I rub my hands together hoping the friction will warm them. The thermostat blinks 70, but I’m freezing.The teakettle heats on a red burner. I wait for the whistle to call me over for a cup of tea. Or hot chocolate. Or maybe just to fill a mug with nothing but hot water. More than a drink, I crave warmth to curl my fingers around.
I’m weary. Of being cold. Of ice. Of snow. Of having so much trouble driving.
It’s been so long since I’ve been warm, I barely remember what it feels like to walk outside and sweat, to hold a glass of water dripping with condensation, to feel cheeks turn pink under the sun.
Little Miss said the other day, “Come summer, we’ll probably miss these days!” Then she paused, grinned and said, “Maybe not.”
She nailed the issue.
Whatever season we’re in, we seem to have trouble being content.
In winter there’s always a better, warmer, sunnier, happier place. In the summer there’s always a better, cooler, shadier, happier place.
When your children are small, you want them to be big so they can do things on their own. When they’re big you wish they were small and needed you more.
When you’re young, you wish you were older so you could have the freedom to be on your own. When you’re old, you wish you were young so Mom & Dad could just take care everything.
In the starter job you wish you could move up the ladder for more pay and responsibility. Up the ladder you long for the days of less responsibility when you just came to work and didn’t take it home with you.
The trouble is, when we get to that better future we imagined, we take ourselves with us. (For a great discussion on contentment, check out the new book Satisfied by Jeff Manion, and catch his sermon series here.)
How do we take a better, more content self to the future?
Learning to be content in the present. To be grateful for things that are unique to this season and not conducive in the next.
So I focus on,
Hands wrapped around warm mugs.
Snuggling under blankets with electrified hair.
Even children home on endless snow days asking for help with messy craft projects and fort building.
I vow not to wish away the present for an elusive future that also will not be perfect.
Tell me, what is helping you be content in this season? Wherever you live, what are you embracing and relishing about this fleeting season of life?How can you practice contentment in the dead of winter?
*Photo by Kedron, taken over Lake Michigan….brrr!!!