Winter is normally people's least favorite season, as YouGov states that only 7% of the population would say that Winter is their favorite season (especially if you live in the North where temps can drop lower than -30, YUCK!). I know that during the winter all I want to do is stay inside and cozy up with a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate and stay warm. Whether that be with a loved one, a book, or with my favorite tv show, I enjoy that part of winter.
However, this year has felt like winter on repeat - minus the cozy fire and warm drinks. So much time settling in our houses and having “quiet time” or if you have kids hiding in the closet ‘quiet time’”. A quote that I find to be true is, "Winter reminds us that everyone and everything needs some quiet time." - Katrina Mayer. Winter does have that reflective quality; it causes us to take time to enjoy those around us and the quiet moments of sitting by the fire or watching the Christmas lights glimmer. It captivates. There can be beauty found in the silence of winter.
Even the Bible reminds us that the season of winter was planned for a purpose (not just to make us cherish summer more). In Gen. 8:22, "As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease," and also in Psalm 74:17, "It was you who set all the boundaries of earth; you made both summer and winter." Often we can find the winter silence to be uncomfortable or depressing. As an extrovert and someone that drives off of sunlight -- winter is a hard season for me. It is hard because of its limits in socializing (especially in a COVID year), the slowness of things to do, the cold air that makes you want to not go anywhere or do anything, and the darkness that comes out right when you get out of work. So how are you doing this winter? Are you enjoying the quiet? Has this year taken so much out of you that winter seems even more depressing? Are you finding the joy in another changing season? How are you really doing?
January is a new month, the start of new year, new possibilities, and a new hope. If you are feeling down, depressed, trying to find the light... Make it your goal this January to reach out to someone. If you don’t feel like you have a place to go, contact us at Shepherd of the Hills -- we are here for you and willing to listen. If you are living the dream and loving this season, find time to spread some joy to those around you -- maybe with a card, phone call, or even a hot meal dropped off at their door-step. Winter is the perfect time to replenish and renew ourselves and to focus more on the Lord. Though the world may seem bleak and gray outside, we always have the love of Jesus to warm our hearts and homes and help us see the light in the darkness. I pray that however your new year is starting, that you are able to continue to grow in trust, love, patience, and hope that can only be found in the Lord.
Blessings to you this new year!
Jessica Tibben was installed as Director of Family Life at SHLC in December 2019. She was previously working in Denison, IA as Director of Youth and Family Ministry for the past 5 years. She loves being able to serve both youth and families and bringing them to know more about Jesus.