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Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Freelance: S.A.D.D.

"Don't despair. Only the mediocre person is always at his best."
~ W. Somerset Maugham

Friday Freelance: S.A.D.D.

It's January in Michigan. The longitude on the Eastern time zone's western edge brings dawn around 8 a.m. Latitude near the 45th parallel means absurdly few hours of meaningful daylight. Center the two between three Great Lakes, and oppressive cloud cover robs the land of sunlight. Supposedly mild temperatures hover around freezing, but they conspire with the damp and darkness to preserve the snow and S.A.D.D. (Seasonal Affective Depression Disorder).

S.A.D.D. has not dogged me since the early 90's, just after I moved to Michigan. But I'm encountering a surprising number of people with it this year, and it seems to be contagious. If I'm honest, my problem is not a lack of sunshine but of Sonshine. When I was in my groove, prayer closet time was a prominent priority, I was energized for a long day after minimal sleep, and had time to accomplish all the things God put on my heart. Low levels of sunshine were easily dismissed.

I've been operating on reserve strength while prayer closet time has been slowly shrinking, my energy has been diminishing, my sleep has been increasing. I'm left with fewer, frustrated hours to try to accomplish the same as before. Add to that January in Michigan and unprecedented personal challenges, and I've got the formula for a full blown case of S.A.D.D.

But only if I let it take hold.

A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
~ Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV)

My typical outlook is not just "cup-half-full," but "my cup runneth over." I like long and frequent visits to the stream of Living Waters, letting it fill me and flow through me to others. I'd like to think of myself as liquid Colorado sunshine bottled up in a pint-sized vessel of Holy Spirit, spilling out all over the drab Michigan landscape.

My heart holds a yearning ache for the day I stand in full Sonshine. It is countered by the desire to arrive on that day with arms full of tribute to present before my King. I labor neither from sense of duty, nor to prove myself, nor even for promised reward. Duty pales next to love, my status is secure in the blood of Jesus Christ, and the only reward I seek is to kneel before the feet that were pierced for me and be permitted to kiss them.

I labor as a debtor to grace. Gratitude to my Lord gives me full rest but no leisure. The day will soon enough arrive when eternity stretches before me—without the opportunity I have now.

Here, now, I can do for my Lord on the earth what He will no longer need in Heaven. I can spill out love and life and Light in the dark world that will one day pass from existence.

When a tickle in my throat hints of an impending cold, I attack the germs mercilessly, because I don't have time to get sick. By the grace of God, I've not had a cold in two or three winters.

Lately, I've felt the tickle of S.A.D.D. trying to take hold. Life is too short to spend it weakened by such an affliction. I've started forfeiting some time visiting Facebook, blogs, and Twitter for prayer closet time, until those germs are put down, and I again have more hours in my day.

By the grace of God, I'll not succumb to S.A.D.D.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. This is one of my favorite posts Anne. I pray special blessings over you to overcome your S.A.D.ness. I'm happy to hear you are headed back in the closet. Sounds like the Holy Spirit desires you there most. I love that.

  2. Blessings, Anne...

  3. Praying for you sis, and with you. I love you.

  4. Oh, Anne, wow. It must be something about January post is much shorter, not as eloquent, but on the very same topic.

    I too have been sleeping much, much more than I used to, dragging through the days. But I too refuse to yield to melancholy.

    God bless you, and you have my prayers today.

  5. I love you & I love you loving God.

    ~ Wendy

  6. Here is a video for you, Anne; Let The Sonshine In ... :-)

  7. Don't they recommend that you turn all the lights on to help during this time? May your prayer closet be filled with Sonlight.

  8. T. Anne, so far it's just tickling. I earnestly prayed last night after writing this, asking the Lord for extra strength. He woke me up early, so today I traded sleep for prayer closet time, and was still able to keep up with life pretty well.

    Thanks, Natasa. :D

    Denise, I love you, too.

    Gwen, fight it! I know the Michigan clouds hit your house after they've been over here.

    Wendy, don't forget me loving you as well. :D

    Russell, I'll not confess to being old enough to recognizing that. It did take me a bit to figure out what song it was, though, so maybe I'm really not that old.

    Patty, that's a nice theory. I've paid the extra money for the special light bulbs, too. All I can say is there's incandescent light, there's a poor excuse for daylight, and there's true sunlight. Really, I'm okay if I get enough Sonlight.

  9. Ahh...I know that SADD well. Having grown up in N. Ohio, winters are brutal. We just returned from almost 2 weeks there. Only one day of sun the entire time! Coupled with the sadness of why we were there in the first place, I could feel it coming on. For me too, it was both sun and Son "shine" missing. Out of my element and routine - missing those quiet moments - gasping prayers between the sadness.

    We are home now (near DC) was 49 yesterday and sun! Seeking for routine and "normalcy" - hoping to find it. Yet, we are home 1 day and we get a phone call that my husband's sister (the one who is a quad) is in a Cleveland ICU with a bad infection. This poor family is not getting a break. My husband is beyond exhausted. I feel like a broken record - please pray.


  10. The irony is striking that you would seek Light in the closet when it lacks in the wide open. Rather like the lengths God went to with the Israelites in battle, removing any chance they might attribute victory to anything or anyone but Him. There in the closet, light comes from One and One alone.

    Praying bright UV for you.

  11. Denise, sorry for the delay in a reply. I prayed when I first got your comment, and again now, that you'll be seeking the Lord for the strengh you need, and that He will amply provide it. I'll continue to do so and will look for updates on your blog when you post.

    Lyla, I'd never thought of the fact that I find my light in a closet, often before dawn. I don't know that I'll ever see that prayer closet quite the same now. Thank you for that. :D


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