It’s not just because of winter. I’ve felt a little dull for a while now.

Not dull as in boring, but dull as in not bright, not sharp.

I used to be bubbly and optimistic and a total social butterfly. Yep, I’m the one who constantly got a check next to the “talk too much” box on her report card. In elementary school.

I’m not sure what exactly to blame the dullness on – lack of sleep, the hormone rollercoaster that comes along with being pregnant and nursing, a never-ending to-do list that felt like it was swallowing me whole – I can’t really pinpoint it. I have not felt sad or hopeless or depressed – just BLAH. And the strangest part is that 2012 was a GREAT year for me and for our family – one of the best ever. But still…

Late last year, partially thanks to reading Desperate, I started to realize that I did NOT like my current frame of mind.ย I related so much to this quote from Sally…

Sitting in the dark, I could suddenly sense the Lord whispering in my ear, “Don’t neglect to see the beauty of life around you while being overwhelmed by the duties of life.”

I don’t know that many people would notice much of an outward difference in my behavior, but ho-hum, cynical, sometimes pessimistic thoughts had taken the place of my old eternal optimist self. I wasn’t feeling like there was much to get excited about in my day-to-day.

I kind of felt like a punch in the gut to make this realization, but a good one, if that makes any sense at all.

What in the world do I have to feel pessimistic or cynical about? Nothing, I tell you. And allowing those thoughts to take over had stolen some of my spark for life as well.

Then God got a hold of me in a few ways to say, “You have LOTS to be excited about, my dear, and I’m going to help you find that spark again!”

It started with my word for 2013: celebrate. Celebrate isn’t about parties and presents, but about the way I want to live every day: celebrating the life God gave me, the calling He has placed on me, the people with which He has surrounded me! One day it meant dancing in the kitchen with Double J, another meant making homemade donuts just to see the smile on the faces of all of my guys. Challenging myself to find reasons to celebrate has made me smile and be silly and I’m loving the word He gave me for this year so much already!

The word of the year choice also naturally led into my commitment to take Ann’s Joy Dare – counting 1,000 gifts in my life in 2013. I used to write a Multitude Monday post here every Monday counting my blessings, but it started to feel unnatural to share those blessings for all to read, so I stopped for a while. Now, I’m craving the counting and, just 14 days into 2013, I’m so glad I took this dare! I have a little moleskine notebook next to my bed to record these gifts each night and my soul rests well when I end the day with gratitude.

Desperate also helped me realize how good creating is for the well-being of my mind.ย Sally wrote this in a note to Sarah Mae…

Celebrate life in your home in the ways that bring your pleasure. Cultivating the art of life in your home not only brings you happiness, but it makes your home a lively, fun, fulfilling place.

I love making beautiful things, whether it is food or a crochet project or decor for our home. Creating is calming and exciting for me, all at the same time. And a creative project can be completed, which feels like a major accomplishment in the world of laundry and dishes and diaper changes that just don’t stop! I’ve made it one of my goals to do something creative each and every day, even if it is only for five minutes!

And to round this all out, God sent me one more way to bring my spark back. The opening sermon series at our church for 2013 is called “Ignite.” I kid you not. It’s all about bringing back the spark in our relationship with God. He really does give us the desires of our heart when they are lined up with His, doesn’t He?! I know my joy and spark for life are truly found when I am regular communion with Him.

This week’s sermon was about the study of God’s Word. My passion for daily morning study of the Word has come and gone in recent years, but this Advent, I dove into the Good Morning Girls Advent study using the SOAP method and rediscovered how much I LOVE starting my day that way! I’m now working through the current She Reads Truth: Fresh Start plan on YouVersion using the SOAP method. I crave that time in the Word as much as I crave my morning coffee. I call that a “win” towards getting my spark back!

I’m not content to live a dull life, expecting each day to be just like all the rest, missing out on the joy of living with Him and for Him and surrounded by His blessings. The life of a mom is full of routine and responsibility, but it does NOT have to put out your spark for life!

If you’re feeling like I was, let me pray for you and me and all who feel like life is making them dull. There is joy in the midst of the every day and we must each find what ignites the spark in our own lives and make those things a priority!

And if you are a mom feeling this way, I must recommend you read Desperate. You will find encouragement and hope and understanding there. Read it with a friend. Share your feelings with someone who will listen and pray and help. You are not alone.

 

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