Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 50 - Fallen

"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

I have fallen to a level that makes it terribly hard to pull myself up. Winter is having its way with me, but so far I have been able to stay conscious.

The cold, snow, and wind make walking outside close to impossible. The clouds hide the sunshine. My mind craves to eat all the wrong foods – milk chocolate, ice cream, white flour and sugar. I have not been inspired to write for two weeks. I hid from two commitments this week – one being a Bible study, the other a writers’ group – both of which are marvelous groups of Christian love and encouragement.

Like the last few weeks, today did not begin so good, eating the worst breakfast and lunch and wasting lots of time. I skipped my usual time of praying and reading the Bible. From there I attempted to work in the office, only to turn my attention to computer solitaire. Depression is winning. But then, two special emails arrived.

The first contained a photo of a split-level suburban home. My eyes were drawn to the snow covered yard. Upon further observation I noticed the sky above the house; it was blue. I was reminded of my trail scripture, Psalm 121. It begins, "I will lift up my eyes…from whence shall my help come…My help comes from the Lord…" When hiking, if my eyes are looking down, I tend to get tired more quickly, but when I lift them upward, I find strength and energy.

Within the second email I received today, was Philippians 4:8, a verse that also helps me to focus my thoughts away from me.

Theses two passages of scripture gave me strength to focus my mind. It has not been a simple switch, but one which I am again mindful. I am praying, as on the trail, for the strength to take another step in the right direction. I have been searching for alternative answers to keep me from slipping further into the pit of desperation. I have set my heart on praising God for what is good, right, and excellent.

For my afternoon snack, instead of baking a batch of brownies as my mind demanded, I reached for my healthy trail mix. And, as you can see, I began to write. There are a few hours remaining in this day that I might even step onto the treadmill.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fighting the Winter Blues

It is 4:25 a.m. and I’ve been up for at least an hour, awake since 3:00. A dream stirred me, and then the sound of something dropping onto the floor pulled me out of bed. Then my mind began dwelling upon the frets in my life – money, my grown sons, my brother, my mom, and the list goes on. My stomach felt queasy as I lay in my bed praying to God wanting to return to a restful sleep. Instead, I tossed and turned.

So as not to disturb my husband’s sleep, I decided to move from the bed to the recliner in the living room. The moonlight reflecting off the freshly fallen snow lit up the night sky and beamed through the many windows of our house. I had no need of a flashlight to find my way to the chair.

With a small pillow for under the crick of my neck and throw blanket over my legs, I leaned back and raised the level. Instead of reaching for the usual TV remote, I clicked on the stereo quickly making sure the volume was low and tuned into the local Christian radio station.

The music helped me let loose of my thoughts to God, but my stomach was still flip flopping. I began recounting my day. I had taken unplanned one-mile walk in the crisp cold air upon the lightly icy gravel road with that fresh coat of snow. The deep cleansing breaths helped to release the tension of my winter worries, but evidently not all of them. As that sour taste rose from stomach, I was reminded of the handful of trail mix I had eaten just before bed and that I had not taken a single Prilosec all day. The upset stomach is now making sense.

The winter blues have arrived earlier than usual this year. We have received a lot of snow along with extremely long bouts of cold temperatures. There have been more overcast, foggy days than sunny ones. The forecast calls for more snow and ice later this week.

I feel confined to the house; my penitentiary with insurmountable walls, towers on each corner where guards stand poised to shoot, and gates locked down.

I have to fight back these feelings. I have to resist the temptation to eat poorly. I must change the environment within the walls of my house and break out into the cold even if it is only to walk up the driveway to the mailbox like I did today. Once out there, I felt like I had escaped my prison.

In reality, my prison is my mind, locked away for the winter, restless and anxious, rattling at the cage instead of using the key to get out. Here it is: I don’t like being cold, and hate the work it takes to bundle up. So, instead, I stay inside. I make excuses to avoid going out to the mailbox, to the grocery store, and even to church.

While locked away in my prison, instead of using my mind and my time to write or clean the house, I reach for the worse foods in the cabinets ~ as the good stuff like fruits and vegetables are in the refrigerator. Instead of using the treadmill, weights, and walking DVD to exercise my muscles and get oxygen to my brain, I watch TV, search Facebook, or play solitaire. Instead of reading, singing, or dancing, I sit and pout.

Well, on this moonlit morning, I reached for the stereo remote instead of the TV. My intensions for opening my laptop was for the purpose of getting on Facebook, but instead clicked open MS Word and wrote! Instead of fretting and twisting up my stomach, I have turned my thoughts into words.

It is now 5:25 a.m. I think I’ll “get up” now and begin this new day that the Lord has made for me. No matter the weather outside, I have to live and breathe and see The Light shining on me. I must let His Light reflect upon my world. Winter is only a season; spring and summer will return in His time.