Sunday, January 12, 2014

Things to love about winter

Last winter was especially hard for me. It was bitter cold and seemed to drag on forever, not to mention we were living in the basement. I definitely have some of that SAD (seasonal affective disorder), so the lack of light from our little windows in the basement didn't help. I about went crazy. And I vowed never again. I cannot tell you what a difference this winter has been! The light from our big windows has helped immensely, and just noticing little things has made me happy.

I don't want to have another year where I dread the winter. So I have been working really hard to notice the day-to-day things there are to love.




Recipe here
Making comfort food
    Chicken pot pies, baked macaroni and cheese, stew and homemade bread

Winter might not be the easiest time to lose weight. But you have to admit, these foods were meant for this time of the year. The true measure of their homey-ness can only be felt during the coldest months.


Hibernating
 
This year with the addition of our new baby it very much feels like we are hibernating. Our children are slowly growing and in the springtime they will burst forth as something new. It is so fun to watch life from our front window as it passes by. Things are slower in these months. We can savor our relationships with each other through conversation, and not so much through activities, which is what fills up the warmer times.




Snow

It is absolutely beautiful, like poetry in motion to watch it fall. I have really been struck by it, living upstairs. I never knew beforehand how lucky we are to admire such a beautiful phenomena.


No commitments 

This could very well be the last winter where we don't have to be somewhere most mornings. This intensifies my love of falling snow, knowing I don't have to drive in it. Although we live in the middle of a city, it's almost like we live in a cabin in the woods, where our whole world is just each other.


Building fires

Speaking of that romantic cabin in the woods, nothing spells ambiance like rustic logs and reaching flames. One of the selling points on this house was the wide open fireplace, something I have always wished for. I love using historical things for their intended purposes, and I can't help but think of  our ancestors, where the hearth was the meeting place of the home, and not the t.v.

Pinecones

Nature is so beautiful, isn't it? I love decorating with natural things (or faux-natural things, I do subscribe to the 21st century), because nothing can really copy these masterpieces of God. Pine needles, pinecones, tree branches, these are the things that hide in the shadows when the showy leaves and flowers appear. But when their season is over, the beauty of these "leftovers" really shine. How amazing is the workmanship of God! Even the structures that hold his beautiful creations are, in themselves, works of beauty!

Winter Solstice

I got Cheyenne a book this year about the winter solstice. Despite my fear of winter and dark days, she seems to have some fascination with it. The book was quite enlightening (ha) and actually gave me another thing to be glad about these winter months. The winter solstice happens on December 21st, which is the shortest day of the year, with the least amount of light. Every day the light lasts a little longer until the summer solstice. So there's a reason to celebrate each day: tomorrow will be filled with more light.



Cut flowers

This might seem contradictory, but this is definitely a benefit of our modern age. I love having cut flowers in the house as a reminder of this cycle we are in, that winter doesn't last forever. The sun still warms the earth and these beautiful things are waiting for their time to bloom, when they will have the greatest chance at success.

Winter is usually the time I reflect on this greater cycle our whole lives are a part of. A cycle of birth and death, rebirth and death again. A cycle of sinning and being forgiven, of repenting and sinning again. A cycle of waiting for the sun in full splendor, only to realize it comes more and more each day. A cycle of wanting the fruits of summer already, only to realize we are slowly growing and will bloom when we have the greatest chance at success.

I want to see those sweet fruits of success. May I learn to love the winters of my life.

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