The weather turned on Monday. By midday, we lost the sun behind gloomy skies. A breeze kicked up and soon after the temp went from fair to chilly. Nee (my sister, aka Alicia), Lee Brown (our resident Marine) and I, had worked together through Sunday afternoon to get the leaky roof on Fire’s stable sorted. Now it has a new, temporary cover. It isn’t fancy, but it’ll keep her dry through the winter.
Touching Fire is my sister’s rescue mare. She’s pushing 40 and winter weather can be a challenge for her. Having a dry stable helps keep her healthy and happy.
She’d been feeling under the weather for a few days and looking rather sad, even with all the pets, pats and treats. She has intermittent allergy issues and arthritis. But, by Monday evening, Nee’s organic meds served with warm, alfalfa stew, and hanging out in a dry, evergreen-scented stable had turned things around. She was feeling better, energetic and trotting in her round-pen when Nee headed across her little paddock to serve her first supper. (She gets two suppers every evening--one at six, the other at nine. She’s not at all spoiled..)
We’d changed the atmosphere within the atmosphere for her. I was engaged in a similar, yet separate atmosphere change.
Snowfall often has a bitter-sweet effect on me. It brings on the smiles ‘cause I’ve always loved the beauty of it, still love to play in it and for sure love remembering all the special things about snow in regards to good times with my family. They made snow seriously exciting. On the flip-side, the memories come with ripples of sadness because most of the folks in those scenes have walked on.
If I allowed it, the sadness could outweigh the joy but that’d be a terrific waste. It was from them I learned that I can experience and appreciate joy even when grieving because they weren’t the source of my joy.
I’m consistently missing my loved ones that are gone. That leaves me with a choice to either be sad over their absence or allow Jesus to comfort me. I choose His comfort and company because He is the perfect balm for any wound, physical or spiritual. In choosing Him, I choose joy.
As a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he...” Proverbs 23:7. Rather than wrapping myself in sadness, I choose to remember blessings, my Christ-driven purpose and walking under His direction on a Heaven-bound path, every day.
Depression is a beast. Feed it and it will grow.
I prefer to starve depression and consume what my soul needs to stay healthy, much like Fire consumes her alfalfa stew. The Word is the Bread of life, and it can be enjoyed in a vast, variety of methods. One of my favorite methods is books. One, in particular, has lit up my path during this cold snowy, weather.
The book is Diamonds for Dusty Roads by Joy Haney.
It’s a BIG book, filled with scripture, stories and testimonies, spanning centuries, of how others, some facing incredible odds, stayed on course, walked in the Light and declined to feed the beast.
It’s a book for when you’re feeling distraught, for when the day’s not going right, for when you’re needing encouraged, or to find something rich and healing to share with a friend going through a rough time. It’s also a book for a good day--when there’s time to sit a spell and savor some blessings.
You can get it in an e-copy for your phone, tablet or pc or get a hardcopy, to keep in your library or by your favorite chair. It’s a book that will brighten your spirit so much, I can’t imagine reading it only once.
This is my first read of Joy Haney’s work and I found it professionally and spiritually exquisite. She’s a wonderful writer and I found several more of her books available when I hunted up the amazon.com links for this post.
If your local library doesn’t have a copy of this, they need one. Just sayin’...