Thursday, March 24, 2011

Finishing

Just a quick update to say that I did it! I finished reading the Bible from front to back and I did it in 81 days!

I love the Word of God and am so blessed to inundated my life in it for the past 81 days. I have so many thoughts and encouragements after reading this much this fast and only time will tell whether or not I compile any of those into a blog post but it has been an incredible journey that I am so blessed to have completed with God's help.

Blessings everyone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Winter Funk" ie. depression

Alright, it's time to come clean about the quietness of my blog over the past 2 months. I've been experiencing what I will call a "winter funk". What is that? Well, here are just some of the words that describe how I have been feeling over the last 2 months: depressed, unmotivated, withdrawn, escape, addictions, overwhelmed, need to control, inability to control, guilty, ashamed, anxious, pride, rebellion, and just all around yuck. Not a very pleasant list is it? Still it is where I have been for awhile.

The thing about that list that seems to baffle me most is the list I can make of all the "right" things I have done during this time as well. Wanna see that as well? Here you go: daily quiet time (45min - hr), journaling, reflection, regular exercise, nutritious home cooked meals, vitamin/herbal supplements, enough sleep, regular communication with people who love me and care about me, regular service of others and regular time spent with my children and husband. That is a pretty good list and if I believed that depression could be entirely prevented or have a quick fix that is the list I would turn to and direct others to.

Common questions to someone who is suffering with depression in the Christian world are, how are you doing reading the Bible and spending time with God? My answer is a resounding very well thank you. I am in the home stretch of reading the Bible (cover to cover) in 90 days. I have 18 days left before I finish it which actually has me finishing ahead of the 90 day mark. And before you assume I am just reading to read, know that I have been journaling (most days) about what stuck out to me about my reading for the day.

Another set of questions, how are you eating and exercising and are you getting enough rest? Well, this one is a bit more dicey for me to answer. I have found that no matter how much victory I walk in, food is an issue for me. At my best and at my worst food has always been a source of struggle and addiction for me. I have cooked nutritious and relatively healthy choices but no matter how you look at it, if you make tasty, organic muffins, eating 5 at one time can never be a good idea. My problem with food hasn't been health it has been over abundance. I have spent time escaping from life (a great one by the way) by eating. I have been exercising and well, anyone who knows me knows that getting enough sleep is a bit of a habit of mine. ::grins::

So, what have I learned and where am I now? Well, once again I have learned control is an illusion. I don't have any. I can do my best to prepare/prevent, I can do my best to survive and I can do my best escape the clutches of depression but I really don't have any control over the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical toll it takes. I can't pinpoint any one thing that brought it on nor can I pinpoint why it finally feels like it lifted in the past week.

I have also learned that "doing" all the "right" things is no guarantee to living a care free life. My life is blessed, immensely blessed and God, in His mercy, reveals that to me everyday in some way. Recognizing that and trying to remember that in the midst of what feels like such a storm is not necessarily easy. I have been greatly blessed by God through reading the Bible in 90 days but if I choose to say "OK God, I've spent my time with you, now I can do what I want to do with the rest of my time", then I am missing out on the surrendered life God wants me to live.

It has been a rough couple months but I am again reminded just how much God loves me, how precious I am to Him and how much He wants to be included in every part of my life's story. Even the ugly parts. There is never a season or time in life where I am beyond God's love, compassion and mercy. I am so glad to know that I am not alone in this world and I am also glad to know that I am not the only person who feels this way sometimes.

I found great encouragement from this blog post at Granola mom 4 God that helped me finally admit I was indeed going through something. Much of what she wrote and confessed echo my heart and experiences over the last few months. I have written and talked about depression before and part of my experience with postpartum depression can be found here.

Never once did I lose the feeling of hope. Maybe that was because I was reading God's Word and saw time and time again God rescuing His people from their own sin and rebellion or if it was God's extra grace in my life for this season. Whatever the reason I know there is hope for everyone through the power of Christ living inside of each person who puts their faith in Him. I encourage you to look to Jesus Christ in faith for grace to endure all life's circumstances.

Thanks for reading!