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Small Grace [and 7 winter gifts I've found]

Grace comes in all shapes and sizes. Some days it comes to you in heart-altering forgiveness for sins you’ve carried far too long. Sometimes it comes as an invitation to be citizens of a divine Kingdom. And other days it comes as small objects, ordinary things, that make every day life subtly sweeter.

February entered today. An iconic winter storm came with its arrival here in the mountains. For some it can be a dismal season. Christmas is behind us, the new year isn’t entirely new, and spring break is still weeks away. Daily life may feel not only ordinary, but perhaps bleak as well. We are eager for anything – from beach vacations to a bowl of hot soup – to get us through the winter.

These months aren’t all bad, of course. There is nothing as serene as a snow blanketed night when the moon reflects white everywhere, nothing as dazzling as the million diamonds that sparkle whenever the sun comes out. Gently inserted into these months of hibernation are small gifts of grace that make these months bearable. More than “hacks to make it through winter”, these gifts are like treasures, special jewels, strategically placed in this precise season.

I’ve been recently fascinated with the Norwegian’s approach to winter. Unlike the typical Coloradan I interact with, who can endure the harsh weather on the understanding that the sunshine returns shortly, Norwegians view winter not as a condition to simply endure, but a season to savor. They embrace the coziness, the bundling, the crunchy beauty that comes only with winter.

As I enter February this year I am determined to treat it as more than a passing month between Christmas magic and spring awakening. It is in this sweet winter season I am finding not only the grandiose graces that God has to offer, but also the simple ones. The ones that come in tangible items and ordinary things.

 

  1. My Stanley ThermosIMG_7203

Tanner lovingly supported my desire to be constantly sipping coffee by gifting me with this thermos that keeps my coffee hot for hours. No more trips to the microwave, no more gulping down the coffee before it gets cold. Slow sips that last all day are how I prefer to drink my coffee, and continually warm my insides on these cold days.

 

  1. Yoga in the MorningsIMG_7204

My body handles the days better when it has been exercised in the morning. Ideally, I love the idea of running or walking outside when the sun rises, but the thermometers here  are at an unideal number most mornings. So I treat myself to quiet stretches on my livingroom floor with my coffee (see number one) nearby for sips in between downward dogs.

  1. Movie Nights

Redbox rentals, frozen pizzas, freshly baked cookies…these are my favorite dates at any season, but especially when the snow falls outside and the sun disappears early in the evening.

4. Getting Outside during the dayIMG_7205

Whether it is stroller walks to the library, hiking in the woods nearby, running slowly through the ice packed neighborhoods, exploring the mountains on snowshoes, or sitting in the hot springs pool in the snow, I am seeing a noticeable difference  in my mindset towards winter – and life in general –  if I get outside in some capacity on a daily basis.

 

  1. Good clothing

The Norwegians say there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. I agree. Smart wool socks, down jackets, heavy duty mittens, and truly water proof snow boots have made an impact on my ability to cope with the colder days.

 

  1. Girl time

In the past two weeks I’ve had three friends from Denver make their way to my mountain home. Laughter, tears, coffee, ice cream, heart sharing, chick flicks, and days that feel like vacation has added a refreshing element to these ordinary winter days.

 

  1. Adult Coloring BooksIMG_7183

Beyond the calming methodical quality that comes with this new fad, it is soul-lifting to make vivid color come out of what was once just black and white.

 

Every good and perfect gift comes from above, states James in his epistle. Family, relationships, health, shelter and food are so often the gifts thought of here – and so they should be. But often overlooked are these small graces, given daily and faithfully, but rarely claimed as the gifts of God. Our God is one who cares about lilies and birds and loaves of bread. So surely hot coffee and warm jackets are also among the details He tends to. The icy conditions and cold evenings are vehicles He uses to issue these small blessings into our lives. He has, after all, made everything beautiful in its own season. Bring on the winter.

 

{There’s a bunch of us listing our saving graces this winter over at Modern Mrs. Darcy. What has been a grace or two that are specific to this season that you’ve received?}

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    Saturday Shares – Ordinary Epiphanies
    February 6, 2016 at 7:16 am

    […] Small Grace [and 7 winter gifts I’ve found] from my blog this week […]

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