This winter has been hard. The weather has been colder than cold, I’ve been missing walks around the lake, sunshine, consistent community. I’ve wrestled with God over prayer answered in unexpected way, been stretched into God-sized dreams and generally I’ve had a bad case of the “winter blues”.
A few weeks ago a dear friend asked me how I was. Our authentic and life-long friendship allowed me to say “I’m tired of life being hard!”. Her immediate response was “Well, what can you do to change things?”. There are times when you need to cry out in frustration, pour your heart out to a friend and walk through the bumps (and let’s be honest MOUNTAINS) that come along.
Life will always have it’s bumps but when we put our faith in Him, JOY comes in the morning. I try to hard to make life better, prettier or more joyful on my own. JOY is a fruit of the Spirit. We simply can’t do it on our own, on the good and not so good days we call on God’s grace to bring the joy.
I’ve been learning that joy is a choice. I can choose to walk in my discouragement or I can choose joy. When we decide to choose JOY, it requires action. A change in behavior and a shift of attitude. I have learned that there are some things that chase the winter blues and replace it with Joy.
Grace Notes: A few ideas to chase away the winter blues.
1) Soak up truth. Be honest with yourself and with God. Read scripture, an encouraging devotional and ask Him to help you choose joy.
2) Get in community. We are created to share life with one another. Winter can be an especially hard time to get together. Get together with a friend for coffee, join a bible study or connect with a church.
3) Give generously. When we serve it takes our mind off of our problems and reminds us that we are not alone. Volunteer, make a meal for a new mom, or send some happy mail to a friend.
4) Be outside. God’s beautiful creation proclaims his goodness, in ALL seasons. Go for a quick walk around the block, strap on the snow shoes or visit an indoor garden.
5) Laugh. Never underestimate the power of a good belly laugh. This classic video ALWAYS get’s me going.