By the end of winter, I’m not the only one crying the blues.
Some of you LOVE winter. That’s fine with me. I’m not offended. But some of us have to dig deep to remain cheerful and upbeat for the first three months of each year.
We live in an old, 1885 home. It’s never quite snug and warm in every room.
Winter seems to bring a blizzard of troubles, too. It’s as if the minions of hell know we’re at our weakest.
One year we discovered we had to rebuild part of our foundation in FEBRUARY! Just as we had the floor open semi-permanently, a major cold snap hit. It makes me shudder, still, to think about that.
Inevitably my husband succumbs to weeks of a semi-bedridden state. I pick up the slack. Once it was MRSA. Other times, the old immune system just bottomed out.
So enough already of this list of winter miseries. What are some ways to combat the blues?
1.) Try very hard to get out of the house to worship in the Lord’s Day.
I’ll be brutally honest here. There’s been many a Sunday when I open my eyes and can’t feel like getting out of bed. I have to shake myself and make myself get up.
Maybe your husband can’t go at all. Or maybe you are the caregiver for someone bedridden. Maybe http://www.sermonaudio.com can become a secondary church service for you.
I would still encourage you to ask for some help or a fill-in companion so that you can touch base with God’s people in person at least sometimes. The Lord places a special importance on gathering together. Hebrews 10:24-25. David, the Psalmist, speaks of his gladness in going up to the house of the LORD.
I rarely leave worship without at least one encouraging nugget of truth to carry with me.
2.) Say yes to visitors.
I’ve been regretful that I’ve not exercised more of an open door policy. To my shame, I’m always worried about my home being in an acceptable state. My food might not be the finest. Really? Is that important? The simple gift of company is a worth it!
When I’ve invited a guest from church or local friends to visit us, it has done a world of good for my family’s morale. We. Feel. Almost. Normal. Today we had company. It was wonderful! My food? Hmmm… not terrific.
Right now, I have someone else I need to invite over. It’s on my to-do list. The meal will be simple. I will only clean a few rooms. That’s the best I can do.
What about you? Too tired to cook and clean for company? I hear you! Maybe you could even just do snacks on the back patio? Or a cup of tea and sliced apples with a friend? Make the visit as low stress and restful as possible.
3.) Most importantly, know that God is with you in the valley of the shadow, in all the winter seasons of life. His love is your greatest hope! Here’s a passage I’ve thought about all week.
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
neither shall fruit be in the vines;
the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat;
the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD.
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hind’s feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.”
The context of these words is fear, trouble, judgement of the nations, and the depth of human tragedy and brokenness.
It’s like being frozen in winter miles from anyone with hungry wolves surrounding you. You alone facing the whole wolf pack…
The prophet finds light and joy in one Source alone. He finds conquering strength. He finds the ability to teeter on the edge of precipices of trouble with the agility of a mountain goat.
In the end, dear caregiving wife, only the LORD can cause you to overcome.
With the eternal aid of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we can find joy on this journey even in our sorrow, weary bodies, and worn souls. Praying we will overcome together.
Thine be the glory forever and ever, Amen.