"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

10 January 2009

Refresh Your Soul

I love this picture.
It is the West Branch of the Sacandaga River, in the part of the Adirondacks where my husband and daughters and I have done lots of hiking and camping.
During the winter, I am affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, somewhat. (moodiness not related to PMS; wanting to gorge on sugary foods)
Especially if the days of January and February are grey and gloomy. Which in this part of NY, is often the case!
I haven't been officially diagnosed by my doctor, but I tend to have many of the symptoms once Christmas has ended.
So.....this year I determined that one of my main goals for the New Year would be to make sure that on days with sun....even a little bit....I would get outside.

It refreshes my natural body but more importantly, it refreshes my soul/spirit.
I feel so much more connected to my Lord, when I am out in His Creation.
If you don't know what I mean, find the book "Sacred Pathways" by Gary Thomas.
The author describes several different spiritual temperaments that Christians have and if used, will aid them in their spiritual walk, by meeting their need of connecting with the Lord/worshipping the Lord.

So....today the sun is shining. I feel a bit overwhelmed with household tasks that can't get done until my new dryer is delivered. Which won't be until the middle of next week. So......
I am finding my self wanting to get outside for a bit, although we are faced with bitter cold temps here today and possibly more snow on the way tonite for our area of NYS.
There are plenty of ways I can get my sunshine in though rather than tramping through the forest in 18 inches of snow which is how much they have in the area where the above picture was taken. Since I don't own snowshoes (yet!), I have to be creative.
Here are some things you can do to incorporate outdoor time during the winter:
  • Take the children sledding on a local hill. Today is too cold for that but.....we do have a day planned next weekend when temps are supposed to warm up a bit.
  • Take a power-walk during mid-day rather than late afternoon or early morning. In these winter months, I still try to do my power-walking routine, but I find if I do it while the sun is out, I am accomplishing 2 things: meeting my need for exercise and getting the sun while the Son meets me. I typically power walk alone so it gives me the chance to pray and meditate and listen to His Spirit speak to me.
  • Run errands during the afternoon (or on your lunch break if you work full-time) while the sun is still shining and park as far from the store as possible. This puts added steps into my day AND gets me in the sun a bit longer.
  • Sit in the sunniest room you have and just meditate or read Scriptures. For me this means sitting in the family room in the morning which is in full sun, or the living room from noon-3 pm which is then in the full sun. It really does help.
Meditate on these Scriptures and find at least one thing to be thankful for each day:

Psalm 42: 1-2a; 5 "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God......why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance."

Isaiah 61: 3b- "....to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."

Deuteronomy 31: 8 "And the Lord, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed."

Matthew 6: 19-21 "DO not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

There are so many more Bible verses I like to meditate on when feeling down but these are my favorite ones.

Do you have symptoms of seasonal affective disorder? (moodiness, (or more severe form: depression), wanting to eat lots of sugary, starchy or high fat foods, "the blues" just to name a few)

If so, how do you deal with it?
Do you know your spiritual temperament?
Which one is it? How do you meet that need in your daily walk?

(the above Scriptures were taken from "The Soul Care Bible, NKJversion)


Anonymous said...

Faith, I feel this way as well and starts for me just like you once the holidays are over. I've struggled with this for years and it isn't easy, some days are better than others and yes getting the sun does help. I actually considered going to a tanning place to get some light but it is just so bad for your skin. I will definitely meditate on the scriptures that you shared, I am starting tonight. I did mention it to my doctor when I went for an annual exam but all they seem to offer is antidepressants and I didn't want to have to go down that road again.......I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with it.


Faith said...

Hey Erin: My own doctor (ob/gyn) told me a couple of years ago to meditate, read books that centered around spring/summer, eat less sugary foods and more fruit. I am doing that and it is sorta helping. She also said to try to get as much of the sun as possible when it IS out. I am finding that by meditating on certain Scriptures it is helping me too. I have added more fruit each morning and it does help me. It might help you, too. Give it a shot! I refuse to take the antidepressants for this!

e-Mom said...

Good advice from your commenters above. I suffer from SAD too. I've added Vitamin D and Omega-3 supplements to my diet. They REALLY make a difference. Try them!


Faith said...

e-Mom: YES! I did add omega-3 to my diet 2 years ago due to my cholesterol creeping up over 170 so....it did make a bit of difference. AND the vitamin D is great...mine comes with my calcium tablet I take as per my ob/gy advice. Thanks for sharing!

Susan Skitt said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by my site and entering the book give-away!

Wow - we love to hike in the Adirondacks - do it as a family every summer vacation when we go to Camp of the Woods. And we kayak on the Kunjamuk (connects with Sacandaga) too! In fact, my hubby proposed to me on top of Crane Mt.!!!

And Deut. 31:8 is my "life verse". I've written my story about it in the One Year Life Verse from Tyndale.

I agree with you that getting outdoors and exercise are great ways to connect with our Lord and Savior. In the warmer months, I love to bring my Bible by a local lake here in Pa and read :)

Homemanager said...

Have you tried changing your light bulbs to the "day-light" compact florescent or full spectrum type bulbs?
We have two "day-light" cfl's in our kitchen. It seems to have helped us.
It does help to take vitamin D and the omega oils, as well.