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Remember, Renew, Reach Out, Relate

January 15, 2015

1953 with dad 1955 or 56 Barbie and Dad fishing

I have been sorting and sifting through digital images.  These are two of my favorite that my mother took when I was a young.  I especially like the one walking by my father looking up to him.  He died in 1995 and I do miss him.

These months are often said to be hard.  Those who have depression and SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder need to take it seriously and have professional help.  I have long seen in the ministry, that everyone gets affected. If people don’t take things seriously, by spring they wonder how they got into such bad spiritual and psychological shape.  I offer some suggestions of what my help.

Goals:  These are something to look forward to and guide direction when things get fuzzy.  I look at my 4 words to guide me this year: Remember, Renew, Reach Out, and Relate. I realize that they can help me in the quest of life as I look back, reflect and grow.

Food: You can look up “happy foods”.  Foods affect your mood.  One time I realize I could have a different strategy for my Sunday mornings and not have to hurry our children to get to church so much earlier than other people.  I had been talking about “happy foods” with the kids.  On the way out the door, one of the kids said “Did you have grape fruit this morning?”  I paused and said “Yes”.  The response was “You should have it every morning!”  They noticed different behavior.  Being intentional about food and attitude can do that for you.

Attitude: Some people are optimists, some are pessimists.  Many are either on any given day.  Where we can choose, we need to choose.  We don’t need to let our feelings come from outside.  We don’t need to go it alone.  For me, my journey includes my husband, my family, and my friends.  I also look at doing activities and things that fill me up rather than empty me.  If I do feel empty, I take time to get refilled.

Faith: All of these activities lead me to “look up”.  For me, God’s presence and taking time to be in that presence makes all the difference in the world.  I have helped make and share prayer beads.  I have been part of a centering prayer group.  There is both personal (reading the Bible and study) and group (going to church) that can help.

Advice: Everyone often has something to say.  There is plenty to search and read on the internet.  You need to sift through what is helpful and what is not.  I have seen advice that says “Cut negative people and things from your life.” That may be good in theory but sometime one can’t do that right away.  A friend gave me a phrase in Latin to put in my office.  The rough translation was “Don’t let the turkey’s get you down”.

I am glad for photos to help me remember and be lifted up.  I do love gray days because I feel it is a good excuse to do the things on the computer and read those things I have put aside.  I allow myself “me” time to regenerate.  Good luck on your journey through these long months.  It can be a renewal time.

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