For A Dark January Day When You Need Encouragement

Let’s take a few minutes to breathe, friends, shall we? I know that with January comes all the maelstrom of tasks that you have put off, the bills that need to be paid, and a slow weariness that permeates the soul. But we need not make those tasks into excuses for grumpiness.

The wind cut sharply through my coat this morning, and as I walked behind a few grumpy college students as they wearily marched off to class I reflected on this time of year: Christmas is over, the semester has just begun, and life can sometimes look a bit gray. But it does not have to. As I was reminded by my sweet friend Sarah in her post we choose our mood, we choose our happiness, and we choose whether we focus on the cupcakes or the dirty dishes of life.

We decide the level of our happiness.
This is my brother, when we went to New Zealand a few years ago. And you just can’t go wrong with an Abe Lincoln quote.

Today I encourage you to be bold enough to ask God for encouragement.  Last semester I felt my naturally sunny mood bleed into a dark muddy color, and I decided to ask my Lord for a bit of help. Just as if I was a wife who’s husband had not brought her flowers, and instead of sulking she simply asked naively for them. Or just as simply as the Bible says to ask what you need, I decided to stop moping, and tell God. I needed encouragement.

And it came. He showed up. He showed me He noticed me. Bit by bit. Comment by comment. My week became a coloring page, that God filled with beautiful, and brilliant hues. He dipped his paintbrush into the oil paint, and painted over the dark depressing scribbles I had been drawing, and filled my page with vibrant, indescribable colors.

Sometimes when I feel the weariness, and exhaustion of life, and responsibilities I picture myself carrying a heavy bag full of rocks, and I remember the God who takes away my burdens, stone by stone.

[Tweet “God took me to the lake and skipped rocks with me until my shoulders were free once again.”]

He encouraged me through kind words from a professor, a dream interview coming out of nowhere, an inexplicable lightening of the spirit, joy returning, kind words from a boss, ballet class clicking for the first time, and an incredibly kind fiancé.

He noticed me, and He knows.

If you are feeling weary today then you don’t need a bit of retail therapy, an extra shot of espresso, or your man to take you on a fancy date. You need Him to meet you where you are. Ask Him.

17 thoughts on “For A Dark January Day When You Need Encouragement”

  1. Pingback: OH HOW HE LOVES US - Dirt Road Daydreams

  2. I love this! I actually was just asking God for encouragement yesterday. He really shows up, doesn’t he? I’ve also noticed that when I ask him to encourage me and bless me, I start looking out for it and noticing the small things he does. To be honest, he is always showing me love and encouragement, but I often don’t notice it.

  3. How beautiful, Bethany!
    The words on my Facebook post today were “I feel overwhelmed.” I’m mourning my sister, you see. It’s a brand new pain and makes me so weary. And I’m just the sister, not the husband, or either of the daughters, or the grandchildren. I worked through some of the sadness today. I think I’ll take your advice and I’ll ask God boldly for beauty in my drab world.

    1. Oh, Amy, I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you right now in your time of grief. Praying that you will feel God’s presence, and He will shower you with his love right now. Hugs!

  4. Thank you for these ‘be still’ words this morning. This year has been the first year that I’ve had health complications, and it’s disheartening to wake up in the morning and know that your body isn’t going to carry you through the to-do lists. Thank you for showing that God is so much bigger than that.

  5. Every day is a coloring page, a gift. You have a philosophy that takes some people many years to develop. A certain mother should be proud of her daughter.

  6. This is a beautiful reminder of something we often just forget: when you need help, ask. God the Father, of course, cares for us and hears our prayers. Lovely, Bethie.

  7. THANK YOU! I needed this so much. Going through trying times right now and I try hard to focus on my baby’s beautiful smile and first steps or my children’s helpfulness or my fun coworkers instead… but some days I feel like I’m drowning and it’s so hard.

    God is enough. He is always enough. I just have to be reminded (sometimes frequently!)

    1. I am so glad you drew some encouragement from this post, Elisabeth. I bet you are a great mom, and you are so blessed to have a cute little baby! Perservere through your hard times, and hold on to all those little beautiful moments God has give you. Blessings

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