All posts tagged depression

Earning a Living, or Leaving a Legacy?

Earning a living or leaving a legacy? Currently, I’m not doing either.

Our farming business isn’t earning the millions I thought it would. Neither are my value-added products. For a while, i thought I’d be a famous writer, but that’s doesn’t look too promising. Plus, I’m applying for jobs, and haven’t even gotten my first interview.

I feel useless so I’ve been useless since I’m not earning a living.

So what am I doing?

Pouting. Playing solitaire.


Being lazy is one thing–and I have definitely played that role. But patiently waiting on the Lord–that’s a whole different story.

I’ve been asking myself a few questions. Maybe you have, too. Do I really believe God is sovereign? Do I really believe He provides for His children? Do I really believe He is good?

Yes, to all of those…in my mind. My heart sometimes answers differently.

Years ago, I wrote a few articles titled, “Go Back to the Rocks.” They were about how in the Old Testament, when the patriarchs had an encounter with the Almighty, they piled up a few rocks. Not my style, but obviously it was all the rage then. The picture is that the rocks reminded them of God’s faithfulness.

In those articles, I mentioned that if I piled up rocks everywhere the Lord answered me, there would be a small quarry in not only this house, but my houses in Florida.

Funny thing about rock piles, they’re just like dust,…you get used to seeing them and pretty soon, you don’t remember they are there.

So for today, I am going to remember the rock piles and God’s faithfulness to me.

And be glad.

A life verse for me is Isaiah 30:15, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

Repentance happened in my time with the Lord this morning. Now I just need to shut up and trust.

How about you? Do you want to share any “rocks” in your life? Do you need to look back and remember?

Let me know, I’d love to hear.

Don’t be Legacyless…

Brighten the Corner

Crying most of the day, I could hardly function. No one died. I wasn’t losing my house. Or my family.

I attended my own pity party.

Why is Tom gone so much? Why am I home so much with Mom? How can I do great things when I’m stuck here? The stench of my thoughts must have burned God’s nose.

It had only been a week since I’d finished the chapter about contentment in Pricilla Shirer’s book, “Resolutions for Women.” I even signed the resolution.

And now I whined and cried to God because I was confined to a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, air-conditioned house. Oh yeah, did I mention I have a pool?


Mom’s caregiver didn’t come in until later that day. I sat next to Mom as we listened to the radio. The announcer spoke of a woman who wanted to do great things for the Lord. Then her father became an invalid. She took care of him for the next several years.

She wrote a song during the time of care for her father. Here are the lyrics:

  1. Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
    Do not wait to shed your light afar;
    To the many duties ever near you now be true,
    Brighten the corner where you are. 

    • Refrain:
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
      Brighten the corner where you are!
  2. Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
    Let not narrow self your way debar;
    Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
  3. Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
    Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
    Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

We lifted the chorus together. Her voice, low and raspy–mine, younger and stronger. Mom’s wrinkly face shone from the corner of her cheery, green room. She brightened that corner.

I smiled. God answered me. He didn’t yell. He whispered to me through a song written by a woman who thought what she did didn’t count for anything.

All those acts of service the world doesn’t recognize, the Lord treasures.

He knows.

Now I know.

I’ll talk to you next week. I’ve got a few corners to shine up.

What about you?



I’m reading a book by David Jeremiah about Encouragement. I need that book. I tend to encourage those outside my family and discourage those inside my family.

You might ask why. That’s a good question.

I think it is worry. I don’t live with those outside of my home. I love them, but not with the intensity that I love my family. So, I worry. I think if I don’t have control, the world will fall apart. Then, when I don’t have control, (which is never), I get discouraged.

That’s a sin according to Jerry Bridges and his book “Respectable Sins.” John Piper would agree. He preached a whole series and wrote a book about unbelief.

Unbelief is exactly what is plaguing me.

I can believe that God raised Christ from the dead, but He can’t speak to my family through the Holy Spirit.

I can believe that God created the world with a word, but He can’t take care of our finances.

I can believe that He has a home in heaven for me where I’ll spend eternity with Him that defies description, but cannot believe that He is sovereign in the details of my life.

Which leads to another “respectable sin.” Discontentment.

This morning during my quiet time with God, I took the advice of David Jeremiah. I ran to God and His Word and then sang praises to Him. The song? “O the Deep, Deep, Love of Jesus.”

The weight of discouragement has lifted for now. I’m going to keep feeding on God’s Word, and singing His praises.

James 1: 2-4 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

It’s growing time for me. What about you?



