Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Simple Hope

Sometimes, I get the blues.

This often surprises people who know me only superficially because I tend to be pretty jolly most of the time.  I laugh easily and often and love to find the sunny side of life.    

But those who know me well know that sometimes, I get the blues.

Sometimes, I get the situational blues. Sometimes when I look at that little track that I’m  assigned to run and see yet another hurdle up ahead, I get a spiritual charley horse.
I. Just.Can't. Make. The. Effort.

This tends to disappoint spectators, by the way.    

Sometimes I get the emotional blues.  I’m nearly 50 years old.  You would think that by now, I would stop being blindsided by the bruisers.  But oh no… I rush into the game and get sacked on the first play, even by folks who look like they’re wearing the same uniform… sometimes.

Sometimes, I get the biological blues. No further comment necessary.

Sometimes, it's just plain seasonal.  We all have to endure seasons in our lives, both figuratively and literally, and most of the time I muddle through mine by looking for the delights along the way.  Every season has its delights, after all.

It’s for no small reason, though, that the bleak seasons of our lives are usually tagged winter.  Winter just seems to invite the blues.  I mean, it’s bad enough to have a spell of dreary days, but it’s even worse when those gray skies hover above dead leaves and dry grass and are every bit as cold on the outside as they look from the inside.

We’ve had a string of those dreary days around here. We went from ice to rain to clouds of gray which didn’t have the gumption to do anything but hang around and depress me.

By Tuesday of this week, I thought I might possibly go mad with it. I was cold and grumpy. My bones and joints ached, and since I tend to eat my blues away, my pants were tight to boot. A blue whale...

As I was walking to the car late that afternoon, though, something caught my eye.

God had opened this little window... show me a patch of blue.

To be honest, I don’t think I would have even noticed that little patch of blue had it not been surrounded by such a sky of gray.   I mean, I’ve walked under much lovelier skies a billion times and not bothered to notice. But I noticed all right, and I hustled to my purse to pull out the shiny red Kodak to document the evidence.

And I thanked Him.

The clouds were breaking up. There was a distinct hope of blue skies ahead.

It may not seem like much. In fact, it’s probably not even all that blog worthy, but for reasons that will remain unyakked, that promise of blue skies hiding behind the gray meant a lot to me.   

And that’s why it’s this week’s simple pleasure. 

Sharing this with my friend Dayle for 


Kelli said...

HOPE-the essence of Christian life!! Winter is a season of being down for me as well. Seems like we are stuck inside a lot and we have to be intentional about noticing the "simple pleasures" that surround us. THANKS!!

Maria said...

Did you see the moon last night?? It was beautiful! p.s. trying to take pictures while driving is NOT a good idea! Cool colors of winter are a bit depressing, but warm colors are soon to come :) I love you.

Joywriter said...

Ah, LOVE this post! A good reminder for me on this grey N. Texas day.

sarah said...

Some of the gentlest and sweetest people I know...suffer from winter blues. Wonder if the two go together...Debbie...praying your day is the absolute best...with lots of sunny skies.

Karen said...

You knew I was suffering girl! I haven't been looking up for the break in the clouds. It's been the same way hear dreary and cold. Thanks for sharing your Simple Pleasure and reminder.

Sonja said...

What a precious picture of what winter in our hearts can be like. And then... the glimpse of light in a gray sky. So well said Debbie.

I am a sunshine girl too, having lived in both California and Texas... the lack of sun affects my moods, and gray days especially, and today is one of those. I will be looking 'up' and I know that ray of light is there! :)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Do you have any idea how much impact your words have, Debbie? I was reading along going: yep, yep, yep, check, check, check. Then when you talked about the grey skies, I started to send you a bus ticket to Florida. AND THEN you made your point. Pow! Right between the eyes. God is like that, too. I love His "aha" moments when everything becomes crystal clear, and you stand in awe of His awesomeness. Little gifts of sky or sea or season make my heart long to draw close to His.

Thanks for this post, and thanks for being my friend. Love you, girl.


Sheila :-)

Dayle said...

Dear Debbie, you generally make me laugh (and you did with the blue whale comment), but, ultimately, this lovely post left me with a tear in my eye. I've been in a personal winter season and so needed this ray of hope. A window of light, that only God can provide, saying, "Yes, I am here, behind all the darkness." Thanks for sharing this. It is so "blog worthy."

Vanessa@Southern In My Heart said...

Love this. Needed this. Saw the sun yesterday and even though it made me realize how dusty my house is, I uttered a prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father for the reminder that the sun will break through the clouds again and shine its warmth down on me!
Thank you Debbie,
P.S. Watch for an email from me soon, I have something up my sleeve to ask you about... :-)

Big Fat Mama said...

I can relate so much, and this was refreshing to read.

I SO appreciate anything to get the word out about A Meal in the Mail. Thank you for sharing it with your SS class!!

T's Daily Treasures said...

