Thursday, January 12, 2012

Embracing Winter When She Gives You The Cold Shoulder

Before I go further with my "Embrace Winter" posts, I wanted to acknowledge that winter can truly be a very difficult time for people. Forget the everyday complaints about the weather and the dreary gray in the sky. What if this is your first winter without a beloved spouse, or you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or maybe your child gets severely ill in the winter months and that is ever present in your mind. Maybe you struggle with depression and the winter months seem like a tunnel with no light at the end. These are realities of winter for many people.

I suppose my posts are mostly aimed at the average winter-goer, for whom winter is more of an attitude problem rather than an actual life hazard. What do you do if winter looms large in your face, threatening you with her icy arms?

I think one of the first things to do is acknowledge the tough situation you are in and don't feel like you have to pick yourself up by your boot straps and pretend to be happy (although once in awhile that might not hurt).

Remind yourself that this is a season of life, as well as a season of the year. Sometimes winters of the soul last for years. For Christians, we look forward to the fact that winter is not forever and someday there will be an eternal summer in Christ's presence. But sometimes winter on earth feels like it will be forever.

Look for "little graces". Maybe overall your winter is going to be a slushy mess, but if you watch with expectant eyes, you will see a few sparkling masterpieces as they flutter past you into oblivion. Don't minimize those moments. I can remember when I was so ill the crazy joy a piece of hot toast cut in triangles and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar once gave me. I have no idea exactly why except maybe it was the first spark of pleasure I had felt in some time. Write down your little graces.......collected slowly over time they might just form into a beautiful snowdrift, breaking the sharpness of the wind.

Help someone else make it through winter. If you are struggling, you are probably well-equipped to help someone else who is also finding the winter walk to be difficult. Winter is always warmer when there is someone beside you. And for those of us who might not be in a winter of the soul just now, we should be all the more aware of those who are and try to brighten their path.

The cold of winter is the nursery of hope. Spring is coming, in more ways than one.


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

It is beautiful here this morning.

Christopher called me about an hour ago on his way to classes from his apartment, he said the roads near campus were all icy and awful.

Hubby also had to drive into town but said it wasn't too bad in the country, worse in town. I think it is all the drifting on the main street near campus they both drove that is making it so slick.

There is a golf course on one side so nothing to stop the drifting while the forests in the country block the winds.

But since I didn't have to drive in it, I'm looking outside at snow on the red barn across the road and thinking I may just have to put on my coat and take some pictures. :)

Yolanda said...

I really enjoyed this post and I too am about embracing winter but I too understand how very difficult winter can be for people. Love your blog and hope you have a lovely weekend.

Laura said...

Good words, Heath.. love the scarlet bird in the drab brown , grey twigs.. a bit of joy in this season.. I have been seeing those amazing red birds everyday.. they quicken my heart..Winter to me is a time to create.. I have always loved the changing of the seasons.. this is the season to dream, and be silent, and think.. soon all the world will be stirring in greens and colors...but now it is asleep... thanks for your thoughts. they are beautiful.. love you

Anonymous said...

great reminder! Thanks!