Friday, January 25, 2013

Blahs Into Blessings

Wind howls over empty, frozen fields and fallen snow swirls in listless spirals. The thermometer steadily falls to 14 below zero at night - and if we venture outside at all, a few seconds worth of our skin being exposed to the air leaves aching appendages that turn several different colors before warming again.

This is Wisconsin. This is life. (A very beautiful one, at that.)

Eagles hunt and swing lazily in the circles while wolf tracks can be found in the snow. Warm sunshine turns frozen snow into glowing ice-prisms as it sets.

Inside, I pull out my big Irish chain quilt and stitch a pattern into another square. Kara practices a song on the piano while Mom is on the laptop trying to explain something about ice-fishing to one of her friends.

This is the time for soup at suppertime, stories throughout the day, thick sweaters, hot muffins and tea. (Oh, lots of tea.) January is a good time for sewing projects and letter writing, baking and sledding. It's an opportunity - a gift.

I didn't used to think about it this way, though.

January in Wisconsin would have been cold, dull and boring. School, school, school, day after day, loneliness (most of my friends live in other states - I see most of them at youth camp once a year), shoveling off the driveway, wilting away under lots of self-created stress and sighing over how awful it was.

A severe case of Winter blahs, with a few other things thrown in.

I know this happens to all of us; I still struggle againt it from time to time - but we miss the sight of so many warm, wonderful things when we accept a mask of pessimism- that "Winter Blah" attitude that only glances at  good things and dwells on hardship instead.

God restored my eye for good things last spring and I rejoiced as I began to savour my blessings: the swish of tall summer grass, cheerful bird's songs that brightened the yard, the "thwack" of a volleyball when I bumped it over the net....instead of the annoying whine of a mosquito hovering over my ear, or the heat of weeding in full sunshine or that awful restlesness of sweating through a long hot bedtime before someone cranks up the A.C.

" Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philipians 4:1)

Be thankful. Seek out the good in your toughest days - but remember that human nature is weak. You need to ask help from the greater power that's in you.

We aren't given "January" to endure as moaning, groaning, miserable, "I'm just getting by - barely." people. We're Kings and Preists unto God; ruling over sin, the flesh and the devil, giving praise to Christ. Take heart! and let God lift you from misery to joy and open your eyes to the warmth and beauty of the life He's given you; a life that we're supposed ot give back to Him.


Bethany Grace said...

Wisconsin does that.......I know I get depressed because I feel like I'm not doing anything cooped up inside (there's only so many ways you can reorganize the house or clean it!)

And it doesn't help when the car gets stuck in the driveway and you start getting visions of being stranded forever... (!!)

But I've learned the most this January than I probably could've during the summer because I was cooped up inside....


Stay warm!

Anna said...

Thanks Bethany!

Ack! Driving can be far more risky at this time of year! (It took me a bit longer to drive into town today...slowing down loooong before having to stop, pumping the

Stay warm, too!

Gracie said...

I always feel so encouraged when I read your posts! Sometimes I wish winter in Tennessee was like it is in Wisconsin. I love the snow, but we rarely ever get it. I guess I'll have to change my thinking towards Tennessee winters the way your thinking has changed towards Wisconsin winters :)
And I know it gets lonely...I feel lonely many times. That's something I've been talking to God about.
But stay the way you are, miss Pyatskowit! The Lord is using you on this blog to speak to others :)

Elisabeth said...

You drove yourself to town, Miss Anna? Wow, your parents must have a lot of confidence in your skills.

You are so eloquent. After all these years, I am just learning that it's so important to choose to be joyful no matter what. Believe me, if it wasn't for Wisconsin winters, it would be something else because it's our outlook that is the problem, not the circumstance. I really want to conquer this. One step at a time...

Anonymous said...

Very good, Anna, and a good reminder to remember to see what's good about every situation.

I like the winters because I can get things done that I can't do in the warm months because of more things that need to be tended to outdoors. However, it is easier on the endless cloudy times to get depressed or not be cheerful because of the effect of no sun in our bodies.

You have a lot of wisdom for your young years and a nice gift of inspiring others.