Being in the Light

These are my first true fall and winter seasons in almost ten years.

One thing I’ve been re-learning is that these seasons bring many gray days. I have to seek out the light—or I quickly begin to reflect the gloom.

And so I open every window of my house during the day.

I drive with my sunroof shade open.

I photograph pretty spots of light I see—forcing myself to appreciate them.

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I make an effort to bundle up and get outside in the sun every day that it’s shining, even if I only have time for a 10 minute walk.

I bribe my kids with take out pizza to sit in the sun with me because MOM NEEDS LIGHT.

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When the sun breaks through a cloudy day, I feel this drive inside me: step into the light. Go soak yourself in the light. Be in the light.  It won’t be with you forever.  Enjoy it while it’s here.

When it’s gray, I turn on all our lamps.  I plug in the Christmas tree.  I go to the gym and exercise in front of the wall of windows—soaking up any light they will give me.  It’s not the same as natural light, but it’s something.

These are old tricks from the time I spent in Minnesota and Washington.  They’re not original.  But as an adult, as a parent, I am more aware of the responsibility I have to handle my own mental health.

The urgency I feel-–get into the light!—is there to help me.  For whatever complex reasons (circadian rhythms? Vitamin D? serotonin production and turnover?), my brain needs that light to be happy, to be normal, to be right.  And so my brain tells me that.  Urgently. And I have to listen.

I have to walk in the light while it’s there if I want to be a better mom.

I have to open the windows if I want to be a better wife.

I have to make every effort to soak up that light, in the nooks and crannies of my day, so that I can be the happiest and best me for myself and the people that I love.

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My Advent reading plan so far has focused on Jesus’s role as the Light of the World.  And I’m only four days in, but I’m already seeing so many parallels between my body and mind’s craving to be in the light and my desperate need for a Savior.

And so, this winter, when I feel a craving for the light—I’m going to remember its source.

When I feel the urgency—the light will only be here a short time!-–I’m going to remember: He said that about himself to the people.

They still didn’t believe in Him. But I do.

And that changes everything.

Moving has brought so many growth opportunities.  Some have been great; others I honestly haven’t appreciated as much.  Today, I’m thankful for the opportunities to have old words illuminated through new weather.  And I wanted to share, in case you are also needing some fresh perspective on your season.

May we all find the Light we are craving.

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