The mid-March snow was swirling outside my window. The sight that soothed my soul just four months earlier was an unwanted reminder that winter wasn’t over yet. I sighed deeply and whispered a frustrated prayer inquiring about Spring’s inevitable arrival. I hated being so cold. Five months of snow was overwhelming for me.
I keenly recall being tossed on the waves of is this ever going to end and the hard winter will make spring that much sweeter. Frustration rumbled louder than the snow plows as friends and neighbors threatened to relocate to warmer climates. Several times I questioned my own sanity in moving so far north. While my friends back home were speaking of boating and getting sunburned, jealousy was rearing its ugly head as I pulled on snow boots, hat and gloves just to check the mail.
How had the one thing I reveled in during late fall become the bane of my existence by early spring?
There is no doubt: this winter was awful. Low temperature records were shattered, we nearly tied the snowfall record, we lost power on the coldest night documented to find our furnace broke down once the electricity was restored, and we shoveled more driveways more times than we ever imagined was possible. But worst of all, I had given up the fight to stay positive.
I joined in easily with the belly aching and lamenting. Sometimes I lead the discontented conversations. In retrospect, this behavior is disappointing. Look at what I modeled for my kids: when a painful season lasts longer than you’d like, it’s OK to throw a pity-party. Wretched.
In a world so filled with negativity, it can be difficult to continue fighting for joy, to be positive, to see the best in things, and to wait patiently for an unpleasant season to end. It is deliciously tempting to toss the gloves off and join hands with others singing that comforting refrain: “it sucks to be me.”
This winter has taught me that I am one of those people to whom joy does not come easily. I must engage in the fight with purposeful gratitude. I am spending time each day drinking in the delicate violet of the irises, the shy pink of the azaleas, and the lush carpet of green where I bury my toes. I breathe deep the intoxicating aroma of lilacs mingled with fresh-cut grass. I smile wide not only to see my garden growing again, but because the bed is covered with chalk drawings. The loud, happy romping of my kids fades to a quiet bird’s song at dusk.
I must tuck these treasured memories away where I can retrieve them when the days get short and cold. These are my weapons in my fight for acquiescence in the hard season of winter.
Because no season is indefinite.
Abide in His Grace,
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.