Please welcome, Megan Wild.
Megan values self-improvement and its ability to improve one’s confidence and relationship with God. When she’s not reading or studying, she’s writing about her adventures in life on her blog, Your Wild Home.
I know you’ll be blessed by her winter word of encouragement.
How to Find Peace as Winter Drags On
Winter is upon us, with less sunlight, colder temperatures, and lower moods. But as Psalm 74:17 says, “You (God) have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter.” We must give thanks for all the seasons and find ways to celebrate the darker, cooler months.
Here are five approaches to embrace the winter and find peace within it.
1. Do a Good Deed
The darkness of the winter months can turn us inward — not wanting to face the cold. This is the exact time to go outside yourself. You needn’t be in a good mood to do a good deed. But before you’re through a kind act, your sense of peace will rise.
It is like it is written in Matthew 5:14-16, where Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
It isn’t that we do a good deed to rack up spiritual or do-gooder points in the eyes of God. Instead, we celebrate God’s goodness and reveal it to others through our actions. As written in James 2:26, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead also.”
You can make these actions in simple ways, such as shoveling the snow for a neighbor, holding the door for a stranger, donating food to a local food bank, volunteering at a shelter or soup kitchen or covering the tab for the next person in the drive-thru. Your options are limitless. Be creative and be yourself, as God created you and wants you to put your God-given skills and talents to good use.
2. Breathe & Light a Candle
Take a moment to seek quietness around and within you. The noise of our world and our minds can make it difficult to hear our higher power’s wishes for us.
Even if it is five minutes, light a candle and focus on it. Concentrate on the flame and your breath — giving yourself space and time to clear your mind because, as it says in John 1:5, “the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
3. Count Your Blessings
The darker season of winter can impact our mood, making us lose perspective and only focus on the negative. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, it encourages us to be grateful, ”Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
You can practice gratitude by writing down a list of things you’re grateful for. What you point out doesn’t need to be extravagant. It can be a kind word said in passing, a kind gesture extended to you by a stranger, or savoring the taste of your favorite treat.
If you have trouble getting started, consider the basics. The roof over your family’s heads, the nourishment on the table, even the air you all breathe. You may want to consider a workbook on crafting a gratitude list. An option available to you is the companion journal to the national bestseller Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
We can get so wrapped up in our day-to-day lives that we lose sight of what is truly important to us and our creator. We get bogged down by the to-do lists and must-haves — but you can get perspective with some time away.
You will see your life and the gifts God has blessed you with in a renewed way. As it says in James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Gaining this perspective can be accomplished with a little escape. Do not flee a situation but rather take a breather to give yourself the space to see your circumstances with fresh eyes.
5. Seek Fellowship
Winter months can make us want to curl up and hibernate, only venturing out when absolutely necessary like for work or groceries. This can isolate us and prevent us from the great benefits of fellowship.
Being in community is healthy and is a gift from God. This is outlined in Romans 1:12, where it states, “that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
You can gain fellowship in your faith community as well as also through hobbies and activity groups.
The darkness of the winter months is part of God’s plan. It is the natural cycle of the earth and its renewal. Instead of hiding away from it and the low mood it may provoke in you, look for ways to honor God’s creation.