We all get the blues at some time or another for many different reasons. You voiced that beautifully! Isn't it amazing the things we notice when we really open our eyes. So much to be grateful for. Even those days of emotional blues, and especially those days of blue skies. Best wishes, Tammy

Diann @ The Thrifty Groove said...

Oh Debbie, I think you are speaking for a lot of us in this post! This was a tough holiday season for me since I spent 3 weeks of it very sick and in bed. It is taking every bit of willpower I have to bring myself out of this slump. This time of the year is so hard anyway with all the dreariness that seems to be happening. This is one of the reasons I love all the different bloggers out thre. It feels like you are not alone in this feeling. Thanks for writing such a great post!

Chatty Crone said...

I get exactly what you said - I think exactly like that too. I get down too from time to time - but how nice we get the climpse of blue and can appreciate it. sandie

FrouFrouBritches said...

I sooo get it! I love overcast rainy days, mainly because it means I get to stay in my jammies and be lazy all day. BUT, after a few of them, I looooong for sunny days. I'm so glad you at least got a glimpse of the blue sky and shared it with us.

Anonymous said...

He has a way of doing that...doesn't He?

When we feel absolutely blah - He comes with His beauty and quietly lets us know that He is around and waiting for us to simply look up :)


Denise said...

What a beautifully timed post. Most of us experience some form of depression at various times in our lives. Those winters (both emotional and seasonal) can REALLY drag us down. So happy for you to share your glimpse of sunlight. Most certainly blog worthy. Well done.

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
I also love overcast raing days like today in Texas.This is a good day for a hot cup of tea and read a good book !! I hope your day is Great for you sweet lady....Diane

Katia said...

That is a GORGEOUS sky!!!!
I am so glad our Father in heaven was opened that special little sky just for you. Leave to our Abba to just know what we need and when we need it.

Heather said...

Hello! I wanted to stop by for a visit, and say "thank you" for leaving a comment on my blog. I am new to blogging, so when a new friend leaves a comment, it is quite exciting! :)

Your photo of the sky amongst the gray cloud is breathtaking. It is amazing how such a photo can bring out so many emotions!

The Decorative Dreamer said...

So true my friend, sometimes I get the blues too, obviously! But I really do try to stay upbeat. I love how you described all the different types of blues. I never thought of it quite like that. Your description of the biological blues had me snickering. I am sorry you have been so blue, I've been there quite a bit too. I am sure it must change soon along with the weather. How wonderful that you noticed God's sign, I know we are not supposed to look for signs but I can't help myself. Anyway, how wonderful that you noticed his sign of better more beautiful days to come. And thank you for sharing that with us!

Sharon Kirby said...

How very lovely, Debbie! Yes, sometimes God shines brightest when things are bleakest -

This was a wonderfully encouraging post - a simple, yet oh so important, reminder of the HOPE we have with God - a ray of sunshine in a dark and weary world.

Don't let the "blues" get you too down. When those gray skies refuse to budge, and I feel smothered by them, I always try to think of flying. No matter what's happening down here, there's ALWAYS a blue sky above - we just have to soar HIGH enough to see it -

So, may you soar high on wings like eagles...

Linda O'Connell said...

"Meandering motor" mouth? I love it! That describes me too. Winter really gets me down, but I am renewed by the first sign of spring. Please stop by

Jen said...

This was so worth blogging about. Your writing is beautiful, as it mirrors a beautiful heart!

Angel Wings and Apron Strings said...

"It may not seem like much" - Oh yes it is!
It's VERY much my friend!
You are testifying to our heavenly Father's gift of hope sent to you with His tender love.
Today, because of you..we are all looking up!
Thank you Debbie.
love in Jesus..Trish

Canadagirl said...

Thank you so much for the warm welcome to the party. I have to say I absolutely enjoyed and could really relate to this. I guess it was parallel to it. Things have been real tough in life and it all has seemed grey for a long time but occasionally the Lord gives a peek of blue to carry me through. This was definitely blog worthy, thank you so much for sharing this. It was a encouragement.

Blessings in Him<><

Lynn Richards said...

My skin literally itches when there are clouds too many days in a row. There is nothing like that patch of blue sky. It can come in the form of a flower, a smell, the color blue on anything, but when it comes out from the grey, there is just nothing like it. Thanks for the reminder.

Anita said...

I am laughing so hard about the blue whale, lol!! That is brilliant. Only you could come up with that one! I can't see the dead grass or leaves or my poor shrubbery because it's all snowed under!! Oh...I got the flatware from ebay last summer.

Ms.Daisy said...

I so love your honesty and the way you are able to write your feelings so easily. I do admire you very much - you really do inspire. I have been going through the blahs right now and I can't say it's the weather or anything in particular. So thank you for this insight you brought us for Simple Pleasures.


It's Just Dottie said...

