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etherealbeforeandafter

How to steward your winter of the soul well

PERSONAL, Soul Care

the blog:

“It’s been a long winter,’ the thought echoed in my head as I sat in the emergency room waiting to be called in.

Even though it’s been winter season literally, my thoughts were more on the figurative, soul level.

Ever have a season where everything seems cold, extra hard and your faith is shaken and stirred together?

A season where you are questioning yourself, your God and everything in your life? And you know that change’s bout to happen but you have to walk out the transition period?

A timely read

As the paramedics declared that it would be wise to bring me to the emergency room for extra tests, I hastily picked up a book titled Spiritual Rythm – Being with Jesus in every season of your soul ‘ by Mark Buchanan and threw it in my bag with everything else.

I’d wanted to dig into it for a while, but life kept getting in the way.

Now I figured that the long wait (which I was expecting at ER), would be the time to do so.

A winter of the soul

Interestingly, the season that Nr Buchanan chose to open the book with was winter.

How timely.

And I immediately felt a sense of kinship as soon as I started reading.

My season.

Here’s an excerpt that resonated.

“Winter shames those in it. It feels like a personal failure, something we’ve caused, or missed, or faltered in. We chide ourselves for being there. We’re sure it’s our fault. We wonder if we are crazy, lazy, stupid.

And most people around us don’t help. They pep-talk us. They serve us warmed-over platitudes. They scold us or offer useless advice…”

I felt so…seen after reading this.

You’ll have to get the book and read it for yourself, but the writer went on to explain the difference between clinical depression and a soul in the winter, which I thought was really important.

Though they produce seemingly similar mind states, the doorways through which we enter them are different.

We enter depression through a door within ourselves, but winter we enter through a door outside ourselves.

For example, a winter of the soul is often triggered by circumstances – the death of a loved one, sickness, change in environment…

And while you can’t avoid winter, there are ways you can steward it well.

He also talked about the state of the heart in winter, activities to do if in this season, and the gifts it brings.

“Winter grows pure faith. It grows almost nothing but it grows Biblical faith like no other season can…It is the season above all seasons when we walk by faith and not by sight…”

Mark Buchanan

The experience of the poofy dress

I love poofy, outrageous dresses – in photographs.

Even though I don’t wear dresses ever in real life nor am I a girly-girl, there’s just something bout poofy dresses that gets me.

So I stumbled upon this one on one of my thrifting days (you have one of those?).

My heart skipped a beat and I just knew that I had to get it.

The looks I got and conversations that got started on my way to the counter were hilarious to say the least.

My favourite comment was from one lady who said, ‘You are going to look like a princess in that!”

Yes!

No matter what season of life you are, you are always a son/daughter of the King, deeply loved and cherished.

Creating the image

Ideally, I would have gone and found a castle for this self-portrait, but I decided to go with my little space because inspiration hit, and the sun popped up unexpectedly.

So I chose to use my Sony a5100 with the 16-50mm interchangeable lens that it came with. I propped on this tripod.

I wasn’t sure how it would work out because I didn’t have a lot of time to play around, but I like how it turned out.

You can see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ below, and watch the video for the speed edit.

etherealbeforeandafter

Sometimes winter can feel so long that you forget that spring or other seasons will come along. Hold on, it will pass…

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