Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome to the Winter Doldrums

If you are anything like me, the lull of dreary winter days can tediously stretch on and on.  The holidays are over, the decorations are put away, and the house looks very bare.  No more caroling stuffed animals, nativity, bright lights, and fragrant pine cones surrounded by candles.  (I really love those cinnamon pine cones!) As I work on my degree, I put in a lot of hours at home and in the home office.  Instead of lapsing into a mood that matches the gray weather, I decided that I needed some fun decorations to make this winter season more playful.  

One of the benefits of living in Ohio in the winter is the occasional bright red cardinal that graces the tree in front of our house.  He is bright, cheerful, lively, and vibrant.  On the backdrop of the leafless tree, dirty snow, and gray sky, he is a ray of hope.  A while ago my mom told me about the symbolism of a cardinal, and it was a story that stuck with me.  The cardinal is God's gift to people like me who struggle with bouts of depression in the winter months.  The cardinal is God's reminder that though everything may appear lifeless, isolated, and bleak there is still the presence of God's beauty, hope, and love.  

There are times that though I know this story, I still need to see that cardinal to remind me of God's presence in my small corner of the world.  Out of the symbolic story of the cardinal bloomed this wreath:

 I made it using a foam wreath form and feather boas from Jo Anne's.  Then it was adorned with a bright red cardinal.

 Here is the wreath on the front door.  Isn't it so cute against a red door?  Though it looks great in this picture, I would not recommend leaving the wreath outside because the feather boas may not weather well.

The cardinal wanted an up-close picture because he is the star of the this wreath.  

I actually have the wreath hanging inside our front door all winter long so that every time I come down the stairs I have the bright reminder of God's ability to bring beauty out of desolate circumstances.  

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