Winter Rest

It has been almost two decades since I’ve lived through a full Midwest winter. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to wear warm, cozies every day but my goodness! It is true cold here! This week has been in the negatives plus strong winds! This has truly been a whole new season for our family and we are making the most of it!

This year we are attempting to complete the 1000 Hours Outside challenge. I figured that possibly with doing online school and being in a slightly milder climate, we may have more success than in our old hot and humid temps. After purchasing good snow gear, the boys have taken to the challenge and spent hours outside sledding, building snow forts, and just enjoying this change of weather. The past couple days has been less time outside, but they have still enjoyed the beauty of fresh snow and how refreshing it is to return to warmth.

Winter can be a difficult season for many. This literal season has made me much more cautious to venture out when the roads are still slick and when I am unused to driving it. Events may be cancelled and schedules are all pencilled in so that emotions can be properly managed. The same is true for emotional seasons of winter. We feel bare and worn and cold. We might be tempted to think that everything is dying and it feels hopeless.

But winter is meant to be a season of rest. A break from production, a time to replenish energy. Less requirements, less expectations, less. We drop our pretenses and hold fast to the truth we are rooted in and rest in the providence of the Savior. He invites us into His Sovereign rest so we can be strengthened for the good work He has planned for us.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29

If your heart is in a winter season and all you can see is barrenness and all you can feel is chill, enter the rest of your Savior and allow Him to restore His comfort and joy in your life. We may wish that the spring blossoms would sprout or the warmth of summer would surround us in its embrace. But the Lord meets us in the winter and produces in us a reliance on Him that grows our understanding of His power and might.

This winter season is different than any my boys have experienced. They have learned to tread carefully due to ice patches and to put on every piece of their snow gear for protection from the cold and wet. There have been lessons that could not have been taught in the summer and they have embraced winter and discovered a new kind of joy.

As I seek to remain tethered to God this year, may I trust Him through the weariness of winter and the hopeful promise of spring. May I focus on following in His footsteps and not wander from the path He has provided. May I purposefully clothe myself in the full armor of God to prepare me for each day and to protect me from attacks of the world, the enemy, and my own sinful flesh. May I rest in His saving grace and gentle care and strengthen myself in His Word and truth.

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