Thursday, August 10, 2017


August 10, 2017.

Wow. The days of this summer are like the blur out a car window. And to be frankly honest, I typically struggle mentally with the arrival of fall. I've shared about my struggles with depression and anxiety on my blog here in the past. And, for the most part, it's been under control for the past few years. But the arrival of fall equals shorter, darker days and the impending doom (to my mind anyway) of the bleak, cold, gray winter. 

Ok, that in itself was a downer, wasn't it? 

I felt the dark dread starting to settle in back in mid-July. A bit earlier than usual, but I think it's probably due to the cooler-than-usual, rainier-than-usual summer we've had this year. And when I felt it coming, I began to freak out a bit. Anyone that has had depression in the past can probably completely relate to what I'm talking about. How even a shadow of threat from the darkness can just about throw you off the rails. 

So I sulked in it for a few days, and then I was like, "Amber, you can control this. You don't have to go back there." 

Now, let me be clear that clinical depression is NOT something that you can control mentally. Trust me. I tried that for months the first time it settled on me nine years ago. It is a complete lie if someone tells you that you just need to buck up, change your mental thought patterns and deal if you are truly in the midst of an episode of clinical depression. It is NOT the same as being down, or sad, or blue. It is completely different and requires medical attention.

However, I have also dealt with this long enough to know that there is a spiritual component to this struggle of mine as well. And I also know (because the Word tells me so) that the devil seeks to kill and destroy, and he surely wants to steal my joy and take away the abundant life that is rightly mine as God's child. So sometimes it is just a matter of putting on that spiritual armor and doing some hard battle. And that battlefield truly is in the mind. 

Which leads me to the conclusion I came to a few weeks back. I had a choice to either wallow in the sense of impending doom (translated: winter and darkness) or to dig in my heels and fight for my peace of mind. 

I'm choosing the latter. And sometimes I have to make that choice every single day, sometimes even during the moments of each day. 

This means that I'm really trying hard to practice gratitude for all of the blessings that God has bestowed on me. I'm being really intentional about seeing the gifts in the moments of the day. I'm tuning my heart to the song of truth. I'm really trying hard to look at the coming seasons (that I truly do struggle with) as essential moments in the cycle of life that God has established. And because He made them, they are good. 

This also means that I am praying so, so hard for God to open my eyes to the beauty and goodness around me. I'm asking Him to renew my heart. We're in this together. 

Guys, He wants me to enjoy this life He gave me. How am I to glorify Him if I'm sullen and sulking the days away? 

When I sat down this morning to type this blog post, I was planning on just writing about the busy days that have filled our days lately, but He obviously knew that I needed to pen these words because they just flowed. So I hope that they perhaps bless someone out there. 

Here's to abundant, joy-filled living!


Devon said...

I love your pictures... they make me a little jealous! Haha!
I think He knew that I needed to read this today. I'm feeling pretty low... not for the same reasons... but just some life circumstances. I needed the encouragement to push through and be intentional. Thank you!

Katy said...

I understand completely about the depression...especially with the added stress of the changing seasons/daylight. I am actually on a med for my depression/anxiety. It took me a long time to admit I needed the med...but once I did, it has helped. It doesn't make me feel happy all the just gives me the ability to *deal* with life...and not just wallow is anxiousness and sadness.

You are also completely right about looking to the Lord. Glorifying Him, enjoying the beauty He has placed around us, counting our blessings, realizing all the reasons we have to be joy-filled are all great ways to be encouraged!

I loved seeing all the photos you shared! Everything looks lovely! :)

Sending you hugs across the miles,
Katy :o)

Carol said...

Your pictures are beautiful! I strive to make my home more beautiful and less cluttered each day. I am slowly beginning to see the light of day with it. I also dread winter and the long dreary days, but they don't depress me so much at the moment as they will in a few more months when winter is truly upon us. Prayer and thanksgiving for the bright moments in each day always help me.

Billie Jo said...

I relate to this.
And I am grateful you shared your soul today.
I know that feeling...that feeling of impending doom.
I too have fought it, and currently have a handle on it.
But I know it can creep back in at anytime.
Thank you again for letting me know I am not alone.
Oh. And your photos are amazingly beautiful.

karen said...

I pray you find the peace you seek. I get excited about the dark days and the coziness! I am the one who dreads summer and feeling crummy with the heat and the humidity mixed with my RA. However, I do not have depression (just anxiety...). I have family members who share in your thoughts and feelings of the approaching fall. They deal with it similarly, they keep busy and focus on the good.

Julie said...

I think winter - they endless, wet, grey and gloom does that to all of us. I certainly never feel as cheerful in winter as I do in summer. Depression is such a hard thing to live with, and to explain too (my husband suffers from it). Your photos are beautiful and so evocative of all that winter offers, cosy days inside, the lush green after the rain, the joy of snuggling down with hot drinks and a good book. Hope the promise of spring is making you smile.

Happy weekend.

Simply At Home said...

Amber, My heart goes out to you...remember God can take this and set you free from it. Trust Him! Keep looking to HIM! Winter surely can take it toil, after a few days of grey days..I create my own sunshine by turning on all the lights through out the house and leave them on. I also put on some up lifting praise music. Before to long my mood and my spirit has improved. (HUGS)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! Glad to find your lovely blog.

Lulu said...

just a beautiful view, so nice and your pics always..your home is inviting and lovely..
i love fall and winter, dont like heat much..
have a lovely week ahead..

Row. said...

Hello Amber I came over from the Country Blossom. I think no I know I was meant to read this today. I am just coming out of/struggling not to be down. even though I am pushing it back and fighting it deep down I can feel it. mine is not because of the weather-I am the opposite as where I LOVE fall and the colder weather, but I know its from missing my daughter who just went off to college. Thank you for sharing your story. It is blogs like this that help-I am reading this on my lunch break. I am a SAHM but in some ways look at it like a job and that means a lunch break. so that I actually take time to sit down and eat, but know I have to get back to work soon.
I am so happy I stumbled onto your blog today. Hope to read more soon. Also Beautiful photography. (makes me want a cat) I hope today is a good day for you.