As a native of sunny Southern California, snow is a foreign concept. It never litters our lawn with its freshness, it never inconveniences our errands, or leaves iridescent icicles dripping down the front of our house. Because of this, we have to intentionally encounter snow.

We intentionally encountered snow over our Thanksgiving break in Tahoe with my husband and three children. We rented a cabin. We planned, we bought ski pants, we made sure our feet were going to be warm, and our hands wouldn’t freeze.

My kids have had brief meetings with snow in the past: a quick handshake with frost, a small salutation with a snowball, but never like this. Tahoe City was heavy with fresh fallen snow. Snow covered the streets and cumbersome piles weighed down the branches of fragrant pines.

From the moment we parked our car in the cabin’s driveway, my children instantaneously ran toward the brilliant icy powder as if it called to them. Their arms were open and their faces pulled upward in a permanent smile of joy. Snow was falling all around them, clinging to their wool hats, and forming icicles in their eyelashes. My three children all recklessly threw their bodies onto sleds with a wildness that I’ve never before recognized.

This simple act of observing my kids being called into nature, by the one who created it, reminded me of how God calls us towards Him in unique and creative ways. I was watching such a powerful moment: God was drawing them near with His beguiling beauty of creation.

It reminded me that it’s my responsibility to bring them outdoors and get them exploring. I want my children to feel alive with uncomprehending astonishment when they are in nature. I want them to tangibly sense the presence of God when they see the vastness of all that He has created. I want them to be constantly uncovering God’s goodness, whether it be in amazement of standing at the edge of something stunning, or in the simple joy of holding the perfect snowball.

Tahoe snowy scene