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When Winter Comes

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When Winter Comes

I tend to think of winter as a very short season which starts sometime in November and maybe lasts through January. When most people in the northern hemisphere are sporting parkas in the winter, it is not uncommon for those in South Texas to be donning shorts on Christmas day. I’m caught off guard a bit when a real blast of winter comes in February or April. Growing up in South Texas, our winters were always mild. Well, I suppose I can’t say “always” as there was that one year (one – in my almost half a century life) that it snowed. In truth then, besides that one phenomenon, our winters were always mild.

I remember one Easter Sunday in particular when everyone had fussed about, as usual, to acquire their perfect attire for Easter Sunday. For the ladies, the perfect spring floral dress and new pastel shoes. For the gentlemen, the crisp white dress shirt with a fresh new tie – if they were the tie-wearing sort, that is.

Our church met in a local school gym at that time. You can imagine how drafty it was with its tall ceilings, cinderblock walls, and glossy wood flooring. Along came a cold snap. Winter came on Easter Sunday. It was unheard of, really. But so many who had it stuck in their heads that it was spring simply had to wear their new Easter duds. I sat in the back and watched those who chose fashion over practicality shiver. Winter had surprised us and many weren’t prepared or simply chose not to accept it. Winter was not supposed to come in April. Winter is for December.

Aren’t we all like that sometimes? We get comfortably settled into a warm weather pattern expecting things to stay the same. Then we are surprised when winter comes ill-timed. We’re not prepared for it. We like the warmth of all things consistent. It’s safe there. We somehow get in our head that it would be fine to wear our Easter clothes at Christmas when what we really need is a nice warm coat.

When we moved to England it was summer and warm and mostly sunny. So many people warned us of the winter here. 100 Days of Darkness, they call it. The days are short. Very short. The sun comes up around 7 am and goes down around 4 pm. Having always lived in warm climate areas like South Texas, Singapore, and Brazil, I’ve only ever really visited winter. I wondered what it would be like to live in winter.

By cooler days and fireplace worthy nights, the 100 Days of Darkness approached and the need for preparations set in. We stockpiled wood for the fire. I up’d my dose of vitamin D, stocked my closet with boots and scarves and I would relish the blue skies and sunshine.

When winter comes, and it will come, I want to be prepared for its arrival.

Earlier this week I looked out the window of our cozy cottage in England, it was sunny. I took notice as the sun’s rays beamed through the unclad trees and danced through my windows. The sky had shades of blue peeking through the bright gray. The birds chirped their morning song in the crisp chill of the new day. I pondered the beauty and wondered how long this would last. The weatherman predicted snow for later in the week. Winter was coming.

Today it did snow a little but still, the winter here in Surrey has been mild. I pause to wonder if winter, real winter, is yet to come. Perhaps it will come in February. Or April. Or maybe winter will come in July.

In our lives, we seldom have the luxury of a weatherman predicting winter’s arrival. The trumpet does not blow announcing the coming of hard times although we are certainly told that hard times will come. (John 16:33) We must be mindful in our good days to prepare for hard days as best we can. We should soak up the rays, crack open the windows, bend an ear to the songbirds, and inhale deeply the beauty.

For when winter comes, and it will come, we will then be prepared.

When Winter Comes

Rest assured, however, that when winter comes, it won’t last forever. For spring will come again.

What do you do in your personal or spiritual life to prepare for “winter”? Will winter catch you without your coat? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please share in the comments here or on the EPFH Facebook page if that’s easier for you.


Mrs. Disciple #FridayFiveMy friend, Kelly Smith, at Mrs. Disciple, hosts a themed Friday link up and the theme for this go ’round is “Winter”. I’m linking this post up with hers and several other really great posts on the same topic. I hope you’ll jump over there and find something that encourages you.

About Andrea

I'm a stumbling pilgrim and gatherer of stories. Stories about Jesus and how He gave His life for me, sustains me and redeems me... even though...

17 responses »

  1. Having lived in a winter climate for the majority of my life this brought many things to mind. It does take a lot to prepare for winter, time, organization, thought. We keep ice scrapers, blankets, and protein bars in our car but not water, never water because it will freeze, and by all means never a can of soda because that will explode. Blankets, sweaters, and hearty foods abound. It’s a time of stillness, contemplation, and connection. Winter for me has warm cozy feelings, it’s peaceful, and beautiful, and exciting but also scary, icy, and dark. I think it’s a picture of focusing on the beauty of the snow, our blessings, which carry us through our darkness. It’s waiting, resting, listening, and trusting. A time of respite before the busyness that the full of life Spring brings, a time to be still, a time to snuggle in. It’s a season.

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    • I can’t even imagine what it would be like to grow up with winter as my norm. I’ve only visited winter so living in it is difficult to process. Winter can be stunningly beautiful but as I think about it, it’s more beautiful to look at from from a place of warmth with fireplaces and blankets and hot drinks. Stay warm, my friend. Winter doesn’t last forever. Spring will come.

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  2. We are in the middle of an ice storm here. The salt trucks have come by at least twice. The cars are covered in ice, and still the freezing rain comes down in 29 degree F temperatures. Schools are out, and my daughter is practicing the Christmas song her piano teacher gave her to challenge her to excel.
    This morning our office was freezing because I turned off the space heater due to a couple of unseasonably warm days, and I forgot to turn it back on. But winter is here again.
    I remember one Easter having to exit our home by the back door to go to church because the front door was frozen shut.
    May the Lord continue to bless you with the warmth of His Presence amidst the winters of this life. Amen.

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  3. Like Ruth above, I am in an area affected by an ice storm today. An uncommon, beautiful, and dangerous occurrence here in Missouri. Days like these remind me that God is in complete control. He can stop everything with one storm. It’s easy to forget that on sunny, breezy days. I’m thankful for icy days simply because they bring me back to dependence on the Lord for all the basics–warmth, shelter, and provisions. Your neighbor at #fridayfive.

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  4. In England, when I was a kid, we used to put all of our summer clothes away and bring out the winter ones but we often got surprised by an unseasonal warm day and then we were too hot.
    Our headmaster at school insisted that we wore winter uniform at the start of the new school year, September 1st and then we had the occasional Indian Summer and were again rather hot!
    Winters used to be colder and my Dad made me and my sister a sledge to have fun in the snow. We had great snowball fights and made snowmen with carrots for a nose and coal for his eyes.
    Keep warm, Andrea. I know you will make the most of your English Winter. The pub is a great escape! X

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    • Just having consistent cooler temps is so nice compared to what I’m used to. Yes, Anna has been wearing her “winter kit” to school for a while now. They are very keen on structure and order here. 🙂

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  5. Well done, Andrea. Insightful connection between the unpredictability of winter ‘s snowfall and our storms.

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  6. We enjoyed 70-degree weather all week. While the season says winter, the weather says spring. Our God is good like that. During a period that should be hard, He gives us a respite of easy, a glimpse of hope at what lies just on the other side of this season. Beautiful post, Andrea!

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  7. Excellent post!! How true that we don’t have the luxury of knowing what’s to come. Having lived my entire life in Wisconsin, I know how brutal winters can be. But like you said, it’s not forever. “The deep roots never doubt spring will come.” – Marty Rubin

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  8. finding the beauty in winter – toasty fires, hot beverages.
    there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, no matter the season.
    love this message – we must do the work of chopping wood and shopping for coffee (metaphorically speaking) before the storm comes. spiritual disciplines like prayer and solitude.

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