Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When rain falls.

   I heard the rains are coming back to the Pacific Northwest tomorrow.  I have lived here since I was a teenager and the darkness of winter, the almost daily drizzle, and gray has never been an issue.  Until last year.  The stinky weather coincided with my heart's cry almost daily, and I hardly think I can bear another winter of this.  Today I am soaking up the last drops of sunshine as though I may never see them again.

I keep hearing tidbits of information here and there ".... seasonal depression... common..."  etc.  Maybe.  But as I drove around picking up items for my shop today I found myself reflecting.  Reflecting on my sadness, my loneliness, my heart right now.  I'm in a funk.  I'll just straight out tell ya that if you couldn't already tell for some reason.  We all go through them but this one is lasting a really long time and I can't seem to kick it.  I normally can!!  Frustrating.  I have people in my life encouraging medicine, others encouraging not to go that route and through it all I know that God is my rock... and my answer.  He can lift me up and out of the hole I've sunk into.

Adrain and I are questioning a lot.  We are terrified that when we were presented with a job choice a year and a half ago, we made the wrong choice.  Maybe we made the safe choice... not the faith-filled choice.  We knew it was a gamble of either transferring and losing a lot in the process, a loss we can't seem to recover from... or take the risk of losing the job itself.  Hindsight says he probably wouldn't have lost the job after all.  But we didn't know and we were scared.  We covered the thing in prayer and made the choice we thought was right.  We've been waiting for rescue since that day, doing our level best to accept... go...embrace... to be in the present while simultaneously begging for release.  We sigh, and then we thank.  Because in light of millions of other problems... it's not so bad. I often want to smack us. 

As I drove I listened afresh to the words of "Blessed be Your Name," playing on my radio.  It occurred to me that maybe we are in a season of "take away."  Sometimes He gives... sometimes He takes away but we are called to praise Him with full hearts, trusting He knows.  I'm finding it so hard to do this.  I must figure it out.  Must.

I'm sure I can trust you with this. Trust you to be kind.  I simply had to let it out.

Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. Psalm 103:2
One foot, in front of the other, thanking, praising, trusting, waiting....  While the rain falls. 



58 comments:

  1. Just got my etsy order from you and it is better than an an anthropology dish towel! What a bright spot to my day. Had to let you know how much I love it!!!

    Also I find comfort in Psalm 121: 1-3
    I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?
    My help comes from The Lord, the Maker of the heaven and earth.
    He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber -

    Have a blessed day!
    Jenni

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  2. We are sooo.... in the same place: wondering, trusting, grieving the losses, waiting, trusting, . . . and waiting for the SUNSHINE (in our backyards and in our hearts).

    Because of the deep hurts in my heart, the grey days have definitely affected me MUCH more the past 2 winters. I am off to soak up a bit of CA sunshine tomorrow (now wishing I could take you in my suitcase).

    Let's do COFFEE next week when I get back. We can at least DREAM of SUNSHINE together.

    Laurel

    PS: Totally weird when I heard my hubby on the phone yesterday, talking to your hubby. If THEY know each other, why don't WE "know" each other yet???

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  4. We all go through these "seasons of life." Cut yourself some slack, because from my point of view...you are a very faithful follower of God. Sometimes we get weak and then down the road we look back on those times and see how much we've grown from them. Everything is relevant...everything.

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  5. Man. This brings back those winters (and sometimes summers) from growing up in Alaska. It was dark alllll the time there. I missed the sun so much that I started tanning at a salon on a regular basis and when I finally escaped, I mean, went to college in Florida, I had a better tan than my fellow classmates who were local to Florida. Since then, I can really tell a difference if the weather is cloudy or rainy. I need my Vitamin D!

    Also, is it extreme stalkerdom to admit that I looked you up on the nets and found your phone number and almost called you out of the blue just to cheer you up? But then, I started mentally going through whatever conversation we'd have on the phone and I quickly realized that I would come across like a hyper cheerleader and you'd be like the recipient of a telemarketing call. And thus, I did not call you.