I had one of those nights last night. I woke up, began to worry and then couldn’t get back to sleep.

I hate those nights.

There are no boogey men (if that’s how you spell it), but the worry monster lurked at the edge of my closet with the anger ghost right beside him.

Everyone and everything is grotesquely magnified like the mirrors in the circus fun house. My thoughts stir together like a wicked brew. And they stink. Some nights I know what to do. I get on my knees. Other nights, I lie in bed and let my anxious, angry, thoughts build.

It’s not good. It’s not healthy. It’s not godly.

I’ve just begun a study of Acts. The book covers the history of the New Testament church, but it also describes how the Holy Spirit led and filled the saints for His work.

I need that filling. I need His refreshment. I need to ‘renew my mind.’

Maybe tonight, I’ll get on my knees and renew my mind, even if it is 2AM.


Years ago, I asked a local newspaper editor that I wrote for to write a letter of recommendation for me. He wrote, “When you read Pauline’s writing, you feel as if you are sitting down with her and sharing a cup of coffee.”

I strive for that. Today for our ‘chat,’ I’m going to tell you something that is not easy to say. I get depressed. Sometimes for long periods of time. And there is no real reason for it.

I’m confiding in you, because I believe that you might have some of the same struggles. If you are a woman, you probably do. If you are over 50, it’s almost inevitable. I thought a lot about that this weekend. I won’t bore you with what discouraged me, I’m just going to tell you what I’ve figured out and what others have figured out for me. Because maybe it will help.

The first reason I think I struggle with despondency is I’m too ‘me centered.’ By that, I mean that I wonder why my husband doesn’t always just say the right thing, or my son doesn’t treat me exactly the way I think he should. Reasoning that my friends should know how down I am, I wonder why they don’t know and reach out to me. But by the time I’ve arrived there, I really don’t care.

And it’s not that husbands shouldn’t love their wives like Christ loved the church, it’s just that I expect my husband to be Christ, and well,…he isn’t. It’s not that my son shouldn’t honor his mother, even when I’m not so honorable,…but he doesn’t always do that.

Bottom line is that my attitude is sinful and my expectations are unreasonable. Still, I fall into despair.

Another reason I am depressed is physical. I need regular exercise, good nutrition, and a healthy body to stay balanced. Too much caffeine, not enough sleep, and a hectic schedule almost assure me of melancholy. Plus, I’m over 50. My body is changing. I need to accept that and push forward. But, I don’t want to push. I want to just lie down and give up.

A third reason I fall into that pit is sin. Another way to put that is disobedience. When I choose my own way, do what I want to do without asking God, without seeking His guidance, without obeying, that leads me to despair.

I think that was part of it these last few weeks. I was desperate. I called out to God and in the middle of the night and I had an epiphany. (I’m not sure that is the right word—you tell me.) There was one particular area of my life in which I’d compromised. It affected my fellowship with God. And when you’ve had great fellowship with Him, when that fellowship is severed or shadowed—it stinks.

When I studied the life of Moses in Bible Study Fellowship, my big takeaway was that obedience brings blessing, and disobedience brings discipline. I don’t want Him to discipline me. I need to obey.

Another thing the Lord pointed out was that I try to figure God out too much. I think I should understand all that He does and doesn’t do. And then I think I should tell Him how to run the universe. As I write this I know how foolish that sounds, but I wondered if maybe just writing it might make you think that perhaps in a roundabout way, you think that, too.

I also think God made me this way. I am a writer. A communicator. When something bothers me, or encourages me, or makes me laugh, I write about it. And when I write about it, it might make you feel or think or laugh and we can both learn or laugh together. But that is no excuse to wallow in self-pity. That is just wrong. And it doesn’t help.

John Piper believes that all sin stems from unbelief. I’m beginning to believe him. He states in his book, “Battling Unbelief,” that despondency will come. He cites many examples of it throughout Scripture. He said despair is like the alarms sounding for an air raid. Those feelings will come, but we must battle them. Prepare for them. Have our hiding place ready.

And that hiding place is the Word of God. Really believing that it is true and counting on that here on earth. Like Paul did in prison. Like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Like David did in the 23rd Psalm.

Because when we run to Him like David did in the Psalms, He restores our soul. Not when we look to our spouses or children or friends or homes or alcohol or vacations. That is earth’s junk food.

Jesus said to the woman at the well, “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

So, today, I’m sipping. I’m clinging. I’m resting. And He is restoring my soul.