Friday, December 21, 2007

Gratefulness, A Cure for Depression

I've been reading Ann Voskamp's blog, and her 1000 gifts list. I know I've mentioned it before, but today I know I need to start one of my own.
Part of the journey out of depression (and staying out of depression) is realizing that everyday contains value. Where you are right now has a value, no matter what you feel.
When we choose to turn our hearts (our focus) away from the horror in our lives and in the world around us (not forgetting, not ignoring, but not allowing it to own us), we find that there are still beautiful things here to be seen, and our recognition of their beauty and worth balances the pressures that come against us. It brings light, and life into a place which previously only knew death, and grief.
I remember driving down a country road near our place when I was depressed. At that time, I would drive down that lane in a fog of numbness. I often fantasized about just turning into the ditch. Later, after I had recieved my healing, I drove down the same road noticing how beautiful everything looked. I could see now how blue the sky was, how bright the sun, and how fresh, green, and alive everything was! It was as if everything had been dark before, and now I could see light!

Well, sometimes the darkness is thick, and we have to strain even to see the light in the world around us and in the close confines in our everyday life. It's those times that we need to CHOOSE to see it. To give God thanks on purpose, even if it hurts.

God, I give You thanks.

1. That I am not alone

2. That I am healthy, and can get healthier

3. That I can write: have someplace to pour out all the substance of what is within me

4. A family. Once there was only Jed and I, and now we have four children

5. Baking fresh, homemade bread

6. Swimming with the children in winter (exercise, bright light, and a trip out of the house)

. My husband is faithful

8. Apples for juicing

9. Our wood stove releasing energy in our home, and creating a contrast between the cold, dark, white outdoors, and the warm, bright, gentle glow inside.

10. Baby black bear hamsters (a surprise that the hamster we bought was pregnant!)

11. Parents who live nearby and are healthy- a family Christmas

12. Sisters- I see myself reflected in their faces

13. Church on Sunday

14. Homeschooling- having my children near me- imparting my heart, my faith to them

15. Christian biographies

18. The Miracle Channel (an encouraging message, right when I need it)

20. Hope-- a second chance: the second, third, and fourth time....

21. Tomorrow can always be better than today

22. When I go to bed, this day is over

23. A clean house, decluttered of toys before Christmas

25. A pot of chicken broth, bubbling on the stove, filling the house with the scent of sage

26. Camomile tea with honey

27. A bed

28. And island to roll out dough on, to correct math on, to share a coffee around (people to share the coffee with)

29. Change (It never fails)
30. Time (It never quits)

I hope that as I add to the list, this spirit of thanksgiving will be contagious, and your mind will be enlivened to the things around you that have worth- that are a gift to you from God-- even where you are right now! I guarantee you- there is something to give God thanks for.

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