Weathering the Snowstorms of Life – Proverbs 31:21

GUEST POST: By Danice Burdett

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet. Proverbs 31:21

Among the many desires a mother has for her children, is the desire to keep them safe, healthy and warm. This is especially true when the weather is less than “California” perfect!

Three years ago, God moved my husband and our two boys from our home state of California, across the country to Illinois. We never planned on leaving California for any reason. Everything comfortable and familiar to us was there…family, friends, church community, not to mention the fabulous weather! As my husband began searching for graduate programs to pursue his doctorate in Music Education, we knocked on every door available to him locally that would prevent us from moving away from it all, to no avail.

You may have heard it said, “When God closes one door, he opens another.” God kept those local doors locked, and then opened another wide open. The only problem is that this door led us across the country to a state we’d never been to before.

In the midst of spending weeks in prayer about this opportunity, we found out we would be adding a third child to our family in the winter! We wondered for a moment if this growing little life was reason to stay where everything was familiar; where family and friends would be near to help us raise our growing family. Even as the reasons to stay began to stack up before us, the Lord gave us a deep sense of peace that we were to go. The peace we felt did not come because we were void of questions. We said “yes” to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit who beckoned us to believe God when He said he had a plan for us, and to trust Him in going even without all of our questions answered.

As we prepared to go, the warnings we heard most often from our California community, centered around the cold weather and frigid temperatures we’d endure in the harsh Illinois winters before us. Up to this point in our lives, California winters would come and the only changes we made involved carrying an umbrella in the car in case of rain and throwing on a heavier jacket as we left the house in the morning.

As a mother, the instinct to protect my children beats strong inside of me. When we left California, the echos of warnings about the cold winters followed us. I made sure my children had winter coats, my grandmother sent down comforters for both the boys, while my mom sewed beautiful quilts to cover their beds at night to keep them warm. It was not only my desire but the desire of generations before me that we did not “fear the winter.”

Some commentaries suggest that the scarlet mentioned in Proverbs 31:21 doesn’t have to necessarily mean the color red. It could also mean “a double layer.” We were certainly prepared with “double layers” for the cold winter ahead. We were prepared, in every tangible way we knew how. What we couldn’t prepare for, however, was what we encountered when we arrived…

Within the first week of our move, my oldest son had an emergency appendectomy after a week of high fevers and stomach pain. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the moment I had to watch my three year old son wheeled away into surgery surrounded by people who he didn’t know.

A few weeks later, we found out through a serious of tests that our 13 month old son was profoundly deaf in both ears. Our suspicions about him having trouble with his hearing were true. Since his hearing was not tested at birth, which is now a routine procedure, this was the first we’d heard of his deafness. We were devastated at the news. Weeks went by, however, and God in His grace brought incredible hope in the form of a miraculous technology. We found out our son could be a candidate to receive cochlear implants. Once implanted, he would be able to hear and learn to speak! Not only would he be brought into the world of sound, but the therapists and teachers that could help him develop his speech and hearing were all within 10 miles of our new home in Illinois. God truly is a God of miracles!

Two weeks after my son, Cole heard his first sounds with his new “ears,” my daughter was born in the same hospital my boys had their life-changing surgeries. Oh, but God wasn’t finished yet! Nineteen months later, He gave us another beautiful daughter born in the same hospital. We left California a family of four, thinking we were going for my husband to earn a degree, and are returning this summer a family of six who has each been deeply transformed through our journey of obedience to God’s call to go.

The woman in Proverbs 31 was a mother who did not fear for her children for all of them were clothed in a double layer. I am not a bible scholar, but I am a passionate believer in Jesus Christ and a lover of His Word. If I could, I would shout from the rooftops so that every mother could hear this truth I believe so firmly in…

We can make every attempt under the sun to protect and prepare our children from the uncomfortable things in this life. The world we live in is fallen and everywhere we turn there seems to be something else to shield them from. The most beautiful picture I see when I asked God to give me His eyes for this passage in Proverbs, is a combination of many translations.

I see a mother, who knows her God well. She must, in order to place her children in the hands of the One who made them. She covers them in the double-layer of love and grace available to her children through the scarlet blood of her Savior, Jesus. She does this without fear, but in confidence, knowing that the One who created them, also gave His life so that they may live. There is no greater gift she can give them, than to clothe them in the truth from His Word that leads to the greatest source of security available to mankind.

I’ve now learned as a mother of four, that I will not be able to stop the snow and ice from entering the lives of my children. The storms of life will come. Some will bring wind and rain, and during colder seasons-snow and even ice storms will rage. My times of deepest security and peace have been experienced while holding my child’s hand in the midst of the storm while we watched in amazement as Jesus walked on the waves. The waves would rise, and moments would come when I thought I’d lose sight of my Savior and was certain the ship would sink. But then, in the midst of the howling wind, I could hear a still small voice calling us out of the boat and onto the waves with Him.

Like the Proverbs 31 mother, my highest desire is that my children are clothed in the scarlet security of Christ and, out of a life lived walking on the waves with Jesus, say, “Though it may not be well with my circumstance, it is well with my soul.”

Before she was a mother, Danice was a recording session singer, elementary school teacher, and children’s church director. Now she loves to use every opportunity to share about her journey as a wife, mother of four (ages 5 and under!), and child of the living God, through her blog at www.theburdettjourney.blogspot.com. She can be reached through her blog for questions, writing spots and guest speaking engagements.

8 thoughts on “Weathering the Snowstorms of Life – Proverbs 31:21

  1. It was an HONOR to be asked to share our story! Thank you again for the opportunity to give God the glory for the GREAT things he has done!!! I am looking forward to spending more time together as soon as we get back in CA 🙂 Thank you again, friend!

  2. Thank you, Warren! We did have wonderful, “cozy” experiences during our three Illinois winters we lived through as a family. There are memories we will never forget as we return to California and though we are very excited to follow God's call for us to return home, every California Christmas we spend deciding if we should wear our Hawaiian shirts in the 80 degree weather will make us long for a taste of Illinois!!!

  3. Danice,
    What a great post! I like how you made application of that verse on two levels: first, the literal protective care from the cold weather (double layers) to the deeper care of providing for medical needs. Good theology and communication.

    We lived in Wyoming for years and found the cold weather actually a bonding thing – bundling up to play in the snow; putting logs on the fire and huddling up on the sofa for pizza and a movie. I hope you guys had some of those kinds of experiences during your Illinois winters.

    Hope and pray your kids are doing ok. wb

  4. Hello againb, Debby! Yes, we are moving back to CA in July! Though we are so thankful for all this move has meant for our family, we are excited to be near our family in the next leg of our journey. Thanks for following!

  5. Thank you so much, Rosslyn! Keep following our journey on my blog and I'm sure you'll hear more crazy stories of our adventures back to CA! I will say I've baked more cookies than ever before because of the cold. 🙂 There is something to be said for the warmth of the oven on a cold day that makes my heart happy!

  6. Danice, I went through a similar experience in moving right before the birth of my first child to a much colder and grayer climate. I sympathize–and you had an even more dramatic transition than I did! You have a great attitude and I hope your return is joyful and goes smoothly.

  7. Oh, Denise. What a heart-wrenching story! I'm in Wisconsin, just north of you. What a difficult move that must have been! I've been wanting to escape from the frozen tundra for 20 years, but so far God must be saying no. Is there any hope to going back to CA? But still, it sounds like God brought you here for a reason, especially the location of the place for cochlear implants.

    Thanks for joining my Heavenly Humor blog. I tried to join this one, but apparently I already did a while back! Lol. Glad to have found you again…

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