I really don’t like winter anymore. I love living in Ohio, I really do. I’ve lived my entire 42 years here in northeast Ohio and I really wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. However, I hate winter, I dislike everything about it. I don’t like the cold, can’t stand the snow and being stuck inside (without fresh air coming through the windows) makes these 3-4 months unbearable at times.
Oh, there is plenty of beauty…God is like that, creating beauty in something that you want to dislike making it hard to hate it so much. I do love the look of a heavy snowstorm, as long as I don’t have to go anywhere. I do love the glistening of ice on trees, until limbs come down and knock the power out. I even love that clean crisp breath of air when you first walk out on a cold, cold morning, but one breath is enough. And I do love curling up with my family, watching a movie, reading a book, playing a game or just being together on cold winter evening.
Winter often comes with times of trials and deep reflection. Illness often creeps up on us and the older I get, the harder it is to shake. The grey dreary days bring on depression and just a general blah feeling that can often last for weeks. Work and hobbies often suffer as it’s harder to get interested or stay focused. And my stress levels often rise as I’m forced to travel in bad weather and go out when I don’t want…plus now that I have children who drive, the added level of stress there just compounds that which I already put on myself.
But as typical, God often works that which is not ideal, not good, or I don’t really like to my good. He puts these trials in front of me to strengthen me and to draw me closer to him. I often do find myself reflecting on my life and as many of us do, I might put some New Years resolutions to better myself physically, mentally and spiritually. This year I’m going to put it out there for the world (or the one or two people that might read this) a few things that I’m looking to change this year.
- I’m going to eat and drink healthier. Probably one of my biggest bad habits is soda. I do drink too much. I’m going to cut it back and hopefully out. I’ll replace it with more water and fruit juices (and I do love chocolate milk, so there may be some of that in there).
- I’m relatively inactive. Oh I get out with the kids, I coach football and baseball, so I’m out there then, but really my job puts me at a desk for 8 hours a day so I need to make a better effort of getting some exercise.
- I plan on reading more this year. This includes fiction, non-fiction and of course getting into the Word more (along with books that help me learn more about God and his Word)
I don’t expect to make a complete turn-around. I suspect that I’ll falter. I hope to make continuous improvement by working on these things in baby steps. Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent. Thus if I practice in these 3 areas each and every day, I hope to make them permanent good habits.
Perhaps next year when I reflect back on 2013, I’ll be looking at the winter and this post and say, I don’t hate winter so much anymore. God gave us the winter to help us slow down, reset our lives and appreciate all that he has given us…..and how wonderful the warm weather will be when it gets here.