Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Walking on the snarky side of life

I realized this past week that I have been walking on the snarky side of life... that being when I'm on the edge emotionally and wondering what great (or tiny) catastrophe is about to befall me... or humanity in general.

By nature I'm fairly easy going about a lot of things. Stephanie had a friend in elementary school who told her no one was as nice as I appeared to be (she thought I had to be some kind of axe murderer or something, as one can only be pretending to be so nice to people). Memory being what it is these days, I don't recall if she ever changed her mind. Although she did like the cookies I baked for them.

The snarkiness has come about with a general dissatisfaction of life as it is. Which is absolutely evil considering the blessings He has brought my way this autumn. It was a glorious season, filled with beauty, friendship, new experiences, and kids. Now I let my gaze settle on the forest outside and the trees are bare and forlorn as they stand against the gray sky... I wonder if they feel the cold rain and wind.

I do... well, my spirit does... yes, it is that very cold and damp feeling of the upcoming harshness of winter. Like Narnia before Aslan returned, I feel it is winter and never Christmas. Sigh... My mother became depressed this time of year and I'm understanding why a little more. Perhaps that is why I miss her during the week before Thanksgiving proper.

I know the weather is partly to blame for my cranky, snarky mood and I am feeling better but not really what I would call... well. Then again having multiple items not work right and break down (it was the vacuum cleaner this afternoon!) didn't help. I've had to drive Christopher to campus and pick him up for a couple weeks after the bookstore said he couldn't use his parking pass in the employee lot, anymore. Life has been... complicated.

So what does one do when they find themselves walking on the snarky side? Well, I found myself thinking of scripture on the way to campus this morning ("My God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches..." came to mind out of nowhere). I also decided to do one load of necessary laundry and to take a long nap... because I can.

I haven't been very hungry but I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch... comfort food. I also pulled the bread machine off the red bookshelf and assembled the ingredients for a delicious cinnamon roll bread dough. While I napped, the dough was mixing and rising and the morning dishes were soaking... one ready to be washed quickly while the water was still warm and sudsy to be followed by the usual rolling out of dough to make cinnamon rolls.

Very soon the rolls will be ready to pop in the oven and the aroma of cinnamon and bread will fill the house as if to push aside the cold and damp air which has been hanging around. I will scan the section of bookshelves which contain favorite authors to revisit familiar places and fictional friends. A candle may be lit to bring light into darkness.

I have found when such moods have settled in, on, and all around me... I have to do something... nothing big or important but just that which has brought peace and comfort and joy in the past. In this case, a familiar book will be enjoyed by me but the guys will be thankful for warm cinnamon rolls on a cold and wet November day.


Linda Nichols said...

Brenda, I know. And it's OK to feel how you feel. The Lord has comforted me with Psalm 46 and the verse you quoted. You will be in my prayers. And you can always do what I do sometimes when I need comfort--read CoffeeTeaBooksandMe archives.

Bless you, friend,
Linda N.

Pen Pen said...

I can "so" relate to this post! I wish I was there to give you a hug... and so that you can hug me. I feel the same way these days.... almost wondering if I am mentally ill! I have so much to be thankful for.... so much... yet, I dwell on the negatives. My prayer is for God to revive me... to always help me to be joyful... and to enjoy my wonderful life.

Suze said...

I think all of this is a symptom of life in a cranky world. We are getting older, the world is getting darker - and it's going to be winter. That alone would depress most people - then there's the lovely vacation you had. While that was indeed a fabulous blessing - it is hard to come home with a thud after such a lovely time. Home doesn't seem quite so welcome - and it's hard to come down after such a nice high. After my husband and I came back from Idaho in October, I was bummed out for weeks - I've only begun to get my "legs" back into everyday life. It sounds like you are doing the right things - comforting yourself with beauty (a lit candle and the faithful words of old book friends and the smell of cinnamon). I will be praying that your needs get met quickly - the toilet, the vacuum, whatever is breaking - and that you find peace and contentment in resting in Jesus.

