Freeze Frame

February 23, 2011 | 35 comments

I almost missed the miracle.

It had been glistening on the opposite side of iced-over windows. (My neighbor calls them cheap blinds.) For three days, I hadn’t opened a door. Ice paralyzed my world. School, church — everything — shut down.

But out there, in the subzero cocoon, a symphony of praise erupted.

I almost missed it.

Until today. I opened the door to the concert hall.

For three days, the head of the birch tree has been bowed low to the ground. Limbs groan under silver weight. I snap photos. And I listen. I hear the woods sigh the way docked boats do when they rock against their moorings.

Every inch glistens, sings. A sheet of ice falls from the side of my home, cymbals crashing. One single icicle drips, keeping metronomic time.

Is this how ice praises its Creator, in crystal spires and irridescent skin?

I pull the winter coat over top of my cotton peace pajamas, and drive back-roads, clicking frame after frame of miracles wrapped in sparkling garments.

How often have I, in the deep-freeze of February, longed for the warmth of July? And then in the swelter of July, how often have I longed for the cool of night?

What if I lived in the now, found the miracle of the moment?

I snap more frames, capture 100 in all. By tomorrow, the ice may be gone.

And to think I almost missed it.

From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?
— Job 38:29-30

The photo of Lydia is submitted as part of The High Calling’s PhotoPlay, “Chop it Off.” There’s still time to participate. Check here for details.

Today’s post is submitted as part of Ann Voskamp’s Walk With Him Wednesday series, where we’re talking about time. I’m trying to invest mine well, by living in the now, instead of the then.

by | February 23, 2011 | 35 comments


  1. Dawn

    Breath-taking, both the words and photos.

    It makes me want to be still and listen.

  2. Stephani

    That ice is crying out! Beautiful photos and words and moments. Thanks for letting us see too!

  3. Cassandra Frear

    I spent 6 months in Iowa and Nebraska when I was 20. It's coooold in February!

    But yes, ice can be beautiful — especially when viewed in quietness from a place of safety!

  4. David Rupert

    Loved that title! And the mailbox is photo is something. Most people would be inside, hunkering down over the cold and ice. But not J Lee…have camera, will explore! Nice post about not missing the moment…

  5. HisFireFly

    Thank you for sharing your praise – and I know how pleased is our Lord by your words!

    Monday I saw the icicles as frozen tears – perfect in beauty – even when painful!

    Well done.

  6. Lindy

    When the ice melts it's the crackling of spring. Beautiful pictures. Living for right now…

  7. Doug Spurling

    Jennifer, I just finished writing…"The trees and the breeze and the grass and the sun and the shadow and the noise and the quiet, His creation, His handiwork, His presence presents His presents." And you captured this so well – in the warmth and in the freeze in the quiet and in the breeze – He is there! Immanuel. Oh – did you notice the "Y"s for Yaweh in your grass photo?

  8. Cherry

    Coming over from Walk with Him Wednesdays … this is so very beautiful, both the photos and the words. Thank you …

  9. Nancy

    It's hard work, living in the now of things I don't really like–things like winter, and ice, and waiting, and uncertainty. Beautiful pictures, reminding me that even the gifts I don't always like are from the hand of my loving Father.

  10. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Doug! Yes! I did see the Ys. I thought it was my little secret with the LORD. So glad He let you in on it. 😉

  11. Angie Vik

    Great pictures. I love when everything's frosted with ice. Especially when the sky is blue. Or you look outside and everything's white on white. I personally think the ice display is prettier out in the country so you were blessed to have a front row seat.

    P.S. I mentioned something you wrote that struck a chord with me at dinner the other night. My girls didn't recognize your name but when I said Anna and Lydia's Mom, they knew exactly who I met. 🙂

  12. jasonS

    Just beautiful! Thanks Jennifer.

  13. Julia

    Gorgeous pictures, Jennifer.

    On Sunday it was 70 degrees here (St. Louis). This morning when I let the dogs out, everything was coated in ice (it was definitely NOT 70 degrees anymore). I almost missed it too. There's something lovely and serene about everything being encapsulated in ice. You capture it beautifully!

