grace groweth best in winter


this morning.
when it's 4 degrees, i must leave the house and the truck's tank is below empty.
when on the way home i stop for a coffee treat, brave the wind, slip & fall and lambast my hip on a snow-covered curb. (but i managed to keep my coffee-like-gold upright! which explains why i didn't brace myself for the fall.)
when i feel as cold as her face looks.
when this contented sparrow struggles with discontent.
and what feels like SADS.
there's but one thing to do.....
goldendoodle in winter
the one thing is to OPEN my eyes to His grace.  to the joy all around.  to His love poured out in gifts all around me.
"So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.
Pursue the things over which Christ presides.
Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.
Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—
that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective."
Colossians 3:1-2
The Message (MSG)

set your affections
lately whenever i slip into that....the getting absorbed with the ground beneath my feet & all i'm seeing is loneliness, fear, & grey, i find He whispers to me, "look up...look out, I've given you all you need."

sunday morning when i was particularly feeling the weight of missing my friend who moved away until june (snowbird-style :), i walked into our church bookstore and found His word of comfort through HER* right there on the shelves.  "she knew that when her affections were set on things above nothing could steal her joy." my eyes were lifted off the ground and the weight fell off.

what in my life can be counted as all joy?
→snuggly, sweet secondborn←
→little girl's love of going away to classes one day a week←
→warm & cozy home←
→cinnamon stick and clove concoction bubbling away on the stovetop←
→i get to BE home where i've always wanted to be←
→facetime to keep faraway friends close at heart←
→the quiet of falling snow←
→how it covers all the earth's mud and grime←
→kids and dog snow-playing-glee←
→a husband/father who protects & serves us well←
→the swish-swirl of the dishwasher←
→instagram encouragement←
→satisfying work←
→color....simply color makes me happy←

i could go on and on (and i'll continue the count).  it's truly an endless list.

sunshine for my insides
some other things that help me stomp out winter blues.....

eating cleaner is like sunshine for my insides.
exercise....i'm not saying i'm doing this well but i know it's a proven mood booster.

and a big one for me is springifying my/our space. 
even if winter has sort of just begun here in michigan.
my number 1 way of doing that is by buying new plants.  springy ferns, succulents, colorful, flowering things.

i switch over from wintery&spicy to sweet&citrusy candles.

and i recently felt the need to eliminate (almost all) red from my decor and replace it with cheery pink and coral and orange.  i took down the red lanterns that had been hanging from my ladder-turned-pot-rack forEVER and hung up a hastily spray-painted pink basket filled with plants and candles. {that pink paint is going to town once it warms up a bit outside.}
any linens with pink were pulled out of the stores and put to use.
i shifted and rethought wall decor.  finally hung up prints that had been waiting.
made plans to paint more walls white (way down the road).

freshening up does my mental health good.
thinking spring

thinking spring







welcome home
and lastly, i MAKE myself brave the cold and the snow because once i DO get out there, i always feel a bit better.  the fresh air and all. :)
it was zero degrees when i snapped that photo below but, ohhhh, that sunshine was worth it!

here's to keeping our eyes up, friends!
much love,
bravin' the cold
+title quote by samuel rutherford Pin It


  1. what a beautiful post megan, complete with photos of your home that leave me speechless. i'm in awe of your homemaking gift. and i have this urgent desire to hoard these freshening up tips in my mind for a potential future in a much colder place.

    1. thanks, girl. we'll be in it together! soak up that Cali sun for me! (i hope to make it out there sometime before june. not sure exactly where you are but i'd so love to meet up with you!)

  2. What a good Word. I am going to write that one down and memorize it.
    Thanks you, friend.

    1. i need to write it on my heart, too, sweet kimberlee! xoxo

  3. Love this post, Megan.
    I, too, change to sweet and citrusy candles.
    I'm getting ready to make some new springy/flowery pillow covers to change out the plaid from fall.
    We still have lots of rain and grey ahead of us in the Pacific Northwest, but our home can be a bright spot in that grey.

