As most of you know, I love winter.
I hate summer with it’s heat and insects and creepy crawlies. I have an aversion to bees and bats, mostly because they insist on coming after me. I won’t go out after dark unless I have a hat on, and even then I tend to crouch down or hide behind my husband so the bats can’t aim for my head.
That is not an exaggeration, but it is another story not involved in this lesson.
With winter, I am happy. I love the colder temperatures and the beauty of fresh white snow. I look forward to that first snow in the fall, and am hard-pressed to keep from praying for a white Christmas.
I say hard-pressed because I know that snow is not what makes Christmas and should not be the measuring stick of what defines a blessed Christmas.
But there is always a small part deep inside that can’t help but wish for a snow the day before Christmas so that everything is clean and sparkling when I get up Christmas morning.
And when others are ready for spring by the end of January, I am still enthralled with each new snowfall and am thrilled when we get a good old-fashioned snowstorm.
Now, having said all that, this past winter was another story entirely and it took me a while to figure out why.
As I went through this past winter, I struggled with a sense of being buried alive; of being closed in and closed off from everything but my problems.
I had no place to go; no quiet, private place to hide in. With a small house, a toddler to watch, and a crib set up in my office, my private places and my time for myself were gone.
With a mild winter, I can go walk around outside, breathing in the cold air and listening to the silence that can only come in the middle of winter. Into that silence, I can talk to the Lord, praising Him for the beauty of the winter landscape, and get myself settled into His peace.
But this year it was impossible to do that.
Quite often we were in the sub-zero zone with dangerous wind-chills and warnings to not spend more than a few minutes outside. With near Arctic temperatures for most of the winter, going outside to settle myself was out of the question.
Yet, I did not see that this was part of the problem.
Judi over at It’s Not About Me reminded me in her article Mind Over Matter of the need to just walk away from whatever was happening and spend some time just with God.
By that time, the weather was a little warmer, so when things began to go wrong and I began to feel overwhelmed, I put on my coat and went outside into the cold and snow. With one deep breath, and my mind turned toward God, peace began to seep into my soul.
It was then that I realized that part of my problem was the fact that I had been hardly able to leave the house for weeks due to weather and other factors, and had spent very little time renewing myself.
Thank you Judi, for sharing your story for me to learn from.
LESSON LEARNED –
Seek after God throughout the day to turn heart and mind away from the day-to-day problems; to draw on His strength and let His peace fill the soul.
As my Pastor said, “Keep the mind on the Bible and the eyes on God.”
© Drusilla Mott and http://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2014
*** This is the last of this series. If you have missed any of the previous ones, and would like to read them, click on the Lessons Learned link in the header above.