With spring officially only a couple weeks away, it seems appropriate to reflect a bit on this past winter. In fact, there are a whole community of bloggers spending a little time this month looking back in order to see what we learned and what we want to take with us into this next season.
So I started to think about this season and the valuable things I should really be remembering and learning from. And asking God what could help me move ahead into Spring. And I was surprised at what I discovered waiting there.
Five Things I Learned
1. Intentionally Cultivate Wonder
At first this sounds idealistic with a side of whimsy, I know.
But trust me when I say that when we feel like something is lacking in the middle of our everyday, it’s often because we haven’t taken time to stop and make a point of savoring something for the sole reason that it can enrich our life.
To really see. To really appreciate. Magic in the mundane.
From stopping to watch the nuthatches in our tree out back, to buying myself tulips out of season just because they remind me it won’t always be winter. Looking at the way sun lays across the snow or noticing the way the house smells more inviting when there’s a hearty stew on the stove.
I always feel better with all the taking-in of the small but evident riches around us.
2. Sometimes You Have To Listen
I was always a night owl. Once upon a time I could, and would, be up ’til the wee small hours swallowed up in a book, writing in my journal, watching old movies.
So imagine my surprise this winter when, after a long battle with Lyme-induced insomnia, I noticed my best and most complete rest came at 9 pm. I would sleep hard and fast and feel so good that for the first time in my life I could get up with the birds.
But it took listening to my own body before I realised that this was the new routine. If I don’t heed my internal clock and wait for even one or two more hours, my system will stay awake all night. All night, people. Like it’s trying to teach me a lesson. Crazy but true. So I have decided to listen carefully.
3. That We All Crave Community
I kept hearing the same heart-cry. Or maybe He was just opening my own ears in a new way, but I noticed a reoccuring theme as I talked with friends. We were all craving better community.
A friend who started taking an extra casserole across the street every Monday night to her neighbour, a single mom with littles who looks frazzled but always waves. They only exchange a few words at the door but my friend loves the look of relief and the quick hug shared. More than a meal, they swap easy friendship.
The fellow worshipper at church that walked away from a corporate setting to start a salon. So that while she worked on hair and skin and nails, she could work on building up and encouraging the hearts of others. Folks are offered hope and comfort and Jesus.
More than pampering. She’s offering solice.
It’s why I started this blog. My prayer is that as it grows it becomes a place of community. I crave it. We all crave it.
Do you have a story of connection like the ones above?
You have a cool project you’re working on and need a cheering squad?
I want to have posts where we celebrate you! Brighten your day! Remind you that you are valued.
Lord, Jesus, let this be a place of community.
4. If We Take The Time, His Word Speaks
When we had days too brutally cold to leave the house (Yes, I am a hermit. I might be Canadian but I’m not above hunkering down and avoiding freezing temps.) I would curl up and get real intentional with the Word.
Maybe it’s that I’m getting older and wiser. Maybe it’s just me getting older.
Let’s not fool ourselves.
But whatever the reason, I go after His truth hard now. I try not to cringe that it’s taken me this long.
And it’s so much more nourishing when you dive deep.
The appetite you feed is the one that grows. So I came through the winter with a new appreciation of the Bible. And now it has me appreciating it in a fresh way.
5. That Clutter Really Isn’t My Friend.
This is hard for me. I think clutter is in the DNA. I’m so serious. A cousin and I were comparing our reluctance to get rid of things and wondering how far back into our gene pool it goes.
I fear it goes deep, my friend.
But I’m becoming more and more brave. And more unburdened by all. the. things. Which gives better purpose to the things I really love. And soon, 35 different useless kitchen pans won’t cascade out of the cupboard in a sunami of teflon the next time I need my favorite pie plate.
I gaze ahead longingly at the new season on my doorstep. And I look at these five take-aways.
Wonder. Listening carefully. Finding community. Bible study. Clearing clutter.
It’s amazing the difference to my day. Like tiny seeds about to take root.
It makes me so very expectant for the Spring.
Special thanks to Filip Bunkens @thebeardbe for the featured image.
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