Winter Doldrums: When It Gets Ugly

by | Feb 7, 2021 | Articles, Encouragement

Nothing is like it should be, yet I have been feeling like

Every. Single. Day.

has been exactly the same — for weeks! Between Covid restrictions and the recent political tumult, winter doldrums hit us early and hit us hard. To compensate, I narrowed my life to three basic things: cook, clean, school, cook, clean, school. Busy, but bored. I soon found discontentment settling its horrid little self into every nook and cranny of this beautiful and usually happy home.

Then late one cold evening, a small trespass erupted into an ugly show of raw emotion from every unsettled heart in our precious house. (Please tell me that emotions sometimes tumble down your stairways and pour through your hallways too?) Snot and tears soaked a Kleenex – box or two – smack dab in the middle of the school week.

How does a homeschooling mama pull it all back together after an eruption like this? Does she steam through the next two day’s work like a bulldozer operator? No. That will scratch the walls and leave some unsightly dents. Does she throw in the towel? No. We all have enough laundry! Amen? So what does she do?

I hate to admit it, but I pouted. I did! For several hours the next day, I just felt hurt and taken advantage of, and I sulked. The Scripture about being poured out like a drink offering… yeah, that one from the chapter in Philippians labeled in my Bible, “Unity through Humility” — that’s the one the Good Father whispered to my sulking, broken heart. And eventually I got quiet. I got still, and I listened to His whispers.

Philippians 2:17-18
Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.

We homeschooling mamas can relate to being poured out and emptied. But it’s easy to forget the reason for the emptiness. I forget to remember. Yes, every single day I cook and clean and school. Repeat. But it is the why behind it all that is so invaluable.

Those seeds of Truth that we carefully plant, sometimes with tears and weary hands, in the heart-soil that God tills and mends, will take root. Fruit will come forth.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

The fruit will bless you and our crazy world and build His Kingdom! We homeschool not just to give our kids a superior education, but as a sacrifice and service to build our children’s faith, to teach them the wisdom found in God’s Word. His Word will not return void! It cannot be shaken! Doesn’t that make you want to rejoice? Especially after a year like we just navigated?

Winter doldrums, where are you now? I’m doing the happy dance!

So then what? I prayed. I apologized. We hugged, and shared tears and forgiveness all around! We took the next day off school and instead prepared a meal for a family in the midst of grief: a good reminder to keep perspective. We played some games, laughed, and snuggled our way through the weekend. When Monday came around, we did a quick synopsis of the day we missed and then jumped right into our next school week, no worse for the wear, but with a bit more gratitude in our hearts.

So, next time the winter doldrums start to creep in, remember your why. Rejoice! Rest. Regroup. There is so much still to be grateful for.

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