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growing up without snow...

Snow is so beautiful. Growing up in Alabama, when it snowed everyone got really excited because it was a rare happening. And by rare I mean it maybe, maybe snows once a year--and usually doesn't stick.

Today is October 1, 2010. I have almost been in Mongolia for an entire year.

I.cannot.believe.it.

There are so many things that have changed in my life, some of which I'm not even sure I have noticed. The things I think, the things I eat, the things I wear, the things I can understand--there are a myriad of things that are different.

One of the biggest things that has changed is my affinity [well, and adaptability] to the snowy life. When were first arrived in Mongolia, last October, there was already a lot of snow on the ground. Immediately it was different than anywhere I had ever lived. With every passing day the weather got colder and colder and the snow became a regular occurrence. I soon realized it wasn't strange, it was a normal part of life--just like rain is to me.

This morning when I woke up the snow was coming down so hard. It wasn't quite cold enough to stick to the ground, so it formed little puddles everywhere, but as I watched it--I realized just how different it is from rain.

Aside from the obvious things like being frozen and white, I realized how quiet it was. I was mesmerized all over again, like I was in Alabama.

The quietness and slowness of snow draws you to a quiet place. A place of watching and observing what's around you.

Newly falling snow is exactly what I need right now as I reflect on the past year--all the things that have changed and all the ways I have changed.

I would have never imagined that I would come to love this winter season so much.


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The Prayer of the Empty Water Jar

Jesus, I come into the warmth of your presence
knowing that you are
the very emptiness of God.

I come before you
holding the water jar of my life.

Your eyes meet mine
and I know what I'd rather not know.

I came to be filled
but I am already full.

I am too full
This is my sickness

I am full of things
that crowd out
your healing presence.

A holy knowing steals inside my heart
and I see a painful truth.

I don't need more
I need less
I am too full.

I am full of things that block out
your golden grace.

I am smothered by gods of my own creation
I am lost in the forest of my false self
I am full of my own opinions and narrow attitudes
full of fear, resentments, control
full of self-pity, and arrogance.

Slowly this terrible truth
pierces my heart
I am so full there is no room for you.

Contemplatively, and with compassion
you ask me to reach into my water jar.

One by one, Jesus, you enable me
to lift out the things
that are a hindrance to my wholeness.

I take each one to my heart and