1. Time to be creative... We've had lots of days that have been too cold to play outside, but the silver lining in that frosty cloud is that my kids have time to paint, draw, and be crafty.
2. Time to explore... I love watching my girls play in the snow. On warm winter days we can be found crunching snow under boots, making footprints, following trails, climbing up and sliding down mountains and making snow angels. I am grateful for healthy little bodies and adventurous spirits. I love the sight of rosy red cheeks and tired girls at the end of a day filled with cool, fresh air.
3. Time to rest...The busy seasons around here are just that: busy. I enjoy them, but I enjoy this time too. When you work at an exhausting pace for half of the year it is important to find rejuvenation in the other half. I am grateful for hide and seek after supper and 'just one book' which usually turns into three. There is no pressure to cook big meals, keep up with the constant laundry, run to the field or parent solo. These days are normal and I am grateful for that.
4. Time to build community... Ever been to a small town rink during the middle of winter? It is where you'll find the young, the old and the spirit of a community. The children are learning to skate. You'll find curling, hockey and of course rink burgers and homemade pie. There is also time for coffee with the local moms at our little town's post office. It's always so nice to reconnect with other women who can say, "So I married a farmer..."
5. Time to find gratitude in a slower pace... It's easy to find gratitude in the progress of the busy seasons. It's easy to be thankful for the sweet summer air or a ripening crop. It's more challenging to be grateful for the little things, when day after day looks pretty much the same, when the progress you watch for is buried by the winter. But just like every year, the snow will melt, the seasons will change and the pace of life will quicken.
So for now, instead of imagining the view from a sandy beach, I'll enjoy the one that is in front of me, complete with mountains of snow on my lawn and rosy red cheeks on the faces of my little girls.