What this California Girl Learned from Her First Hibernation
Winters chill keeps us inside. Inside our homes and inside our heads. I had never noticed before the beauty in winter. The beauty that comes from just stopping and resting and letting go of the chase and hustle, even just for a season.
Maybe I had never noticed it before because I have spent all my winters in California and this winter, I was in Tennessee. It was cold and wet. Now, I must wait a few more days for the start of spring to do the things I need to do.
Waiting in Winter
Waiting is hard for me. I am a person who is always busy, and although in recent years I have learned to slow down and take care of myself, I am still more comfortable in the hustle than in the rest. So as the last days of winter come and go, I will rest and wait. I will rest in the truth of God’s timing being better then my own. This gives me peace and patience on my hard days.
I always have loved fall and spring the most—those two seasons I look forward to and am sad when they leave. This year was the first time winter has my attention. I am going to use this cold, dark, wet season for what it is…
Hibernation Is an Opportunity to Reset
Am I hibernating or isolating? I do both when I get in a funk. I go inside my head and abstain from reaching out to my people, although I know I always feel better after I get off the phone with a friend. Sometimes I keep it to myself to try and figure it out on my own. This winter is different; this moment is new. I am bringing it to maybe my oldest friend, my first friend—this winter I’ve been bringing it to Jesus. And in that He is having me do lots of self-work. Lots of strength training and not with weights, but with the wait.
I am continuously reminded that in His time it will happen. And that He has me. And in this isolation or hibernation I can go to Him completely. In a funk with spouse? Questioning my parenting? I can go to him. Afraid of the new? I can go to him. Worried about the future? Yep, you got it—He is right there. And in that I feel a stronger sense of surrender and dependence than in winters past.
Do you isolate when things get hard? Why must we feel like we cannot share these moments? Why must we try and solve and be and do all of it when God intended us to be a community? That is what is so great about my tribe. I can call any one of them and spill the good, the bad and the ugly and come through the other side feeling heard and validated. As crazy as I allow my overthinking brain to get, my tribe always gets me. So this time, I am making myself work it all out. Work through it. The wait, the winter, the worries, the funk.
Spring will come and the wet ground will dry. Progress and hustle will check in to work like they haven’t missed a shift. Yet they have. They have been put to rest for awhile and maybe they will come out better for it. Maybe we all need a real winter: a season to stay cozy and nurture the things that mean the most to us instead of chasing the things society said to. Maybe Jesus is waiting for us to knock, to ask, to lean for comfort.
I am trying hard to let this winter teach me. To take in its lessons. To not whine and be ungrateful. After all, I woke up this morning.
Rest, Refresh and Refocus for Spring
So, in this hibernation or isolation—whichever you call this winter season where we go inside—go deeper, go inside and go to God and really find out what makes you tick, how can you fix the funk, how can you worship through the worry, how can you not fear the unknown but be excited by the change.
All of the things that go on in our lives and in our heads can get some much-needed rest and relaxation. Come spring we may all be better off having stayed inside—inside the house, inside our head. Inside our own lives and families and not tried to do it all and be it all.
Maybe we all need a real winter: a season to stay cozy and nurture the things that mean the most to us instead of chasing the things society said to.
Winters chill keeps us inside, but it is not forever. And before we know it, the sun will melt the ice and the world will thaw. We will miss these days cozy blankets and books were our companion.
What are you doing this winter? I am hibernating and isolating and waiting for God’s plans to come forth. In His time. I am learning that I am stronger than I thought. I am working on breaking the cycle and being a healthier version of me. Trying hard to make sure my time is given where it is needed the most. Making sure I am loving my person who has been beside me for a couple decades. I am loving me more than I ever have. Through the good, the bad and the ugly, I am still here. So grateful.
This real winter is harsh, but I never have had one before. Maybe everyone needs a winter to go inside take some time for what truly matters. As winter comes to an end and the world starts to thaw, my hope is that your winter was good to your soul as well.
“Rest is not idle, is not wasteful. Sometimes rest is the most productive thing you can do for your body and soul.” Erica Layne
Not sure where to turn when life is wearing you down? We share some ideas in this podcast episode: Overcome These 5 Struggles And Live A Grit + Grace Life – 088