“Silver white winters that melt into spring”…well, except we haven’t seen the silvery white stuff in our part of NC since early December. Even our visit back to the Midwest at Christmas was filled with warm-ish weather and no snow. I apologize(ish) to the rest of the polar vortex-like US for our mild winter.
As I look back over what I learned this winter (a seasonal practice I picked up from Emily P. Freeman – find her link up here), I hope you’ll play along and do some pondering yourself; it can be silly or sacred. Insightful or new information. You can write it down – if not on a blog, then in a journal. Thank you for indulging me as I share five things I’ve learned this winter before we move forward into yellow-pollen-covered everything here in the South.
I’m highly adaptable…until I’m not
I’ve always prided myself in being a pretty fluid, go-with-the-flow kinda gal. I enjoy spontaneity, surprise parties, and typically adapt quickly if life calls for a change of course. I attribute my adaptability to some pretty big life detours, even since childhood. And then, this winter, I realized…I am not really all that flexible. When plans are changed on me, especially for no obvious reason (in my eyes), I get pretty upset. So, I’m working on my pride in this area and in laying down my plans, even when I don’t fully understand the pivot. My biggest takeaway: Kindness and grace don’t require my understanding.
You can have too much of a good thing…and love is something if you give it away
Oh, the Baldwins are known for their thriftiness. Proudly so? Embarrassingly so? Either way, we love a good deal. So when a burger chain offered a $100 deal for an entree every day for 100 days (that’s $1 a day, people), we jumped on it. From November through February, we faithfully showed up almost daily (except when we were out of town) and ordered our entree – sometimes a burger, oftentimes a salad or grilled chicken sandwich because we didn’t want to get fat. We probably hit 80 days out of 100, I’m guessing.
It was good on our grocery budget. It was nice having to cook very little, but…I admit I started missing it just a little bit. Several days, we picked up the food and took it to friends, which I pray was a blessing to them. If we do this again in the future, we will definitely share the love even more often. And no, I didn’t gain any weight, thank you for asking.
Pre-Praying is a Good Investment
As I dive into prayer for 2019 (read more about ithere and here), I’ve realized that when I pre-pray about something, my heart is tender and ready to give an answer. I was praying about a couple of opportunities last fall and decided to act on them this winter. I had to rely on others’ “yeses” – so when they did say “yes” I was ready to serve. Discernment is not my strength, so being ready for something through prayer has been such a gift.
Spontaneous Quality Time Fills Me Up
I’ve known quality time is my love language for a long time, but I’ve realized that it’s unplanned quality time that really fills my love tank. When it’s planned, I look forward to it, but when reality doesn’t meet my hype, I’m disappointed. I’ve learned unscripted, unexpected moments like these are sacred: Going downtown for dinner and stumbling upon a free motorcycle show at the train station. A walk to a local shopping village leads to hearing church bells at sunset. A Saturday planned cleaning turns into thrift-store shopping and lunch with my bestie. If you don’t know your love language (or that of your family members), read this book on love languages (affiliate link). Knowledge is power!
Handmade gifts are fun
Handmade by me?! Oh, no. DIY is not my gift. Handmade by local artist friends. The gifts are custom, they are personal, and they are gorgeous! I bought some beautiful wood burned ornaments for Christmas and a lovely house watercolor print for Valentine’s Day from talented church friends…they are perfect! The links to their FB shops are in the captions – check them out!