Greetings, dear hearts.
Make a hot cup of something to drink, turn on some gentle music, and find a window to watch just in case winter surprises you with some unexpected delight. You never know when it might do that.
Sometimes it can be very hard to find beauty in the winter months. Depending on where you live and what your opinion of winter is, the lack of loveliness can leave a person weary. Not that winter can’t be lovely in it’s own way (don’t worry, you who love winter, we’ll get there).
I’ve gathered some ways to foster beauty in the wintertime. I hope that you can find these helpful to encourage your heart and remind you of the reason why our hearts need beauty in the first place–we were created for communion with the LORD, the source and author of beauty. And little, every-day moments of breathtaking beauty are like little whispers of “I love you, My little one”. Let’s not miss them.
1. Do Not Settle for the Lesser
All the beauty in this world is not enough if it is apart from Jesus. As St Augustine said, our souls are restless until they rest in Christ. Remembering our salvation, talking to the One who–wonder of wonders!–has called us His own and saved us, forgiven us and changed us. These are the ways that we are called to spend our moments. Isn’t that beautiful? God has called us to delight in Him. Not every moment will feel beautiful. Some will be so, so hard. Some will be distracted and sinful. But none of that can take away the truth of who God is and what He, in His great love has done. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38).
Friends, I don’t want to settle for sin and distractions. I don’t want to settle for life as I have always lived it, not when there is so much more offered to us in Christ!
So much has been given to us, and we are called to so much more than what the world offers. But how do we live like this? It is through the power of the Father, the working of the Spirit and the life of Christ. So, I think that perhaps the best thing I can do is to talk to Him throughout my day, to give myself visible reminders of truth and the gospel. This is my prayer for us, that we would number our days and seek Jesus with everything we have, knowing that He is worth abundantly more than the finest joys this world has to offer.
2. Chase the Light
Last week my sister pulled me out of bed and we padded with slipper clad feet into the kitchen where she threw open the blinds. The whole sky was pink and yellow. It was beautiful.
Might I recommend getting up and watching a sunrise. On a clear evening try to catch the sunset. Bundle up and get a hot thermos of coco and watch the stars. Make the time to watch the way that the sun shines on your winter landscape, watch the colors it makes and the way it changes things.
And if all natural light seems to fail, hang fairy lights in your house and light candles. Watch them flicker like little beacons of hope.
3. Have a Tea Party
Invite your dear ones and brew a pot of your favorite tea. Get out the old china teacups gathering dust in your cupboard and explore your pantry and refrigerator for anything that looks delicious. Poetry books or games anyone?
And the world becomes a lovely thing
There’s beauty as you’ll see;
All because you briefly stopped
To brew a cup of tea.William Gladstone
4. Brave the Outdoors!
You heard me. Sometimes we simply must go outside. Now if it’s -7 outside with a windchill of less than that or a howling blizzard you’ll want to stay inside. But if it’s just gloomy and rainy or if it’s warm enough to not freeze you, embrace it.
There is much to be explored in Illinois in the winter. Frozen creeks to slide on, tiny pictures in the frost, the quiet swaying of bare tree branches. Winter looks different depending on where you live, but go on an adventure and try to find the hidden joys.
Go on a prayer walk, go on a jog. Just because winter can be dreary doesn’t mean we have to be. 😉
5. Daydream about Spring
Two weeks ago, I was talking with my sister and a kind farmer from church. I mentioned how I was already dreaming about spring, but I was trying not to because it is so far away. The farmer looked at me and said “Oh, but that’s the best way to spend the winter.”
So, yesterday I sat down with my journal and poured out a scattered garden plan. I could almost feel the sun and see the flowers smiling under the dappled shade of green leaves. Let’s daydream about spring, dear hearts. Let’s daydream about this spring and lets daydream about the spring that won’t need the sun to warm it, for it’s light will be the Lord God. ❤
No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory.Isaiah 60:19
That about wraps it up. Wishing you all a winter full of beauty! If you have any ideas for finding beauty in the wintertime, I’d love to hear them!