By the end of January here in the Midwest, winter has usually worn out its welcome. The cold has been around for what seems like forever, and below-freezing temperatures have kept us inside for far too long.
And that whole routine of getting the kiddos dressed and bundled up to head outside? Yeah, I’m so over that.
I just want winter to end!
However, we still have at least another six weeks of winter ahead of us, and instead of dreading these final days, I’m trying on a new outlook. This February, I want to take this opportunity to recapture the wonder of winter and see the works of God that can only be seen in the midst of snow and ice!
Winter is a wonderful time to teach our children about death and life, the importance of slowing down, and God’s unique design for each of us.
4 Concepts for Capturing the Wonder of Winter
Death and Life
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot… - Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
As we move into winter, most plants become brown and dry, and then die. The landscape in winter is pretty bleak when no snow covers the ground. But God uses this time to let the earth rest and prepare for glorious new life and growth in the spring. This is also a wonderful time to draw parallels to the how God used Jesus’ death to bring new life to all of us.
Our busy lives often prevent us from really taking the time to slow down and listen to God. We may fit in a quick devotional reading in the morning or a quick prayer before bedtime, but our minds are usually bouncing around to the next thing we need to do. Snow days may be an inconvenience, but being stuck at home is a wonderful reminder of the good slowing down does for our minds, our bodies, and our relationship with God.
When you’re stuck inside all day, resist the temptation to keep everyone busy and just rest before God, ready to hear His voice. Our kids have a lot of energy, but they will benefit from learning to slow down as well! Between sledding and baking, have the whole family come together for physical rest and time with God – read from the Bible together, have some journaling time, pray together. Slow down and let God speak into your lives! The One God, One Life, One Plan devotional from Max Lucado would be the perfect resource to sit down and discuss with your tween or teen on a day like this!
God’s wonderful work as Our Creator is most beautifully displayed in snowflakes. They may pile up and cause lots of headaches – and backaches from shoveling – but each individual snowflake is a unique, glorious work of art. I’ve seen the pictures a million times, but I still find the close-up photographs of snowflakes to be absolutely breathtaking. And no two snowflakes are exactly alike.
If God has paid such attention to the detail in each tiny flake of snow, how much more does He pay attention to each human He has created in His own image? With a magnifying glass on a snowy day, take a look at the ice crystals and snowflakes that form on your window and share with your children the precious, unique design of God each one of them is as well!
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? - Matthew 6:26
White as Snow
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow… - Isaiah 1:18
What a joy to look out on the frozen ground, white with snow, and realize that is how God sees us. In His eyes, we have no stain, but are pure white, washed in the blood of the Lamb. This is a glorious reminder for us and our children when we feel as though we we’ve made too many mistakes or can’t be forgiven one more time. Sing together “Jesus, Paid It All” and thank Him for the clean slate He has given us in relationship with Jesus.
As another snow storm blows in, gather your family together and enjoy the wonder of winter found in God’s Creation and His Word!
How does your family find joy in the middle of winter? Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear your ideas!