By Deborah Wuehler, Senior Editor of The Old Schoolhouse
Here we go again. Same routine: long days, short nights, no energy, and feelings of failure. Ever feel like you are in a rut? There are days I just want to stay in bed and wish the world away. If you feel like that, you could have a case of the winter blues. That’s a cliché way of saying, “I’m done now, thank you very much.” I understand those feelings. You are not alone—every homeschool mom I’ve ever talked to has felt this way. Let’s see if we can figure out how to rise up and out of the blue and into the brilliant (or maybe just out of those covers). I have learned to use the following weapons in this warfare.
1. Admit Feelings
The first thing that helps me is to admit my feelings to the LORD. Instead of holding it all in and trying to function normally, I lay it all down before the LORD. He wants to hear our hearts, our hurts, and our fears. Just like the psalmist, we can confess when our countenance is down, at the same time confessing that it is His countenance that will lift us up:
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance”
“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears”
2. Admit Failure
When I am consumed with my failures (or just feelings thereof), it reminds me to just admit them. I fail to make everyone happy. I fail to be as productive as I want to be. I fail to love my husband and children as I should. I realize my need for a Helper, but I fail to turn to Him. I am weak and sick and in need. I fail to realize where my strength comes from. Instead of glorying in my weaknesses, I wallow in them, and fail to see these as opportunities for the power of God to work through me.
“My flesh and my heart fail: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever”
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions,
in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong”
(2 Corinthians 12:10).
3. Admit Need
These thoughts often swirl through my mind: “I am not good enough”, “I don’t know what I am doing”, “I am not as organized, smart, or put-together as everyone else.” I might as well admit that this is all true! There is nothing I can do—absolutely nothing—without the help of God. If He created me and knows my innermost being, He certainly knows how to help and supply every need. What we see as lack, He fills with Himself so that all we see is Him. When I admit my need for strength when mine is gone, I see His fully begin.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”
4. Admit Guilt
When I am in a depressed state, just at the point of giving up, I am at the crossroads that will either produce victory or defeat. If I continue to look inward and listen to the lies of the enemy, I spiral downward to a state of hopelessness—which is where the enemy wants us to stay so that we are ineffective and unproductive. If I choose to look at the cross of Jesus Christ, see my guilt of self-focus, and repent, this will be my victory over the world, my own flesh, and the devil. Looking at how awful I am and carrying that guilt, only produces tears of hopelessness. But why carry what Christ already took upon Himself? If I would but look at Christ’s work done for me, and His great love for me in carrying that heavy burden of my sin upon Himself, I would cry tears of repentance for putting my trust in anything but Him.
Satan hates this position of Godly sorrow and perverts it to make it look like your own depressed state. Go the distance and lay it all down. Repent of any heart issues that aren’t right before God. He will bring new life out of that death. The enemy wants you to stay down and depressed, but God is calling you to leave it all behind and rise up with Him.
A Weapon for Warfare
The word of the LORD is our weapon against the lies of the enemy. Before the blues strike again, put these verses to memory:
The LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime,
and in the night his song shall be with me,
and my prayer unto the God of my life.
I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me?
Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?
Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
—Psalm 42:8, 9-11—
Don’t allow Satan another day of false condemnation; rather, go the distance in repentance and Godly sorrow that leads to life!
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret,
whereas worldly grief produces death”
(2 Corinthians 7:10, ESV).
5. Look Up and Rise Up
After repentance, the most powerful weapon against hanging our heads in discouragement is to look up and see Who is looking back at us. One glimpse of Him will melt away anything blue in us, as we see Him for Who He Is.
When we pray, “Our Father, Who art in heaven; hallowed be Thy Name …” we need to stop and actually look at and think about that Name. His Names reflect His character which is fully trustworthy. Here are a few that should lift your weary head:
Lifter of My Head
“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head”
“As it is written, There shall come out of Zion, the Deliverer”
God of All Comfort
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort”
(2 Corinthians 1:3).
My Help and My Shield
“You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield”
(Psalm 115:11, ESV).
My Strength and My Song
“Behold, God is my salvation;I will trust, and not be afraid:
for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song;
he also is become my salvation”
It is God’s nature to lift up, to fortify, and to strengthen. It is Who He is in you. And greater is He that is in you, than anything or anyone or any lie whispered in our ear. It is Jesus who lifts us up above what tries to defeat us. His higher perspective, not my lowly defeated perspective, is the truth we cling to. We must close our ears to the lies.
You don’t need the world’s advice to “pull yourself up by the bootstraps”; rather, give yourself fully to the Lord, Who is the Lifter of Your Head. He is the One who comes through in your weakest state to lift up and strengthen you in the power of His might. To Him be the glory and honor and praise forever!
When your head is down and you are feeling the weight of the world because of your circumstances, your fears, your failures, your enemies, or the blues that won’t let up, remember this: you have One Who is ready to lift you up above all these things and seat you next to Him so that you can see from His view. He is in control of all things concerning you. He will lift you up as you yield all things to Him.
Instead of beating yourself up, beat the winter blues and rise up and follow Christ as He leads you and your children to the cross as you keep them Home Where They Belong.
Deborah Wuehler is Senior Editor for The Old Schoolhouse, wife to Richard, with eight children ages 27 to 10. She writes for The Homeschool Minute (www.TheHomeschoolMinute.com), is on YouTube with Schoolhouse Devotions, pointing homeschool families to Christ as they keep their children Home Where They Belong!
Copyright 2018, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms. Read The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com, or download the free reader apps at www.TOSApps.com for mobile devices. Read the STORY of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and how it came to be.