Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Be Happy Despite the Weather

For those of us who live in the "frozen North" (aka Minnesota and all parts northward), this is the time of the year when we tend to become a bit grumpy about winter weather. We have our first snowfall sometime around the end of October usually, and we really don't officially start spring here most years until sometime in May.

Before then, we're liable to have little glimpses of spring, but we must not get too attached to the idea yet. We must just accept the fact that until mid- to late-May, snow is still possible. In fact, if you live north of the Twin Cities, you might even have snow longer. I heard earlier this week that Virginia, Minnesota had about 20 inches of snow recently.

So last night as I was driving home from work listening to the radio and hearing reports of more snow coming, the thought occurred to me that I should come up with at least 10 good (in my opinion) reasons to be happy despite the weather.

So here are my top 10 reasons:

  1. Jesus is Lord! That's always my top reason for being happy. Our happiness (or joy) must not be based on circumstances. Only Jesus can fulfill the deep needs of my heart, and everything else (and everyone else) will eventually fail to meet my expectations.
  2. As a believer, God commands my joy. The Bible tells me to delight myself in the Lord. That's not a suggestion. It's a command, and yet it's a command that will be to my own personal advantage to follow.
  3. Conversely, God is not happy with those who complain. In fact, it's a sin, because when we grumble about this world or this life or our circumstances, etc., we're really grumbling against God. When the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, they grumbled, and as a result, God had them wandering around for 40 years before He brought them to the Promised Land. I've heard it said that it should have only taken 11 days to get there.
  4. God gives us the snow for our own good. It's a great source of water for the soil, which is good news for our local farmers, as well as those of us who garden. It goes into the earth much more evenly than rain in most places, and this has not been a snowy winter for those of us in central Minnesota. We need the snow, or a really wet, rainy spring, or we'll be facing possible drought conditions in the summer. Last summer, as I recall, some of parts of the metro had watering bans because of drought conditions.
  5. Cold snowy weather makes it really nice to snuggle with my Sweetheart and our dog. When it's cold, we love to snuggle. And when it's not cold, I'm convinced my husband likes to artificially make it colder in our house so that snuggling will still be enjoyable...I'm so thankful for a husband who loves being affectionate.
  6. Continued cold, snowy weather means that I can continue to enjoy my vast sweater collection. That's not a very lofty reason for happiness, but it is sincere. And that's probably why I got into knitting recently and got back into doing crochet. I love sweaters, and I'm nearly done with knitting my first personally-knit sweater.
  7. Cold, snowy weather means that I can also focus on sewing and other indoor activities, instead of feeling guilty that I'm not out pulling weeds in the garden. Though I love our garden and our plant boxes, and I look forward every year to enjoying the flowers and other greenery, it does mean that I have less opportunity to "play" in my sewing room. In fact, after I post this, I'm heading upstairs to work on a new spring blouse. I know I"ll be able to wear it soon, and until then, I enjoy the spring colors in the fabric as I work with it.
  8. Those of us who live in climates where we experience a long winter REALLY appreciate the spring and summer. I'm convinced that this is the reason gardening is so very popular in this part of the country. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder when it comes to gardening. We have a really condensed growing season here, and we really make the most of it.
  9. We enjoy four true seasons here. For me, Christmas is all the more lovely because we usually have a blanket of snow on the ground. And then spring is so amazing with its first flowers especially. I eagerly look forward to seeing my hyacinths pop up and blossom, and then the tulips, followed by the irises. And fall is gorgeous with all of its warm browns and reds and golds. We have so many trees that display fall colors.
  10. Because of our long, cold winters, insects and rodents don't have much time to grow large or to procreate. I know that spiders and beetles and cockroaches are God's creatures just as much as the rest, but I wouldn't want to live in a place where bugs have the whole year to grow and get larger. Oh, and snakes, too...
It really is good to live in the northern climates. I know that it's not for everyone, but I'm really happy here. And I imagine that we'll have four climates in heaven, too, probably. But if we do, we'll have them with all of the advantages and none of the disadvantages.


USAincognito said...

Can't I be grumpy sometimes? ;) lol.
For me, living up here is very depressing. I guess you could call it seasonal depression according to the DSM-IV (in my professional opinion as a former counselor). So I really do struggle all winter long.
If it keeps snowing like it is right now, this is going to be one long winter. Spring won't even be here at this rate as we will just have to skip right over it and go right into summer. No complaints on the summer coming! But it sure would be nice if winter was not so long!

Karen said...

I'm so sorry that you're so depressed, and I'd never wish for a longer winter myself. I just know that it's better for me in all ways to focus on contentment, whatever the circumstance. It's not easy, but it does help. My husband struggles with depression, too, and he always feels better when he starts to give thanks to the Lord. He begins with the things that are easy to be thankful for and then moves through those that aren't so easy. We're told in the Bible to "in everything give thanks." I'll pray for you, Shorty. I look forward to spring and summer, too, but right now, we're facing a forecast of snow, and I drove home tonight with sleet coming down. God's blessings!