Tuesday, January 30, 2007
We heard in church, at the beginning of our winter season, about how winter puts a blanket of snow on the ground and the earth goes into a state of rest. Our pastor mentioned how God gave us this gift of winter for us to rest too. It is so true, especially in Alaska where, as my sister puts it, darkness and cold rule the winter, that winter does cause us to slow down and rest. Here in Alaska things just sllllooowwwww down in the winter and the minute spring hits there is an immediate buzz of activity. Our family has certainly slowed WAY down this winter, especially after the extreme hustle and bustle of a six-month long RV trip around the country and then coming back to Alaska and house hunting, moving in, unpacking, getting rid of stuff, doing some home improvement/addition projects and then.................WINTER. I have actually enjoyed just being home with my kids, doing art projects, and generally just resting!
Rest is something our society really struggles with and I am glad that my kids are learning from an early age that rest is a good thing. The last couple of weeks our pastor has talked about how important it is to rest one day a week, or even for a few hours a week if that is all we can muster, if we expect to respond to things with grace. He mentioned how he feels that a lot of the irritation in people these days is a direct result of lack of rest in our society. People just don't know how to or give themselves permission to just slow down. I love this because I really don't think we can be good parents, good spouses or just generally nice people if we don't rest. Martin and I have started making a habit on Sunday to do nothing! Just relax and rest. Of course the definition for rest is different for everyone. We picked Sunday because that is the only day of the week that Martin doesn't work, we go to church that day and it is the one day that no one has anything on the calendar. It has been such a treat to give ourselves permission to do absolutely nothing on that day.
So, this thought process all started for me because I took the dogs out this morning and our snow is melting at a rapid rate. We have had 35-40 degrees all week long with a mild wind blowing fairly consistently, which makes the snow evaporate faster. It made me feel like taking a jog or something (which I may just do here in a little bit). It is just funny how that warmer weather, the smells, something about it that makes us snap out of that state of "rest". This is supposed to last for at least another week for us so we aren't going to have any snow left. It is supposed to rain tomorrow so that will definitely get rid of it but make the roads treacherous, especially for all those commuters going into Anchorage.
My kids will probably be a little sad after working so hard and long on those snow forts in our yard. We haven't seen this much snow since we lived in Wasilla so the kids were actually really enjoying it. But you don't hear me complaining because I LOVE the warmer weather. It is funny how 40 degrees can feel like 70 after 0-20 degrees.
Off the subject.................I mentioned in one of my earlier posts about how I ripped out a bit of the wood from our sauna (it's getting changed into a bathroom) and went to my father-in-laws shop to plane the boards down and cut them to make gates. We have been putting chairs up in different areas of the house that we want to keep the dogs out of. They are still at that age where they get into things a bit so we like to contain them in the main living area so that we can see them at all times. So I finished one gate this week, Martin helped me put them together and Merle helped me a little with knowing how to cut them, but I like to think that this was my project. It turned out rather nice, a little country looking and my house isn't country at all, but I like it. It looks so much better than a chair sitting on its side!
My next project is going to be a puppet theatre for Calista, who has been spending the entire week making puppets and giving us puppet shows. Each puppet has a "personality" and she is more than happy to tell you about them - the "mom and dad" have lots of money but they give all their extra to the poor and needy. They only give their kids what they actually "need". LOL!! I wonder if this is coming from the fact that money is a little tight in our household right now and this need to be frugal is a fairly new experience for my kids. It has been good for our family and I think it has been character building in several ways. It has been a little scary at times but we have yet to run out of food, we still have clothes on our backs, we still have a roof over our heads, and we are both driving cars so we are good!! And...........we have each other!!