February 19: The Blues

Sometimes, for instance after a holiday or celebration of some kind, we may suffer the “blues” for no apparent reason. We start to feel a little wobbly around the edges, maybe feeling useless or discontent or under-appreciated or lonely or overworked. Maybe it has been a little too gray outside for a little too long. Whatever the reason, we may start to droop. But we can’t let the blues succeed in getting us down. Overcoming the blues requires some exertion on our part because if we do nothing, the blues will follow us around. We can either feed the feeling, by enjoying it and indulging it (along with a little self-pity as well), or we can starve it by changing the subject. Scripture backs up the latter.

Philippians 4:8 gives us some subjects to mediate on: anything that is noble, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, or praiseworthy. What sorts of things fall in this category? God Himself is a good subject for our meditations. What is He like? What has He done? What has He promised? Then consider all your blessings from His hand. Itemize the good things God has done for you. Before you were born, He brought you into being. That’s a good place to begin.

When we change the subject, the blues will eventually give up and disappear. But even if they stick around for a while, ignore them. Don’t give them power over you. You belong to Jesus. And even if the gray clouds are hanging low, there is still a bright blue sky behind them. Meditate on that.

Children need to learn this early on. Show them how to be cheerful when they have long faces. Teach them to count their blessings. Do something productive inside if it’s too cold to go outside. Play some cheerful music and bake some cookies. Some of our spiritual troubles are just creature troubles.  And if we get the hang of dealing with the blues, we will be ready for action when we have real troubles.

 

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11 thoughts on “February 19: The Blues

  1. I really needed this one today. After six years of wondering when and why I got a glimpse of my future on the ultrasound machine last week. Feeling wobbly around the edges hits it pretty well square on the head. I’ve heard stories about the nausea. Well, praise God I don’t very much morning sickness, but they never mentioned the absolute exhaustion or the odd little aches and pains or the various moods of one’s intestines. Suddenly I’m a housewife who has to plan her entire day around getting a shower and getting supper, and my husband typically helps with supper. I’m extremely thankful for this new blessing, but sometimes I do find myself discouraged and frustrated not knowing how to handle my new limitations.

    Any suggestions for beating the blues when your energy is low and it’s hard to be productive? Any practical suggestions for getting through the first trimester without letting everything go to wrack and ruin?

  2. I am with Natalie. Instead of being in my first trimester, I’m in the stages (33 weeks). I also have 2 little boys full of wonderful energy in the middle of winter. It is absolutely my desire to model for them a cheerful spirit even when we don’t feel that way. But I am sometimes at a loss as to what that looks like. When I tell my oldest, “Ok, we are going to do our phonics with a happy spirit”, he rarely is on board with that. Making funny jokes doesn’t help either. How do we train young children to do what doesn’t come naturally to them at that moment? Thank you so much for this post, as well as the others you and your girls have done. They have been so good for me.

  3. This seems to be the post for pregnant ladies today. Ha ha. Being 12 weeks with number 5 has its hassles and temptations for the blues!! Energy is rock bottom, but I’m thankful that this stage ends soon! Taking things one day at a time seems be the best method of coping. Sticking to the basics and as you said, ignoring the rollercoaster emotions!

  4. I’ve been rolling in the blues since Christmas and it seems like every time I try to get back up on my feet I get sick- seriously, I have had both flues and am now just getting over strep! I am trying to be more thankful and praising to God but I see my real problem is not beeping in the word. That’s where we get our renewal right? And the blues have tricks led down into every part of my life- I just feel tired and lazy and I have felt overwhelmed by house work and laundry all year. Enough is enough! I repent of my sin of self indulgence and lazyness- Lord help me! Forgive me for looking to myself instead of to you for strength!

  5. I just wanted to thank you ladies for making the time to post so regularly on the Femina site. I am sure you all have lots of other things to do, but it is such an encouragement to many of us that you write almost daily so that we can be exhorted and encouraged and rebuked in this way. Along with corporate worship on Sunday and my husband’s daily leading and God’s Word, this is one of the places I get the most refreshed for what the Lord calls me to do in my home, my church, and my community. Thank you, Femina girls.

  6. These daily posts are helping to keep up my morale these days. Thank you for taking time out of your very busy days to write them. They are so encouraging and frequently give me a good smack upside the head (a necessity for one and all in this fallen world). I’ve slipped into a bit of a funk the last few days and this inspired me to redirect my course. Thanks again! :-)

  7. If giving in to the blues is a habit that we are to train our children out of, is it appropriate to offer a reward for specific areas of struggle until they have broken the habit? A friend did this with her 5 year old regarding complaining at school time. Once the child managed a week without complaining, she got her reward but the reward didn’t continue indefinitely. When I questioned my friend about this, she said that God has set up this world with blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. She saw this approach as consistent with a Christian world views and said that if her child at any time only wanted to obey when a reward was promised, that would be a separate issue to deal with as it comes up. The little girl is now ten years old and has certainly not been spoilt with bribery; her parents’ approach of carefully of helping their children over specific temptations has borne good fruit.

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