how to enjoy mid-winter

Many people find January a downer of a month. It comes just after the holidays, which are so full of activity. It is the cusp of a new year full of promise, which can be a bit overwhelming. For us in the Midwest it is cold; enough said.

I can come to love January. I view it as the continuation of the Winter season. This season is for sweaters, thick socks, putting on the robe in early evening. It is for hunkering down, hot herbal tea (throughout the day if need be), a hot oven and something good baking in it.

I view it as a celebratory month, the month in which my daughter was born. It is also my sister's birthday month, and we always celebrate with a sister's lunch, which we'll enjoy this Saturday.

I view it as a gardening month. A month in which to order vegetable and flower seeds. A first for us this year is ordering potato seed! Oh the visions of fresh potatoes from our own garden. It is a time to enjoy the frozen garden goodness - lima beans, tomato sauce, kale, spinach, green peppers, parsnips. It is a time to read, read, read. I am ever learning about gardening and how to be frugal with our food. These have been good reads for me lately, helping me to get my mind even more thinking as a gardener.
I view it as a renewed schooling month. After a three week holiday break I feel refreshed to get back to our schooling routine. The children are just as refreshed as me, and although they enjoy their free time more than our structured time (!) I am always encouraged and proud by the work and learning that takes place.

I view it as a month of adjustment. For some reason life changes happen for us in January. Shouldn't Winter be a time of rest? Last Fall I had an inkling that we were in for a change. We had come to such a good rhythm, I just knew I'd be learning a few new dance steps soon. It turns out a new job opportunity presented itself to my husband. He was employed by the same company for thirteen years, we were both fine with that company, but this new opportunity we both knew was right. For two and a half years my husband has worked from home, and that is not a benefit of the new position. His work from home situation was a big dose of grace for me, and I know it was a specific gift from God for me at a time where my responsibilities at home had increased. Although I had peace about this new job, I wondered how I would do with the transition. Well, the transition has been seamless. I wonder if the real adjustment took place months ago when I did the hard work of setting good habits, systems, perspectives on my personal responsibilities in the home, and now I am in a great position to be supportive of my husband's new venture. My husband is my greatest encourager, supporter, and it is a blessing to be able to be the same for him as he grows professionally in a new way.

Winter is a hard time, but I hope you are able to find ways to enjoy it yourself! Spring is less than sixty days away.