Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

  1. The Seasons of Life

    February 10, 2015 by Melanie Faris

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    Looking outside right now, it’s hard to imagine what summer looks and feels like. It’s so cold I dread the thought of getting dressed for the day and walking out the front door. Brrr! I am much more comfortable staying inside, wrapped in a blanket and watching the news. Yes, I watch the news. I am a bit of an old soul they say…

    Today I want to talk to you about the seasons. I’m not talking about the weather outside, I’m talking about the seasons of your life. Have you ever thought about your life this way? A lot of people think life comes down to luck or chance. You roll the dice and you get what you get. Everyone’s different and there’s no making sense of it. But wait – that’s not how it works at all. Sure everyone has a unique story with different circumstances, but I came to the realization that we are all similar and on this road together! I mean – I think we all can relate on a deeper level, especially when it comes to the seasons of our lives. Some people feel one season stronger than another, but we all go through them. Let me explain…

    There are many seasons of life, and here’s my take on it.

     

    Let’s start with winter (we are all familiar with this one):

    It’s so cold!!!! When does it end?! That’s the only thought on everyone’s mind. Okay, maybe not for everyone in the world, but definitely here in Canada. hehe.

    But in all seriousness, the winter season of life sometimes feels long. It feels like we could all use a little more sunshine and a lot less storm in our life. There are glimpses of beauty, but sometimes you need to squint to see it. Often you realize that you need help digging out of this mess, but don’t know where to turn. You are snowed in and it’s not always easy. As the tears flow, you might find yourself praying to a God you aren’t sure exists, or holding onto your loved ones a little tighter. Or maybe you are secluding yourself from the world, staying inside with a hope to keep warm, not wanting to face the world outside. Usually I don’t anticipate the winter to feel so cold and heartless. I don’t expect to be hit so hard all at once like a snowball in the face. You ever been there? This is a trying and difficult time in your life, and sometimes it’s hard to even imagine that spring is going to come.

     

    There is spring:

    The beautiful time where you rest after the storms of winter, knowing that all the hardships you went through before have brought you a new outlook on life. You see the sun rising and suddenly 10 degress feels SO nice. You now realize that without the cold winter, spring wouldn’t feel as nice as it does right now. It’s a transition phase. You are coming out of the storm and finally feel the warmth on your face again. There is a peace and hope for your future. A sense of contentment and optimism for what’s ahead. You aren’t sure if you are at the place you want to be yet, but you know that there’s good things coming and you are ready to start walking the path laid before you.

     

    There is summer:

    This is a time where you are reaping the rewards of handwork and dedication. Sometimes life feels almost “too good to be true” during this time. You are on fire! Think of the time when you tried on those old jeans that haven’t fit in years, only to discover your hard work at the gym has finally paid off! YES! You feel on top of the world, fired up and ready to take on whatever comes your way. You sometime worry that this season can’t last for too long, almost “searching” for something bad in your life, unable to locate it. You lie out and sunbath soaking it all in, praying for this season to last the rest of your life.

     

    There is fall:

    You have come down off your high and are realizing things aren’t exactly what you thought they would be. Maybe that new job means more hours at the office and less time with your family. Or the jeans are getting tight again, and motivation is starting to diminish. Things aren’t so perfect anymore. I find in this season I get a bit confused. I just don’t know what step to take next. You may ask yourself, where do I go from here? I can remember when I was in college feeling as if my world was crumbling around me. This isn’t what I signed up for, I thought. I just couldn’t find peace in my life. Although everything was still OK, inside there was a war going on. I felt like I needed a change, but I just didn’t know what to do or where I was heading. You might feel like you are walking without a map, lost and  unsure of who to ask for directions.

     

    You ever been in one of these seasons of life? I know you have! But what season are you in now? Sure we all know the seasons of the year, it’s pretty obvious if you are sweating from the heat, or trying to avoid frostbite from the cold. But do you know and recognize what season your life is in at any given moment? It’s possible you have a bit of a mixed bag and feel like you are in two seasons at once. But really think about it for a minute. For a lot of us, it won’t take very long to recognize where we are…

    Sometimes I can go through all of the seasons in a week, or even a day! It’s crazy how fast the weather can change. I’m not here to tell you that all good things come to an end, because I hate when someone says that to me. I also don’t think it’s true. However, there will disruptions and challenges that put us off our path in some way, at some time in our life. Don’t “expect the worse”, gosh that bugs me when someone says that, especially when you are feeling so darn great about life. My advice would be this – next time you find yourself at the grocery store with some extra cash in your pocket (i.e., it’s your summer), it’s never a bad idea to grab some canned food to put in the pantry in case you need it! Use your summer to prepare for the winter. Read, study, learn, grow – even if everything you read doesn’t apply to you right now. It will build you up and prepare you for what’s ahead. Whatever that may be!

