Cabin fever has set in around here, big time. This mama is seriously aching for something to do outside the house, and with our budget extremely tight these days (tight isn't the word--it's more like a vacuum.....), the options are limited (to say the least).
I have been feeling poured out lately. I don't know why I don't see this coming every year, but it really seems like it comes around annually. I know that seasonal depression is common, and I suppose that with the post-partum depression I've been dealing with it will probably be a little more intense this year. Yet, I was hoping somehow that it wouldn't affect me as much, that being aware of it would somehow stave it off or offer some shield of protection.
I have really great days, when I feel the Hand of the Lord lifting me out of the valley and setting my feet upon the promised Rock. Those days are almost enough to tide me over, for Pete's sake, and in the mean time my human feet forget how to stand, and I find myself slipping right back down into the valley.
My images of the valley from the mountaintop are not all that bad--I can see lovely green pastures, flowing streams of living waters, gentle rolls and pleasant copses of trees providing cooling shade and plentiful fruit. But I never seem to make it to that particular valley--it's as though I keep climbing the mountain, straining my eyes, seeking that goal, and then somehow always missing it and landing, instead, in the desert. The place I end up is always scorched, filled with brambles and thorns, crawling with hungry predators and laid with mazes of random pits and traps.
My prayer life is suffering. I have not been taking the time I need for my heart to rest in Him, and even as I make room for these words, my heart aches for quiet time with My Lord. I sit here among the chaos of late afternoon with my children, waiting for My Darling to come home, though his arrival is literally hours away. I so desperately need a retreat, a true, honest, actual retreat. I need time to reflect, to read, to journal, and to be filled again with His sweet Spirit. The times between Mass and Mass seem to stretch me so thin that I begin to see through myself and wonder who that poor pallid and thin woman is.
The thing is, I know this journey. I've been on it before--I know it so well, I drew the map. I know that this, too, shall pass. And I am clinging to My Lord in faith that He is walking with me through the valley. I know that He walked the valley before I did, suffering the temptations and fears and lonely lengths of road. I know that He created the valley, and that one day I will find the pasture that I can see from the mountain top. I don't want the excitement of the mountain top......I'd afraid of heights, so the mountain top is never that much of a thrill for me anyway. It's windy up there, and you have to balance just so in order to keep from toppling head over heels to the bottom. I much prefer the solace of the verdant plains, with the sweet woods, gentle breezes, soft grasses, and the company of His fold.
Rats. I don't like this place, and I'd covet your prayers to get the heck out of it. While we're at it, please keep in your prayers AJ and Sarah (and Pip!), little Zelie, Charlie, Rebekah, JP, my Grandma, Ray, Chris, Andy, Veronica, and all the others whose names He already knows.......