Depression · Refreshment · Winter

Ten Ways To Refresh a Dreary Winter Day

Did you know that “January Funk” is really a thing people deal with? “Funk” is a state of depression. It can be very mild, with just a feeling of the blah’s. It can feel like a gray day has settled in your heart.

I am a lover of warm, sunny days, so wintertime can often feel dreary to me. However, I have a list of ten things that really do bring the sunshine in and lift the winter weariness!

  1. Bible Reading – Shortly after rising, I love to get my coffee, a comfy chair and a lovely view, and start the day with my open Bible and my journal! It gives me something to meditate on all day long! Even though my Chronological reading plan has me in Job right now (not exactly a lifter-upper Book) I am seeing so many wonderful character traits of my awesome God! That’s what I’m meditating on each day!
  2. Light – I let in as much natural light as the temperatures allow. Curtains open, blinds up and when it warms a bit, the front door is swung open! I also have lamps on throughout the house to brighten up dark corners.

3. Plants – Flowers and plants also help to brighten my heart. Sometimes I cut greens from my yard. Sometimes I pick up flowers at the grocery store. I also still love my Wick plants! They are thriving beautifully!

4. Candles – I usually ALWAYS have a candle burning. Right now you can find great deals on candles, so stock up! This three-wick candle smells amazing and cost me $6. It adds light, aroma and warmth to the room!

5. Media. We have an Alexa in three rooms of our home. I have it playing my “Favorites” and I love the variety I hear! I also listen to several podcasts each day. At lunchtime my husband and I also usually always watch Andy Griffith. You just can’t be gloomy when you watch Barney’s antics!

6. Hobbies – It’s no secret that I love to bake. I’ll bake for company coming, or for a friend in need, a neighbor, or even put things in the freezer for later use. I never regret having something baked and stored away! I also work on my watercolor painting hobby, sewing, or scrapbooking. It’s fun to get creative!

7. Productivity – Getting up and getting things done is helpful in improving my outlook. If I get supper in the crockpot early in the day, pop in a load of laundry, work on a radio broadcast, or write a card to stick in the mail, I get energized! It’s great to get things accomplished and even work ahead!

8. Exercise – It was 22 degrees most mornings this week, but also sunny and I decided it was perfect for a walk! I bundled up three days in a row and walked 2.25 miles while I talked to the Lord. It felt good to exercise, talk to the Lord, and get some fresh air!

9. Fellowship = Our small groups are reconvening this week and I think we’re ALL excited about it! Those pies you saw were made for our small group. I usually make something pretty simple, but wanted to kind of celebrate getting back together after a long holiday break. The fellowship with others is so important in encouraging your heart! This is one reason why the Lord wants us to meet together as a Church Body. We need the fellowship and the encouragement, the worship, the corporate prayer and the building up of one another!

10. Ministry to others – It’s easy to get so focused on our own dreariness that we fail to see that others outside our home might need some encouragement, too. Ask the Lord to show you who needs you to reach out to them, and then recognize what their needs might be. As Proverbs 11:25 says, Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Friends, God cares about your burdens. He created you and He created the seasons. Talk to Him if you’re feeling down. Ask Him to help you have a right perspective about your season, your surroundings and your sadness.

I hope you’ll add one or more of these ten suggestions and watch your heart be encouraged…even in winter!

What do you do to encourage your heart in a funk? Share it in the comments.

Depression · Quick Bread · refreshment at home · Refreshment in marriage · Sabbatical · Valentine's Day

2021’s Most Loved

As I close out my blog for 2021, I’m looking back at the posts that were most visited during each month of the year. Here’s the list!

It’s no surprise to me that this was May’s top-rated blog post!
  1. Five Routines that Will Help During Difficult Times – If you don’t know what to do next because you’re in a tough place in life, this post will give you practical help.
  2. Valentine Memories to Keep – Here are fun ideas to show you love on Valentine’s Day!
  3. Conversational Respect in Marriage – Our words are clear indicators of our respect (or lack of it) for our mate. You can see how we show that in this post.
  4. The Best Anniversary Celebration – Reflections of our 40th party celebration. You’ll find some good ideas here!
  5. French Breakfast Puffs – Possibly the BEST breakfast muffin EVER!
  6. Refreshing Little Things – Here are a whole list of little ways to make each day more refreshing!
  7. Creating Periods of Regular Rest – Even if you can’t have a sabbatical or vacation, here are ways to create regular days of rest in real ways you can actually do!
  8. Need a Little Help Loving Your Man? Read how can we love our husband better – even when times are hard.
  9. Why You Should Decorate Your Home…Even When There’s Trouble in the World – Even though this was a fall decorating post, the truths about the need to decorate especially when things are hard, will apply to every season of the year.
  10. One Decorating Tip To Instantly Enlarge Your Room – Possibly my favorite tip that was AMAZING when I did this in my home!
  11. Thanksgiving Dinner Favorite Recipes – My favorite comfort/fall foods all compiled together!
  12. The Thin Ice of Despondency – We can all get to a place of depression and despondency, but here are some ways to push out of it.