    If you happen to be stuck in a winter season (even if you don’t live in good ol’ Canada), I want you to know that there is hope. Spring is coming. Do NOT lose sight of it. Sometimes you need to rest for a while, and just seek comfort during this time. Let the storm pass. I would encourage you to seek the best comforter I know – the Holy Spirit. God is the only one who can bring you true peace during the storms. I’m not trying to get all religious on you, I’m just speaking from experience. When I put my trust in God and a storm comes my way, all the emotions are still there and it’s still freakin cold, but I just don’t feel the weight of it. That’s what He does for me. He takes the weight of the hardship and puts it on Himself. I may still cry myself to sleep, but He is standing with the kleenex box saying, let it all out, let me wipe your tears. A good friend of mine once told me to put my worries on God, because His shoulders are much bigger than mine. It’s like trying to walk through 5′ of snow with bricks in your boots. It’s just not an easy road. Might be possible to get to the other side, but it’s not easy!! However, if you put on some snowshoes, you still have to walk through the snow, it’s just a heck of a lot easier because you just don’t have to carry so much weight. Make sense? Sort of?

    I wanted to write this post to give you hope and comfort, no matter what season you are in. If you are in summer right now, ENJOY IT. Don’t fret or anticipate something to go wrong. Just lie in the sun and tan for a while. It is OKAY for things to feel so great. You aren’t a bad person for being happy and content. I encourage you to use this time to refuel yourself and encourage others who may feel like winter just won’t end for them. If you are going through winter, or a transition season, remember that summer WILL come around, and with the right road map, you will get there a lot quicker.

    Enjoy whatever season you may be in! I for one am READY and looking forward to spring.

    Bye for now.

    Love, Melanie.

     

     

     

     

     

     


  2. Winter Oatmeal

    November 25, 2013 by Melanie Faris

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    Well it is official. Winter has arrived and is here to stay. The snow has taken rest upon the branches of the trees and a winter wonderland surrounds us. Beautiful to look at, but BRRRR, Cold! My teeth chatter as I make my way to my car and attempt to reef open the door. Yep, it’s frozen. With one or two good pulls, the ice breaks off and the door flies open. I put my key in the ignition and turn…and turn….and turn again. Nothing. One more time. The car coughs a little and finally decides to wake up. Looks like I am not the only one who doesn’t want to go out in the cold.

    Sitting in my car, I ponder the idea of scraping off the ice formed on the windows, or sitting and waiting for the heat to blast. I opt for sitting. It’s too cold to move. I turn the heat on high and crank up the power. I think we can all agree that it only seems to make the car colder, but for some reason, turning it on high makes me think there is hot air hiding somewhere and it just needs an extra push. I sit in my car, hugging myself, shivering, wondering why God invented the cold, and why the defrost is not working yet. I can start to see through a little hole that defrosted on the windshield. I do what any other smart person would do and pull out of the driveway. I squint my eyes and lean closer to the windshield, peering through that tiny hole. Okay, maybe not so smart.

    I make it about 3 metres, and pull over. Nope, can’t see. I then remember the wonderful windshield spray. The clouds part, and God’s voice booms from the Heavens. “I now give thee windshield fluid. I shall make thou fluid…Blue!” *Singing angel sounds*. I pull the little lever conveniently located behind the wheel and blue liquid covers the windshield. What a beautiful thing that liquid is. I sit there staring with admiration. And I stare some more. Okay, I should not still see blue liquid on the windshield. My stupid wipers are frozen stuck to the icy windshield. Crap. Who’s idea was it to make this stuff blue anyway?! Now I look like I ploughed through a convenient store and took out the slushy machine. Even worse, now I need to get out of the car. I sit there. Nope, not moving. I try my wipers again. Nothing. I really don’t want to get out of the car. Okay, I finally muster up enough energy to get out and give my wipers a good whack off of the windshield. That should do it.