    And finally, as a fellow "thinker", I think it is very easy to slip into the past and wish we'd taken other paths, made different decisions, and question where we are. And yet, even Jonah found himself in the belly of a whale and that's exactly where God wanted him at that time. Simply to make Jonah cast all his hope and dependence on a God who was orchestrating him to go on to do big and powerful things elsewhere. So, don't doubt, my friend, because God is in control. He has all things under His feet. He knows the very number of hairs on your head. He knows your choices and words and actions and especially, how you feel at this exact moment.

    Peace out. Hugs. High fives. Awkward imaginary telephone conversations. :)

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  6. Can I gently share a perspective? I often think that God is not as invested in the daily things as we want him to be or think he is. We have free will and common sense. Maybe to God it doesn't matter if we are here or there, in that job or this job, wearing/doing/reading this or that. If say we took a job because of lust for a new colleague or stayed because it was easier to gossip with old friends, or moved somewhere to be further from church on purpose to make it easier to miss, or nearer to a strip club - but if we make a choice from good, wise motives after prayer I think God can use that and bless us through it. We have some huge decisions in our own life and short of flying to heaven we can't know exactly what God thinks but we can trust that a sensible choice based on the principles of our faith and common sense will be the right choice and God's will for us. I know making our choice nearly ripped me apart and sometimes I see similar pain in your writing. I found I had to lay it to rest and actively lay it to rest each time it rose up again. You are in my prayers for peace and sunshine!

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  7. I really admire your ability to speak what is in your heart. I am also in a funk and soooo understand what you are going through.. The weather affects me as well but right now it is the recent diagnosis of my husbands heart problem and his hospitalization that has me so sad that I can't focus on anything else. I'm just gonna say it....winter sucks. Thank you for reminding me to remember my faith

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  8. you are so transparent and it is so very refreshing to all of us....I know it is for me.
    He is so gracious to love us enough to let us make so many choices in our lives.
    He cares about every single detail in our lives and I KNOW that he leads, guides and directs us, but I also KNOW that his power works in us in all things...when we hear his leading and follow AND when we miss his leading and make a wrong choice.

    His power is at work EVEN when we miss him out of rebellion. That is Grace. He works in spite of us. He leads us to the abundant life even when we rebel. Oh, how I love him. "If Grace is an ocean, then we're all sinking."

    Friend, he is at work. I have no idea if you missed him in not taking that job 18 months ago, but I KNOW that he is at work in your heart...and in your family....his will on earth as it is in Heaven....this is my prayer for you.

    He is good....He is trustworthy.....He is faithful....He is at work in ALL things. He has a plan for your family, and it'll come to pass. He can "prosper" us even when it seems like we're in a refiner's fire and we're endlessly waiting on his plan to unfold. Some of my greatest seasons of being "prospered" were some of my hardest seasons.

    love to you,
    tara

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  9. I can totally relate also! we moved "near the big city of Phoenix" thinking it was the right thing, did we choose the safe thing? we grumble and complain a bit now because it's not a small town, we miss the small town life...but you know what? we are so blessed and have it very good! I pray I do trust God in any decision we make in making another move, scary just to think about it.

    I have been in that funk, really struggling right now to get out of it, not let others drag me down even more in their funks. I just read on another blog about *being filled with Joy*, so that is what I wrote on my chalkboard in my kitchen today :) it does make me smile when I read it.

    I wish so badly I could send you some of my AZ sunshine, we are almost 80 degrees today and I even saw a bumblebee.

    Hugs to you my friend. :)

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  10. thinking of you today. wish we could have coffee...and cry together :) love you, girl. it's gonna work out. it is.

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  11. Blessed Be Your Name...love this song! IT feels my heart with joy every time I hear it in church! I am in a funk too. This is my second year back to school and I miss having been home with my girls for two years. I think you, Adrain and the kids should move to the East Coast! When life hands you lemons, it makes a bowl of sunshine!

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  12. I too can relate...kinda. I have Cold Urticaria...basically I'm allergic to the cold. If its below 30 degrees I'm in pain, I swell up and break out in hives, and I live in Utah, where we are having the coldest winter we have had in 20 years. On one hand, we need to move, for my health and my well being, on the other, our family is here, our friends are here. Oh and PS: I also have a mild allergy to the sun. So if it gets about 75 degrees I break out in hives as well. We've thought about moving to eastern Washington State but again...it's unfamiliar territory. We continue to pray for us and our situation along with you and your family!

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  13. oops, fills not feels my heart!

