Usplash, Jaanus Jagomagi

As I Think About You on an Icy Day

A husky dog peeks out the neighbor’s window, his ears alert and high in wonder at the snow. Red maple leaf buds rock in icy wind, while a cloud of snow-dust blows heavy from off my roof, sweeping down.

Evening school and church events pile up email cancellations, and car spin-outs light up the digital map of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Department of Transportation’s website.

In a flurry of emails and texted messages, I too add my cancelled evening to the wintry mix.

“No Cover to Cover Bible study tonight, due to the icy roads,” I type. “Be safe…”

And I can picture their faces, my Bible Study group from Tuesday nights in that green and yellow room in the back of the YMCA, as well as my Bible Study group from Monday nights, packed out around four round tables near a gurgling coffee pot. These people and studies are dear to me. Each week for the past twenty-eight or so weeks, we’ve shown up and dug in deep to God’s word, looking at the historical, archaeological, and cultural contexts of this ancient book. We’ve studied nuances in Hebrew and Greek languages, noticed how secular historical texts corroborate the Bible’s history, and tracked big picture aspects of the Old and New Testaments, seeing how it all points to Jesus. And we’ve grown community in both studies, asking hard questions, laughing together, praying, and snacking on fresh-baked cookies, or clamoring over bowls of European chocolates.

And I saw it too this March 8th & 9th at the Set Apart Conference in St. Paul, and last week at the MOPS-White Bear Lake/Shoreview women’s gathering.

Unsplash, Priscilla du Preez

It’s funny how quickly bonding it is to be face to face with people, opening up our lives, talking about the hard, the real, the challenging, the inspiring, and seeing the other person’s face soften as they speak of the people and things they love?

In a room full of long rectangular tables in St. Paul for two days this March 8 & 9, I met women and we looked at Our Orphan Annie Back-Story & Why It Matters. I saw tears well up in their eyes and felt my own throat choke up at times. We laughed too and prayed together.

On March 20th, I was honored to be with those sweet-baby-holding young moms of MOPS-White Bear Lake/Shoreview. We poured hot strong coffee, dished up mushroom and kale egg bakes beside fruit, and spoke of our kids: their ages, names, personalities. From the front of the room, looking out over their faces, I prayed blessings on these dear women and their children. We laughed and shared strategies on Growing Kids into Life-Long Friends before we bustled out into a snowy cold day.

Unsplash, Javier de la Maza

Snow falls now too. Five fluffed-out chubby red-bellied robins huddle for warmth in the maple tree, their crimson chests in symmetry with the squeezed shut red leaf buds too.

Raspy CD player behind me shuffles songs. Wayne Watson sings plaintively in a song called Home Free, about loved ones going home to eternity. Sara Groves’s husky voice echoes the theme next in her song Going Home. These compiled songs spoke out the pain some friends of mine experienced two decades ago as their infant daughter died shortly after birth. I sought out the CD again this month, aching beside some friends of mine whose infants have recently died.

Wiping dust off the old stereo CD player now, I slip the disc in and hit play.

Memories fly back instantly. Music is like that, isn’t it? I can suddenly picture my home two houses ago when I first heard this CD. Plastic laminate was under my feet then, a tall Boston fern raked branches high and wide in the corner, and the small townhome–our first purchased home– seemed giant after the apartment we had had in first married years.

Three houses later in this kitchen now, I feel hardwood floors under me, and glance out the dining room window at 2024’s snow. The music swirls and I sing along. Sad lyrics describe the ache of saying goodbye, of seeing loved ones slip from earth into eternity.

I think of dear ones, dear friends’ faces who walk in grief right now. My beautiful red-haired friend mourns her infant daughter, and a dear man in our church misses his wife. Two men actually are newly widowed, and their kind soft-spoken faces come to my mind. Words fall short. Sometimes sending a meal is feasible, sometimes that’s harder and a card or message must suffice.

Black computer keyboard clacks. One song finishes and another starts. Mark Shultz’s Remember Me song comes on and I have to stop and sing.

…Remember me

in a Bible cracked and faded by the years,

Remember me

in a sanctuary filled with silent prayer…

…Remember me when the color of a sunset fills the sky…

…from age to age, heart to heart,

…bound by grace and peace …

…child of wonder, child of God, I remember you…

I belt it out, singing along, making up the lines I don’t know and singing louder on the ones I do.

Picking up my green phone, I type out a message to my red-haired friend, telling her I miss her, I’m thinking of her, and remembering her precious infant daughter who is no longer here.

My screen blinks, the three dots flashing. We type and remember. There is nothing I can do to take away her ache, but maybe it helps to know that she isn’t alone in remembering.


And I think that’s where I’m landing tonight as snow swirls and highways flash red spun-off cars. I am reflective, thankful. I’m thankful for you, for you reading this, taking this journey of life with me. I’m thankful for the joy of learning alongside you, the privilege of hearing your stories, and the honor of you letting me in on the hard things too, of letting me walk ungainly, awkwardly, beside you as you grieve some days too. 

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Jennifer speaks often at MOPS/MomsNext groups, at conferences, churches, retreats, camps, home school co-ops and more. She loves getting to know people and making new friends.

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  1. Pam Davis on March 28, 2024 at 3:17 pm

    Oh how I enjoyed reading your stories! 😊 I know you to be an AMAZING teacher and an EXCELLENT reader, but now I now know you as a GREAT writer.
    I’m smiling while I’m writing this, because I’m thinking of your beautiful smile when you greet us as we enter the room to learn of God‘s Word. Thank you, Jennifer. May God continue to shine his face upon you and your family 🙏🏾

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