Winter Hibernation

Winter Hibernation

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“Maybe like me, instead of hard circumstances causing you to cling deeply to Him and to meditate on your relationship with him, you allow it to divert your focus away from Him.”

I’ve been meditating on this post by Wendy all week. Well, sort of. The truth is I remembered that I’d read it, and that it resonated with me, but it passed so quickly in and and out of my distracted mind that there was no real meditation at all. Just a nagging feeling that I should go back to it again and read it more slowly… and with my brain turned on.

So now that I’ve done that, I’m sighing with relief that someone else wrote down how I’m feeling so I don’t have to. So just go read that post, and know pretty much what’s going on with me these days.

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“We are choked from fruitfulness when we become consumed with the cares of this temporary world….”

I’ve been a surface level kind of girl lately – putting out fires and generally tackling the loudest distraction in the moment just to make it shut up. My container is cracked and leaking from multiple contusions. I can’t hold a thought or motivate to action. The other night I had drinks with a friend, and I couldn’t think clearly enough to calculate a tip.

I am stressed. I am grouchy. I am anxious.

It occurred to me recently that when I feel overwhelmed it doesn’t draw me closer to God. Not immediately. It’s not my first reaction. I prefer to spin my wheels, turn in circles, and take care of myself. Sort of. But in attempting to take care of myself I actually run myself into the ground.

And THEN I grasp into the air for God.

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“Many Christians are more convinced of the reality of their daily problems than the reality of their God.”

My circumstances loom large over me. Always. I cling to my success or failure at just making it through the day, and give myself extra points if I make it without a stain on my shirt. I haven’t always felt like this. For most of 2008 I felt exactly the opposite of this. I’ve been radiant, balanced, and content even if circumstances were not stellar. But December’s got me down.

My bread machine broke today and I cried. It fell on the floor and warped and now the door won’t stay closed. I cried because I couldn’t fix it, and I couldn’t go back in time to before it fell and push it back just a little from the edge of the counter. And I cried because right now it just feels like nothing could ever replace the bread machine I loved so much.

But given a little hindsight, maybe it wasn’t really the bread machine I was crying about.

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“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you…” (Ephesians 1:18).

It is now one week after I wrote these thoughts, and I’m thankful I chose to hold off on publishing them. I woke up Christmas Eve feeling despair and weight. I wondered whether I was being overcome by depression or if I was choosing to wallow – this is always my question, now, when I dip into dark places – Am I falling into darkness because I do not look into The Light?

But by late afternoon, after the multi-vitamins with an extra dose of Vitamin B kicked in, we braved the snowy roads to our Christmas Eve service. Surrounded by candlelight and children’s voices and music about the savior who came to redeem us, who humbled himself and became one of us – suddenly I remembered it isn’t about me. That no matter what happens around me or inside my head, Jesus is still the Giver of Hope.

December was blue, but I am already feeling hopeful.

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