s belief there wasn’t enough snow.

O ye of little faith. I knew better.

I had prayed for “just enough” snow and that’s what we had. Along with a lovely coating of leaves for rustic charm.

Uncle Bobby loaned his hat, Uncle Richard fashioned a pipe from a stick, Cousin Sheila found some fallen apples for the eyes and nose.

Me with snowman

My first snowman.

You know, it’s funny. As much as I love this picture and the flood of memories it gives me, I don’t really believe it was divine intervention that created that snowstorm.

Had it happened today, my dad would have checked his weather app before we left Phoenix and would have known all about the storm. And he probably would have stopped off at a gas station to buy his silly daughter gloves because she forgot to pack them.

Don’t get me wrong — I believe in prayer and I pray daily.

Well, mostly daily. Sometimes I forget. (Hey, I’m human.)

I think far too often we confuse God with Santa Claus:

If I’m a good girl and I pray really hard, God will give me what I want.”

Sorry. Doesn’t work like that.

I read something recently that said prayer is about making yourself open to a relationship with God.

Which, when you think about it, is a whole lot more scary and probably why I “forget” to do it.

Like I said, I’m human.

In any case, that’s my take on the situation. Maybe you have different views and that’s okay. There’s room enough for all here.

But right now there’s a layer of snow in my backyard with more to come, that’s for sure. And while I have no plans of building any snowmen, I remember a time when I did. With complete confidence it was God who made it possible.

And who knows? Maybe that 12-year-old girl had it right.

I mean, just look at the joy on her face.

me with snowman up close

Are you going to tell her otherwise?

Author: CJ Hartwell

After spending most of her life in Phoenix, Arizona, CJ Hartwell moved to the middle of Minnesota. Is she nuts? Probably. For updates on her sanity, click on the link to follow by email.

28 thoughts on “Praying for Snow”

  1. I glad you like the snow. I don’t – wet, cold. I’ve always had a saying, “If you can see snow, you’re too close.” I can spot snow at 30 miles. It did snow once in my city – in 1976, I’ll always remember that day.

    So, if we get any out here, I’ll send it to you snow lovers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After 37 years of norther Illinois winters with double digit wind chill factors and wet, dirty snow, I was pretty much over it. A move to western Colorado seemed like a treat. Their snow was light and came with mountains. After 9 years of that, we’d decided we’ve had enough of the white stuff (and cold) in our lives so moved to Tucson. But as we plan a trip to my daughter’s for Thanksgiving, I’m actually praying for the snow to wait until after we head back home.

    But I vote for you building that snowman, as long as you’re there anyway.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s the reaction most people have when they find out we moved here from Arizona: “You got it backwards, you’re supposed to move from here to there!”
      What can I say? We’re backwards people!

      Right now the snow is too fluffy for a snowman. I can’t even get good snowball action. But it’ll come… oh yes, it’ll come. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My Army grandboy delighted in telling me about playing in snow when his family lived in Sierra Vista, AZ. Just once. Now that he’s older he prays to visit me here during winter so he wrangle the steer and see the replay in the snow. I thank God (most every week 😉 ) for children’s prayers.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t mind the first snow of the season, unless it is in early September. Way too early when you know that it will probably still be snowing in April – which is why I like being in Arizona for at least a small part of winter!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always love the first snow of the season. We had ours two nights ago and it was a surprise when I opened the shades (the best!). I like that you finished your homework in two days. Perfect! Just like the photo of you with your first snowman.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If it was just snow, I’d have probably never left Minnesota way back when. It was that below zero stuff that seriously lost its charm. Think I prefer it here in the NW; come winter if I need a snow fix I can drive up to the mountain. (Of course, it does occasionally snow in town, but it’s never gone below zero 🙂 )

    But while it’s fresh and clean and beautiful, a fresh snowfall, with fresh flakes falling from the sky is almost like its own little prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What can I say? I like extremes. (Not really, but it’s part of my “mind over matter” mantra.)
      People around here say they don’t get as bad of storms as they used to, and they say it with a wistful tone. Minnesotans are a tough breed, I’m coming to realize. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. People have prayed for stranger things. I grew up in Canada. We didn’t have to pray for snow — God provided it — every year. Mostly, we prayer for less. But, no matter the first snowfall every year is magic.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great picture! You must be so glad you had it taken that day. Who’d have thunk years later you’d be able to share it with the world on something called a blog?! Enjoy the snow up there in Little Falls!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear CJ,
    I am sure you are inundated with snow now. I am glad- I think I would love the snow too. I saw my first snow of my life on November 8 in Chicago this year. Imagine 49 years of life and not having seen snow. I haven’t prayed for snow but have prayed for rain and more rain and of course cold weather, so I can use all my winter clothing and buy more if needed.
    I loved to see the joy on your 12 year old face in the picture and am imagining you smiling like a 12 year old now because your heart is still beating at 12 years of age. I loved the picture of your winter clothing. Of course, God answered your snow prayers. I believe in prayer. That is the magic of childhood and a child like heart.
    Susie

    Like

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