I saw it with my own eyes: the evidence, good and bad.

I thought gloom predominated posts I read yesterday, at least in their opening paragraphs.

And yet, with a bunch of  them, after that…

But more on that in a minute.

7:05 this morning:

Dressed, having pushed myself to do it, I shuffle from laundry room into kitchen for a coffee refill. Behind me water shooshes onto clothes and soap. In front of me the radio goes silent and Husband appears around the corner, from where he just sat on his high stool, bent down close to hear the news.

He turns abrupt to the calendar dangling on the wall, points a finger, counts.

“Yeah. That’s right,” he murmurs. “The 19th. That was the third Monday in January.”

He’s just heard the experts declare that day the year’s gloomiest. And yes. That’s when his first wife wrote the tragic note to explain the overdose she was about to inflict on herself.

Reasons, he says. Reasons they give for gloom: cold gray weather, days still short, failed resolutions…

He has my attention. I’m standing erect without purposing it, awake without the coffee. Yes, I  saw that yesterday, in people’s blog posts. At first.

I was pretty draggy myself. Trying to energize after flu, not progressing much in that direction. When I got done writing, adding photos, posting, and linking, I was bushed! Physically drained, shaky. You wouldn’t think doing up a blog post and a bunch of pics would do that. But now it makes more sense. Yesterday took extra effort. (Today does almost as much.)

I read some others’ posts after that, and yes, nearly every one started out blue-gray.

But every one turned brighter, somewhere along their lines of words. Why?

These Christian writers determined to give thanks when they didn’t feel like it, to count blessings obvious and not-so-obvious, to see God’s grace even in gloom. All saw God somehow present amid the clouds. One (most  helpful to me) listed graces and blessings in Christ alone.

Some were working through some really sad or bad stuff right this January. But by the end of each post there was hope, at least a feeble cheer, and sometimes something so much stronger, fortifying both writer and reader (me).

My own post didn’t mention my own droopy starting point, just opened with my declaration of intent instead. But producing it lifted me even as it tired me, and my own words that cheered me most also focused on Christ’s gifts in Himself.

So there it is: strong evidence that looking for the gifts in the grayness,  and thanking the good Giver, really does help lift us from the ash heap, whether a little or a lot!


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10 thoughts on “Gloomiest Day of the Year

  1. The kids have been complaining a lot around the dinner table. So last night I instituted a new dialogue of giving thanks. After everyone went around, I heard no complaints for the rest of the night. Amen and amen.

    1. Ah yes, Jen. It works, doesn’t it? Whenever my boys got going on a complaining binge, I’d stop them and say, “Now tell me five things you’re thankful for.” They’d usually start with pizza and go downhill from there, but it had the same positive effect that you’re talking about. 🙂

  2. This is a very interesting post. It makes sense what you’re saying about January being a typically gloomy month. I get that. By bringing it to my attention, it makes me want to be more intentional about choosing to focus more on Him instead the circumstances around me. Thanks!

    1. That intentionality you mention, Denise, is just the key! Thanks for your good comments, and God bless the rest of your January! 🙂

  3. Sylvia,

    That you and your husband have been praying for me and that he requested a list of things from God on my behalf simply overwhelmed me. I will work in the free medical clinic today. The poor always bless me. I remember Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker Movement say we see the face of Christ in the poor. Ah, yes, and when we behold Him, we cannot help but get His message to us.
    “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene and wonder how He could love me, a sinner condemned unclean.
    How marvelous, how wonderful and my song shall ever be, how marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior’s love for me.”

    Out of the gloom,

  4. Sweet hallelujahs, Dawn! I’m so glad you’re enjoying such blessing! It just may be that God has been steering you to this work specifically. I learned early in my Christian life (by dire necessity!) the trustworthiness of “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” (And I had no insurance, either! or money at all, for a while…)
    Praying specific psalms for you (and you know what one of them is!) Continued rich blessings to you!

  5. Oh, yes, it’s so true! God’s grace brings joy to even the most gloomy situation! And it is so incredible to read the posts where the gloom turns into joy and thanksgiving! It reminds me that only thanksgiving can open our eyes to incredible hope – the hope that blows away all other hopes – for if we never searched for grace, we would never see past the gloom. Thank you for this!

    1. “If we never searched for grace, we would never see past the gloom.” Beautiful thought, Mary, and so true.

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