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  14. Choice, pray, right, safe, wrong, thank, go. . .May the sunshine in your heart shine brighter than the noise: )Thinking of you and this season you're in. . .thanks for letting us in.

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  15. Bless you, friend! Thank you for your transparency! It blesses me. I will pray for you :-)

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  16. Sasha, I can so relate to this too. To make a long story short, the company my husband worked for went bust...scary!! God provided another job doing something totally different. Then an amazing opportunity came his way. I thought I was hearing very clearly about what God was doing through all of it. The 2nd opportunity went bust and now his current job isn't as great or stable as we thought. It's very discouraging when you can't figure out what God is trying to teach through these confusing times. The best I can describe our situation is "uncertainty." The song "Blessed Be Your Name" is one of my favorites!! I have it on a Matt Redman cd and I dare say I have listened to the cd 500 times in the past year and a half. Worshiping and praising Him is the key to lift yourself out of a funk no matter the circumstances!! I think you already know this! ;) Praying for you. :)

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  17. I've suffered from depression all my life, and I'm 55. I've taken anti depressants since I was 26. I can tell you that it saved my life. Good luck. The cold weather here has made me feel more blue too. That and a broken ankle that isn't healed after 7 months.
    Brenda

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  18. Sasha, Just Keep Swimming!!! You won't feel like this forever. He has brought you to it, so He will get you through it. Your blessings are many.

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  19. I hear you! You have no idea how clearly I hear you....Keep trying, soon your smile will be real again. That's what I tell myself on the dark days (weeks, and sometimes, months)!

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  20. Do you remember years ago when we turned down the seemingly perfect job at Black Lake Bible Camp and told the story of our confidence in this not being the place God wanted us? And then over a year later, when we still weren't at the place we felt called to, every day we wondered "did we do the right thing?" Someone offered me this piece of advice that I carry with me every day:
    Never question decisions made in the light, while you are in the dark.

    I hope that helps you too.

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  21. not knowing is hard.
    but one thing is certain...when we are tried and purified, we SHALL come forth as gold.
    that's a promise.
    xoxo

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  22. Faithful reader but never commented. :) Your post reminds me a book that I read recently that was mind-blowing amazing for me. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp...wow! Thankfulness always precedes the miracle. I highly recommend it and your post just spoke to it directly! Praise, praise, praise...always. Take care!

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  23. i like what mary said. ^^^

    and now i've forgotten what i was thinking. it wasn't as good, that's for sure!

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  24. Oh girl, it will get better. It has too. It must. I received your package today and it made me all kinds of happy :)

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  25. In Richmond, VA, we don't usually have day after day of clouds and rain, but last week we did. I felt sympathy for you in the Northwest who deal with it more often...it is hard! I don't claim to know if you made the right decision, but God is faithful even when we don't. in your struggles you have inspired me, to His glory, so that's a good thing, right? Am adding you to my prayer list for a bit while you are working through this funk.

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  26. I'm from Richmond, Va also and in a bit of a funk myself. Thank you for your honesty and openness as I am in a difficult situation with my husband's work situation also. It's been going on for about 18 months and tonight I was just very low about it. So when I read your post, it encouraged my soul. His ways are higher than our ways and there are no coincidences or accidents. He is in control and all He wants from us is to seek Him first, which you have been doing. Keep looking up and I hope you can see His glory in this present moment. Will be praying for you. Kristie:-)

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  27. I hear ya on the funk. It must be going around, similar to the flu without the nasties :) It's tough when we get to a place of stuck-ness, mainly because we feel like it's get up, get on the hamster wheel, turn-turn-turn, go to bed, get up, get on the wheel...etc. I've had that feeling off and on for several years, and it always passes. I sometimes wonder if this is part of life? Do we all feel this way at one point or another? Will feeling this way ever stop? The only thing I can do is just keep moving forward, find one little ray of light in each day, and eventually my days become full of light and those gray skies seem to float away. Hugs to you.

