I went snowshoeing with my sister on the weekend to start the New Year. It was cold, it was long, but it was wonderful. Here are five things we learned.

1. Find the fun in it

I did not like the hike when I focused on the cold and how hard it was. But, if I focused on having fun, I did not feel cold. I enjoyed playing in the snow. I liked the lunch and snacks my mom packed. I had good talks with other people. In any situation, if I find the fun in it, it becomes a good experience.

2. Pause to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation

I was in the middle of the mountain! In the city, we don’t get snow. I stopped so often to look around at the snow-covered trees, the sparkling snow on the ground. I did not see any animals, BUT we got to see the sun come up and go down. If I wasn’t looking for these amazing things, I could have missed them. It is important to pause and appreciate God’s creation.

3. Preparation is key

It was cold. It was long. I said that already. But it WAS cold and long. It would have felt colder, and even longer if we didn’t prepare. We had a long list of what to bring, and everything was important. We had snow pants and thermal underwear to keep our bodies warm. We had waterproof gloves to keep our hands dry and warm. Our boots were special waterproof boots to keep out the snow. We had lots of yummy snacks to give us energy. If I didn’t prepare, it would be terrible. But we prepared, so it was fun!

4. Gratitude makes the journey enjoyable

There was one point where my legs were getting sore, and I was having a hard time keeping up. But there is a gratitude exercise my mother taught us. You start with the part of the body you are using the most, and you thank God for each part. I thanked God for my legs, so I could walk in the snow. I thanked God for my lungs, which helped me breathe. I thanked God for my eyes to see the beauty around me. As I moved through the list of things I was grateful for, I didn’t feel so sore anymore. I started to feel gratitude and amazement for the body God gave me, for the nature I was walking in, for His love that I was surrounded by.

5. When things get hard, bring God into it

Like point 4, I think the main lesson I learned from the snowshoe hike was that when I bring God into the things that I do, I can do them better. When the hike got hard, I wanted to slow down, or even stop. But when I thought about God and when I thought about why my mother wanted me to go, to experience God in nature and learn about myself, I stopped thinking about myself and how hard it was. I felt more motivated to try harder, to keep going. The hike was more fun, and I learned a lot from it.

It was fun being in God’s creation. I was glad to go. And I was happy I learned so much.

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