Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Mid-Winter Blues

I am having one of those days, today, where I feel I am having to resist the temptation to wallow.

Call it hormones, call it mid-winter blues, call it exhaustion, call it weakness...Whatever it is, I am melancholy and am faced with a tough choice: do I indulge in self-pity or do I fight it?

The easy choice is the one I've opted for most of my life: 'just go with it! Can you really be bothered to look up, when it's so much easier to look down, it requires less effort and at least you know it's "safe", it's familiar and you've got nothing to lose!'. Plus I am totally justified in feeling blue at this particular moment in time, seeing as, apparently, yesterday was dubbed 'The Most Miserable Day Of The Year' - or as beautifully expressed in some BBC News report: "Misery is expected to peak on Monday, as 24 January has been pinpointed as the worst day of the year". (have a look, it makes for a pretty fascinating read, if rather sad...!)
Well, I must say I fit the stats: my diet is slowly but surely going down the pan, money is - let's face it - pretty tight, spring is lightyears away, and my whole life feels a little bit like a slog.

This is where I have that choice. Am I going to just follow a trend, allowing it to seep into my thinking, and giving the negative spirit in me more bait to feed on???

NO.

I am slowly discovering that I can actually have a say with pretty much any state of mind I find myself in...
This revelation and its reality are completely of God. And it's a steep learning curve, one that is rather painful at times!
While any human being is entitled to feeling sad, depressed, cross, tired, weepy, etc, I now firmly believe that every Bible-believing, God-loving, Christ-redeemed human being has also been given authority and power over their thinking.

I can therefore chose to think:
"Poor little me, I'm so tired; I'm feeling really rubbish today, and lazy and I can't be bothered to be nice to anyone, or pleasant to my husband or my children or any of my friends or Mums at the school gate; In fact I'm just going to hide today. Nobody really cares about me anyway! Everyone else is better than me; my house is such a mess, but I really don't have the energy to do anything about it, I just can't be bothered!"....and so on and so forth :)....

Or instead:
"Ok Lord, here I am: I'm feeling tired, grumpy, unpleasant, lazy, and empty today, but I will to use this day to glorify and serve You. I don't want to let any of this get to me, and I'm going to worship you in my weakness instead of wallowing in it. Instead of putting my negative feelings, thoughts, emotions on the throne, I declare that you are Lord over them."

It's not about pretending there's no rubbish in my life, because of course, there is PLENTY! But it's about deciding what will rule my life. And I have the ability, indeed the power and authority, in Jesus' name, to decide.

And I can really testify to this: when I decide to go through the narrow gate, choose the more challenging option, the less popular one, then something amazing happens: the fog lifts and I find myself slowly but surely engulfed in a pure sense of joy and victory...!

So here it is. No time for clever quotes from scripture or other authors, however I know this to be the best way. In fact I know it's the only way, and the way Jesus taught us to live.

PS: actually on second thoughts, here is the one quote from Scripture which I can't leave out:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that
sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we
take captive every thought to make it
obedient to Christ.2 Corinthians
10:4-6

10 comments:

  1. Oh, Rachel! We *are* so alike. I can so relate to everything you wrote. I am learning slowly but surely, too, that so often my state of mind is a choice. I do believe that some of us have to battle this stuff more than others...I'm never quite sure but maybe there are some chemical things that play into depression. But, yes! We still have choices and need to take those thoughts captive to Christ. Lately, I've been learning to use the simple tool of just smiling when all the negativity comes rolling in. Right - not pretending - but choosing not to go along with it all. And as you put so well, it doesn't take long for my heart to follow suit. Anyway...I'm rambling... but blessings on you today, my friend. May the Lord continue to pour out His peace and joy to your heart. Keep fighting the good fight. You are not alone!

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  2. P.S. I have three brothers also...but I'm the "baby". (I saw the picture on your side bar.) Do you like being the only sister?)

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  3. Re Depression: yes there are def chemicals at play too and I know from experience that medication can really help...and that it's ok to take it if you need it - I'm still on tablets nearly 2 years after Ben was born! In fact it's often the first step in realising that you can choose, if that makes any kind of sense??!

    Brothers: mmmmm...
    I was once one of two sisters but now I'm the only one, I feel really special when I'm around them; it's like I'm their princess :)
    And because I have 3 boys each of my brother is a godfather to each one!! Wonderful.
    I thank God for family every day...

    Miriam thanks so much for dropping by, please continue to do so from time to time even if you're having a break from your own blog.

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  4. Thanks Rach...

    I am reminded that the bible talks about seasons, about rythms, that instead of cramming everything in to search for the perfectly balanced life [which is a myth] we should try and live a different way.

    In that sense I wonder how liberating we need to be with our emotions, i like your sense of honesty, of saying this is how i feel and choosing to still follow Jesus in that place rather than pretending that everything is ok or withdrawing until life gets better...

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  5. hey rach, i av jus red ypur comment 4 tuesday, jus toought ide say that weneva u r feeling that way, rember that i am alwayse thinking of you and the boys i think you r a fantastic mum and you are jus like a big sis 2 me! I dont no what i would of done with out u! love clair x

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  6. hey sweetie, thank you for that!!
    :)
    To be honest - I don't know what I'd do without you either...You're a star and you're going to be just fine.
    xxx

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  7. Rachel...I'm sooo sorry for that last question about being the only sister (deep mortification felt here). I really was not thinking. You were so gracious in your response. Thank you.

    And yes, I will still be stopping by even though I'm taking a break from my own blog!

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  8. Miriam, don't worry, I just thought you might not have had the chance to read through the stuff I'd written about my sister :)
    I'm really not upset or offended, so no mortification feelings needed!!
    I used to find it hard having to say 'I once had a sister but now it's only me and my 3 brothers', but it now feels a lot more normal, it's a 'new normal', if that makes sense?!
    A new balance has slowly emerged and although we still very much miss Claire, it now feels like that's all in the past and in some way we have moved on.

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  9. Hey Rach, thought I'd pop by and drop a line - do you fancy having something to look forward to? We're going to have a creative day sometime soon if you can make it - check your email!!!
    x
    serine

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  10. S, thanks for that, have emailed back and will be looking forward to getting my papers and glues out, it's been too long!!
    Like your blog, btw, although your last entry was...may '06?!?! Surely lots has happened since you last wrote.
    Although it's also good to have a break from it once in a while :)
    xx

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