Outdoorphins and Hygge (Friday #15)

Well, hello!

A couple of weeks ago, my cousin posted this article:

What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Embracing Winter

In the pandemic, rather than feeling depressed that the arrival of cold weather will mean you’ll be isolated indoors, try adopting a positive winter mind-set.

It’s a fascinating read and, since then, I’ve come across several other articles with a similar theme.

Can we really embrace Winter in 2020/21???

Admittedly, I’m a summer person. I like 90-degree days, sunshine for 14 hours straight and walking everywhere in flip flops. During the summer, people are outside more, the produce choices are abundant and playgrounds and swimming pools are full of squeals and laughter. It is a good time. Never once did I think, “Wow, I’d really love to be outside and shivering for hours.” Okay, maybe no one thinks that, but the brave KC Chiefs fans who tailgate before a game or camp in January are at a level of bravery I’m not sure my body will ever master.

Yulelog in her backpack?

This article was a need-to-read for me…in this really difficult year of COVID, we each have the opportunity/option to choose hope. We can sit around and be miserable, or we can make the decision to embrace the cozy, the joy and the (new and old) Winter traditions that some cultures have mastered for centuries. As USAmericans, we tend to think independently and live self-sufficiently. While that is not all bad, I wonder if there is space this year to live in community while also physically distant…especially in the Winter…particularly during the holidays.

There are no rules of 2020–we can simultaneously grieve that we cannot be in the same room with loved ones and the control of a calendar that we had in 2019, while we also celebrate today and inject serious joy for all that is. Let’s get our “outdoorphins,” embrace the “hagge” and build a fire in the backyard [see the article above if you haven’t a clue what I”m talking about]. Embrace the glow of this season and all of the lessons we are living. We will look back on this time for years to come. Don’t regret how you used your Winter. (And I am talking to myself, too.)

  1. Check-in: How are you? How has your week been? How are you feeling about Thanksgiving next week? (Either write down, message me, or think about how you’re physically caring for yourself.)
  2. Action/Inaction: What is one thing you can serve your church/neighborhood/family this weekend?
  3. Chat with Christ: Jesus, you know what is going on with each of us. You know what keeps us awake at night, what takes over our thoughts and our peace. Highlight spaces and moments when we can stop everything, breathe deeply and sit in Your loving presence. Share your bravery with us as we step outside in the cold and tackle Winter. Most of all, show us how to minister better and care deeper. Amen.

I thank God for this opportunity to spend 5ish minutes of your precious time with you. And I thank God for you. Now go wrap up in a cozy blanket with a fire!

Happy weekend.


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