Learning to embrace the season that we are in is a perpetual challenge, there's always the wooing of some hypothetical pain-free future that would call us out of being present in the moment. But, 'challenge' need not be seen as a negative thing; challenge is an invitation into the discovery of the dormant potential inside of us!
As Ben and I press into embracing the seasons metaphorically, we decided to press into winter literally (instead of running away from it!) and took a trip to the mountains of beautiful Quebec, with the children.
We decided to explore winter more deeply, and actually take to the outdoors as if we meant it. Toboggan, ski, hike, watch our breath release in chilled puffs as we soak in the outdoor hot tub, then run and roll in the snow in our bathing suits. (Okay, I confess, I could only sit in the snow, not roll in my bathing suit - these crazy kids though!)
Last night, as I lay awake for hours on the couch in our beautiful rented chalet, with a baby who wouldn't sleep, I watched the clock ticking. And ticking. And ticking. (An adventure like this is so special but is physically exhausting on it's own... the logistics involved in helping 13 people launch from home base are spectacular!)
I took a 'step back' from the frustrating reality of me feeling utterly exhausted, and observed: I am having an experience.
That was it.
It's like I could see myself from a short distance away and recognize what was happening, but not need to infuse it with emotion. I could just let the moment be what it was.
After observing my situation with as much neutrality as
I could muster, I was able to release the tension building up in my flesh and flip the emotional balance, and tickle my baby as we snuggled on the couch. The night was awash in his soft husky giggle. The struggle was over: I surrendered to a potentially completely sleepless night, and in the end I found some rest. We stared into each other's eyes. The tranquil silence of the snow blanketing the night through the window mirrored the scene in my heart. We have the opportunity to live from perpetual rest, even if we don't actually sleep.
More and more, I am convinced that this is what it means to live by faith: rest with gratitude in the moment, trusting that what you need will come. And what you need might not always be what your mind has fixated on; sometimes you need a sleepless night to wake up.