When counting it all joy feels a little like death

I received a message recently from someone who reads my nightly gratitude post, “Counting it ALL Joy” on Facebook. Here’s what it said: “Your Counting it ALL Joy is killing me.”

I’d been posting a lot of things about my new little granddaughter including an adorable picture of her in her hedge hog Halloween outfit, so I thought she meant it in a nice way – killing her with joy. But then I read further.

“ …we face issues that do not have a shred of joy in them. I stand here in front of your words and beg my Father to help me, in faith, believe it and to live it. This formidable mountain casts a deep shadow.”

Oh my heart. She’d been reading not just the gratitude posts but also the blog series on climbing the mountains in our lives. Her mountain was so vast the shadow was blocking out every bit of light. All I could do was empathize because I’ve been there. That’s how this whole practice started—when I was drowning in the depths of my own darkness. It’s one thing to count your blessings when you can look out your rustic farmhouse window, see the sun rise and the light fall on that patch of glorious sunflowers you planted last spring. I looked out the window and all I could see was the dumpster. I get it.

How do you count it all joy when you’re not joyful?

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Depression and How I Dismantled It

“The opposite of depression isn’t happiness; it’s vitality.” 

the opposite of depression isn't happiness, it's vitaity

Depression used to drain the life out of me. 

Four years ago, on May 12, 2014, my life radically changed, but the seeds for that change were sown in January 2013. Here’s a partial journal entry from that day:

  • Decimating mountains of fear
  • Obliterating depression
  • Pulverizing despair
  • Dismantling lack
  • Annihilating anxiety
  • Building hope muscles
  • Training my mind to think positive thoughts
  • Rebuking the victim mentality
  • Shaking off discouragement
  • Stomping on old habits
  • Parting ways with the pity party
  • Stepping out into the future.
  • Lack is not part of my vocabulary
  • Stressed is not in my thesaurus
  • Blessed is how I describe myself

I am rich: rich in favor, finances, in spiritual wisdom, in relationships, in all my endeavors.

I WAS MISERABLE.

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Summer: How to Beat the Heat and Learn to Like it (plus 10 favorite things)

Dear summer … I’m breaking up with you. (jk)

Summer: there are two kinds of people in this world: those who live for summer, swimsuits and suntans and those who wilt when the temps rise about 70 degrees.

I’m a wilter.

Fifteen long, hot, there’s-only-one-season-year-round-never-ending Florida summers, followed by a decade of hot flashes made this rose droop. At my age, shorts and tank tops are out of the question and can we please not discuss the trauma of trying on bathing suits?

I honestly began to dread summer to the point that depression would set in the higher the temperature climbed. Claustrophobia. I got S.A.D. starting in March. But guess what?

Not anymore.

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