When I am snowed in, I am in my happy place. Even as a twenty-something, my inner child emerges when a snow day is on the horizon. I love the sledding adventures, mugs of hot cocoa, and fuzzy socks that they entail. As soon as a flurry is forecast, I can be seen with my nose pressed flat against the window, eyes darting about in search of that first snowflake tumbling down from the skies above. I have also been known to rush off to raid the grocery store of the remaining pantry staples right before the storm hits. (The habits of a Carolina girl die hard).
My first Charlottesville snowstorm entailed purposely getting “snowed in” with the Fellows ladies. We went sledding, cooked comfort food, got ahead on some class readings—or at least some of us did!—trudged through 20+ inches of snow, and watched stereotypical “chick-flicks.” It was a sweet time of honoring the sacred rhythms of rest through caring for our minds, bodies, and souls, and enjoying the winter wonderland. We laughed, loved, prayed, and played. We found ourselves captivated by our snowy surroundings, and felt blessed that God was present and providing for our needs.
Though the weekend was filled with memorable moments, the long walk we took around the neighborhood one afternoon was particularly special. We must have been quite a scene parading through knee-deep snow in the streets in a single file line. I could see the sun setting slowly through the treetops as we walked the untouched street before us, chattering away about dinner plans, and reminiscing on the snow days of our childhood.
One simple comment from our conversation struck me with its profound truth: “Wow, look at that house—how the snow covers the roof like a blanket, how the color of the siding pops against the pure white, how the steady stream of smoke rises from the chimney and fills the air with its scent. Everything is so much more beautiful in the snow, you know?”
We all paused for a moment and gazed at the one-story ranch-style home. Though I had driven down this exact street—and past this exact house, even—countless times in recent months, I hadn’t ever paid attention to it. But this day, I was struck by its beauty.
A house that once looked plain—dull even—suddenly appeared lovely and vibrant, as if the snow highlighted its best features, added a certain sparkle to the landscape, and made the exterior shine as if it was brand new. In the stillness and the quiet of that snow-covered street, a group of girls beheld beauty of the most unexpected kind: the beauty of a normal world made extraordinary.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,” the prophet Isaiah wrote, “they shall be as white as snow.” It’s funny how something as ordinary as a house can bring this passage to mind—a passage about the promise of beauty arising from what is ragged, life springing forth from death, renewal changing what once seemed broken.
“Everything is so much more beautiful in the snow, you know?” My friend’s words ring true. The Lord establishes purity and goodness in all who lift up their hands and hearts to Him to receive his freely given grace. We have been covered by His pure love and have been made beautiful in His timing. And just like the snow-dusted house down the street, God is making all of creation new with His divine touch and the radiance of Christ. My hope is to never lose that snow day wonder.
Taylor supplemented her academic life by conducting research on adult ADHD, serving at a local non-profit as a tutor for high-risk teens, and participating in a university-led service trip to an impoverished school in Nicaragua. These experiences strengthened her passion for providing support for youth struggling with mental health and behavioral problems. Her undergraduate studies focused on psychology and social work, and she hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a master’s in counseling psychology.