All this time, I thought my life was something I needed to build.
Maybe instead of creating my life, I needed to find it… by noticing the little things.”
~ Billy Coffey’s Peter Boyd in debut novel, Snow Day
When life’s disappointments threaten to make you ordinary, God steps in to bring faith back into your story.
I was born on the streets of San Francisco Chinatown. A city girl.
Our family later moved away, trading an apartment for a duplex that sat smack dab in one of the busiest intersection of Silicon Valley. In that 800 square foot home, I journaled my way through childhood, listening to the roar of county transit buses running the yellow light in front of our driveway.
Through my bedroom window at night, shadows would flicker onto my wall as headlights from street traffic drove by. Our place was constantly awash with sound and light, but my life was familiar with dark nights.
What I feared most was living a small and insignificant life.
That is how I’d often stumbled with thankfulness. It’s easy to be thankful when our dreams seem within reach. But sooner or later, we all come to a point where life takes us off script. What we planned for didn’t happen. What we tried to avoid, somehow finds us in the end.
Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover
As I picked up my review copy of Snow Day, the cover art of a snow hill covered with children and people wrapped up in winter marshmallow bundles gave me the impression I’d be reading Norman Rockwell heartland stories. By the time I got halfway through, I learned again not to judge a book by it’s cover.
Like a master craftsman, Coffey writes his fiction as real life story. Which means the yarn he spins about the everyday man named Peter Boyd, who is about to lose his job, gets seamlessly woven into a journey of personal storms and dilemmas of faith.
“I was afraid they would think that instead of striking out into the world, I had struck out in my life.” ~ Snow Day’s protagonist Peter Boyd
What makes this book especially alluring is how the protagonist was placed in Virginia, with two children. The author and his family of four also reside in the same locale. This ended up to be creative fiction compiled by close observation on the frontlines of regular life. Coffey deftly intertwines humor, authenticity and down-to-earth wisdom in the conversations and memorable characters that are inspiringly flawed and enduring.
The South to me is Georgia and Florida, places I’ve passed through before. I’ve never stepped foot in Virginia, but I found myself out in the country between the pages of Snow Day.
Standing On Another Planet
Like I said, I’ve always lived in the valley of silicon and lights. Which means I have a whole lot of trouble seeing the stars. As a child, when I looked up into the night, I’d see the gray silhouette of moving clouds. If I was lucky, it’d be chilly and clear. I’d see a sparse handful of dots standing still to be connected with the tracing of my finger. The Big Dipper.
That’s pretty much all I made out when I gazed into the darkness, on a good night. Many times, I’d have to squint really hard and suspend belief to convince myself, Yes. That star is twinkling.
This all changed one late night as I drove out to Arizona on Hwy40 in my jeep along the borders of Mohave National Preserve. Right in front of me was a a crazy explosion of stars, twinkling like flashing neon signs. The sky glowed so incredibly bright, it seemed fake.
I pulled off to the side of the freeway and got out of my car, just to walk and do a 360. There were so many stars, I couldn’t put a finger between one without touching the other.
The desert leveled the horizon, and for a second, I felt I was standing on another planet.
Darkness & Light
There were a lot of interesting personalities in Snow Day that kept the pages turning, but I did not expect to find what I did in this tale of loss, remembrance and faith.
I was reminded when I see darkness more than light, I can push through knowing God’s light will eventually shine through me.
I may be living in the daily distractions and hardships of everyday life. But, the fact remains. One day, I’ll be driving along the highway of life, and I’ll see God’s hand in everything that has happened.
Just like the beautiful stars God flung into the sky, I won’t be able to tell the difference between one moment of faith and another moment of pain. In His eyes, they are all the same.
They will all twinkle.
And I’m so very thankful.
Are you facing ordinary or tough times times of faith?
What encourages you to feel thankful?
Snow Day Book Giveaway!
If you’re wondering which chapter in Snow Day caused such inspirational stir, you have a chance to find out for yourself!
BY WED 11/24/10 Midnight PST.
Leave a comment and you’ll be entered for a hardcover copy of Snow Day, which just published in October 2010.
For extra entries: Click on the “Share” button at the end of today’s post to Facebook or Tweet. Leave additional comments letting me know. You’re entered again!
A computer-generated winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be announced on Thanksgiving Day, 11/25 Noon PST!
** Update ** Thank you for all the wonderful entries.
Congratulations to Melissa Brotherton for winning a copy of Billy Coffey’s Snow Day! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Who’s Billy Coffey?
Billy Coffey is an author and blogger, with special history here — as Faith Barista’s first Special Blend Interview guest. Click here to read the interview “Faith Walk Behind The Cowboy Hat” and get the scoop on Billy.
Billy is also an encourager, one of the good guys who always has a kind word. Be sure to check out his blog, What I Learned Today, and say “Hey!” for me.
*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Keep faith fresh with a faith prompt and add your voice to this community.
Today’s topic: Thankfulness — Your Journey
Submit your post on today’s topic by clicking on the blue button below “Add Your Link”. If you don’t have a blog, share by posting a comment.
There will be NO jam next week, since it’s Thanksgiving!
**The next jam will be two weeks later on 12/2 ** Jam Topic: Your Hopes For Christmas
Approach it any way you feel inspired! Only required ingredient: keep it real. Thanks for serving your personal brews!
Build the Keep Fresh Fresh Community: Link back to Faith Barista or grab the Faith Barista Jam Badge to place in your post. Click here.
It’s a jam session. As time allows, say hi & drop a comment when visiting the community faith blends!