An escape from the winter blues

photo-4

Over the Christmas holidays, our family did something new we had not done before. We rented a house at the beach for two weeks! Although the weather was still cold (needing hoodies and sometimes hats and gloves), we were able to be outside more than we would have at home. We also brought our dogs along which helped motivate us to take lots of walks.

photo-6

We went for walks on the beach, the kids went on bike rides, and we even ventured out one morning to the local Gulfarium to see lots of sea animals from sharks, sea lions, and dolphins. The place we went to was very small and not crowded on a winter day so we were able to let the children have more freedom than usual wandering around exploring as they looked at the animals.

photo-5

This time together as a family was invaluable and my husband and I came away with such full hearts. One night after dinner, we decided to go on a walk along the sand near the ocean on a path secluded from cars. Our five-year-old could hold the leash of one dog while our 4-year-old would carry the leash of the other dog.  This quickly became their favorite nightly routine as they would beg to take walks each night. As we were walking along the second night our five-year-old daughter exclaimed, “Mom, being out here together makes me feel so much JOY!”. My husband and I looked at each other as parents do when their understanding of how powerful a moment we were experiencing felt. To be outside in God’s creation, taking in the beauty of the ocean with the smells of the beach, we were able to have many conversations that may have never started had we stayed inside and let them watch another show or play on their technology devices. Watching their tender hearts embrace responsibility as they were learning to walk the dogs and listening to their questions and conversations as we were on our adventures grew our family closer and created special memories that we will hold onto forever.

I know many of us are stuck inside where we live in the cold winter months but I wonder if there may be a new place you can go explore with your children (even indoors)? My husband and I were so grateful that we pushed out of our comfort zones (staying inside where it was warm and cozy) to listen to the desires of our children and follow their lead. Knowing our children deeply and connecting with their hearts is so important. I’d love to hear what creative things you do with your children to help lighten up the winter blues!

photo-3

Share your thoughts...