Winter Dream List
My favorite song to write to is called “Winter Snow,” by Audrey Assad and Chris Tomlin. It’s beautiful. It calms me, refocuses my mind and heart on God’s love for us.
With Lyrics like, “You came like a winter snow. Quiet and soft and slow. Falling from the sky in the night, to the earth below”. It helps me to see even more beauty in falling snow this time of year.
But, let’s be honest. Winter can be hard.
After New Years I start to countdown the days till Summer. Probably because before I lived in Massachusetts I lived in a warm climate for 16 years.
I love the warmth. It’s easy to get dressed, the sun on my face warms my heart, the sunshine’s natural vitamin D, and the beach all make me so happy.
Living in warmer climates it had become a tradition for me to go to the beach every year on my birthday- February 3rd. That hasn’t changed now that I live in New England, but it is not the same…
The winters in New England are long and hard.
People say they build character. And they do. But, that character also comes with dry skin and seasonal depression for many. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and locked inside.
But, as hard as the winters can be, there is joy there.
God gives us all seasons, not only spiritually, but also naturally.
And, they all reflect His love for us.
In Isaiah 1:18 He says, “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
It’s a simple illustration, but what happens when the plows come by? And the snow gets moved around, run over? It gets dirty.
And nothing can clean that snow. Nothing. It’s dirty, gross, no longer beautiful. You won’t let your kids play in it. Don’t even think about eating it.
The crimson stain, our sin, it’s just that, a stain. Nearly impossible to remove. Especially in biblical times- they didn’t have Oxy-Clean back then. 😉
It was a permanent color, as is our sin.
In a study I read it said, “God’s word assures us that if we are willing and obedient, Christ will forgive and remove our most ingrained stains.”
He makes us clean. As white as SNOW.
Do you know what that calls for?
A daily response of celebration and gratitude.
Some days it comes easily. Other’s it’s hard.
There are things we can do to help. Rituals and traditions to create rhythm, beauty and gratitude around this season.
I created this Winter Dream List for us all.
Don’t feel pressure to check off every box.
Honestly, The Winter Dream List is full of bits of joy.
It’s not a “To-Do List”. It is small, everyday things, that if we let them, reconnect us to back to God. Back to His love for us.
Of course there are other rituals we can do.
Cooking is not my thing, but if you love to cook, perhaps make your own Winter Menu.
Or a Winter Playlist for the days we get stuck in a rut. The days you don’t want to move or don’t want to celebrate the snow outside. Times when getting out of bed seems hard, let alone Glorifying
God. Dance it out, cry it out. Whatever music you need to move you along into a state of gratitude and joy.
My friend, Brooke, introduced me to a song Wednesday morning. It’s called “Every Season”, by Nichole Nordeman.
It’s beautiful. Sitting in my local coffee shop I had to hold back tears at the end.
The song ends with these lyrics:
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are recreating me
As this Winter settles in and we find joy in our Winter Dream Lists. In the smell of food that fills our closed-windowed home, and the music plays… I hope we stop and take the time to reflect on the life that God can breathe into us during hard seasons. The way He renews
the Earth with each season, He cleanses and renews us.
Find the joy, friends.