My friend Anne of the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy and podcast What Should I Read Next pauses every few months to consider and write about both the big and little things that are saving her life.
Winter is hard for many and intentionally looking for the good in every season is such a beautiful perspective. I love winter, and it’s always so good for my soul to be reminded to take time to notice the good and the beautiful in my life.
Here’s what Anne says about this practice of intentional reflection:
To beat back the dreary days, this winter I’m remembering how helpful it’s been in the past to keep a list—a literal, physical list—of the things that are saving my life right now.
The idea comes from author Barbara Brown Taylor. In her memoir Leaving Church, Taylor tells about a time she was invited to speak, and her host assigned her this topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now.”
Most of us know what’s killing us, and can articulate it, if asked. (My list is SO LONG right now, friends.) But few of us stop to note what’s giving us life.Anne Bogel, Modern Mrs. Darcy
I’ve been noticing more and more all the things – little and big, but mostly little – that are giving me life in these cold, bleak, frigid mid-winter days.
“Our lives reflect what we persistently think about,” Anne writes.
This week, I’m choosing to think about all the many things that bring joy, peace, and life to my days. And/or just make my day go better.
- A well-stocked pantry
All that hard work and sweat equity during the summer months pays off in the winter when our shelves are full of home canned goods and the freezers full of homegrown meat. It’s a blessing and a privilege to be sure, but also one we’ve worked darn hard to make happen and there’s so much satisfaction in putting a meal on the table we’ve grown ourselves.
- Leggings & yoga pants
But not for the reason you think. Of course they’re a comfy staple, but they’re also just right to add another layer under my chore pants and tuck my shirt into. They’re keeping out the chill as I sit on that milking stool at oh-dark-thirty in well-below zero temps.
- A peg on the wall
Dixie, our 5 month old puppy, makes peace with the barn cats every morning to share the feast of fresh warm frothy milk. But lately she’s been stealing my gloves left on the ledge of the barn while I milk. She plays with them and carts them off to who knows where out in the snow. But this week I got smart and looked up. Sure enough, there’s an old iron peg in a beam above my head and my gloves have perched there safely out of Dixie’s reach every milking since.
- 4wheel drive
We’ve been snowed in (as in the snow was so thick and deep we couldn’t get out the driveway) three times already this month. Our neighbor keeps digging us out with his tractor, bless his heart. But the snow keeps on coming anyway. We won’t even attempt the driveway (on a curve, up a hill, with an uncanny tendency to ice over) in the minivan. And so the truck with four-wheel drive is a lifesaver.
On the way to church this week Helen (6) said from the backseat: “I’m so thankful for four-wheel drive.” We all are.
- No library fees
Because we’ve been homeschooling, I have an “educator’s” library card. It’s the same as a regular one except I can check out over 100 books at a time (lest you think this is overkill, we regularly have over 100 library books checked out. I agree, it’s a bit ridiculous). But the only reason I’m still financially solvent with a check-out limit like that is because the library has also temporarily suspended all fees. Thank heavens for small mercies like these, eh?
- ice skating
- winter sunshine
- warm wool socks
- my favorite toque
- crisp, fresh air
- peppermint tea I grew myself
- breakfast sausage
- snow plows
- cream on everything (pudding, oatmeal, applesauce, pancakes)
- love notes from my 6yo
- the heating pad I keep on my feet at night
Tell me friends, what’s saving your life right now?
Diane Mahon says
Thumbs up to the heating pad on your feet! It’s my third winter here since moving from Southern California and I just discovered this. My feet get so cold from a thyroid problem. I have an extra long pad so I can put it from my chest to my feet with my legs criss-crossed and a blanket over me. And here I thought I was the only genius. 😊