Jen @ Halos Cause Headaches said...

Why is it that the negatives are always so easy to dwell on? The Scripture you chose was comforting, I'm sure. It is so easy to have days when we dwell on what's wrong in our lives instead of what is right. I pray today the comfort of your book, the warmth of the rolls and the peace of the Lord will stir your heart to joy.

I don't remember exactly how I found your blog, but I enjoy your posts.

Marie said...

Sometimes it is so hard to remember how blessed we are and fall into a depression. My husband says that I have "pity parties" and that he will not join the party. I have been trying to lift up a friend this week. She went into work on Monday and was told that was her last day. She was a church secretary and the budget is not being taken care of because of the economy. Her hours were already being cut back but this was a devastating thing to happen right here with the holidays (anytime for that matter). This week has reminded me how blessed we are. She is past retirement and needed this job. Please pray with me that God will open a better door.
I am trying not to get depressed because this Friday would have been my mother's birthday--she would have been 97. I have really missed her these last two years.
Brenda, hang in there. You are a strong women. Your printed words have helped me in lots of situations.
Love ya!

Anonymous said...

I relate too....the "let down" that comes after the anticipation and enjoyment of a trip (escape?!) I usually comfort myself the same way you do....some baking, a little pampering by candlelight..a good in the background....but not too mellow, or I get even more melancholoy!!! Just take some time to allow the adrenaline to lower and get back on a even keel. As my grandmother used to say, "This too shall pass." Blessings and a hug!

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

I think we all have those days now and again. I just got out of a 3 year slump after losing my mother to pancreatic cancer in the summer of 2006. I thought I'd never feel the same again...and although things are different ....and I think of her daily..I am starting to get back to a "normal" life....

Take care, read good books, drink tea, talk to friends, rest.....

and say a prayer to God.

More later,

matty said...


My favorite scripture is:

Weeping will endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

I found this the year after I lost four people (in one day) I deeply loved. It was on a cross in a florist shop, waiting for me to find it. It was Christmas and I was soooo sad. I was alone. Completely.

But, the scripture reminded me that it was only a temporary thing. And, you know what I did?

I planned a party. Yep. A party. I had no money and felt like I had no friends. But I baked a few goodies, found decorations in nature and around the house, made some lacy potpourri bags for favors, made invitations, and invited 12 gal pals to the house. Everyone had to dress to the teeth. I lit a hundred (surely seemed it) candles, pulled out the best china, and had a tea party with the simpliest goodies you can imagine!

You are loved by so many people. And, even if we can't have a sit down tea party, let's have a virtual one. I'll throw it. Y'all come! This coming Saturday?

See you then!

Many hugs to you!


Lynn said...

It sounds like you have come up with the perfect antidote for the day's gloominess: a nap, some cinnamon rolls, and a book. Hope they're all brightening your day.

scrappy quilter said...

That's one of the reasons I always have a book around. When I feel like this I grab a good book and read. Hugs..

Lisa Richards said...

Ah yes. It's that time of year! I've just been having a few of those days, partly because I'm recovering from a cold and I'm tired.

I think you did the right thing, taking a nap and treating yourself to some comfort foods and a book. Those things are necessary, along with reminding ourselves that Jesus is walking with us through everything, and spending some time drawing closer to Him.

Blessings on you! You're a blessing to me! =0)

Anonymous said...

I had to look up "snarky". Oh yeah, I've been there! But He is so gracious and loving. Psalm 139:17 says "how precious are your thoughts to me, Lord" but a more correct translation is "how precious are your thoughts TOWARD me, Lord, and vast are the sum of them".

Friend Debra

Anonymous said...

