Prompted By Rain

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Today’s post is Part of a 31 Day writing series where I choose moments from my life and let them be my writing prompt for the day. Today’s thoughts were prompted by the much needed rain that came pouring down this morning. It reminded me of how much I love a cozy rainy day, but also of how sometimes depression comes like rain on my soul, and so I wanted to encourage you to praise God in the rain.

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I love a rainy day.  We are having some much needed rain in our part of the country and somehow it is fitting that it is happening on a Monday.  There is a line from a Carpenter’s song that says “rainy days and Monday’s always get me down.”  I suppose it is true sometimes that our feelings are on the downward slope when the rain is pouring and the sun is absent. Traditionally, Monday’s have always gotten a bad rap as well.

For me, Monday’s are usually my chill day.  The day I don’t feel as obligated to do house-y things.  The day I unofficially consider my day to just be.  If you add rain to the mix, then that further reinforces the freedom from doing.  It is an excuse to linger under the covers, or read a good book, or just sit and stare into space with my dreams flitting in and out of conscious thought. If there is a little thunder and lightening, even better.  It just notches the cozy up a bit.

What if the rain doesn’t make you feel cozy? What if Rainy Days and Mondays really do get you down.  What if all your days feel like a big thunderstorm that just won’t go away?  What then?

Sometimes the storms of life, or even just the rainy drizzle of life can get us down. We find ourselves hiding under the covers, not because it’s cozy, but because we just can’t find the energy or motivation to actually swing our legs over the side of the bed.  We think that life must be just one big crap-shoot and whatever happens is the luck of the draw.  I’m here to tell you that kind of thinking will get you nowhere fast.

We can’t let the thunder crash our world to pieces.  We can’t let the lightening send us cowering under the covers in fear.  We can’t let the rain melt us into nothing.  (Sorry, on a roll with the metaphors- bear with me for one more.)  When we are downtrodden by life like wet leaves under foot, we must not lose faith.

We all have storms in our lives – days that feel never ending with no hope in sight. If we expect to sail through life under sunny skies we are going to be sadly disappointed because real life includes the rain.  When the rain comes we don’t have to weather it alone. (Sorry, I like puns too.)  We have a comforter we can turn too.

Turning to God for comfort does not mean all of our problems will miraculously disappear.  That would be naive thinking.  What it does mean, is that even in the midst of our trials and depression, he will be with us.  For me, this doesn’t always bring immediate relief from my burden, but actively praying and asking God to help me bear my burden is an act of faith on my part that says I believe you are with me and that you will help me.  There are days I have to pray that prayer often.  Maybe you will too.  The best thing we can do on those rainy days and Monday’s is to give the weight of our weariness to God.

The next step is to praise God.  Even if you don’t feel like praising him, do it anyway. Tell him you love him and are thankful for his blessings, tell him you will praise him even when life is at it’s worst.  Sing a song of praise to him in spite of the fact that you may be dripping in tears.  Find scripture passages about praising God and pray those.

You may still be depressed, but you will have exercised your faith and that does three things.  It invites God to partner with you, it lets the devil know that you are not giving up and it strengthens your faith.  It says, With God I will prevail no matter what.

I’m reminded of a Casting Crowns song that says it so much better than my words.  I first heard this song a few years ago while driving home from work.  It came on the radio and immediately the tears fell because it said the words I needed to say to God – “I Will Praise You In This Storm.”

Listen close and you’ll hear him say “I’m with you” and that will be enough.  You will praise him again.

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Praising in the rain by grace,

Teresa

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What I Learned While June Sped By

What I’ve learned in June.  A reflective list of realizations, some new, some rediscovered.  Join the party hosted by Emily over at Chatting at the Sky and see what others are sharing about June lessons.

1.  I like cool spring days better than hot, humid summer days and we were blessed with several of those early in the month.

2.  Hydrangeas need lots, lots, lots of water.  They wilt at the first sign of too much heat.  But they are beautiful and worth the extra maintenance.  I hope the one I planted this month survives.  And I hope it retains the beautiful blue color.  There is much I don’t know about Hydrangeas yet.