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  29. I think we all do this... question in retrospect if we "messed up", and then, will we have a second chance. I'm right there with you, but in parenting, spent much of the past two years crying and questioning. Wishing I hd done different / better, but I know that everything was covered in prayer, and doing the very best we knew how to obey, and so I comfort myself that God is a God of Redeeming. He can make up for all our missed chances, and wrong decisions, because He is in the midst of us and makes all things work together for our good. Trying to keep my eye on Him and His promises, and not the circumstances. Praying for you. Thank you for being vulnerable, and reminding me that we all feel those same doubts and fears... no matter how things appear, our hearts all struggle with the same concerns. Hugs!

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  30. I love reading your words each day! Your willingess to be so open draws me in and I feel like you really ARE on the other side of that computer screen....sharing a cup and our hearts! It's grey and freezing cold and 7 degrees here out in the country in Michigan. Blah! Cabin fever says it all. Maybe it's the weather....maybe the season..I don't know...but I DO know that you've got a huge group of us that are in the same boat and cheering you on! Praying for you! As Christians...we all need people who will lift us up in prayer. I put these words in a little frame as a little reminder to myself each day..."I think myself Happy" ....it takes effort every. single. day. Have a GREAT day!

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  31. We are in the same place of wondering and trusting, doubting and knowing...it's an odd place to reside, right in the chasm between God and this world. Some moments are just plain hard. I don't want to accept the things He has taken, I want to find some comfort in a new tube of lipstick and not that He is bigger. But I can't...that's not where we are right now. We look back over the past two years and wonder, should we have packed up and moved elsewhere? Now he is in a job that seems to be going nowhere, that just barely provides for all of our needs and it feels that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But, and here's the thing....every morning that I wake up there is a light outside my window (I'm understanding with your physical location, that may not always be possible for you, in which can I suggest putting a big old picture of the sunrise right in the place where your morning eyes fall each day?) Whether we make the "right" decision or not, the decision to Trust Him is the only one we need to make, every day, every moment, every breath! You have beautiful gifts that surround you, that are in you and you pour love to everyone that you come in contact with!! Have you read Ann Voskamps 1000 gifts? Pick up a copy on amazon and start counting the gifts...it truly makes all the difference in the world!! Remember that He is faithful and worthy to be praised, that is our first and foremost job to tackle every day....to know that He is faithful (even if we're not feeling it) and to praise Him because of it!! Like Kelly above said, Keep your eye on Him and not your circumstances....and know that we are right there in the trenches with you, fighting to do the same thing, each and every day <3 So glad that God has given me this bright spot in the blog world...you bring a smile to face and you make my heart light!!! Keep doing what you're doing and know that God is smiling down you <3

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  32. You are a blessing to so many others, Sasha. God's got your back and will bring you through this funk. Thank you for allowing all of us to admit the funks we fall into, also! Praying.

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  33. Hi sweetie!
    And after the rain falls...there is that sweet fragrance, new sprouts shooting up, the "green" of new life, the refreshing that comes from Him. He knows how much you love Him and trust Him, and I'm confident that He is working something beautiful in your midst.

    "But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head" Psalms 3:3
    This is a Word from God that has "lifted me" in days when I needed to know He was All in All.
    Love you!
    Love & hugs to you sweet Sasha xo

    All my heart,
    Deborah xo

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  34. I am so sorry for the funk and place you are in. I know, as do you, that you will survive and flourish before you know it. Hugs and prayers.

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  35. girl i hear your heart..i hear the struggle of the flesh and spirit
    i sit with you in the quiet of this place because i know you have heard it all and know it but often when we are in the storm the pain can be so loud we can't hear..or feel and the minute we think we are getting up we get slammed down again..wave after wave.
    you know i have been there and the first thing that popped into my mind was Kerri Roberts cd. I played that thing over and over when i would walk/run each day. one called breathing..or something..made me weep but her songs encouraged and energized me. there is something about music.
    anyway..your surrounded girl. keep breathing you gonna make it..the story He wants to tell...mmmm
    oh..i started the paleo eating Sunday...we'll talk
    big hugs..

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  36. Oh I'm in the same funk. I'm 48,3 great kids.Reno,27,Austin,22 and Aubrey,19.Married for 28 years.Going thru the hardest,loneliest, ugly times in our marriage . Terrible,terrible things have happened. I'm in a full time job that pays well but is soooo unfullfiling I can hardly stand it. Each day I try to remember the gifts I have.Wonderful kids. I mean great.Wonderful sisters. Thank you for always "keepin it real". It helps to know another Christian feels like this. Sending you sunshine from the gulf coast of Florida. You create such pretty things.So happy looking. ;)
    Mary
    RENONFL@YAHOO.COM

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  37. I hear you, and you are not alone. I wish I had more answers, but really, we each must find our own way back up.
    But you are right, ultimately the answer is God. He will help because he knows exactly what his daughter needs. And he is never disappointed in you, he is so happy to be right there with you in your funk. (These are all things that I'm learning about myself and God. And it's helped me so much!)

