My old battle with seasonal depression has resurfaced. It has been mercifully mild for the past three winters since the twins were born, but I'm noticing it a little more this year. How I can tell I have the blues:
- even when it's sunny outside, I still can't make myself go out
- all I want to do is watch movies, read entertaining books, and eat fatty food
- my house starts to look like a tornado went through the interior
- I feel tears coming, over the most minor things
- I completely give up on my goals
Well, let me revise that. I'm taking a break from my goals - except for the first three - which means basically being in the Word and in prayer. Even little two word "help me" prayers help. I found a couple others things that have helped, too. One is this post by Don Miller on Following God and Farming. Farming is rarely glorious or fun, but if we just keep faithfully working at that little field the Lord's given us, He will cause the harvest to be great.
Another thing I found that really encouraged me is A Thousand Gifts. This lady started keeping a list of gifts, writing them down one-by-one until she reached one thousand. A list not of gifts she wanted, but gifts she'd already been given... by God. Here's a great excerpt:
Too often I miss Him, oblivious, blind. I don't see all the good things that He is giving me, gracing me with, brushing my life with. True, He is everywhere, always. But maybe, before The Gift List, I thought of Him as further off, not so close. When I started to see all the things that I love bestowed upon me, I started to see Him as near, present, everywhere, showering me with good things. Seeing the things I love all around me gives me eyes to see that I am loved, that He loves me.
It is happening to me as John Milton wrote: "Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."
So here is the beginning of my 1000 gifts list:
1. fresh strawberries on sale - the first I've had all winter
2. my Dad has been talking more - even played poker with B. Sunday night
3. Olympic ice skating
4. enjoyed writing about a quote and related scripture for my blog; 5 comments on my blog post
5. Reading other contributor's posts about the quote taught me some more things
6. the way Annie says "do it again!" after I tickle her
7. diamonds glittering on the snow during my morning walk
8. holding newborn babies
9. discovering "wonderful things" (Psalm 119:18) in the scripture: my WT last week was Colossian 1:27 "God has chosen to make known to us the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
10. Sarah singing "the Power of the Cross" at church, and a wonderful message on end times and how God will have the victory
I am already feeling light penetrating the fog of depression. And I just discovered the verse that immediately precedes one of my all time favorite verses, Phil 4:6-7. I discovered that as I consciously keep my eyes open for His gifts and thank him, as it says in Phil 4:6, then I receive the peace of Phil 4:7, and the truth of Phil 4:5b becomes evident!
Phillippians 4:5-7 The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.