What I Learned In Winter 2018-19

by | Mar 3, 2019 | #revive2019

Winter 2018-19. It’s been a wild ride. A never-a-dull-moment adventure. Not only in life in eastern Iowa, but in this life I’m blessed to live. Goodness!

December, January, and February have passed, and rather quickly, I might add. January is my least favorite month, but this year I must have blinked or looked away for a split-second, because before I knew it, it was over. Not that I wish time away, but I’m quite okay that we’re finding ourselves in the month March.

God has taught me much these last three months.

What I learned in Winter 2018-19

What I learned in Winter 2018-19.

Brokenness can be beautiful.

After our October BYOB and B event, Beyond Brokenness, it’s no wonder I became broken after speaking on brokenness! My friend, Jeanie, calls it being “wrecked.” I was definitely that. God got my attention, had me face some painful stuff from my past, and confronted my selfish ways.

But, even though this season of brokenness has been painful and hard, God has given me glimpses of how brokenness can be beautiful.

  • God has used this season to draw me close to Him. My relationship with Jesus is more vibrant than it’s ever been.
  • God has shown me His will is so much better than my will. He knows what He’s doing, even if I don’t understand.
  • I’ve come to end of myself. And, I’ve found it’s there where a broken and contrite heart become a blessing. It’s where God steps in and takes the broken pieces and forms them into something beautiful. He’s still forming. I’m still a work in progress.

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

Psalm 51:17

Positive changes make a big impact.

I made some changes in my lifestyle after my heart procedure in the fall. I gave up coffee. (Insert gasp here.) Well, caffeinated coffee, anyway. Coffee was my favorite. It was my jam, my go-to drink at any time of day. It brought me joy. Great joy. But, giving it up wasn’t actually that hard. I’ve survived five months without it!

Giving up coffee awakened me to other things that would benefit my health. Getting more rest. Releasing stress. Concentrating on my breathing. Going on more dates with my husband. Choosing healthier food options. Exercising. Talking to professionals on healing and health.

Making some positive changes this season have greatly impacted my health… physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. One step at a time.

I never knew I could love a granddog so much!

Our daughter and bonus son (son-in-law) added a dog, Freddie, to their family in January. Coming from a woman who has never owned a dog, nor ever wanted one, I have fallen in love with this adorable, furry, four-legged family member! Call me crazy, but I consider Freddie a “granddog.” (I looked it up… it’s a real thing!)

No, I don’t get to see them or him as often as I would like, but his cuteness and puppy-ness melts me. It’ll be fun to watch him grow and mature in the months to come. (Please put up with me as I share Freddie photos on social media every now and then.)

I decided to roll with the punches when it came to the weather.

With receiving 46.6 inches of snow this winter, and waking up to a low of -30 degrees (yes, the actual temperature) on January 31, I can say with confidence this winter has been a challenging one.

My husband and I were snowed in for a number of days. At one point I wasn’t sure where more snow piles could fit in our yard or across the road. Our two farm cats have spent the winter in our garage, and cat hair is everywhere out there. But, at least they are using the litter box!

I decided mid-January I would roll with whatever punches the weather threw at us. No matter what. I would try not to complain. I would try to be thankful for living in Iowa in winter. And, I would thank God for our warm home, our vehicles that run, our family staying safe, and anything else I could think of in the moment. Some days I did that well, and some, not so well. We can’t control the weather, so we might as well keep a good attitude about it, right?

Updating a bedroom can do wonders.

We decided it was time to make some changes with our bedroom. Without spending a ton of money, by rearranging our furniture, applying a fresh coat of Sherman Williams paint, Refuge, and adding new bedding and toss pillows, we have a brand new room!

Bill gave me for Christmas a wall-mounted linear electric fireplace for our bedroom, and let me tell you, that was the best gift ever! Especially for this winter, as I described above. I love falling asleep and waking up to the sight and warmth of a fireplace in our bedroom!

My word, REVIVE, has been present in almost every area of my life!

From my calling, to my marriage, to my relationships, to my health, to even a fresh bedroom. Revive seems to be everywhere!

Friend, now it’s your turn. What’s one thing you learned in Winter 2018-19? Where have you seen your word for this year so far? I’d love to read about it and encourage you in it!

Spring is on it’s way. Even though tonight’s low is predicted to be -9 degrees, I’m thinking of daffodils and crocuses. I look forward to spring!

Thanks for hanging out with me here a few moments. I appreciate you!


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  1. Tara

    I think so many of us are ready for Spring to arrive!


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