Thank you to each of you who regularly read; I am so grateful! It is truly my heart’s desire to refresh your heart each time you stop in. I love hearing your comments, too! You encourage and also give some great ideas! I’m thankful that you would take the time to read my posts.

I would love to hear what you would like to read more of in 2022. Would you be so kind as to fill out this survey? It would help me know how to encourage you in this next year!

In 2022, what would you like to read more of here on RefreshHer?

Share one or more suggestions in the comment section. Thank you so much!

I pray this next year is full of spiritual refreshment as you read God’s Word and draw close to Him. I pray you’ll have daily joys in your home as you love those that enter its doors and serve with the love of Christ. I also pray that you life will be filled with the joy of refreshing others as you are refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Happy New Year!

Depression · Fear · Hope · worry

Paralyzed By Fear, Pain or Depression?

This week I have been preparing to teach my grandsons the story of the paralyzed man who had four friends that brought him on his mat to Jesus. As I read through different materials for children, I have been amazed at how most children’s curriculums make the lesson in this story all about the four men who were kind to their friend. That totally misses the real truth in this passage.

The Hero of every story in the Bible is Jesus!

The wonderful thing that happened to that paralyzed man that day was that his great faith in Jesus brought him to the place of receiving forgiveness for his sins! Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
That’s the best day in ANY person’s life!

The whole issue for each of us who can feel so desperate is looking to Jesus Christ in the midst of our “paralytic situations.”

When we are paralyzed with fear, indecision, pain, loss or heartache, in faith we can “tear the roof off” and make our way to Jesus.

Why should we turn to Jesus in our desperate situations?

  • He is able to bring us to a place of healing. It may not be the physical healing that this man also received, but He will allow us to understand the One from Whom our real peace and joy come. Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. John 14:27
  • He will point us to the real source of happiness. It’s all from Him – not our improved marriage, our fuller bank account or our compliant children. He is always the answer to every paralysis. Romans 8:33-39
  • He changes our finite perspective to an eternal one. Revelation 21:1-5

Friend, how are you doing today? Are you experiencing any “paralyzing situations right now? My heart was grieved to hear of a woman who took her life this week. The pressures that she was feeling were just too great. She had been in despair and thought that the only outlet was death.

In the days in which we are living, it can be easy to feel as desperate as this woman may have felt, but I’m here to tell you that there is hope for each of us today. There’s something better than a bag of potato chips, a pill, a glass of wine or ending your life. That hope is in the One Who healed the paralyzed man on a mat all those years ago. He is able to do whatever is needed to rescue us.

  • Come to Him by calling out to Him.
  • Open His Word in a Quiet place and let Him speak Truth to your heart.
  • Talk to Him. Pour out your heart.
  • Sing. Praise Him. Lift your hands in your worship of Who He is.
  • Then take all that He has said to you, all the comfort He has given, all the hope poured in and share it with someone else.

Sometimes He does use friends to bring us to Him, and perhaps this blog post was sent to your path today to give you the hope you need. If I can pray for you or encourage you, I would be so happy to do so. You can leave a comment here or you can email me using the email address in my contact information at the top of this page.

You’re never without hope for your paralysis…turn to Jesus.

Depression · Winter

One Necessary Ingredient for Winter Blues

 

 

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The boxes of ornaments are  stored away and only stray pieces of greenery hide in the corners of house and hearth, reminding us that the much anticipated season of Christmas has passed.  The excitement of the gatherings, the beauty, the fellowship, the food and the warm spirits can cause us to look into the winter months with dread and perhaps even depression. After all,

What is there to look forward to?

Cold and snow blow around the eves of the house, often mirroring the cold in our hearts at this time of year.

With vacation days moving towards us as quickly as a cat makes a decision, we sigh and wonder how on this earth we’re going to survive!

I’m writing this post today to give you some practical tips that can not only get you through the months of winter, but also enable you to do so with joy!

Continue reading “One Necessary Ingredient for Winter Blues”