Choosing Simple Ways to Chase The Blues Away
Sharing a Day from My Journal
When I got up this morning there was a cloud in my back yard, and no, I'm not writing a Blues song. There really was a cloud in my back yard. Very, very thick fog started where my yard begins at the banks of a pond and lake, and it came right up to the edge of my house. An amazing sight to behold, it blocked out everything I normally see when I look out through my living room windows. It made me feel sad, however, because it caused me to miss my usual morning view of a the duck pond and the lake behind it. I took a seat on my living room sofa positioned right in front of the windows, and I watched the fog for a while, hoping it would soon dissipate. While waiting, I started writing my thoughts down in my journal that I keep handy. A few minutes in, I looked at the thoughts I'd recorded, and they were all negative.
The fog was affecting my mood. Clouds had seeped into my head, and now they were invading my mind. I looked up again and couldn't see the lake I usually see when I look out my wall of windows. I could only see a few feet in front of me. The fog was so thick, it was hiding the sun; keeping the day from beginning with light. I couldn't imagine the bright, positive, and sun shinny future I'd wanted to think about that morning and look forward to. I decided to zero in on the negativity, to see what it was all about. Was it just the weather messing with me, or was I allowing negative things going on in my life to get me down?
Feeling the need to put distance between me and the fog, I got up from my seat, went to the laundry room, and put in a load of dirty clothes.
Lifting Blues By Doing Laundry
Doing laundry felt pretty good, like I was accomplishing something. I decided to listen to music while my clothes churned in the washing machine. Searching through my digital music files, I saw several songs by Whitney Houston. I thought about how in early in 2012 we all had mourned her passing. She was so gifted, one of the greatest singers of all time.
I clicked on "The greatest love of all," and Whitney began to sing. I sat listening and thinking about how hers would always be one of the most magnificent voices I have ever heard. When the song was done, I decided to log on to You Tube to watch a few of her videos. Soaring and effortless, in every video her voice was as lovely as she was; it was an irresistible force like no other. I remembered the first time I heard that voice. I was driving somewhere, not really paying much attention to the radio. Suddenly a song was playing that got my attention. The voice was beautiful and strong and simply incredible. I said out loud, "Who is that?" I had to know who owned such an amazing, unforgettable voice.
I enjoyed reconnecting with Whitney Houston through her music and videos. Feeling uplifted and inspired, I realized my energy returning. I got up, went to the kitchen, and started preparing to make from scratch a pot of chicken and spinach dumplings for dinner.
Lifting Blues By Preparing Dinner
After getting done with my dinner preparations, I went to the living room, sat back down on my couch, and started reading a chapter from my first novel, Silver Currents of Change. It started to rain, and I thought about how much I love rain. I finished the chapter, then I put my book down. Even though I was feeling better, something was still bothering me.
That's when it hit me. What I'd been experiencing that morning was the blues. Even though I've gone through some very tough and challenging times over the past several years, it is still rare that I ever come down with a case of the blues. That's what I couldn't relate to—me, with the blues. My faith and trust in God is so strong, "down" feelings don't usually linger with me. The thought of me experiencing a blue morning reminded me of the Book of Job, in the Bible. I thought about how Job's wife became so frustrated with all the bad things that were happening to them that she told Job he should "curse God and die."
Job's wife had hit upon the ultimate goal of Satan. His job is to make you feel so discouraged that you’ll not only get a serious case of the blues and give up hope, you’ll stay down and depressed. It is his hope that you'll eventually take your own life, thereby snatching away from God the glory of winning your eternal soul.
Lifting Blues Using Biblical Inspiration
I thought about the Book of Job and how Job listened to God, instead of listening to his wife. He trusted and depended on God to save him. He realized that you cannot put your trust and faith in things, or even in other people, ahead of your trust and faith in God. It helped my mood to think about how strong Job's faith must have been.
Thinking about what God allowed Job to go through reminded me of ministers called "prosperity preachers." A lot of them seem to be saying that if you are a Christian and you don't have great quantities of material comforts in life, that means you are not serving God well enough to get Him to give you stuff. Huh? I don't agree with that notion. I believe you must be willing to let go of the desire for more and more material possessions, and you must be ready to give your whole life over to God, if that is what He requires of you. Like Job, you must be willing to live, love, and to serve God, no matter what happens, in good times and bad, for richer or poorer.
I thought about how my allegiance to God is not contingent upon whether or not He blesses me with material things, or even with all the necessities of life. It can't be based on that. I have to surrender all, don't I? And that means I can enjoy the love of God, and I can know and serve and be grateful to a loving God, even when I have nothing. Isn't that the real test? If the getting and having of material comfort is your evidence that God loves you, then what will you do if you were to lose those things? Would you also lose your faith in God? I wondered how many people who say they love God would still say it if they had to face the Job test.
If God's love is measured by the weight of the material possessions you own, then wouldn't that put the stamp of approval on the worship of material things? God loved Job, and he allowed Satan to take away all of his material possessions. He allowed the devil to do whatever he wanted to His faithful servant. God knew Job was strong enough in his faith to remain faithful no matter what Satan did, or what people or things He allowed Satan to take away.
I decided Job's life is the best example of how we are to love and to trust God, with our whole hearts and our whole lives. No matter what God allows us to get, or who/what He allows to be taken from us.
A "Bluesy" Day Turned Bright
I looked outside. It was still raining, but the fog was gone. I smiled as I thanked God for my life. I was grateful, in the moment, to be sitting in my living room reading, truly enjoying a book I wrote and published, myself. It was raining, and the aroma of chicken and dumplings was all around me, enveloping me in warmth and positivity.
The fog had lifted outside and from my mind. Just the thought of how I'd soon be enjoying a bowl of delicious, Southern "comfort food" for dinner made me smile, outside and inside. That's when it hit me. Just by doing a few simple things instead of wallowing in self-pity, I had managed to chase away the blues. I felt happy once again, ready and eager to face the rest of my day, and the rest of my life.