Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Lately I've been feeling the pull of depression, that slippery sliding slope down into bleak nothing for weeks or months at a time. I've been diagnosed with "seasonal" depression, meaning it's mostly triggered by the dark winter months, but over the last few years it seems to have grown into straight up depression. I have good days/weeks/months, and bad ones. There's generally no trigger, no one thing I can put my finger on that I can say "that right there is why I'm sad".

That is, quite honestly, one of the most frustrating aspects of depression. You don't know the WHY (though, it's brain chemistry issues) you just know you're abysmally sad, and you can't do a thing about it. At the same time, each time I feel this sinking, tugging feeling, I scramble for something, someone to blame. My worst episodes were indeed  brought on by life events, and I can at least remind myself it lies dormant most of the time, and the events were simply a vehicle for the monster to awaken. If I don't have this reminder, then when I look at, for example, my parents' divorce as the source of the worse two years of my life, I tend toward blaming one or both of them. Obviously, my depression is NOT anyone's fault, myself included, but it is very, very easy to fall into the trap of laying the blame at the feet of a person.

Credit: Victor Bezrukov

The depression monster often prefers your feet over the feet of others, and thus begins the never ending, self-defeating cycle of self-blame, self-hatred, and horrible self-talk.

I'm back at that precipice, looking for something to cling to, something to blame so I can "fix" it and back away from the yawning chasm.

There have been a number of things that have happened recently that I might be able to throw into the Blame Bucket, among them:

  • Kiddo growing up and going off to camp for an entire week for the first time
  • Realizing that I have a lot of self-worth wrapped up in how I keep the house (which currently is "not at all")
  • Suddenly awakening to the fact that while I still consider myself a Christian, I have pulled far, far away from my faith and my God
  • Feeling Mom Guilt

These are all big things, some more than others, but one keeps nagging away at me, day and night. My faith. Or lack thereof, which seems to be the case more and more.

photo credit: Michael C. of The (Not So) Deep Thoughts of a Christian

I haven't been to a church service in so long that I can't remember the last one I attended. Matt and I help at church every other week, and I do love doing that, but it entails missing the entire service. The weeks we aren't "on", we sleep in and haven't made the effort to attend. I miss it. I miss the connection with others, I miss feeling "fed" in my heart, the music, everything.

I feel this is having a trickle-down effect, I feel far away from Christ, I feel self-centered in so much that I say and do, and I feel that it affects my parenting to a large degree. The other day, kiddo lamented that Matt and I are "too busy" to take her to the park! That one right across the street! I felt so ashamed. Yes, we all three have busy lives, but I should never be too busy to take her across the street to play.

Like much of my life, I want to change this, and I of course want to jump right in, headfirst. I've learned this is a bad idea, and I'll burn myself out on whatever the idea is immediately. Instead, I found a way to incorporate another love that I have with my faith - journaling!

I came across a blog that provides good instructions for beginning a "scripture journal" which I'd never heard of before. The writer is in church leadership for youth, and uses hers in her teachings, and plans to pass them down to her children. They are not personal daily journals, but journals of verses, thoughts and things she's learned as she's studying scripture. I have never felt that I had a solid foundation in the Bible, I've never read the entire book and I feel that's a big failing on my part. There is no reason that I haven't read it, other than it's daunting, and I much prefer things to not be taken out of context as much as possible.

Photo credit: Shannon of The Redheaded Hostess

I will be creating a scripture journal from one of the many journals I have at home, and I will begin at the beginning. I'd like to think I'll study a chapter per day, however I don't know how realistic that is. That will be my aim, with forgiveness for myself if I miss it here and there.

How do you study the texts of your faith?


  1. Popped in from SITS to say hi! I hope you feel better!

  2. {Melinda} I am so sorry you are struggling, Kristin. I have someone very close to me who struggles with depression, so I am all too familiar with the challenges of this condition. I hope you are getting good treatment for it. It is NOT your fault.

    I've been slowly reading through the New Testament, stopping to look at Bible commentaries for insight and context for passages that I don't understand. I've really enjoyed it and have looked with fresh eyes on Scriptures that are very familiar to me.

    Don't let the enemy condemn you and keep you paralyzed by guilt or self-loathing. Jesus loves you and He doesn't condemn you. God bless you today!

    1. Thank you so much for this, Melinda. I'm not currently in any treatment for the depression, though I will see my doctor tomorrow regarding my anxiety. It may be time to revisit medication. I've been preparing my scripture journal, and I finished setting it up last night, so tonight I will be reading my Bible again for the first time in far too long. I can't wait :)

  3. A scripture journal is a wonderful idea! I revisit the scripture often as I prepare for Sunday school lessons and VBS, but rarely read the Bible on my own. I should, I know!

    Thanks for stopping by Lemon Drop Pie!

    1. I'm really enjoying the "school work" feel to this type of study, but I know that doesn't work for everyone. I love that I'm getting so much out of each chapter, instead of just reading to say I've read it.

  4. I'm so sorry Kristin that you are struggling but I cam completely empathize and I'm definitely familiar with the challenges. It's no fun at all and is, as you say, a slippery slope. I hope that starting a scripture journal helps. All the best

  5. Dearest Kristin,

    Although I never question why God prompts me to pray for you, but now I know why He's been prompting me to pray for you lately. I know I'll never understand depression completely, but your words do give me some help with understanding what you are coping with. I'm so sorry you are struggling with such a huge challenge in your life, Honey. Right now, I am praying that our Lord will hold your hand, walk with you, tuck you under His wings of love, and carry you if necessary through it all. Sometimes He prompts me to pray for guardian angels to surround you throughout your day. Now, I know why the number one hundred million angels comes to mind while praying that prayer. I will never stop loving you or praying for you either, as long as there is breath in me. You have brought me more joy than my heart can ever hold, Kristin, and I will be eternally grateful for that.May God abundantly bless and keep you and give you joy and peace. I am learning about the names of God from the Bible and I want to share these with you.

    El Shaddai-all sufficient one
    Jehovah Shammah-the Lord is there
    El Elyon-God most high
    YHWH-You are the Lord
    Jehovah Rohi-the Lord is my sheppard
    Jehovah Mekaddishkem-sanctifies you
    Jehovah Tsidkenu-Lord of righteousness
    El Roi-God who sees
    Jehovah Nissi-You are my banner
    Jehovah Shalom-You are my peace
    Jehovah El-strong one
    Jehovah Jirah-You will provide
    El-Olam-everlasting God
    Jehovah Rapha-Lord who heals
    Jehovah Sabaoth-Lord of hosts
    El Elohe Yisrael-God, the God of Israel
    Emmanuel-God is with us
    Jehovah-"I am"/self existing one
    Yah or Jah-I am
    Jehovah Melek-Lord is king

    Love Forever and Ever,



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