blue monday

Yes, I know this is Tuesday. I may be sleep-deprived, but I’m still (90%) coherent and functional. Blue Monday is code for The Most Depressing Day Of The Year. Some “scientist” gathered up a bunch of life factors, hammered out a little equation, and insists he can tell you which day of theΒ  year is most depressing. The third or fourth Monday in January typically wins the prize.

In 2005, I remember reading that “scientific studies” confirmed January 27 as TMDDOTY. I was at a funeral that day, so it made sense to me. But not everybody’s sweet Grandpa had left his loved ones on earth and moved in with Jesus, so what was the big deal about January 27? This year, I’m getting conflicting reports. January 18th, 22nd, 25th, 26th… (and none of those are even Mondays)

So, what’s the deal? Why all the January doom and gloom? I know, it’s pretty obvious. The holiday high has worn off, the bitter cold is getting old, and the credit card bills have started rolling in. People are sick, plans are canceled, and you’ve already ripped your list of lofty resolutions to shreds. Football season is practically over, everybody’s got cabin fever, and spring seems forever (and ever and EVER) away.

Of course we’re depressed. Who wouldn’t be?

I’ve noticed something though about all that stuff contributing to our depression–it’s all circumstances. And when we let circumstances dictate our outlook on life, we’re in for a heap-load of trouble. Believe me, I know. I’m the Queen of Circumstance-Controlled Mood Swings. ( Not something I’m proud of.) Books are selling? Girlies behaving? Blog comments rolling in? Color me happy. Writer’s block? Leaky ceiling? House payment overdue? Blue (and Bitter) Monday indeed.

I can’t help but think of Paul’s words in Philippians 4:11–“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Now, there’s something to strive for. How does he do that??

I’m pretty sure I know–“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Fix our eyes on Jesus. Fix our eyes on Jesus. Now, hear me on this one–I’m not saying that if you’re battling depression, you’re just not trying hard enough. I’ve got 3 or 4 handfuls of very dear friends fighting the battle against clinical depression at all different levels.

I’m talking about Blue Monday. Letting life get you down, make you mad. The bills, the weather, your waistline, the messes. I want to fix my eyes on Jesus, not all of that. Life is full of ups and downs, joys and sorrows. Even on the same day. Hours after we buried my grandpa four years ago, a beautiful little girl–my sweet niece–took her first breaths of air and joined our family. Happy 4th Birthday, Reesey!! Aunt Marla loves you!

My life is a roller coaster. I’m sure yours is too. But my moods don’t have to be–not if I’m fixing my eyes steadily on Jesus.

So, tell me:

1. What’s been making you blue lately? (if you can’t think of anything, don’t rub it in!)

2. And what are some words of encouragement you can share with the class? (if you can’t think of any, just soak up everybody else’s happy thoughts today!)

Thanks so much for hanging out with me here at the ol’ (new) blog! I loved, loved, loved reading your comments yesterday and getting to know you better. I’m looking forward to building into each other’s lives in the weeks and months to come. Have a Blessed Tuesday, friends!

24 thoughts on “blue monday

  1. Cydney

    Amen, Amen! This was encouraging to read. I am a Christian and I agree with everything you said. I have things get me down all the time but I rest in know my God is King and that all will get better. I have friends that I am afraid don’t always get that. This has been a somewhat tough week but I have tried to rally in the fact, of knowing God is in control and here with me through it all.

    Thank you for this wonderful post of encouragment.

  2. Amy

    1. I would say that as I get older, the winter seems to last longer and I need some sunshine and warmth. I think that since my job laid off 10 people in Dec (including one of my best friends), I have continuous uncertainty. Constant marriage struggles and distance is disheartening. Attitude challenges with the kids is exhausting. So……..with all that said…..

    2. These days, I’m clinging to Eph. 4:23 (NLT) “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” Good word, indeed!

  3. mary

    Here is what makes me blue right now. My darlign grandbabies who have always been right here and usually spend every friday night and saturday with me are moving across the country next week.And there’s much more to that sotry that adds to the bluness.
    here is what God has been teaching me.Life is not ours to hold or control.Letting go allows us to truly feel and experiance the joy of each breathtaking moment. Bittnerness is a feeling we get when things don’t go how we wanted them to.When we can let go of all those expectations it becomes easier to be grateful for and joyful in the gifts He gives us. Not sure that all makes sense, but maybe it will help someone else find joy during a hard time.

