Impenetrable Time


The cold drags, and snow sleet falls, and preschools close, and I can't help but feel as though the whole country is holding its breath, waiting for winter to leave Narnia for good.  (Or at least until we can all decorate for Christmas again.)  And though the white blanket is lovely, and significantly improves my luck with photography, it's hanging awfully heavy on the roof of this house lately.

I know I'm not the only one who's sitting a little slouchier under the weight these days.

When we lived in Indonesia, one thing I missed was the changing seasons that I could always rely on to come just in time, to breathe new life and new hope right when I was settling in to that familiar wedge between itchy and weary.  In East Java, there was rainy season and dry season.  But even between the two the line was thin and always a bit blurry to me.

It was there that I realized I had grown up with an internal clock that bends and sways four times a year.  Without the rhythm of its ticks, I always felt a bit fumbling, a bit... off.

What was harder to remember was the way it rubbed you downright raw when the season took too long to change.  When summer break will NEVER come, when the heat will NEVER give way to autumn, when the snow we long for will NEVER fall, when we will NEVER again know warmth.  Since there was no hope or expectation of change, there was no angst over it either.

I hope you know by now that this post isn't much about the weather.

(I also hope you know that while in Indonesia as missionaries, we did not live in that particular location that you see me in above.  Unfortunately.)

The changing of the seasons is knocking loudly on our door.  But every time we open it the wind howls its laughter, eggs our car, takes off running, and leaves us with nothing but time.  But that time, he's a fickle fellow and I had a lot more patience with him at 26 than I do at 31.  But he's not worried about that at all.

And so we wait, Eric and I and the kids, though they don't realize it.  We try to make room for time inside these four walls, inside the four of us.  We wait and we talk and we think and we pray and we say things like "God has a plan", but inside our hearts are so very tired.

We ache for stability, we ache for a home.  We ache for passions to be given an outlet and something to finally feel like forever.  Or at least for a long while.  

But we were never promised that.  

We were never promised comfort or permanence or good jobs or the absence of depression or anything else under the American sun that seems like an awfully good deal right about now.  We were promised a Companion who could carry our weary bodies when our feet feel like lead.  We were promised goodness and peace and magic and a lot of love.  

Some days taking the latter over the former is joyfully easy.  I'll be honest with you, today was not one of those days.  And neither was yesterday.

But if time wants to make me a bitter shrew at 31, it's going to need a few more tricks up it's sleeve. Because if there is one thing I know, it's that the snow always melts in Texas.  And if there's grace enough to rise at 5:30 am to a crying baby on a day when the preschool is closed, well then there's grace enough to open wide and catch some snowflakes in my mouth.

There is grace enough for us to catch snowflakes in our mouths.


  1. This was a good read for me today on a couple of levels. Love your photography, too.

  2. I'm really enjoying your blog, Shannon. Makes me want to drive to Waco, give you a hug, sit on your couch, and talk about life. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Glad you feel that way... get well soon!

  4. Thanks so much, Alison! I sure would love to sit with a cup of tea and talk to you all afternoon :) We're actually in Denton now though! But I'd drive to Waco if it meant hanging out with you ;)

  5. Oh! (Clearly) I didn't know that. Denton works just as well :)

  6. Yes, seasons of waiting have always been the hardest ones for me. I pray for spring for you and Eric and the birth of new possibilities born of your faithfulness. Award wining boy pics:-)

  7. Some of us have experienced tangential blessings as well! Tell the girls hi for me.

  8. Randall O'BrienFebruary 24, 2015 at 8:45 PM

    You could write about sitting on the can and I would luv it.

    Luv, luv,, luv those pix of our grandsons, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Speaking of sitting on the can tell Eric hello.

  9. We ache for stability, we ache for a home. We ache for passions to be given an outlet and something to finally feel like forever. Or at least for a long while.

    I so feel these things. It's like a longing that just goes unfulfilled although I can't quite put my finger on exactly the longing.

    Grateful for your words here- they mirror my own feelings.

  10. Well I'm not really sure what that means but I'll tell him! :)

  11. It's comforting to know that it's not just me, Lori.

  12. Me either, Shan.

  13. Waiting for, anticipating, and then living through the different seasons of life is exciting, challenging, frustrating--all at the same time. Your writing expresses that beautifully. And the pictures of your boys are precious!

  14. "exciting, challenging, frustrating" - yes, exactly! Thanks for chiming in, Amy!


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Someday, the light will shine like a sun through my skin & they will say, 'what have you done with your life?' & though there are many moments I think I'll remember, in the end, I will be proud to say, I was one of us.

(Brian Andreas, Storypeople)