If you ask me what my favorite season is, I’m one of those crazy people who would say winter. I love winter. I love the snow and the ice and the cold. I love winter activities, winter smells and of course, Christmas. If I had my way, Christmas break would be longer than summer break.

As can be expected, I was more than ready to go home to snowy Wisconsin at the end of last semester. Over the weeks leading up to break, I was continually getting texts from my mom with pictures of my dog, Juliet, playing in the snow that covered our front yard. I couldn’t wait to go join her.

Finally, after finals and a seemingly endless car ride, my sister and I made it home in the wee hours of the morning to be greeted by a blizzard. It was wonderful. Big snowflakes like you see in snow globes were falling thick and fast, and the snow sparkled under the street lamps. It had never felt so good to be home.

Over the next three weeks I managed to squeeze in all the outdoor activities possible. I went cross-country skiing with my dad, went running in -50 degrees and introduced my Virginia boyfriend to snowball fights, snowmen, ice-skating and sledding.

Coming back to snowless South Carolina at the end of break after all that was hard, though the mini-snow storms and snow days helped. Now, after getting fully back into the swing of college, I have nothing but good memories and gratitude.

We have been given so much beauty in the world around us. All the seasons, not only winter, show us the power of God. The glory that I find in snowflakes, others see in the changing leaves, sprouting plants or long, hot days. The best way to find contentment in any season is to take a moment to meditate on the many beauties of nature and thank God for them.

We all have our own ways to meditate on God’s Word and pray. I find my mind is most focused when I run in what most people would consider to be bitterly cold temperatures. This obviously isn’t for everyone, but luckily for the warmth-lovers, it isn’t the only way.

As the semester picks up, and things seem to get too crazy to handle, take one hour on Saturday to have time alone with God. Go for a walk on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, go hiking out at Paris Mountain, take your Bible out to the lake on Furman University’s campus — find what helps you to concentrate on God.

The lesson I learned over break is that God is great, and we must live our lives according to His will. If I try to live my life without taking those quiet moments to get closer to Him, this becomes impossible, and I find myself completely stressed.

Although January is already over, it’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution. Decide this year to reflect God and grow closer to Him.