    -Melissa

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  38. I am waiting for my husband to be "baby ready" as I feel I am so ready!! I am learning to trust and to WAIT. It is so hard, and I totally understand your words. Waiting and trusting, no matter the situation is simply hard.

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  39. I am so sorry you are in a funk. You seem to handle it better than anyone I know. I hope it passes soon... and in the mean time I've been bothered by something and it may help you. I noticed on pinterest, that when you post images from Pride and Prejudice, it's not the BBC/A&E version. Now, have you seen the version? With Colin Firth? And if so, I'm a little disappointed it's not your favorite - and if you have not seen that version - watch it now. It might not lift the funk, but it's a great to cozy up to and pass the funk time.

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  40. Thank you for your post. It is refreshing as all in the midst of something and hearing someone else going through something also lets us know that we are not alone and together when we praise, we are lifted higher to the Lord and then remember to praise.

    God Bless you.

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  41. Last year I was in a funk and one day, when I had had enough, I prayed a simple prayer. "Lord let me find joy in this day you have made." No joke, that day turned out to be such a wonderful day - and full of special things, deep, meaningful things that will not be soon forgotten.
    Sometimes the simplest prayers are the most effective. I think they bring us back to a childlike state. "Lord let me find joy in this day you have made."
    Try it...

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  42. God knows though. He knows what you are going through and He "gets" the funk. He knows the job choices you've made, and He is THE BEST at rearranging a situation to be the one that will bring Him the most glory.

    I know you already know all of that, but thought I would type it out anyway. Praying for you, girl!

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  43. Dear Sasha,

    I simply cannot believe how much light you get into those photos when you live in the Pacific Northwest! It makes me think of the light and life that shines from within - you'd never know otherwise of the fog and dimness that day-to-day life can hold.

    The Lord gives us so much freedom friend, as I think you know.
    Freedom to dream, to enjoy His creation, to set out on the adventures
    we choose, and also to decline others. We live in freedom because of
    Jesus' blood! Don't second guess decisions you've already made. Those
    days are gone, The tomorrows don't exist either (calendars are deceiving
    I think!) and so we muddle through, embrace, struggle with, rest in, attempt contentment, and choose a grateful heart today.
    It's all we have. And Jesus wants our heart, our friendship, and for us to know how much He loves us, TODAY.

    It's okay to go through dark times - even long ones. As my husband once
    aptly said "they're not seasons when you're in the middle of them - they are the only thing you know".
    This is a season friend.
    One day (even if it's still a ways down the road) you'll look back on
    this time as a season.
    Boy do I love Job! I so appreciate that Job never knew. He never got
    to know what was going on behind the scenes, and yet he never sinned "with
    his lips" which I assume means that he had a few doubtful thoughts and frustrations, but he was blameless in his lifes testimony of God's character.
    Yet too, God was doing mighty things in the heavenly realm that Job
    never knew of.
    And so it is. There is much we don't understand. That's okay.

    You bless many people with your grace, your humor, your tact,
    your creativity, your love for your family, your desire to
    know God and to trust Him...
    I am one of those blessed by the snippets of your life that you
    share.
    Thank you.
    I'm praying for you today.

    Hugs,
    ~Analene

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  44. So sorry to hear you are down. Time to invest in higher wattage bulbs! I cannot stand the dimness of winter....a grey sky without the hope of an exhilarating thunder storm. I lift my shades in morning, drinking in the liquid sunshine. Use other things to brighten your horizons...your blog, your friendships, your bible...a piece of chocolate cake. Know that you made the decision you thought to be right at the time. Be confident in your choices, and know that the future will always offer something bright.

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  45. To inspire others, comes from a sparkle that you already have in side you. You are an inspiration! You inspire me and as I can tell from all your comments you inspire many! You are doing exactly what you are suppose to be doing.

