Living in the Midwest, we experience all four seasons. Spring is my favorite season, with everything “greening up”, and buds bursting forth into bloom with a wide array of color following the stark black and white of winter.
Each season has its own work, and own perks. In spring, many people, including myself, plant gardens and test a hand for a “green thumb.” We relish in the warming rays of afternoon sun, and start venturing outside a bit on the weekends.
Summer is filled with barbecuing, picnics, bike rides, and hiking. School’s out and busy afternoon activities are in. I often find myself chauffeuring and chaperoning our daughters and their friends.
Autumn is harvest time which means our annual apple-picking trip and an afternoon of making homemade applesauce. It also means back-to-school and back to studying. The colors of autumn are a vibrant promise that winter won’t last forever and that we will see God’s creation grow and bloom again.
Winter has its perks with the anticipation of the celebration of Christmas. The days are shorter here in the Northern Hemisphere, and after the holidays, I find myself sitting quite a bit more that usual. I have learned to enjoy this season of rest.
While the snowflakes fall lazily from the sky, and the temperatures dip at a threatening speed, I have learned to enjoy winter. I still arise early, before the sun says “hello”, and quietly process Scripture before the fire.
God designed us to rest. I don’t know about you, but that is something I have needed to make myself learn. Raised in this fast-paced American culture where busyness in condoned and applauded, I needed to take time for both the Lord, and my thoughts.
I love Psalm 46:10 , “Be still and know, I am God.” However, that is not a practice I have mastered. Some might remind me it’s just my stage of life, or that one day I will have plenty of time to be still and contemplate spiritual truths.
But I have found I don’t want to wait for life to slow down, I must make the time now.
As I contemplate the new calendar every year, I see winter as a gift from God. Having previously declared it my least favorite season in years past, I have found a new affinity for it. The weather and lack of light encourages me to settle into my home earlier in the day, not venturing out as much in the evening. When home, my life often feels quieter, not rushed, and less scheduled. Maybe, God intended for me to realize I can spend time with Him and learn from Him, even during this busy time of life.
As I glanced out at the winter landscape, I used to feel confined indoors, with little to brighten the day. Now I see those cold, cold days as a perfect time to start a delectable dish in the crock pot, bake something in the warm oven, and sit before the fire, snuggled with my favorite people and puppy!
God can speak to us through anything. Even the weather, even the seasons. Even as we experience them time and time again.
How do you slow yourself down to listen for Him?