• Dana L. Butler

Eternity Between the Snowflakes {on my need for speed, elephant noises, and being present here toget

Hey beloved friends,

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We slide together down the driveway and into the street, and I have to confess, — I enjoy it even more than he does.  33 years old and I have by no means had enough of steep hills and fast rides.  I crave speed and the adrenaline that accompanies it and our moderately sloped driveway doesn’t cut it for me.  There’s a good chance tomorrow early evening will find me and my boy searching Kansas City for a steeper hill.

There’s virtually no traffic on this snowy Saturday morning.  Still, I ask Stan to check for oncoming cars one more time.  My man, dedicated, busy with the snow shovel.  Sorry to bug you again – it’s just that these moments are kinda priceless, ya know?

So my boy giggles with excitement and climbs on the sled with me for yet another run.  He holds the rope in the front and I hold the hand breaks, pulling the right one as the sled veers slightly to the left.

The snow fell in strange, tiny pellets this time.  A layer of weird, white dippin’ dots sandwiched between two layers of ice.  The top layer crunches as we walk across it.

He asks me for his plastic bulldozer and I watch him plow tiny portions of our front sidewalk.  He’d stay out here all day if we let him.

Baby girl sleeps peacefully.  I breathe a sigh of thanks as I glance at the baby monitor on the front porch.  Thanks for her good nap, for the blanket of white, for my little family, for Saturday morning down time.  Togetherness time.

For the way eternity has fallen between snowflakes and ice pellets into my little world, strands of it woven through these precious, (extra)ordinary moments.  I want to capture this morning, this space in time, to grab hold of it and never let it go.

We come inside and remove layer after warm layer.  There’s hot chocolate with whipped cream, accompanied by little boy scrunchy smiles and requests for still more white fluff on top of liquid warmth.

Time marches on and it’s beyond my control – how it creeps when I wish it’d hurry and races when I wish it’d slow.

Maia girl wakes up from her nap and I find Stan in Isaac’s bedroom, entertaining both kids with the wild creativity that only a dad can conjure.  The plastic wagon covers his head and the handle is a long blue trunk and the entire house echoes with loud elephant trumpeting and squeals of delight. (<— A moment I’ve captured here, for your viewing pleasure.)

My man is so present here, in this house, with his wife and these kiddos, these little hearts-in-process.  The wholeheartedness of his presence inspires me and we are fully engaged in our here and now together.  We lean in – into each other; into this present, sacred moment; into this heartfull of thinly veiled eternity.  Into the Divine revealed in simple goodness.

And He is.  Good, that is.

Stan’s prayer before every meal these days is that we would be overwhelmed by the goodness of the Gospel.  I nod in agreement.  How I long to be more deeply captivated by the extravagance of God’s heart toward us.  The magnitude of the freedom Christ purchased for us.  Freedom that unlocks us in our core, that dares us to go deeper, to live braver, and then holds our hand every step of the way.

It’s moments like these — if my eyes are open and my heart is alive, beating, burning inside me — that awaken me to His pursuing presence in my everyday.  This life that’s right before my eyes.

And subtly, I sense my heart settling into my right here, right now.  Slowing its running around, ceasing its grasping for life in this person’s opinion or that group’s approval, its needing of this or that achievement, sinking its roots deep into Jesus in this present moment.  This present home, and this present family, and this present place, in this present life.

It’s in discovering Him where He’s always been waiting for me that I find myself content.  Rooted, grounded.  Deeply satisfied in my God.  My core a mixture of peace that passes understanding, and this flame burning wild with affection, longing for more.


A quick note to y’all, my friends: This week, if all goes according to plan, I will be (finally) sending out an e-newsletter containing the story on some pretty big Butler family updates.  If you’d like to receive it, click here to join my mailing list.  As always, thank you for your trust.  You bless me.

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