  4. Justamom

    Love your new website!

    I love this winter season and don’t really feel the depressing nature of it – at least yet! I do get down about the economy – but I think that might have to do with the fact that my husband works in the financial end of it. Things are starting to get a bit worrisome. We know God is in control, though and He will always provide!! We just have our bad days and tend to forget.

    I want to thank you for providing encouragement on your blog!

  5. Jamie Nygaard

    Ugh….what’s been getting me down? I know this is only temporary, but my aching back! I can’t do a darn thing anymore and I just really want these next 4 weeks to fly by. I am in a lot of physical pain and am happy to know that it will be gone soon unlike some other people who deal with chronic pain…so i really shouldn’t complain. But….you asked.

    Encouragement: This too shall pass.

  6. Amber

    school has really been getting me down… one the one had, I love it. On the other, it’s consuming my life. I literally leave for school at 7 AM and don’t get home until 4-5 and then I spend the rest of the evening studying and doing homework. It’s really overwhelming at times when I have 2 projects due, 3 tests, 3 workbook assignments, 2 papers, etc etc. But then I remember that God has called me into dentistry and if He called me to it, He’ll get me through it. It also helps to know girls who have done the accelerated track that I am doing and they survived (with less discipline and studying) and are now out making money. I keep telling myself, “Only 10 more months!”

  7. Kelly

    I’m blue about my hubby working 24/7 and us never getting time to spend together. . .I know we need the money so I don’t blame him at all. . .I just miss him!

  8. Amanda

    Hey! I just wanted to say that today is a very not depressing day for me–it’s me and Steve’s 3 year anniversary! And we’ve been married 8 months today, too.

    While this is happy for me, I have been stressed about grad schools and figuring out the rest of my life. But, I also have a strong sense that everything will–and always does–work out for the best. πŸ™‚

  9. Claire

    New reader here. I read “Changing Your World One Diaper At A Time” and laughed and cried the whole way through. πŸ™‚ I’m struggling with being a new(ish) stay-at-home mom and boy is it lonely!! I’m thousands of miles from good friends and family and am having a hard time reaching out to the few women that know in the area. And while I really really love what I do, I had no idea that being at home with my wonderful baby son could be so lonely!

  10. Krisco

    If I write out what makes me blue this time of year, I will begin to focus on what makes me blue this time of year. Once I start, I cannot stop. Therefore, I will not start. πŸ™‚ I miss her terribly.

    My encouragement today is this – I don’t always get it at the time (trials and whatnot) but everysingletime I see His hand in it in hidsight. I love Him for that. I love that He loves me enough to keep His promises and He’s made some big ones, ya know. I love that my oldest boy begged me to pray with him to ask Jesus to “be in charge of his life” last Friday. I love that his big sister was the one that explained to him what Jesus did for him when He died on the cross. What a gift of a moment. I need to blog about it.

    And I love that K3rry just ran out of the room he is “resting in”, opened up Addy’s door, shouted “I love you, sister!”, shut her door and scampered back to his room to “rest”. πŸ™‚ Now you know he knows to pull at my heart strings. And he knows how to be naughty (get out of the room) in a very nice way.

  11. Sarah

    Corporate gray cube walls really start closing in this time of year. I get antsy after about 4-5 months in one place (which is just my time line at this job) and am ready for another change of job scenery. I have to refocus my attitude every morning.

    However, I am very thankful that I have a job at all during this uncertain time! Praise Jesus! And this is also circumstantial, BUT my best friend is in labor with her first baby today and that has me totally PSYCHED UP! I can’t wait to get my first glimpse of her new little miracle when he/she arrives!

  12. Heidi

    I’m a new reader of your blog and have been really enjoying it.

