I saw this picture on a blog post, and it totally convicted my current, “I hate winter and I hate the snow,” attitude. I’ve never been one to trash talk winter, but yesterday we got another dusting of snow here in Indiana, and when I saw it I got all pouty and annoyed. I don’t want more snow. I’m ready for spring.

I’m not a very patient person, (although I’m working on it) and have to constantly keep myself from getting too caught up in looking to the future instead of enjoying the present. But it’s hard sometimes. Because sometimes, life is full of winters. But without winter, we would never be able to fully appreciate the spring.

We’ve all been there. Facing each day with some difficulty or trial or hardship that is taking longer than a few days, few weeks or few months. All we see is the dreary, cold, yuck of our situation. We yearn for this time to be over, and are ready to experience the hope of a new season. But if we only see our current winter as a waiting stage for the future with no real purpose of its own, we’ll miss some of the beauty of today.

Take Stuart and me for example. We are currently living with his parents, sleeping in their basement, making just enough money to make ends meet, and spending most of our time fundraising. If I were to dwell solely on those things, it’d be very easy to fall fast into a depression. And I’d miss the fact that both of our parents are very supportive of our call to ministry, and willing to let us live in their homes for free. We have a comfortable place to sleep, and fun family to spend time with. We are making enough for today, and that’s all we need right now. God will provide for tomorrow. And although raising support is one of my least favorite things to do, it’s been a huge blessing to see how excited other people have been to join our ministry. And we get to spend everyday together, doing fun (inexpensive) things, playing with our pup and dreaming about the future.

I loved living in our own little townhouse in Columbus when we first got married. But I know I’m going to appreciate wherever we live next immensely more. Once we finish raising support and can begin our ministry in Dayton, I don’t want to look back on this time and think, “ugh I’m so glad that’s over!” I want to think, “wow, God taught me a ton, I fell in love with Stuart even more, and feel more prepared for the future than I would’ve been if we hadn’t had that time.”

Preparation stages are important. They cause us to sit back, take a deep breath, really think about what’s to come and figure out ways to be prepared. I realize that there are some things in life you can never fully be ready for. But I hope during this season of figurative and literal winter, God teaches me whatever lessons he feels I need to learn, while I have the time and energy with which to spend on them.

So bring on the second half of winter. I’m ready for ya. I’m armed with a few good books, a blanket, cute pup, cute husband and great God. I’m ready for this winter to be a season of growth. I’ll definitely be glad to see the first sprouts of spring, but for now, I’m going to fully live in winter.