    1. hey stephany, my parents lived in oregon for 3 years and i know those endless days of rain were tiring for my mom. but, YES! your home is full of light and joy and cheer and is surely a blessing for all who dwell there....and visit! sending love.

  4. You have cheered this tired mama to two under two up :) I am a reader of your blog, but never comment. I should :). Can I come sit in your home? What a happy, cheerful place. Glad to see a fellow lover of color. :)

    1. hi sara, yes, you SHOULD comment and you did, so, thank YOU! :) i'm pleased to meet'cha. your little girlies are just adorable. yes, if you'd like to brave the michigan cold, come on up and i'll whip up something chocolatey for you. :)

  5. this is all so encouraging, megan!
    i had a doozy of a day today, head down in the dirt, avoiding ANY acknowledgement of blessings.
    shame on me!
    we have the same philosophy for making it through long, hard, dreary winters.
    i am a chronic nest fluffer and love bringing in plants and citrusy candles, too!
    thank you for encouraging me today.

    also, i have not forgotten about the deer painting, the last two days have had me consumed with crazy life! if you wouldn't mind emailing me your addy, that would be AWESOME! i've had a couple things i think you might like. :)

  6. This post lifted my spirits! Staying inside with two babies in the wintertime has been a challenge for me, but really, I have so much to be thankful for! Think I need to go out and buy a citrusy candle :)

  7. your words are beautiful, honest and encouraging! and your photos inspire me to get on the decorating train!! can you come over and help me? pretty please:)))

  8. loved this post. so so good. And yes, I have been thinking a lot about plants lately and about going and investing in some. I don't get a lot of good light...which indoor plants do well without much light? been sprucing up my upstairs (finally!) and it has helped my mood tremendously. I don't know why I can get paralyzed with nail holes and not do anything. do you nail all your wall art in or use 3M strips?

  9. such a happy space your home is!

  10. you just cheered me up! I have been gloomy too, I live in Wisconsin and this is only my second winter...ughhh I want springtime!! I'm gonna go make a smoothie...sunshine for my insides...love that!

  11. I've been doing that too. Just bought orange and coral pillows from target. Just pulled out the citrus candles...whatever it takes;) big squeeze my friend. Love you!

  12. I really needed this. Thank you. *Thank you*
    I felt like I got a Megan visit :)
    Wish I could give you a long hug :)

  13. Oh my goodness! Your post and all of these comments are making me so very thankful that I live where I live - the "City of Eternal Spring" and "The Garden City"....Cochabamba, Bolivia! I don't really have to deal with gray, gloomy, cold, snowy days here - ever! However, it is rainy season, so rain is a factor for "making me feel blue and downcast" about 4 months out of the year. And oh,yea, the raw sewage that runs like a river when it rains, the putrid smells, the child trying to juggle for me at the stoplight so I will give him a few centavos, the make shift "shelter" that someone lives in just behind my 3 story, very comfy and cozy home, the poverty - the orphans, the street kids, the homeless indigenous elderly woman, that surrounds me daily and is so in my face....THOSE are the things that cause my soul to be sad and blue and downcast here. I absolutely LOVE the wall plaque with the saying "she knew that when her affections were set on things above, no one could steal her joy". Oh, how difficult it is to set our minds on HIM and be thankful when the hard, real stuff of living in this dark world are tangible and staring us in the face. We must, though,so that the JOY can be spread!! Thank you, Megan :o)

  14. oh how i needed this today!!!!! i have been in a huge funk and needed a kick in the sins to make me look up! oh thank you!

  15. Lovely post. Love the sprucing up you did.

  16. I totally went out and bought some little plants for my house! HA! It's so much more cheerful now! Thanks for the inspiration!! What is the fun grass stuff in your little vignette?? I love that! And....Ann Voskamp commented on your blog post!! What?? You have the coolest friends! You're kind of a big deal! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  17. I love this post! I just did some "let's pretend it's spring" sprucing up too. It really does do so much good for our spirits!

  18. i love your colorful, lovely space!!


you and your words are a GIFT to me! thank you!