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3. Speaking of high maintenance, my brother would rather I call him once with a list of all things going on, instead of calling him randomly.  Then he can get back to me.  Whatever!  Today’s list for him (a list within a list if you will): I love you. How is your foot? Have you seen Dad’s new building yet? Aunt C is in the hospital. Aunt K is in the nursing home. B is going back to Texas for a week and then she’ll be back here for a while. Come see us sometime. Tell T and the kids we love them. If you need me I’m only a phone call away! Come to church with us sometime. So, when I called him, he actually answered. Turns out I’m supposed to mail the list every Friday.  I just might do that.   I know he loves me and I think he was just joking about the list.  Bottom line – he doesn’t like to talk on the phone.  I don’t either, but I do like to keep in touch with my brother once in a while. So, I call him sometimes.  He’ll get over it.  If I didn’t call he’d think I didn’t love him anymore.  And, a list is very efficient, the call lasted less than five minutes.

4.  I did not learn this in June (I’ve always known), but was once again reminded that I love my sister and I love having her home from Texas, she fills in some gaps that are missing when she is not here.  I think I’ll lasso her, tie her up and keep her here.  Can you tell I’ve been catching up with McLeod’s daughters on Netflix?  Sisters are a gift to be treasured.

5.  They killed Claire McLeod off on McLeod’s daughters.  I know this is old news to most people who remember this show. I just discovered this last night and I’m still in shock. She was the pivotal character.  I hope I did not spoil this for anyone, I realize I may not be the only one ten years behind.  (it was just as depressing as Matthew dying on Downton Abbey – oops, hopefully you already knew that).

6.  I should remember that if you attend church business meetings, you will be elected to be the clerk or something like that.

7.  I’m discovering that as much as I love people, I really need a lot of quiet time to reflect and regroup.

8.  I like the idea of owning a first edition book over the idea of selling it for big bucks.  That is a true book lover.  I also have too many books, but I did not learn this in June.

9.  I read lots of blogs in June rather than doing a lot of writing on my blog.  I came to some conclusions that I’m formulating into a post.  I’ll share my thoughts once they are in line.

10. I’ve been seeing that depression is a topic that we need to speak out about.  I have some thoughts brewing about this too that I want to write about on my blog.

11. I’m so over all this equality stuff.   I will not share my thoughts on my blog. There are already too many voices out there espousing opinions.  OK, I will say one thing:  God knows the truth of everything and he knows his designs and plans.  I need to trust him and follow his lead.  OK, two things: words have meanings and those meanings should not be changed.  It is what it is. That is all I will say.  You have to choose your own opinion about all this stuff.  Hopefully you will do that prayerfully.

12. Prayer, even in the little everyday things is vitally important.  It builds our faith. Praying daily helps prepare us for the bigger issues.  It makes us more grounded when they come. And come they will.

13.  After 29 years I love my husband more than ever.  We celebrated our marriage this month – not a new thing I learned, but a good reminder of where we’ve been on the journey to where we’re going.

So, what have you learned or re-learned in June?  You can link-up here to share , or if you want to read what others have learned, just pop on over and read some of the other blogs.

Learning in Grace, Sadie

Day 3 – Living in Truth

I want my writing to come from truth, therefore, I have to be willing to dig deep to the root of my recent reluctance to write .  I can only weave the words into meaningful beauty if they have a foundation of truth to stand on.

The truth is that depression rears its ugly head and leads to inertia and feeling overwhelmed, which is really the root of the procrastination I talked about yesterday.

I have had a history of what I would call mild to moderate depression most of my life.     Sometimes, change, like our recent move, can trigger an episode.  The time of year (late summer into early fall) can also trigger deeper depression.  In my case the season followed on the heels of the move.

Once the movers left and the boxes were unpacked, I finally sat down to rest and realized that once again, I was in a bluesy funk.  So, I just slowed way down and sank into it.  I did need rest –  the move followed an 18 month period in my life that was fraught with illness and recuperation, which also probably contributed to the depression

I have accepted the fact that I cycle through depression, but I don’t have to accept it as a condemnation.  I can trust God in spite of it; I can choose to wallow in it or learn from it.  Sometimes, in our darkest hours our faith grows the strongest.

This journey I’ve invited you to take with me is all about doing something positive in spite of the funk.  It’s living even though my heart feels trampled; trusting, even when my soul feels crushed.  It’s giving voice to the dream; weaving beautiful words from truth.

Living in Grace,

Sadie

There are over 1000 joining in the 31 Days of Change  challenge over at Nesting Place  – they’d love for you to join them