December is officially here and that means “winter is coming.” We’ve truly been spoiled here in Michigan this fall with beautiful blue sky, ample sunshine, and warmer than normal temps. It’s been one of the best autumn seasons that I can remember in a long time, and I’ll be honest, knowing it’s coming to an end makes me sad because I know what follows: snow. gray. ice-cold. repeat.
Don’t get me wrong. I love being able to experience all four seasons here in my beloved mitten state, and I appreciate the unique beauty and activities winter brings. But once it comes, it feels like it lasts forever. And frankly, once a white Christmas and New Years is behind us, I’d be fine with spring starting. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. As the scripture says, “To every thing there is a season …” and so, I must live with this fourth season and seek to make the best of it.
Last year I was inspired by a post from author / speaker / entrepreneur, Hayley Morgan, to really dig in and think about how I could make the act / season of “wintering” an art. Essentially, what could I do to embrace and abide fully in winter, and find joy, peace, contentment, and bring purpose to these short, dark days? And I find myself asking that same question again this year in preparation for what’s ahead.
To answer this question, I made the above graphic, my “vision board” of sorts, for the winter season upon us. I love to make lists and write down all the things, but I’m also a visual person and having pictures to depict what I hope this season encompasses inspires me to bring those ideas in my head to real life. So what do these images represent to me and how do I intend to enjoy winter to the fullest?
I hope winter is full of coziness and warmth and rest. I intend to spend time in my pjs drinking coffee (or tea or La Croix), reading good books, and working on my 2017 PowerSheets to dream, pray, and vision-cast over the coming year. I also look forward to watching movies with the hubby and spending quality time together, fireside.
I want to spend time and connect with loved ones, both near and far. During the holidays and moving into the New Year, I desire to draw close to our family and friends, whether it’s hosting them at our home, going out for a meal or to see a movie, or partaking in some local events / activities. I want to celebrate this season and make time for our people, to share with them the love and support they have so blessed us with over the years.
I will fill winter with color and creativity. Enjoying the Christmas lights, sparkly wrapping paper, and holiday decor. Bringing God’s Word to life through art / bible journaling. Continuing to write and share purposeful and meaningful content on this and other platforms.
I plan to travel. As I’ve done every year, I intend to break up these long months with a few trips to enjoy a change of scenery and break from the harshness of winter. I’ll be going to the Influence Conference in Nashville with my cousin. The hubby is also working on a vacation for us sometime in January or February, and most likely before the end of the season, we’ll be traveling back to Colorado to see my brother, nephew, and friends for another skication up in the mountains. Having these adventures to look forward to and enjoy definitely helps keep my outlook positive and my perspective fresh in this less than favorite season of mine.
I will continue running and stretching and strength-training. Exercise does the body, mind, and soul so much good. Even when I don’t feel like waking up earlier or going out into the cold and snow, I’m always so glad afterward that I started my day with movement and deep, full breaths, as well as a “pouring out of self and stuff.” Exercise empties me of what needs to go and fills me with the energy, confidence, and strength I need to make it through another day.
So this, my friends, is how I am going to be intentional in making the most of these winter days. And now I ask you: How do you plan to “winter well” this season?
Let’s commit to doing those things that fire us up and enjoying every minute of these shortened days to the fullest, no matter if “the weather outside is frightful.” Let’s make this winter our BEST winter yet.