I pray your days will find a smoother path soon! Your posts are always very real in this falsified life. Thank you!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Yes, winter settles heavily on my spirit also. I also rely on baking, making soup, lighting candles/oil lamps to try to help dispel the gloom. I have several close women friends, but we rarely see each other due to busy schedules. Actually, I think loneliness really settles in during the winter season. After the holidays, I really feel the slump. This year, I hope to find a Bible study/prayer group. I think that this kind of fellowship really helps women. V.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

You are doing what Shakespeare called "mustering your wits in your own defense". (I have to confess that I didn't find this from reading Shakespeare himself, but from Maud Hart Lovelace's book Emily of Deep Valley, one which should have been on my list of favorites, if it was not there!)

I feels as though the daylight disappears too quickly from the days this time of year....I have less seasonal affective disorder than I used to, but I still have some of this myself as I think many people do.........If you can be outside at least an hour a day (which may be difficult when it is cold!) you will still have some help even if the temperatures are low...........

And prayer of course, will help. And remembering that "This too shall pass", and "joy cometh in the morning".

Packrat said...

Well, you aren't alone in feeling that way. I really think a lot of the grumpy, depressed feelings comes from the longer hours of darkness. Then on top of the short days, you've been sick. I certainly know I'm crankier, more depressed, weepier this time of year. Lately, the littlest things will set me off. One trick that I learned years ago is not to watch or listen or read the news in the evening. If I do, I go to bed thinking about all the bad things going on.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brenda,
You captured my thoughts and mood exactly today. It has been rainy and gray here in my town too. But I want you to know that your blog always comforts me when I read it because you write from your heart and share uplifting words even in the midst of melancholy feelings. I sense the Holy Spirit working in your heart to bring you back to strength in our God. Thank you for being so faithful with sharing your thoughts, ideas, recipes and books. I love your blog so much.

Anonymous said...

You likely already do this, but sometimes I have to remind myself too. Good music playing in the background always helps (we recently got ahold of a couple CDs of mountain dulcimer playing...such HAPPY sounding music!) and reading in the Psalms. David understood our human needs and wrote those comforting words so very well!!

Something to be said for comfort food too!! I can smell those yummy smells, across the miles, from those cinnamon rolls. Ah, the good ole days when we could eat such things!! Thanks for the memories!!

Becky K. said...

How wise you are to do those things that bring comfort. The grilled cheese, baking...the NAP!

Hoping that God bring His Joy flooding into your heart and His comfort as you miss your mother.

This is a hard time of the year for so many whose loved ones are already gone. There is a huge hole in our family where two Dads used to be. We can't underestimate the effect this has on our emotions.

Take care...
Becky K.

Amy said...

I have come today to your blog via another and have enjoyed the loveliness of it. I feel compelled to mention a Bible study that I did with Beth Moore called "Me Myself and Lies" by Jennifer Rothschild. It was so beneficial for me. Our mind is often the "devil's playground" and so many things that we think we think or think we feel or think we know simply are not true. This was a revelation to me. I did not realize the extent to which the enemy would use my mind against me! I don't know if this will help you but it was very healing for me. I felt very prompted to write this if not for you then perhaps for another one of your readers. I have gleaned so much valuable insight and help oftentimes just from the comments. God bless you Ms. Brenda and may you feel infinitely better in the morrow. Isaiah 26:3-4. Amy

The Journey said...

I can relate. I have new sewing friend though we get together and sew. This wk it is angel costumes for the church play. I hope you will feel up to attending. Winter is so grey here and your not feeling as good as you could doesn't help. I went to bed early last night. I have to sleep or keep moving when I get "winter depression". Prayers and hugs Linda

Martina said...

Dear Brenda, in these foggy days I really understand your gloominess. I hope your spirits lifted! What helps me: lighting a candle and do some baking! The past two days, I was baking four sorts of christmas cookies as a gift to an organization who sells them on christmas fairs for Romanian orphans. I have the double pleasure of having a wonderful smelling house and serving others.
I found your wonderful and inspiring site through "Laniers Books". Thank you for your great posts and the recipes! I always enjoy visiting your site tremendously!