  14. Connie Mace

    "Is this how ice praises its Creator, in crystal spires and irridescent skin?"…oh…thank you for letting us share this beauty…

    And here, in Western Washington…snow is falling, snow on snow, snow on snow…lovely

  15. Joan Davis

    Great pictures! I'm so glad you didn't miss the beauty of that frozen morning…

    Blessings, Joan

  16. Laura

    Oh, this is just beauty, Jennifer! And I'm glad I stopped by today because I forgot about Photo play! Yikes. A sure sign. Of something. Thank you for sharing that miracle with me today. 🙂

  17. Constance

    Visiting from Walk With Him Wednesdays. Your pictures are amazing! We had an ice storm last February in the High Country of North Carolina and a few of us decided to go out in the icy weather to get some pictures and enjoy the snow. Ice storms bring startling beauty and incredible silence. You can really hear God calling on those beautiful frigid days!

  18. Duane Scott

    These pictures are gorgeous… the words you strung along with them even more so.

    This looks like Iowa. 🙂

    We obviously got the same storm. 😉

  19. Jeanne Damoff

    Gorgeous shots, Jennifer. Magical. Love your thoughts, too.

  20. Beth E.

    Your pictures are beautiful, and the images your paint with your words….breathtaking. I just love to read your posts!

  21. S. Etole

    What a beautiful crystal world … a delicate wind chime.

  22. Lyla Lindquist

    You, my friend, should be cooped inside more often — when this is what happens when you break through the ice to get out.

    That second photo? Been seeing it in my mind all day.

    Beautiful stuff.

  23. Debra

    such beauty … one of my favorite symphonies! thanks for sharing … and for being so transparent. 🙂

  24. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    amazing photos and words! i love the imagery of the ice crying out. you are just so in tune with God's sweet spirit – it just oozes from your pen!

  25. Carey

    Oh Jennifer, how I love how you "capture the moment," not just on film and with words, but in your day to day life.

  26. Sandra Heska King

    Beautiful! Every moment. I don't want to miss seeing Him in every moment.

    I took some of those "frost on the window" photos last month. Never thought to do that before. Amazing!

  27. Lori

    Sigh! Wonderful. Thank you for capturing the winter beauty and sharing it here. Our ice was not quite so nice here and fell/blew off before photos were possible.
    Keep up the God work.

  28. Michelle DeRusha@Graceful

    Wow. All I can say is wow. And yes, the title — you clever girl!

    So glad you captured ice glory for us all to embrace!

  29. Cheryl

    Live in the now? Sign me up!

    Was great to talk with you yesterday. You're in my thoughts and prayers these days at your retreat.

    Love to you, friend.

  30. Jennifer

    Your photos were just beautiful. Louisiana hasn't had an ice storm since the 70s when I was born. I've never heard the ice groan. Just beautiful. I have heard snow drip off a room once or twice.

  31. Rose

    Jennifer, how beautiful the photos are and how inspiring the post is. There are times when I just zoom through life and I don't even like to think about what I missed but oh, those times, when I was still and saw a breath taking sunset, or some other amazing part of God's creation…I am so thankful that I was blessed to be a part of that one moment in time.
    Have a blessed weekend.

  32. bluecottonmemory

    Beautiful photos! Glad to find someone else who can find the beauty of the snow. We didn't have ice like that – but how beautiful it would have been to hear it! God is so detail-oriented down to every last thing – like the sound of ice!

  33. Craig

    I’m here from Anne’s today

    Amen – I totally agree!!!! “Is this how ice praises its Creator, in crystal spires and irridescent skin?” but I couldn’t write it so well.

    And the verse from Job – along with the pictures – amazing. Thank you.

    God Bless you and all of yours

  34. Megan Willome

    I love, love, love the idea of ice praising God. And you have a non-Job-y Job verse!

  35. ~ linda

    God's creation and beauty brings me to my knees. I am so very grateful that God brought me here tonight.


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