He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes (Psalm 147:16 TNIV).

Because I grew up on the west coast, I didn't experience a snow day until I was married, had children, and was transplanted to the east coast. In the Shenandoah Valley, I have discovered the gift of these remarkable days.

Like Christ covering our sins, every defect in our town, in our neighborhood, and in our yard is covered with a pristine blanket of white wool. Is there anything to compare with the beauty of freshly fallen snow?

I like the vacuum of sound that seems to accompany one of these days. I've noticed an interval of time when life pauses — everyone has already stood in lines with their gallons of milk and their loaves of bread. The snowplows have not yet rolled by and the shovels lean against the house, waiting. The children, who ventured outside when it first started coming down, are now inside — also waiting — wanting the fluffy inches to accumulate. In this moment, it's as if our world has been encapsulated in a giant snow globe and only the snow is moving.

The result of this stillness is a feeling of freedom. Freedom from school and work. Freedom from piano lessons and dental appointments. Freedom from board meetings and choir practices. The activities may even be enjoyable ones, but having an unexpected break feels liberating. This freedom, though, extends beyond schedules. For a moment, we seem to let go of the worries and tribulations of life we may be facing and instead rest in the serenity before us.

When I shared my feelings on snow with my husband, he said when life with bills and illnesses and job worries becomes overwhelming, he thinks about Christ and what he did for us and what it means for us. Then, for a moment, he experiences the complete sense of freedom I was describing.

May you have many snow days!
Then the telephone will ring reporting the next crisis. But that moment of pure peace helped him put life back into perspective and he is recharged to handle whatever comes.

"Well I do that, too," I told him, somewhat taken aback.

"Wow!" I thought, "my husband manufactures his own snow days. He doesn't have to wait for the hundred-year blizzard to feel free from the cares of this world. He could live in the Sahara Desert and enjoy the benefits of a snow day."

This wintry season — and all year long — may you have many snow days regardless of where you live or what the weatherman forecasts. May you know the peace Christ offers all who believe and accept His words.