So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

The first time I ever heard about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) I honestly thought it was a joke. I mean, really, the acronym for a winter mood disorder was actually SAD? I read a little about it and thought it kind of made sense. Grateful it didn’t affect me, I tucked the information away.

Then, this past winter, suddenly it did affect me. At first I just figured I was in a slump. I was hoping it was just PMS, or the prolonged recovery from an injury, or being introverted, or some other similar issue to justify my feelings without labeling them DEPRESSION. I admit, even after living through four bouts of postpartum anxiety requiring meds, I still feel a stigma associated with mental illness in all its manifestations. I’m afraid that to be depressed is to be C-R-A-Z-Y, even though I know that is not the case. Just for fun I checked the symptoms of SAD again last night. To varying degrees, this past winter I could have identified with every single symptom: oversleeping, irritability, low energy, weight gain, craving carbs, trouble concentrating, and loss of interest in usual activities.

One of my favorite activities is spending time with Jesus in his word. This winter, though, those times were few and far between. During the cold and gloomy winter,  my soul felt buried deep under the weight of overcast skies. More than that, the chill had settled in my heart and distanced me from the Son.

After months of frozen winter, I felt as if my soul was in need of a good thawing. The shortage of daylight paired with gray and dreary skies had done nothing be sink me deeper into a dark and lonely pit. By the time March hit, I was read to burst out of my house and out of my own head.

When the first warm rays of sunshine were just beginning to hint at spring last month, my cooped up soul yearned to be outside. I wandered out one afternoon with my husband and for some reason we ended up sitting on the tailgate of his pickup, our legs just dangling. The chill of winter not-quite-over was in the air, but the sun was warm and it was golden and bright. We weren’t talking, just sitting there, soaking up the vitamin D and so much more. I eventually kicked all the way back, lying in the truck bed with my eyes closed. My skin tingled under those warm rays of sunlight. After some wonderful minutes had passed, I absently turned my face to the sun.

In that nearly mindless action, something inside me sparked and spread a happy warmth throughout my body. I was immediately reminded of the way some plants follow the movements of the sun. They need it so desperately, depending on it for life and nourishment. I realized that I was a starving plant, and I was in great need of both the sun and the Son.

Surprisingly to me this realization didn’t send me plummeting low. Instead, I swelled with the renewed hope and peace of a God who longs for me to turn my face toward Him. I’m deeply grateful He was with me during my dark months. But more than that, I’m also thankful that He welcomed me into his warm light the moment I turned back to Him. As I basked in the sun last month, in the bed of that dirty ole truck, I knew it was a holy, life-giving moment with God. And my soul breathed a sigh of relief.

I almost scrapped this article because a fellow Her View From Home author, Abbie Ginther, wrote about her own journey with SAD this same week. I didn’t want to be redundant. The odds of two of us writing about SAD the same week? And then it hit me. The sun is finally shining again and we are feeling better, so of course we would both be emerging from our winter cocoons at the same time. I’m reminded once more that I am not alone in this.

Dusty Reed

Dusty is a wife, a mother and a friend. Having grown up in a big city, she is now raising her family of seven on a farmstead in rural Nebraska. During weekdays Dusty can be found teaching her children at the dining room table. Or napping; it can be exhausting raising five kids! Dusty is always on the lookout for ways to avoid housework. Her favorite ways are meeting friends for coffee, preparing meals to take to others, or simply laying in a hammock with a good book. Often feeling like an inadequate mess, Dusty is allowing God to enter into those fragile parts of her heart to heal it. Anything she learns along this tangled path of life, she longs to share with others.

When Life Feels Hard, Sit in the Light

In: Faith
book plate and mug sitting in light on a table

Because of the way our house sits, there isn’t a lot of natural light that flows into our home. As a girl who loves the sun and works at home, this has been a problem, especially in the winter months. I often find myself identifying deeply with my dog, who walks around the house in search of patches of sunlight to lay in. In fact, there is a section of my kitchen where I often sit and do my devotions because the sun shines down on me—a physical reminder of God’s love and presence. The first time I did this...

Keep Reading

Jesus of the Rock Bottom Rescue

In: Faith, Living
Sad woman sitting on floor

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give. I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized....

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.