What do you do when you live in the North and winter is not your favourite season?
Hide under blankets. Drink lots of warm beverages. Invest in wool socks and Hot Paws.
What did I miss?
The days are getting longer now, we've had a few days above freezing, and I am beginning to taste anticipation for spring. Not that I didn't enjoy this winter season, but maybe, because of my personality, I just enjoy the change (Yes, that probably says a lot about me).
I have a tendency to miss the present moment, by getting lost in what is ahead. Forgetting to pay attention to today, while dreaming of tomorrow. This realization led to conviction. With the changes coming in our life this year, I wanted to practice paying attention to the moment in front of me, to who and what is around me. In my thankfulness these last few months, it has helped me to see the needs, the beauty, the glory of God before me and to behold Him.
So, here are a few things I've been enjoying this winter.
1. Snow Days
Every year we get a few days where the highways are closed, the windchill reaches -45C and a blizzard arrives. These are my favourite days. Not because the weather is unsafe and terrible, but because we have the opportunity to stop everything and watch the wind and snow from the comfort of our home. It reminds me of how important rest is, in the midst of busy winter schedules. These are days of forced rest, while intentionally choosing to rest must also be at the forefront of my mind as well.
I enjoy most sports - watching or playing. This was our first year with two kids playing hockey. I have really enjoyed watching them learn and develop, and seeing their excitement for the game. We have been so grateful to have parents on our teams who are positive and encouraging; they have really taught me a lot. It has given us a lot to talk about as a family, as we teach our kids and guide their character.
3. A New Semester
January began a brand new semester towards my counselling degree. The change in classes was refreshing, but the classes also brought on a new level of challenge. Learning a new skill after all these years being a nurse, makes me feel like a fish out of water, lost and uncertain. These struggles within myself have taught me what it means to trust God when I'm not great at something new, and when I don't know everything (imagine that). Thankfulness has been so important when I've been feeling stuck and relying on myself, when the truth of my need lies in dependance on Him.
Last fall, we had a couple of bluejays move into our neighbourhood. As I was at my kitchen sink, I would watch them flying around our backyard, foraging in the remnants of my garden. Near Christmas, I hadn't seen them as often and thought they had moved on, but one day, the beautiful blue, against the brightness of the white snow glared out at me, and I shouted out for the kids and we watched them until they flew away. We can get so busy with life, to-do lists and managing little people, that we forget to really see the people around us, even our family at times. Small thrills, but those birds helped me to see again, how important it is to live in, and cherish the moment.
Anticipating the changing seasons can be exciting for some, but for others not as much. I was talking with a farmer's wife about the melting snow, and for her, spring is their busy season, and maybe we're not all as ready for it as I am. Whether we are looking forward to the next season, or cherishing the present one, we can have much to be thankful for, with the many blessings and privileges we've been given.
"On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it" Psalm 118:24
As we reflect on this season, what do you notice about your winter this year? What have you learned?