Archive for the 'depression' Category


It Is Not Death to Die

Any Christian touched by sadness, grief, depression, fatigue, unbelief, illness, or any other type of suffering should listen to the CD by Sovereign Grace Music, Come Weary Saints.  With my walk with depression, the ideas in these songs have sustained me.  Having these songs together like this…wow.  And I love the way they have been arranged on the CD.  It’s very emotionally satisfying, if that makes sense.  As I listened to it for the first time, I felt myself moving through that familiar series of feelings, starting out being tired and worn out, too tired to think.  By the end, I could see the overlay of God’s plan over the outline of my life.

Here are the lyrics to one of the songs.  This was altered by Bob Kauflin and based on an 1832 hymn.

It is not Death to die, to leave this weary road,
and join the saints who dwell on high,
who’ve found their home with God.
It is not death to close the eyes long dimmed by tears,
and wake in joy before your throne,
delivered from our fears.

O Jesus, conquering the grave,
your precious blood has power to save.
Those who trust in you will in your mercy find
that it is not death to die.

It is not death to fling aside this earthly dust,
and rise with strong and noble wing
to live among the just.
It is not death to hear the key unlock the door
that sets us free from mortal years
to praise forever more.

O Jesus, conquering the grave,
your precious blood has power to save.
Those who trust in you will in your mercy find
that it is not death to die.


Gotta Love This.



Frozen February

What’s a gal to do when there’s a high of 13 degrees F? That’s what I have been asking myself these days. I’ve come up with a few strategies over the years, and I’ve compiled them here for your enjoyment. Please employ them in your own life if necessary. You don’t even have to give me credit.

teaDrink tea. I don’t mean just tossing a Lipton bag in your big old nasty coffee mug. No, I mean Drink Tea. Shop for a wonderful teapot if you don’t have one (like one of these or these, whichever makes you happy when you look at it). Get some great tea with beautiful packaging and even better marketing. Go for the full leaf variety. If you are unfamiliar with the rules of proper steepage, consult an authority. When your tea is ready, pour it into a little cup and drink it slowly. Big mugs let the tea get cold before you’re even nearly done, but having a small cup will allow you to sip slowly and refill often. Then you get to enjoy your teapot more, too.

Let your kids play Cranium Hullabaloo, and play it with them. They will love that you’re playing with them, especially when you do goofy things. They’ll burn off some of that energy that’s annoying you so much. And moving around to music will make you smile.

Wear yummy-smelling sunscreen. Yeah, I know you’re not actually exposing any skin to the air when you go outside these days, but the smell will remind you of brighter, longer days when you were warmed by solar energy instead of just by the dusty air blowing out of your furnace.

Wear comfy clothes, but don’t be sloppy about it. Sometimes it’s fun to be in your PJs all day, but making it a habit is just depressing. Even your old fleece that used to be so cool may be getting kind of ratty at this point. Wear what makes you happy, of course, but you might benefit from dressing neater than you usually do. If nothing you own makes you happy, chances are Kohl’s is having a sale.

That brings me to my next strategy. (This one’s a bit controversial, and it carries with it certain dangers.) Buy things. Check out the sales at Kohl‘s and Penney‘s. Use your Children’s Place card. Indulge via an Amazon wish list. Don’t go bananas and put your husband into fits when the bill comes in, but sometimes something new will cheer you up. It doesn’t always have to be for you, either. Buying things for other people is great, too. Sometimes even better. The dangers I wrote about: One, you could spend more money than is prudent. Two, you can get in the habit of taking your joy from Stuff. Okay, enough about that.

flowers1Gaze at seed catalogs. Make your kids sit at the table with you and cut out pictures of flowers and glue them onto a big paper. Then hang the paper up where you’ll see it a lot. Make a couple of them if you have to.

Visit a butterfly conservatory. We’re going soon to Magic Wings in Massachusetts.

I got this next idea from the wonderful woman over at Rocks In My Dryer. She finds that making something with her hands gives her an emotional lift. I tried it, and found it works for me, too. Recently I got some rubber stamps and kid-friendly stamp pads on clearance at JoAnn’s, and the kids and I stamped it up. Then we made some Valentine cards, which was also nice. My favorite handcraft is scrapbooking, but I don’t always feel like journaling when I am depressed. I like reading my scrapbooks, but I fear journaling when I am down. I anticipate looking at them in years to come and wondering why everyone in the pictures is smiling, but the writing tells about all the problems and grumpiness that occurred. So I will save the scrapping for a better time. 🙂

Above all, remember that spring will come. And that God made the winter as well as the warmth.


Dangerous Words

Coming off my antidepressant has left me feeling vulnerable to those little lies that pop up in one’s mind now and then…the ones that I can usually laugh at, shake off or stick out my tongue at. In particular I feel myself in danger of discontentedly living in the past and having a case of the regrets.

