January 14, 2017

Learning to Give Thanks in ALL Things, Even Winter - Ruth L. Snyder

Several days after I was born, I experienced my first blasts of winter in a Michigan ice storm. However, when I was only six weeks old, my parents whisked me away to Southern Africa. Winter there consisted of temperatures in the low 20's during the day with the rare possibility of frost overnight. We enjoyed fresh vegetables and fruit from our garden year-round. If we wanted to see snow, we had to go to the mountains.

I didn't really experience my first Canadian winter until I was eleven years old. I revelled in the beauty of a fresh downy blanket of snow. The glittering diamonds of sun glinting off hoar frost mesmerized me. But the cold! And the short days! At least skating in Alberta didn't end in a puddle of water like it did the couple of times we tried it in Zimbabwe. And it was definitely easier to pay attention in school when the weather was cold and I preferred to stay indoors.

I have told my husband that I still have African blood. Winter is NOT my favourite season. I would be happy if the cold and snow lasted for a month and then we reverted back to summer weather. However, I Thessalonians 5:18 urges us, "in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus" (Amplified). Giving thanks is an act of the will I can choose, no matter how I feel.

So what do I choose to give thanks for in winter?

  • A well-insulated house
  • Delicious, nutritious food to eat
  • A warm, dependable vehicle with snow tires
  • A slower pace
  • Frosty, refreshing sunrises
  • Time with family and friends
  • Snow angels
  • God's faithfulness
  • A hot cup of Rooibos tea (a tradition our family brought back from South Africa!)
  • Rosy red cheeks and smiles from my children
  • A lined leather jacket, mitts, and boots to keep me warm
  • An energetic Husky dog who motivates me to go for walks
  • Soft, downy white snow drifting down
  • Horse-drawn wagon rides
  • Glowing, dancing northern lights
  • The promise of Spring
Is Winter a season you resist or relish? What do you give thanks for in Winter?


  1. What a great list you've come up with!

    1. Thanks, Tracy. I have discovered that choosing to give thanks is a great exercise. It forces me to focus on God instead of my circumstances.

      Yesterday our van transmission went out about an hour from home. As I reflected on all the things I could choose to be thankful for, I felt blessed instead of frustrated.

      I don't always choose to be thankful, but I'm trying to choose to do so more often.

  2. Thank you Ruth. I love my tea in the winter, and sitting near a sunny window to write.

    1. You're welcome, Pam. Thanks for sharing what you enjoy during our long winter season :)

  3. I admire and appreciate your view to choose thanks, and I did ready your post on fb about driving home from Edmonton "Thanks" for that--maybe I can take lessons from you. . .

    1. I am still learning, Sharon. I was amazed yesterday how different my attitude was when I chose to give thanks. What could have been a great tragedy seemed to be more of a blessing than anything.

  4. I would prefer to taste winter in small portions, too, Ruth. Thank you for reminding us that giving thanks is an act of will and for the list of things we can choose to give thanks for in winter.

    1. You're welcome, Nina :) Thanks for your encouragement!

  5. I give thanks to the Lord for wonderful memories of my children, now middle-aged, enjoying winter. Thats a treasure. I'm here in warm Mexico temporarily. I'm thankful our daughter and husband [(h)ija and yerno] were able to see Mexico for the first time and be with us at Christmas, an absolutely wonderful visit. I love memories of when I skied (both kinds).
    Thank you, Ruth, for this reminder to thankfulness.

    1. Susan,
      Thanks for sharing what you are thankful for :)


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