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  46. I can say I have felt the same way each winter for the last few years. Thank goodness for vitamin D and days of sunshine in SD even if it is freezing! After reading your posts and comments, the picture of a rainbow came to mind. After the rain comes a rainbow...and Gods promise to always be with us. In good times and bad ones too! Trusting that you and many of the ladies that have commented can feel his warm presence in the midst of all the gloom and coldness that life can bring! Take care!

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  47. I too am struggling with something that I NEVER thought I would have an issue with. I can only pray that the Lord doesn't give me more than I can handle. And that I can remain strong. I pray that for you too. Remember that you are our "light" with your soft words, honesty and gorgeous pictures. Hugs from Alabama! It's gloomy here too! :)

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  48. I so look forward to reading your blog, I too have had the winter blues lately and it helps to hear others honesty in going through the same thing. Your not alone, Trust God and look to Him to be your light! Hugs also from Alabama😊

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  49. My word for 2013 is joy...the first verse that God gave me this year was "I have told you these things that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing." John 15:11...dark skies and Michigan winter creeps in and threatens to steal my joy but I am standing on this promise!

    I love that you are transparent. Please know that we all have the same struggles...praying that the joy of The Lord will be overflowing in your heart today. Claim it sister!

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  50. okay. really. you need to write a devotional. seriously. i have read quite a few of your post and there are some that just spell out so many issues that are in my heart that i just can't find the words to express them...

    and then i read one of your post and bam! that's it! you said what i have carried for so long and just can't seem to express it!

    and then i have a little clarity...a little piece of "peace"

    awaiting your first book of Lemon ispired daily devotions! :-)

    may the good Lord continue to make His Face smile upon you and give you peace!

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  51. Sasha ~ I have no answers on the prayers and faith, but I wanted to suggest you pick up a book called "When your body has the blues." http://www.thebodyblues.com/ Its based on a University of Washington study (done here, in gray, rainy Seattle! The recommendations are light, exercise and vitamins (not drugs.) I find in the winter, especially, that focusing on their recommendations makes my whole life easier. Not that it makes the things causing my tension/stress (small kids, husband with long hours, etc.)go away but I'm better able to handle them. Your plate is very full but your faith is unwavering and amazing to witness.

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  52. I don't really have any words of wisdom to offer. Prayer and hope are great, but so is exercise and doing something out of the norm - taking in a matinee, eating breakfast for dinner, etc...small suggestions, but sometimes give a spark.

    Winter is hard and we've cold and gray days too. Makes for a looooooooong season.

    Hugs to you....

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  53. I am so thankful for you sharing your words & your heart on this post. I happened to stumble upon your blog through a Pinterest pin that I adored (gift buckets!) and when I read this post, it was as if you were writing this about me. My husband & I are going through an amazingly similar season of life. And, "Blessed be thy name" is one of my favorites. Thank you for reminding me that He does take away sometimes - not because He is cruel, but because He loves us more than we can possibly imagine and because He has SO much more for us than we can possibly imagine! Thank you for being a reminder from Him to me today! :0)

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  54. Thank you so much for being you! I love you.

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  55. Thank you for reminding me that He does care, even when it seems like He isn't listening all that closely and is telling me to wait.

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  56. I just want to say thank You for sharing. I love your blog full of beautiful pictures and hopeful words. I wish you much Peace and Joy for 2013. You are very inspiring...and deserve nothing but the best.

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  57. Wisdom is making decisions based on the facts that you have at hand. The decision you made regarding the job last year was in the best interest of your family right then and so that was wise. Hindsight is only useful if you have a situation exactly the same to make a decision on.... otherwise it tempts us to living in the past and not the now.... Wonder if you have the Valley of Vision prayer book? The 'Valley' prayer is such a blessing and i think you would be encouraged by it. Keep on looking up! :)

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  58. I am so right there with ( I should say we, as in my husband and I), 2 summers ago, we were offered a pastorate. But we had the promise of another- at home (usually means SAFE choice). We have struggled hindsight vision ever since. But hindsight is not perfect really, and the growth and faith and trust God has allowed US to come through is not anything I would trade away, however learning about that people talk out of both sides if their mouth. BE GONE. but Lord help me love them. Okay I am sidetracking myself!

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