Sometime I get the blues,too. Winter has a way of staying around to long and I really dislike cold weather . Sometimes it helps to just talk to a friend. I have found when I am the most blue God shows me something wonderful like your cloud and I feel how much He cares for me.

Amy Kinser said...

What a beautiful gift and how wonderful that you saw the gift and received it.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

First of all your talent for words and relating an idea amazes me!! Can you teach me? with you on all the different whys the blues can come knocking...I loved the being bruised by those with the same team shirt on. The sunshine...the glimmer of HOPE...I went to bed last night feeling such Hope and reason, nothing has changed, but my heart felt hopeful.
I should not let my emotions rule so much...because there is always HOPE, but I do allow those blues to steal from me too much.
Thanks for sharing your sunshine...that you received from the Son!!

Kay K said...

In winter season ....remember Spring is close by and smile smile smile ....makes them wonder whats up ...laugh ... :)

Anonymous said...

You are not alone my friend. What you wrote under emotional blues sounds exactly like what I do most of the time--I rush in and get sacked by folks who look like they're wearing the same uniform. Yep, yep, yep. And I'm almost 50 too so I should know by now as well. ;)

But this caught my attention--"I don’t think I would have even noticed that little patch of blue had it not been surrounded by such a sky of gray." That's what the gray is for--so that we take notice of the blue with deeper appreciation and the excitement of a child. If it was all blue it would be boring.

This coming from one who laughs loudly and often yet I too have those blue days.

Blessings sweet friend.

Jennie said...

I get the winter blues too. Every year. I get the pre-winter blues too because I know the winter blues are coming and it seems there's nothing I can do to stop it. (I'm just crazy. It's been confirmed.)

I read this post yesterday, but didn't comment. I'm glad I saved it for today because now I have the opportunity to tell you two things:

1. I saw the *most* amazing sky this morning and it reminded me of you and this post. I was on the way to drop Ben off and by the time I got home the "phenomenon" was over so I didn't get a picture. The entire sky as far as I could see was separated by a line of clouds on one side and a sea of blue on the other. The sun was trying so hard to peek out from the line of clouds. When I got home, the line of gray was subsiding and the blue was dominating. And that sun was shining brightly right in the middle. It was so awesome. Turns out - the gray didn't win. I loved it.

2. I made your "Simply Baking" cookies yesterday in a moment of chocolate weakness. I ate about a dozen of them. Instead of lunch. ;)

Hope you have a wonderful, bright weekend!

Much love,

Ann said...

Yea, the winter blues.
I surround myself with smiley faced snowmen. It's so hard to let go of the Christmas decor which is so pretty and so promising .... then there is January. Supposed to be a wonderful month full of promise too, of great beginnings for the new year.
But wait, it's dark, it's cold it's dreary. So, I have smiley snowmen. I find them in the oddest places, like the local fabric store, thrift shop, Hallmark shop,discount store and I get them when they are priced for the after Christmas sales. I have them in all sizes from the small tree ornament size, to one that stands three feet tall and has spools of thread for buttons.
I group them together, and I place them separately on a shelf. Everywhere I look, I see a little snowman.

Seems silly, but THAT helps me get through January. Then February comes and spring is hinted at with the blooming crocus, and the occasional early daffodil. : )

Hang in there Debbie, February IS coming .....

lioneagle said...

Hi Debbie -

Thank you for keeping it real.

We all have our "moments."

So glad that you looked up and captured our Lord's sky beauty!

Carol said...

I love, love, love this post. I am truly amazed and overwhelmed by God's love for us. What a wonderful source of hope, comfort and encouragement He is! Words fail me.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

A wonderful post -- especially for this time of year when the world can seem pretty "blue". Thanks for your sweet visit.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

He is awesome and always on time.

Angel said...

Dear Debbie - Thank you for sharing your ray of hope in the gray of life. I know about those blue days too. God bless you for reminding us to keep looking up.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Debbie, I always love your simple pleasures. It is wonderful to be the kind of person who can find, not only pleasure, but gifts from God in a simple thing, and it is wonderful that you are able to share so beautifully with the rest of us. You make me much more aware of the simple pleasures in my life! Thank you. laurie

Mevely317 said...

Awesome post, Debbie! I wish every man in America would read and go, "Oh, NOW I get it!"
(Fat chance, right?)
Color me waaaay impressed with your going cold-turkey on the noise and distraction. Can't wait to read all about it, but I'm pretty sure I'll be LMAO when I do!

Rettabug said...

Beautifully written & very insightful, Debbie. I hope you are surviving your self-imposed electronic silence. I went through that several times in FL when the power went out. Its NOT fun & I couldn't wait to reconnect! LOL
I hope you're doing better than me.

Crickit said...

This is a great post! I totally saw myself in all that you wrote. I am close to the same age as you and have gone through many of the same things that you the blues. The end picture of the blue sky was perfect. Even during our blusey days...God opens up a "window" or "sky" in this case to remind us that He is still there! I'm so thankful for that.


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