There's no place like home

My hands down favorite thing about our century old house is the fireplace. The golden warmth, earthy smell and crackling sound that emanate from our wood burning stove are soothing and inviting. Come, just “be” they call out, and I cannot resist.
February, or “middle winter” as I like to refer to her, can either be resented or revered. Yes, she’s a cold, grey, seemingly loooong patch of barrenness between the festivities of Christmas and the new life of spring. And yes, it’s easy to grumble and complain about her relentless frigidity, but if you open your mind and get to know her you’ll find she’s been misunderstood. February isn’t trying to make us miserable; she’s teaching us to rest!
This is the month I give myself permission to spend hours, every day, in front of our fireplace, talking to my kids and husband, reading and reading and reading, working and writing, being silent, drinking coffee and then tea. 
My home becomes a cocoon where I withdraw from outside noise and activity and practice inner stillness, all wrapped up in a fuzzy blanket. This house is a beloved friend, and I swear she takes on human qualities when I tenderly care for her by touching up wall scuffs with leftover paint, creating plenty of white space for her to breathe, and filling each room with prayer and beauty.  My home, though certainly not opulent, is welcoming and whimsical. And in February we spend more concentrated time together before the earth thaws and flowers bloom, luring me out into nature, and gardening, and more “doing” than “being”. This bond creates a sacred connection, transforming ordinary chores into acts of thanksgiving. February is a training ground for becoming more cognizant of Christ’s loving presence in the present moment.
Learning to embrace the season I’m in, with gratitude and faith, submitting to the lessons I’m meant to learn from it, produces hope and humility. Contentment is believing (and resting in the fact) that even here and now, especially here and now, all things are working together for good to them that love God. (Rom. 8:28). 
Happy February, friends! Stay calm and cozy!

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