“If only…” is what I hear myself saying. If only we’d been able to stay in our other house. If only I didn’t have this predisposition to depression. If only…and this is the big one…if only I had gone on bedrest when my pregnancy was in danger that January in 2003.

You can imagine where all that could lead. Yeah. I told you it was dangerous.

I’m countering this ugly background hum with things like this:

Psalm 73

23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.

Psalm 42
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6 and my God.

Ephesians 1

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.


The “If Only”s are an insidious bunch. If you’re not vigilant, they can creep up on you without you really noticing. Before you know it, you’ll be wallowing in these imaginary alternatives instead of being content, happy, and obedient in the great life you have right now. That’s what I preach to myself, and I will do the same toward anyone who shows signs of the syndrome because I know how hard it can be. Call it regret, call it guilt, call it living in the past. For me it all boils down to not living like I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, which you can read about in Colossians 2.

13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

And so I should live, because I have been made alive to God in Christ…when I go along in my “If Only”s, I ignore that life that I’ve been delivered to.



Sicknesses have been running through our household. Again. Tiz the season, I always say, and it always is. We’ve got respiratory stuff, GI stuff, and my ongoing escape-from-effexor stuff. It’s wearing us out. But hey, it’s all temporary and “this too shall pass”. Right? Tell me I’m right.

But you won’t hear me complaining!


This Is Your Brain (Not) on Drugs

So I’m discontinuing the ole SNRI. My discontinuation symptoms (aka withdrawal) include agitation, dizziness, dysphoric mood, fatigue, hypomania, insomnia, irritability, lethargy, wild dreams, sensory disturbances (“brain shivers”), and possibly this achy flu-like thing I’ve got going on.

It’s not fun.

Last night was especially not fun, with insomnia and aching legs. Makes a person grumble. I must say, however, that the benefits of taking the drug far outweigh the discomfort I’m going through now. While I was on it I felt like a normal human being, which was a very nice thing to feel after experiencing lots of anxiety and depression in the past. Emotionally I still feel normal (yay!) except for the occasional tearing up over one of the books I read to the kids, or, to take an example from today, crying at this performance at the Lebanon Opera House. It’s not bad or worrisome crying, just the kind that makes me laugh and look for kleenex. Must be all the pent-up tears that EffexorXR wouldn’t let me cry while I was on it.

The worst part about all this to me (right now, anyway) is how it affects my family. Brian’s worried about me and being protective. The kids notice my fatigue; Gannon asked me yesterday why I didn’t look happy.

But we’ll get through this…we always do. 🙂 God is good to me.


Sad Stuff

First of all, a note in the just-so-you-know department: I’m not writing this because I feel depressed. At least I don’t think I do. Not extremely, anyway.

Sometimes people get sad. Lots of things happen that make people feel sad. Lots of them are legitimate reasons, I’d say.

Someone’s teenage son receives a damaging blow to the head and faces years of recovery.

Someone else has two alcoholic brothers whose lives are swinging out of control.

After being in remission from leukemia, someone dies from pneumonia, leaving his wife and 12 year old son without a husband and dad.

Someone struggles with dysfunctional and abusive family relationships, enough to cause her to question the goodness of God.

Someone’s baby dies only 17 weeks after he was conceived.

Someone feels so confused and filled with anxiety that she goes to the emergency room, afraid of what she will do to herself.

All these Someones are people I know. It makes me sad. Not that I know them, but that I feel helpless to ease their sadness. I have the hope that Paul wrote about in Ephesians, that I have been made alive, raised up, and seated with Christ in the heavenly places, and that God is using me to do good works that He’s had planned for me since forever ago. Some of these people I mentioned also have this hope. But it is not always easy to keep my eyes on that hopeful future and that overarching purpose when I see how much people hurt. This life is a blip on the radar of eternity, and yet it counts for so much. In our current experience, this is all there is.

Is that why babies cry when they wake up in the dark? Because they can’t see beyond their solitude and discomfort?

Sometimes I feel like crying when I wake up in the dark, too.

I am thankful beyond words that through Paul God gave me the book of Ephesians. It keeps my heart from taking over my head at three in the morning.


My blog. Herein read entries related to who and what is important to me. Feel free to leave comments. I feel free to delete them if I don't like them. So there. By reading about my life, readers should expect to begin to see their own lives as increasingly more organized and sophisticated, their homes cleaner and neater.

Why This Blog?

Well, mostly this is for my family to see pictures and read anecdotes about the kids. It's also a venue for telling the story of my struggles and victories in my life as a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a teacher. Occasionally I toss in some weird or touching item that I've found.

What’s Christianity All About?

The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. [as said by John Piper]

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