Today is the first day of spring. The first day of sunshine and flowers and joy, right? Well, maybe not. After a long winter of dark skies, icy sidewalks and viruses; it doesn’t always feel like spring in our minds. Sometimes we just can’t shake the blues, mild-depression or just grumpiness that we feel.
In my 40’s, I feared the pits of depression. I worried about and fell victim to the long bouts of gloom. But, now I have a better perspective on sadness and, as a result, I’m more joyful than I’ve ever been.
Here’s how I get my joy back
Stop looking at people
I’m not talking about people-watching at the mall. I’m talking about how we focus on people for approval, how we criticize people, how we compare ourselves to others. When I look up to Jesus (and this takes intentionality and time), the cloud lifts.
Turn off social media for a couple days
Turn off depressing news and tv shows
Start looking at God
My son graduated from high school early and got a great internship in Silicon Valley very far from home. I always said I wouldn’t be the sad empty-nester, finding solace in Netflix and a bag of chips, but sometimes, I am exactly that.
Spend 15 minutes a day in an easy devotional book like Ephesians by Joyce Meyer
Put beautiful, positive reminders of God’s goodness on your phone and computer with my free downloads.
Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. — Ephesians 1:2
Wait for it
Waiting on the Lord sounds about as fun at waiting at a broken stop light. But the word “wait” is actually a synonym of hope. And hope isn’t an arbitrary emotion, it is the result of deciding to believe that God is good and that He will reward us when we seek Him. One of the rewards He gives out is . . . wait for it . . . JOY!
Believe that God is good
Give the gray cloud a little time to lift
The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
— Nahum 1:7