How Winter and Hygge Help Grow My Faith
Living in Hawaii led to me miss the Michigan winters and seasons of calm that had marked my life. The constant sunshine and warmth (while welcomed at times) pressured me to constantly live life on the go. Winter weather gives me permission to live at a calmer pace, embracing the forced rest that being snowed in brings.
I often see winter weather as a simple mercy in a culture that demands more and more of our time and energy. The bitter winds and banks of snow naturally lead us to calm our hearts and settle into our homes. It is a season of building routines and embracing the people God has placed around us.I often see winter weather as a simple mercy in a culture that demands more and more of our time and energy. Click To Tweet
While the opposite of productivity is often categorized as laziness, I think these seasons can be better categorized as intentional foundation-building. If we use this opportunity to slow down, evaluate where we’re at and embrace the life God is calling us to live.
Winter works well with the practice of hygge in allowing us to slow down and embrace the simple pleasures in front of us. It helps us enjoy the simple lives that Scripture calls us to and opens our eyes to see what makes this season beautiful.
During the warm winter seasons in Hawaii, the Lord worked in my heart. But during this frigid Michigan winter, I’m learning to embrace some new seasons and practices that strengthen my faith.
Evaluate Habits and Develop New Routine
During summer, the lack of school routine often means that we travel and live generally more spontaneously. Winter is a consistent, mundane time. It is the perfect time to develop new habits and rebuild lapsed habits. Take advantage of the steady schedule that accompanies winter to look at your spiritual life and see where you can start making changes. It is the ideal time to start a Bible reading plan, develop prayer habits, or invest in a Bible study or accountability group.Winter is a consistent, mundane time. It is the perfect time to develop new habits and rebuild lapsed habits. Take advantage of the steady schedule that accompanies winter to look at your spiritual life and see where you can start… Click To Tweet
Deepen Your Relationships
Winter is a wonderful time to practice hospitality and to spend uninterrupted hours with those in your home. Put on a pot of soup and spend time playing games and investing in conversations. Again, because winter typically brings a more reliable schedule, it’s easy to set aside time weekly or monthly to invite others into your home. Take this time of routine to incorporate hospitality into your life and to build friendships with those in your home. Set aside time for movie nights. Bake special foods. Host a potluck. Find ways to spend time building relationships indoors.
Read. Lots and lots.
Winter is a wonderful time to stock up on some new books and read. Instead of turning to the television, spend your immersing yourself in another story. Get lost living vicariously through some of the classics and learn to embrace a different perspective. Read through the writings of early Christians and see how God is still using them to teach His church. Whether it’s a memoir or a book on theology, get lost in words this winter.
Embrace Simple Pleasures
There are little joys that pop up in every season, take time to enjoy winter’s little pleasures. While the cold weather may not be your favorite, focus on things that are beautiful and unique to winter. Embrace the clean canvas of a fresh snowfall. Enjoy a cup of tea with a generous spoonful of honey. Listen to the crackle of the fireplace. Look around you and see what is unique about winter and enjoy all of the things that the spring thaw will take away. Enjoy the little joys that God has placed in your life and let your heart smile. Develop the practice of opening your eyes to how God is making all things beautiful.
Find New Ways to Create
Tending to Creation during the summer seems obvious. Because we are spending more time outdoors, we naturally are more involved. Take time to embrace creation, not through gardening, but through creating in our home. Try baking or taking up knitting. Look for. Ways to grow your creative abilities and make the world a more lovely place.Look around you and see what is unique about winter and enjoy all of the things that the spring thaw will take away. Develop the practice of opening your eyes to how God is making all things beautiful. Click To Tweet
Curl up and press into this season. Instead of viewing the weather a limitation, look at it as an opportunity to grow in appreciation for all that makes this season different. Take time to slow down and grasp each and every joy that comes from the natural pause this season brings. Find the raw, thin moments in this season where God is reaching into your heart and calling you deeper into your faith.