I craved a white Christmas, but the snow waited until January to arrive (which is par for the course in Pittsburgh). Now that it’s here, I am reminded of how good snow is for my soul. It brings brightness to the Western PA winters, and gives the ground time to rest and prepare for spring. Although it is easy to get frustrated when I’m shoveling or trying to get through a snowy commute, I try to intentionally remind myself of a few things. I hope they’ll bless you, too!
1- Our Creator is creative. Have you looked a snowflake lately? I mean, really looked? The unique, intricate details of snowflakes remind me that we have a lot of individuality to celebrate. You are different from your spouse, siblings, coworkers, and friends. Instead of allowing our differences to divide us, we can choose to allow them to point us to the Creator of the variations.
2- There’s even more beauty when we stick together. As wonderful as it can be to appreciate individual snowflakes, something beautiful happens as they’re quilted together to create a fresh blanket of snow. Before it is touched by any creature, it is smooth, sparkly, and peaceful. It insulates and holds water for the dormant plants. The snowy blankets remind me that unity serves a purpose; there are things we can only accomplish when we are unified. Bonding and togetherness are crucial, even on the coldest days.
3- We are forgiven. Isaiah 1:18 is a reminder that, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Jesus paid the price. (A great book to help you dive deeper into this wool metaphor–and many others–is Margaret Feinberg’s Scouting the Divine.)
4- It is important to make time to have fun. Warm up with a hot beverage. Build a snowman. Take a nap. Play a game. Cuddle with a pet. Winter can be a very difficult season, so it’s important to care for yourself in little ways. Aromatherapy and happy lights can be good additions to your routine, and having a trusted counselor can help you watch out for depression. (Of course, you should consult with your doctor to find out what works best for you.)
5- Let’s love our neighbors (and be loved by them). Snow, ice, cold, and darkness present countless opportunities each winter for us to love and be loved. Just like each snowflake has a unique beauty to offer, so do we. How can you love? Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk? Donate a meal? Share a hug? Offer a prayer? Love your neighbor. And what do you need? A warm place to stay? An encouraging word? Transportation? Allow someone to love you.
As frustrating as Winter can be, let’s choose to see it as a season of opportunity.