I often think back to the last year of my grandmother's life. She was living not fifteen minutes away from me at the time, at my mother's house. Yet I strain to remember how often I went over there to be with her.
I have memories of that last year. Sitting with her beside that puzzle board on the card table. My grandma loved jigsaw puzzles, and she was always working on one. I loved working on them with her. I remember Pam being in that red walker, scooting around the living room on her own. She was almost ten months old when Grandma died. I remember Sarah's little face next to the puzzle table as Grandma gave her a sugar cube for a treat. Sarah would have been six. But that's it. That's all I can recall.
I don't know how often I visited her that last year. I know that I had four little girls and up until Pam was born had been teaching full time. I know that we headed up a large, active youth group. I know I was in church eve...
The week before Easter was always one of my favorite times to be teaching small children in a traditional classroom. Bible time was always the same each year. I'd spend the week teaching about Passover. I believe that it's one of the most amazing stories in the Bible and I love teaching it.
We'd begin by being reminded of the promise God made to Abraham. About how it was wrong for him to not wait for God. About how he pretended like he was helping God but he was just doing things his way. About how sometimes we just want our own way, too. We learned about how Abraham's way caused him lots of trouble. About how God kept His promise and sent Abraham the son he had promised when He was ready anyway. About how Abraham learned his lesson and trusted God better after that. About how he was willing to kill Isaac if God wanted, because he loved Him so much. About how the Bible calls Abraham God's friend. And about how we all should want to be God's friend....
Once upon a time, long, long ago, there lived the sweetest grandma that ever walked upon the earth. She was tall with long, slender arms and legs, and even though she had been poor all of her life, she had an elegance and grace that caused her to carry herself like royalty. Her spirit was gentle and she was kind to a fault, or at least the world would perceive it as a fault. But to her firstborn granddaughter, there was no fault in her. She was the most wonderful person in the whole world. And this child knew that this grandma of hers loved her with an incredible love that she knew from no one else.
As this little girl grew, she learned the secret of her grandmother's strength and wisdom. The grandma was old and gray and moved slowly, often stopping to rub sweet-smelling liniment into her joints as she talked about some kind of 'ritis and rheumatism that seemed to cause her great pain. But in spite of this, each night as the child snugg...
Depression. The final D. The place where the disappointments and discouragements of life lead. The place where the devil delights. The place where you do not want to be.
If you have not read the previous two Ds, I suggest you go back and do that now. Start with disappointment, then read discouragement, and then come back here. This is a progression that you need to understand. Besides, they are a much lighter read. There is nothing about depression that I can put a lighthearted spin on.
I'm starting off with Scripture. There are no human tools that will have any effect here.
Psalm 42:11– Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Read that a couple of times. We will come back to it. But let's define depression. We all know what it feels like. I could give you Webster's definition, but you can look that up yourself. Let me i...
There are some things in life you just know. Undisputable facts. The sun on a July day in Florida is hot. God is good and the devil is mean. That ball is gonna hit me in the head if I'm playing right field every time. And when you do something big for God, Satan will attack you with your very words.
I mentioned that I spoke at a ladies conference a week ago. I spoke about storms. The storms of life. The ladies in that auditorium were so attentive and the spirit was so sweet. God gave me complete liberty. But I had a timeframe in which to speak, and I knew that was important. I even took a stopwatch (okay, it was my phone) so I wouldn't mess it up.
I got to the place where I may or may not include Sarah's story. An absolute miracle in the midst of a horrific storm. God said, "Go!". So I did. But the telling of Sarah's story probably took up close to fifteen minutes, and I left half of it out....
Our second D is discouragement. You find yourself here as the natural progression of disappointment. Too many, too fast, too big. If you have not read the post about disappointment, do it now. This will make more sense.
Discouragement is a feeling of sadness that comes over you. Like a blanket. Like thick dark cloud cover. You feel like people have used you as a football and no one really cares. You start to think, 'why bother?'. You are dismayed. That means you are bummed. Some might say you are in a bad mood. Ya think? Lol!
The Bible says of it: "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (~Joshua 1:9) 1 Peter 5:7 gives us this reminder: "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
Discouragement is a slippery slope. You ARE going to be here sometimes, but...
I spoke before a group of sweet ladies last week. Since then I've been asked several times to recap the three Ds. They are a progression, and with God's help, they can be managed. So here goes.
The first is disappointment. It always starts here. Disappointment is just a part of life and cannot be avoided. The example that I gave of a simple disappointment is what happens when you are in a huge hurry and you go through a drive-thru. You order a burger with no ketchup. You don't bother to check it because you wouldn't have time to go into the restaurant and get it redone even if you discovered that it was wrong while you were still there. Isn't that why you are in the drive-thru in the first place? You are in a big hurry.
You get where you are going, you take fifteen seconds to thank God for your food, and as you multitask through several pressing demands, you open up that burger and take a bite. Disappointment. The only condiment on th...
I had to go to a terrible place this morning. That really awful place. No, not the dentist. The other one. Yes, the MVA.
I still call it the DMV. Does that date me? My oldest daughter told me that writing about CDs last week dated me, but I told her that she being in her mid-thirties was what really dated me. So, I'm sticking with CDs and the DMV. Besides, Google Map knows exactly what I mean when I say it and that girl in there is really smart.
I arrived around nine A.M. The number on my little piece of paper was G13. I was thinking that I had a really good solid number. Thirteen only has twelve numbers ahead of it, right? I waited in line twenty minutes to get that little piece of paper with G13 printed on it. Then I sat down on an uncomfortable chair and waited some more.
An hour later there had not been a single number called by the computerized lady that began with a 'G'. Not a single one. I...
"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." ~Lamentations 3:22-24
His mercies and compassions are new every morning.
Sometimes I drop into bed at night spent. Like, if my allowance for the day had been a dollar, I had spent ninety-nine cents of it throughout the day, and my last penny just rolled under the refrigerator. Spent. Nothing left. Notta. And that feeling is one that can really weigh heavy. It kinda feels like discouragement. Which anyone who knows me knows is a place that I do not want to go. Discouragement. A slippery slope. Where you need a big strong hand to give you a boost. :) But that is a story for another day.
I fell asleep last night with a pretty pitiful prayer. Not much to it. Remember, I was spent. Good thing God knows my heart. He never seems to hold such things...