    This post is SO timely! I’ve been trying to decide what exactly I’ve been so bummed about since yesterday morning. I’ve never heard of Blue Monday, so that explains it all! πŸ™‚ I can come up with a laundry list of annoyances and disappointments that seem so insignificant when I consider the hurts and problems in the world around me. I’ve gained a little perspective now that I’ve read this. Mine are all circumstantial and I need to place my focus on Jesus.

    Thank you!

  13. Emily Kay

    Some things making me “blue”: my daughter has a nasty cough that’s keeping her up at night, and I’m at the point in my pregnancy where EVERYTHING is painful and it’s driving me insane.

    Encouraging words: GOD IS GOOD!!! πŸ™‚

  14. Jennifer Griffin

    This is a huge, ongoing struggle that I’ve faced my whole life.

    1.) I need fresh air and sunshine! Seriously!
    2.) I need breaks from my kiddos. Girls night out!
    3.) I have to have alone time with Jesus.
    4.) I cannot function without enough sleep.

    If I am not right with God and doing what all I need to do to function…I’m not a happy camper!

  15. Ali

    I’ve beens struggling with earthly comforts – a constant desire to want more. And since we have been spending so much time indoors, it’s worse. Our dryer is broken, so doing laundry reminds me I want a new dryer. Our furniture is ratty, reminding me I want a new loveseat in our living room. And the condo is feeling smaller, reminding me that I want a house.
    So when I read this post on Tammy Smith’s blog, it hit home. I realize that earthly comfort is not my goal rather finding comfort in God is where I should focus my energies (it’s so hard, though!). Thought I’d share this link:
    http://onthethreshold.typepad.com/on_the_threshold_moving_b/2009/01/get-me-back.html

  16. Tonia

    I’m 50 years old today. That is depressing enough. No seriously, I’m not prone to the seasonal mood swings either and I’m very thankful for that because I know it is a problem for many others. Right now to be at our age with no job has been pretty tough but honestly God has blessed us more than we deserve and we are trusting Him! Sounds so simple and yet it isn’t and yet it is. Does that make sense?

  17. Gail

    1. I’m not really overly prone to seasonal mood swings, like some people are. (Thank you, Jesus!) But I am up to my eyeballs in deadlines and tasks. I thought January would slow down our schedule compared to the holiday hubbub. I was waaaaaaaay wrong.

    2. I am encouraged by the facts: that I am loved, that I am doing what God has for me right now, that cleared off kitchen counters are not extolled in Scripture.

  18. Carrie

    Getting me down would be my consistent nature to be inconsistent in battling my strongholds like materalism. I journal and pray every morning and then almost as soon as I have to go out into the world I cave in to the tantalizing red clearance sticker at Target. Also how weak I am to rise above the daily circumstances of marriage, motherhood and general livng and keep a positive attitude. I frequent the negative side more often than not. I keep myself pretty isolated so I don’t have any girlfriens for support/accountability
    Daily I say, “Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace” (Luke 8:48)
    or
    “My soul WILL magnify the LORD and my spirit WILL rejoice in God my Savior (Luke 1:46)
    I just want my light switch of true transformation to be turned (and stay) ON!
    My guys are home from school today — snow day! Get ready for all the gloves, coats, boots and snow sleds:)

  19. Holly V.

    I’m struggling with strained relationships and the fact that I’m still somewhat immobile. (still not walking correctly and still unable to drive. ugh!)

    My encouragement should be that we are corrected in weakness. However, it is so easy to get bogged down with the details and forget that I am currently being refined. What am I not jumping up an down to know this??

    I needed this post today. I needed to soak in the verses from you…and from Holly B. Thanks, friend. Hugs to you!

  20. Holly B.

    Lately I have been overwhelmed with the amount of physical therapy that I have to do (to manage headaches/pain).
    Here is some truth that encourages me:

    “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

    You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.
    I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.

    My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you– I, whom you have redeemed.
    -Psalm 71:20-23
    Even without harps or lyres, we can praise God for His redemption!

  21. Bethany

    Some words of encouragement– You’re not the only one struggling! No matter what you’re going through, it’s not as bad as it could be. I’m reading Jon and Kate Gosselin’s book, “Multiple Blessings”. If they can trust God with parenting sextuplets, I can mother one little baby girl!

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