the end of january is (finally) here

so i have heard some place that this week of january is the most depressing week of the year. and you might say, huh? or heck yeh it is… because you know. for me it’s been like any other week, and mostly good, thank the Lord.

one reason i speculate that this week can be depressing is because so many people left the holidays in a huff, said see you folks later! (family, friends, all of the people that are so close to us, close enough to send us into a temper tantrum like a 2 year old with their glances and responses against whatever we are for), packed up, and with a pen and paper, made mighty high resolutions for yourself. not all out spite, and some honest to goodness good resolutions, but then it’s cold and dark and well – January – and you realize that you’re only 3 weeks into the new year and have already failed in all of your high and mighty. OR you made great resolutions and you have kept them. Shoot, you’re already five pounds lighter. But, you’re not any happier or any more satisfied.

Now, like I said, for me, it’s been a pretty good week -we’ve had some fun; we’ve had some not so fun, and I recently sliced open the top of my middle finger on my right hand, so it’s funny and it’s seriously annoying – but I started this new year about half way through January without any resolutions, so maybe that’s why. I was sort of “meh” to the whole hype of 2015, which maybe isn’t good, or maybe it is… I was just happy for a new day, cold as it was, and happy that the Lord had gotten me to the day, and beyond that His mercies are new for the day. And I also feel like I’m in a holding pattern in my life – diligence is what is required, a steadfastness, a holding firm – and in that way, I don’t exactly know what or how to feel….

but I don’t take depression lightly, so here are a few links to a few beloved blog posts that I pray encourage your soul… because depressed or not, we all need encouragement.

 

http://solideogloria-emily.blogspot.com/2015/01/let-us-hope.html – y’all, this is my favorite blog that I actually consistenly read right now, and this is a fabulous post on HOPE.

http://www.toshowthemjesus.com/2015/why-we-must-read-like-bereans/ – read. if you have one resolution, read. and she tells you how and why. and that the Bible is to be your book of books, because it is THE book of books.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Lamentations+3&version=MSG – Lamentations 3 in the Message. Need some encouragement; this will do it for you.

Also the film and book, Unbroken.

“It is this deep confidence about your future that frees you from the fear and greed that kill love and make you into a cookie-cutter human who has to have security and safety and ease and comfort….Our confidence comes from Christ–what He did perfectly on the cross and at the resurrection, what He is doing now for us in heaven, and what He will do for us at the 2nd coming and to all eternity…All we ever hope for is owing to Christ.  We receive it not by earning it or meriting it, but by banking on it…We need to ponder the superiority of Christ as our great reward over all that the world has to offer.  If we don’t, we will love the world like everyone else and live like everyone else.  Everything the world has to offer, God is better and more abiding.  There is no comparison.  God wins–every time.”  – also this quote from a good ole man, John Piper. Take that to heart!

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less contrary to God’s will than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness. It is like hiding the talent in a napkin and for much the same reason ‘I knew thee that thou wert a hard man.’  Christ did not teach and suffer that we might become, even in the natural loves, more careful of our own happiness. If a man is not uncalculating towards the earthly beloveds whom he has seen, he is none the more likely to be so towards God whom he has not. We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it.

and one more, a hymn, and as if that was not enough download for you, all of the above links, quotes, and scripture, let this hymn sink deep into your soul.

He Giveth More Grace by Annie J. Flint

  1. He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
    He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
    To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
    To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
  2. When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
    When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
    When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
    Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
  3. Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
    Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
    Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
    The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
  4. His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
    His power no boundary known unto men;
    For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
    He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

He gives and gives and gives again…. so this year, depressed, or meh, or happy happy happy, open your hands, sweet child, lift your face to your Daddy, and receive His good gifts.

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