We’re sharing Christmas to Winter Decorating Ideas as part of the Warm Winter Transitions Mini Blog Hop hosted by the always sweet and creative, Cecilia of My Thrift Store Addiction.
If you’re coming over from Panoply, welcome, we’re happy to have you here.
As some of you know we recently returned home after spending several weeks celebrating the holidays at the cabin.
It’s a trip I look forward to every year.
Every inch of the cabin is perfectly cozy from the wide pine boards that make up the interiors to the gas fireplace that’s lit with a click of a button to the peaceful porch swing on the back porch to the rushing river down below.
A place we frequently visit to think, find clarity, and rest from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives.
It’s also the place, I was 98% sure I would receive all the confirmation I needed to stop blogging and to gather the confidence needed to embark on a new adventure I had been praying about for months.
One chilly afternoon while on the porch swing contemplating the options at hand, a series of serendipitous events took place that set me on a completely different course than I expected.
You can read the entire story from our Word of the Year post here if you need to catch up.
One of those events was receiving a text message from a dear friend who was standing outside the ICU awaiting news from a loved one who had been admitted to the hospital on Christmas Day.
I won’t go into all the details, but heart-related issues are scary any time of the year. When they affect a healthy father of littles in his early 40s on Christmas though, it seems next level.
Day after day his family waited on one specialist after another to make a medical assessment.
Once a treatment plan was finally agreed upon, surgery would be scheduled only to be scrubbed a few hours later because the surgeons were held up with other patients.
Hour to hour, minute to minute started to feel like an emotional roller coaster.
And while I wouldn’t say the family ever lost hope, you could tell they were growing weary by the day.
As we marched closer to the New Year, I was beginning to wonder if he’d ever get the life-giving procedure he needed.
I wondered countless times why the answers were coming so slow, why they were being made to wait, and why this family full of kindness and generosity was having to go through this experience at all.
“Isn’t there anything else they can do to keep him stable or to start the recovery process?” I texted impatiently.
Thinking my friend would respond back with all the options they were considering her answer caught me completely off guard.
“…Everything happens for a reason and either we needed a day to wait or someone else needed more help today…they are taking good care of him in the ICU…we’re truly blessed at this point…” it read in part.
She was right.
It was a blessing he was still alive.
Her words, “We either needed another day to wait or someone else needed more help today…” have been with me nearly every day since she wrote them.
They made me realize hope can still be found in the wait if we’re patient enough to look for it and even when things seem incredibly messy, there is always a message in the mess.
Sometimes the message is meant for you.
Other times the message is meant for someone around you.
The courage and strength it took to handle such a difficult period of waiting with grace still inspires me and I hope it inspires you too.
Every January, I place “Create a Cozy Winter Home” on my bucket list. I’m usually more than excited to pack away all the holiday décor and embrace a fresh start.
But this year, renewed by our time at the cabin and a text message of hope, I decided to leave a little extra sparkle around the house. Including leaving our Christmas tree up to celebrate my half milestone birthday.
Small, gentle reminders of what the winter season is really all about…rest, reflection, recovery, transitions, change and hope in waiting.
I know home means something different to all of us.
My experience in a military family is not the same as someone who lives in the inner city, on a farm, or behind the gates of a golf community.
No matter where we live though I hope our sense of home will always be a place where we can love, support, encourage and nourish each other.
Even when life doesn’t quite go as planned and feels messy.
Most importantly, when we’re waiting on answers with courage, and strength, as we transition from one season to the next with grace.
Up next on the Warm Winter Transitions Mini Blog Hop is Exquisitely Unremarkable. Once you’re finished there be sure to check out what the rest of these fabulous ladies are sharing…
For more practical post-holiday decorating tips and tricks, check out these posts…Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.