    I get back into the car and try the washer fluid again. Suddenly, they fiercely come to life and wipe the blue liquid away. I can see! I can see! I silently cheer inside and put the car back in drive. I press on the gas and accelerate another few metres. I drive a little and realize the blue liquid only last so long before freezing. Now it is freezing to the windshield and the wipers are doing nothing. Why me?! Whyyyyyyy. I keep pulling the liquid lever but I can’t keep up with this cold! Ice begins to form and the heat still isn’t coming out of my vents. I pull over again and sit in silence.I grab my phone and opt for a quick morning Facebook check. 7:30 am and hardly any updates. Everyone else must be still trying to start their car. I read the last update posted,

    “Sitting, drinking a hot chocolate and watching the snow fall.Beautiful Sunday!”

    Today. Is. Sunday.

    I sit there in silence. I put the car in park and turn off the engine. I fling open the door and stomp my feet through the snow up my driveway. I shake off my soaked boots and throw my jacket on the floor. I grab the blanket sitting on my couch and wrap my body in it like a little cocoon. I grab the remote and turn on the tv hoping to hear some good news.

    “Good morning world. Time to start your day with an update on the weather. Well, this morning is certainly a chilly one, but we can expect even colder weather tomorrow. We have some school buses that are a bit behind today….” The sound of the newscast man begins to fade away as I realize what he said. School buses. School buses…SCHOOL BUSES?!

    I grab my phone and look down at facebook. Then the circle appears on the facebook page…and it spins. Why wasn’t it spinning before? All of a sudden the page opens and updates fill the screen. It refreshed.¬†Turns out my windshield wasn’t the only thing frozen.

    I look out the front window and stare dreadfully at my car. I put on my wet boots again and venture back out into the cold. I walk to the car and open the door. I turn the ignition, crank up the heat, and ¬†reach behind the seat for the scraper. I begin the task that would have solved all of my cold Monday morning problems from the start. I give the frozen blue washer fluid a stare down, and say under my breath, “prepare. to. die.” Still clinging for it’s life on the front windshield, I visciously scrape it off, not showing any mercy.

    I get back in the car, feeling victorious and ready to conquer the day. I take one last look out the window and stare at the beautiful snow still resting on the branches of the trees. I admire my window scraping job and give myself a wink in the mirror. “Oh you are good.” I look at my side mirror before pulling out on the road to make sure no cars are coming. Then I see it. The lights. Those blue flickering lights blinding my eyes. Then the noise. The dreadful noise. Scraping and pushing and loud, oh so loud. Too loud. I close my eyes, plug my ears and brace for impact. My cars rocks slightly and I squint open my eyes, afraid of what I am about to see. I hear the plough continue down the road and I cry a little inside. I crank up the heat, sit, and wait for the snow to melt away.

    Yep, winter has definitely arrived.

    Winter Oatmeal

    By: Melanie Faris

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    With the frosty cold days ahead, we all need a little something to warm us up and give us energy to start the day off right. Why not a delicious winter oatmeal? Instead of waiting with the car while it warms up, you can enjoy a hot bowl of porridge and let the car do its job. Packed with superfoods, this oatmeal is sure to give you the energy and warmth you need to kick start your bbbrrrrrisk winter day.

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    Serves: 2

    Cook time: 25 Minutes

    Prep time: 5 Minutes

     

    Ingredients 

    1 Cup of steel cut oats

    2 1/2 Cups of water

    1/2 Teaspoon of sea salt

    1/2 Cup of unsweetened almond milk

    Handful of walnuts

    2 Tablespoons of hemp seeds

    2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

    2 Tablespoons of goji berries

    2 Tablespoons of unsweetened dried cranberries

    Spoonful of o% plain greek yogurt

    Drizzle of maple syrup

    Sprinkle of cinnamon

     

    Method

    Easy Peasy

    Combine water, salt and oats in a pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Stir occasionally and let cook for approximately 25 minutes. Once cooked, top with remaining ingredients and enjoy. *I love greek yogurt in mine, plus it adds extra protein. Feel free to omit any ingredients you don’t like!

     

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