I don’t know about you but lately I have been getting a case of the ‘winter blahs’. One can only take so many gray, overcast skies am I right? Plus I have never lived anywhere else but the humid South and anything below sixty degrees is out of my comfort zone. Our family tends to become like bears in a cave during the winter months. We hibernate. But there are little gems to get you through the cold season and I’m here to help.
Eyes of gratitude and living in the present take practice. Winter is especially difficult for me because I can sometimes run ahead of life myself wishing this day away attempting to hurry spring along. So in an effort to keep a light heart and joyful spirit I’ve compiled a short list of things I have “discovered”, learned, or enjoyed this month. Here they are in no particular order:
1) Downton Abbey
Sigh. Need I say more? Keywords here are: stunning costumes, brilliant scenery and British accents. I was definitely born in the wrong era (and country apparently) but besides that this show is like a mental break for my brain on Sunday night. I push away the thoughts of Monday and upcoming week looming overhead, and indulge into a very different (more sophisticated) world for an hour.
I can’t get enough of snarky, sometimes sweet, Mary and all her beau suitors. Will she or won’t she ever find a love like Matthew again? (I’m betting no, but that’s just me being a cynic).
And poor Edith. I mean, that is her catchphrase: “Poor Edith!” Nothing good ever happens to that woman until now. She is starting to find her own way and branch out from under the Grantham wing.
So far the best event that has happened was Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes wedding – I mean Mrs. Carson, but actually everyone will still call her Mrs. Hughes because that’s not weird at all.
It’s a shame that this is the last season but smart to quit while still wildly popular. I’ll savor these last few episodes with a cup of tea and a blueberry scone… well maybe not really but it sounds very “Downton Abbey”, don’t you think? Pinky up.
2) ‘A Million Little Ways’ by Emily P. Freeman
This book truly is a little gem. For some reason I’m turtle slow in getting started on my reading list this year but Emily Freeman’s words have been a familiar companion throughout the month. Have you ever wondered what gifts you have to offer the rest of us? Maybe you think you don’t but desperately hope you’re wrong.
Emily helps the reader see that we are image bearers of God, who is Creator God. We were made to do two things: worship the Lord and create. Creating has many sides and isn’t limited to the traditional view of painting, music, or acting. It can be designing and sewing a dress, engineering a software program, constructing a building or bridge, or cooking a delicious meal. You can be a butcher, a baker or candle stick maker and still create.
It also doesn’t mean we are limited to just one gift and that’s all we get either. Emily says,
“I don’t believe there is one great thing I was made to do in this world. I believe there is one great God I was made to glorify. And there will be many ways, a million little ways, I will declare his glory with my life” (40).
Creating comes in all shapes and sizes. It is not something reserved only for the artistic elite (whoever that is). You too can “uncover the art you were made to live” because you are God’s workmanship, made to reflect Him in every way and that dear reader, includes creating with your hands, your head, or your heart.
3) When Calls the Heart
If you’re like me and sometimes have a hard time finding anything decent on TV then I am excited to share with you this show. Most shows on TV are just plain trash or stupid. I don’t necessarily want to watch a movie either because that takes too much time and my attention span is sadly not that long.
For the last few months I was on the hunt for something not super cheesy, but still clean in content with a storyline that would keep me interested. Well. This little show is my Netflix unwind. It’s a Hallmark production, which I confess, didn’t leave me with high expectations for it, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The plot surrounds a young and optimistic teacher, Elizabeth Thatcher, who heads out to a small coal-mining town. She leaves her affluent family and surroundings behind, and gets more than she bargained for. Elizabeth learns a different way of life, a town that is recently recovering from heartache over a terrible tragedy. She finds that the humble people of the town have just as much to teach her as she does them.
If you need something heartwarming during the cold winter days, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Hang in there the first few episodes. It might be a little clunky as all new beginnings are, and the actors are just getting their feet wet. By episode three I was in tears I tell you. Bring a box of Kleenex.
I hope you have had a wonderful January and discovered some of your own gems along the way!
Grace upon grace,