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Posts Tagged ‘Seasonal Depression’

Darkness is easy felt this time of year. Not just the short hours of daylight that leave too soon and come too late of a bitter cold morning when you’re rushing to get out the door. Not just the darkness caused by dryer lint grey skies that hang low and cast their shadows on our gritty, salt-covered world. This place where we move stiffly, feeling half the selves we were when sunlight bathed us on late July afternoons.

All of us who live in these hemispheres feel it in some way.

Some feel it a little bit more.

Because somehow the darkness is not just external. Somehow it makes its way in. Inside our hearts and our souls, and it can hurt. Physically hurt. Hurt like something trapped there in our hearts, trying to burst out.

It can be a joy-stealer, this darkness. A joy-stealer, and a hope-stealer, too. And often we can feel that it’s a bit of an identity-stealer, too. And you can look in the mirror and hardly recognize the face staring back at you..

teatime

That’s how I found myself feeling just days ago. I sat here in this old brick house, my own tiny Downton Abbey, my own little Green Gables (isn’t a house like this what I’ve dreamed of?), and I’ve stared at the woodwork. The chandeliers. The hardwood floors. I played with my little men. Looked deep into their rounded eyes. Pressed their chubby hands. Kissed the softness of their necks (they’re growing fast, but they are still young). . . and felt almost nothing. Nothing of the joy I thought I should be feeling with gifts such as these.

Darkness is often like that–often takes even the things we love best, even those blessings our minds tell us should make us happy, and coats them in a shade of grey.

Darkness from the grey of winter. Darkness from the stresses of life.

Like moving house, and Christmas, and three birthdays, and feeling guilty that homeschooling has not only been on the back burner, but right off the cooker, and feeling not quite right physically, so tired you feel drugged.

I wrestle with God in the darkness. I question his methods. His goodness, even. His love. I lay prostrate before Him, confessing my lack of faith. Pleading He will help my unbelief.

I once again pour out before Him those longings that I have laid at His feet for decades now. Those things I do not understand. And I breathe a sigh of peace as I recall the many, many other prayers He has answered. How tenderly He has always dealt with me. And I pull my shoulders back and declare, “the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.” Isaiah 50:7

My face like flint, pointed right at the Light of the World, and feeling shadows fade away. Opening my eyes and seeing three new blessings to light my path.

  1. Fire! Now you may not have a gas or wood-burning fire (we have one here in the new/old house, but it’s not working yet), BUT for those of you who have Netflix or even YouTube, an image of a crackling, glowing, slow-burning fire can fill your TV or computer screen and give your room a cozy glow. For Netflix, try searching for Fireplace for Your Home. Now you can snuggle up with a cup of tea and favorite book and embrace the winter, and the chance it gives you to reflect.
  2. More fire! But in a candle form, this time. A new friend who recently joined our church small group invited the other mums for tea last week. She took out her pretty china, lit candles, and put on classical music. It was delightful, and I was reminded of how very healing and important it can be to take a break for the routines of life and sit and laugh with friends.
  3. Still more fire–God, the consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29), the Light of the World (John 8:12). I have often tried to memorize scripture, but not since I was eight years old have I tried to memorize an entire chapter. I am now. And those times I’d swipe through Pinterest or my Facebook feed–things that usually leave me feeling a little more grey–I am filling my mind with truth and turning to my Bible App as I work on memorizing the book I’ve chosen, 1 Peter 1.

afire

Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

I pray that in these lights, you too may feel the darkness slip away.

Avonlea x

 

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CAM02077

I always felt the shadows.

The chill of autumn always felt colder to my soul than to my bones.

But it wasn’t just the cold. It was the light.

At the first leaf I saw wave goodbye to summer, I felt an ache inside. A nauseated, physical ache that felt like a broken heart.

For I knew the darkness was coming. Those days when the sun wouldn’t shine, and the night would come sooner, and the bitter cold would bite.

Those unnatural months of rising in the dark, when the earth seems to say “Keep sleeping,” but the world is waiting for you to be somewhere by eight.

Ever since my teenage years, it was those days that most rumpled the pages of my Bible. Sent me searching for the face of real Light. Reminded me of the world’s empty promises—for in the end, no matter what we do, death will come. It will come to us all.

But I turned to my Bible. I knew its secret.

That Christian’s aren’t buried, they are planted, to one day spring forth with new life.  

Like bulbs. Like the red and white tulip bulbs I planted on Saturday.

In-between the hours of autumn rain there was a window. An hour or two of blue sky and warmth. And so I hunted out my gardening gloves and spent half an hour chatting with the earthworms. Digging holes and tucking those glossy white bulbs into the earth. Imagining the colour they will one day bring.

CAM022151And I don’t feel it as much this year.

The shadows, they don’t seem as dark.

Even though it’s getting on now—nearly November.

But there are days left ahead. Days of colour. Days of mild coolness and sun.

And I’m taking pictures.

Recording blessings.

Eating donuts and apple cider every chance I get.

And when I feel that little ache, that unsettled ripple in my soul that says, “You’re missing something. You’re not getting it quite right,” then I know. I know I have to rumple some pages again. I have to stop and listen to the voice that whispers through the trees, and through the breeze, and through the harvest, “Listen. Listen. I am the Light!”

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Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

~ James 1:17

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They’re a little bit special, these Piano Guys, and if you haven’t heard them, then you really must. Just wait for 0:48

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gosY-UrpHcA

And we thank Thee that darkness reminds us of light.

O Light Invisible, we give Thee thanks for Thy great glory!

~ T.S. Eliot

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Happy Little Sigh is now on Pinterest! Join me there?

http://www.pinterest.com/happylittlesigh/

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