The view out our apartment window in St. Petersburg, Russia
I’m not a big fan of cold weather. That might seem strange considering that I have lived in both Bulgaria and Russia. Bulgaria has a high elevation in the Balkan Mountains while St. Petersburg, Russia, is not too far from the Arctic Circle.
After the first snowfall of the winter in Russia (like October or so), we did not see the ground again for months… and months. Brianna was really little at that time. By February, she would begin to ask sadly, “When will there be grass and trees again?” She got really tired of seeing nothing but white. We all did. Of course, it would still be several more weeks before the 2 feet of ice on the ground began to thaw.
Every time we took the kids outside, it would take about half an hour to pile coats and hats and gloves on them and to wind scarves around two little munchkins. After twenty minutes, their frozen noses had to come back inside, and then it would be another half hour to dig them out of the layers of ice and wool.
Lynley and Brianna on their way out into
below zero temps in St. Petersburg.
The best part of cold weather is begin inside where it is warm. In Russia, they had this centralized system where heat would be pumped in through pipes to the radiators. We could not control when the heat got turned on (that was up to a political planner somewhere behind closed doors), but once it was on, everything was super toasty. There is nothing like being snug and cozy on the couch while the snow blasts outside. It is a very special feeling of home. Warmth, comfort, food, and family.
The world can be a very cold and lonely place. Sometimes we wander far from the warmth and safety of home. I have had seasons where I pulled back from reading the Bible regularly. I was too busy, too tired, too disappointed, too depressed. I never got over being busy. Magical rest never descended on me from the sky. My disappointments didn’t resolve themselves. In fact, Scripture was such a central part in my journey out of unrealized hopes and depression. God met me in the real stories of disappointed, discouraged people in the Bible. He changed my perspective through His words, and that changed my little world. God’s Word offers warmth in the middle of cold hard days of struggle.
Our Father is drawing our hearts back to a place of peace and wonder in the middle of long, dark days. Let us draw near to His hearth once again. Fix a cup of hot cocoa and settle in with God’s love letter (the Bible) to warm away some of the chill of a frigid world.