Winter Soil, and How to Hear

Posted on February 13, 2013 | 9 comments

Hard and cold the winter blows in around here.

It settles deep into our soil until the ground is hard, rock hard.

And something else happens, too. Sounds… they roll right over that frozen soil, travelling farther than they ever could during the summer months, when tall grass catches them and soft earth swallows them up.

In the winter, highways hum at fever pitch, voices tumble from afar, branches crack and groan… it can be a clamor, those snow-barren days.

Ice Hanging from Pine Needles

So how does one find the quiet? Ah, inside, cuddled up close to the fire. Right by the light.

You may have guessed, these soil-ponderings got me thinking the other day. We have winter-seasons in our lives, too. Times of barrenness, times when it’s difficult to shake the chill. And somehow, in the frozen terrain of those seasons, a million other sounds and voices snatch at our attention. It’s so easy to lose sight (er– sound?–) of that still, small voice. That gentle and strong one, telling us He’ll never leave us. Sometimes it’s our own voice drowning Him out—our questioning, hollering, or just plain bellowing. Or is that just me?

So where do we find Him? When the other sounds drown Him out and we wonder if we’ve been abandoned—what do we do?

We go where there’s truth. We quiet those other sounds by drawing near to our God, being enveloped in His word. So simple, really. But so easy to forget, with all the clamor of life’s cold seasons. But sitting at His feet, we begin to listen for our Shepherd’s voice… and then we begin to hear again. Drawn near to Him, right by the light.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

And what’s more? He hears us, too. Just like He sees us.

“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.” Psalm 34:15

May your day be warm, right next to the light, and draped in His truth.

Before you go… can you share a time when you were surrounded by the noise of life? How did God’s presence during that time carry you through?



  1. January 2011, was probably one of the hardest seasons of my life since my mother dying at the age of 13. I am 49 now.. Everything was falling apart, family fighting, financial troubles, marriage not the greatest, best friend not best friend anymore, job going downhill… and my heatlh was paying the price.. I have always been a people pleaser and no matter what path I was trying I failed.. I just didnt understand… then one January evening everything exploded… in my 49 yrs of life I never fought with my dad, and it finally blew up.. He said and did horrible things and I finally stood my ground.. I wasnt disrepectful but I did tell him how I felt.. He had controlled me my whole life and now no more.. ( glad to say we are ok now) but it was horrible.. After this all happened, I knew I could not go on without God leading my days.. so this night, I dropped to my knees and Surrendered my life totally to God… and within days I saw him working.. things fell into place.. and Life is good.. still have days of struggle but I know that its just the devil pulling at me.. but I am strong because I know God will carry me thru… so many people have been placed in my path for my learning and I am thankful… I was raised in church but after mom died, things went crazy.. And I am so thankful that I have a forgiving God… so yes, I personally dont think I would have made it thru if God hadnt been there for me…

    • Oh, Connie, what an incredible testimony of God’s strength and forgiveness. I’m so glad to hear that relationship has been restored, and just amazed at the way you let God and the lifeline He’s been shine through you and your story.

      • Death of a dear loved one tears at a family like nothing else! Each person must deal with it in his/her own way. Connie took the narrow road. I commend her!

        • Bonnie, you are right. This blog post came out of a discussion my husband and I were having about a difficult time following the death of a loved one– he had such insight. Maybe I’ll ask him to write a guest post. 🙂

  2. I think we’re on the same wave with winter today. Winter is tough yet quiet. As I grow older in Christ, I learn to listen during the barren seasons of my life. 🙂 Lovely, lovely, post, Amanda!

    • Jessica, how uncanny! I just skimmed your post and am going to head back over there in a minute to savor it– so amazing that God laid this on both our hearts! For anyone reading this, make sure to check out Jessica’s post at .

      I love the scripture you incorporated -” see the winter has passed, the season of singing has come”– so amazing how sweet those songs are after the cold winters, when we’ve drawn near to Him. Thank you, Jessica!

  3. Beautiful, visual post, Amanda. Yes, there are definitely winters in our lives, where we’d rather hibernate from what’s swirling around us. I don’t mind the NOISY times…the outright rejections, the letdowns, as much as I mind the SILENT times…when you don’t KNOW which way to turn and all hope seems lost. Sometimes you don’t have the strength to keep praying, and at those times, your spouses, friends and loved ones can hold you up. Those are the times I’ll never forget–the times when others stepped in to “hold my hands up,” like Moses when he was tired (wait, that was Moses in that story, right? Been awhile since I read that!).

    • Heather, halfway through your reply I thought “It’s just like Moses in the desert when he was tired!” And then I got to your comment about that and was so thrilled that we thought of the same thing. Yes, those encouragers and come-along-siders in our lives are such treasures, and it makes me want to pay special attention to how I can be one of those people in others’ lives. Like your word for the year (“blessing”)– that’s what I want to be. And since we’re talking about that Moses w/ his arms thing, here’s an awesome song about that:

      You are a blessing, Heather!

  4. I’m learning time and time again, with each passing season that drawing near to God, sitting at his feet and simply listening is always the answer in those times of turmoil, unrest or even when life just seems to be whizzing past us like those tires on the highway. I’ve been feeling that today and have felt dis-jointed…this is just the reminder I needed. Thank you!! Hugs!


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