Got the summer blues?

Got the summer blues?

Psalm 43:5 The Message (MSG)

 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.

Summer can be a real downer to some people.  They have to work while others are going to exotic or fun places.  They are out of school and their friends have gone to grandma’s house or summer camp and there is “nothing to do” now.  The heat and either muggy or really dry weather gets a lot of people down.  It can effect their health and their emotions.

We can become like our little friend in the photo…down and feeling blah!  What can we do about it?  Is there a cure for the summer blues?  Do we have to spend all summer grumpy and miserable and making those around us feel the same way?

Yes! There is a cure.  If we can realize what is going on inside us we can control our reactions to the situations that try to make us blue.

  • We have to work and can’t take a vacation like our family or friends.  Instead of feeling jealous, we can be glad for them and be all the more determined we will save some money for next year so we can go on vacation too.
  • Our friends or family live in a really cold place-like the north pole-while we swelter in the summer heat.  We can be glad we don’t have to shovel snow in the winter!  It is all in the perspective.  If we can realize most of the world is hot in summer and we are all suffering through…it makes it easier to laugh about, take a cooling shower and go on with life.  Also we can thank God for air conditioners.
  • Our health may be effected by the heat.  Make sure you are drinking enough water, stay in cooler places when possible, keep a close watch on any symptoms of heat stroke (Throbbing headache. Dizziness and lightheadedness. Lack of sweating despite the heat. Red, hot, and dry skin.  Muscle weakness or cramps. Nausea and vomiting. Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak. Rapid, shallow breathing.)  Using preventative measures can prevent a major health issue.  If you live in a home with no air conditioning, consider going to the mall, out to eat, or other air conditioned places to cool off.
  • We are out of school for the summer and our friends are at grandma’s, summer camp, or summer school and we are alone with “nothing to do” syndrome.  We can do some redesigning of our bedrooms.  Think of new ways to place the furniture or with parents’ permission maybe even paint the room.  Give your personal space a real organization make over.  Sort through your stuff and see what you don’t need anymore.  As you grow up your tastes change and your hobbies do too. You could try on all your clothes and get rid of anything that no longer fits or works for your present lifestyle.  Donate the usable items to a favorite thrift store.  You could volunteer somewhere like nursing homes or other places that your parents would allow you to do so.  Read good books, watch those movies you wanted to watch but never had the time to, help your family out with a project that would help you all to have a better life.
  • We can all spend more time in prayer for our friends and family and those we see around us in need.  We can do Bible studies or learn some new praise songs.  Spending time with the Lord will quickly send the blues packing.

We are the ones in control of our emotions.  We can choose to look at all the bad stuff happening to us, or look for solutions and find a way to overcome them.  When we add prayer to our actions, the Lord will show us all sorts of ways to enjoy life, even with all the things that seem so big and lonely to us.

Let’s turn our blues into rejoicing and see what happens this summer.  Maybe we will end the summer with wonderful memories and a smile in our hearts.

 

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The Place of Joyfulness

The Place Of Joyfulness

 

Psalm 100

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
 Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Where is our place of joyfulness?

Where is our place of joyfulness?  Is it a physical place?  Can we structure our lives to include a physical place to be joyful?  Is it our family dinner table when  the family is gathered there?  Is it a front porch swing where we enjoy the singing of the birds and the neighbors passing by?  How about a quiet place in our home we go to pray and study the Word of God?  While in any of these places joy can be found, they cannot produce it.

Joyfulness is a choice and a gift at the same time.  The Lord brings us joy by being in our lives.  When we reflect on who God is and what He has done in our lives, joy automatically shows up.  Whether or not we receive that joy, participate and fully respond to it, is our choice.   The Bible is filled with verses about joy, how to receive it and how it can be restored.  It even declares that God inhabits our praises!  Talk about a place of joy.  The wonder of the Creator and Lord of all, living in our praises and also respecting our response to Him, should fill our hearts with joy. (Psalm 22:3)  The prophet Nehemiah had a revelation of joy in a different way.  In Nehemiah 8:10 he declares that “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  The thought of strength filling us through the joy of the Lord should resound in us like an anthem.

When we choose to be a joyful person, we also choose to share it with others.  How can our joy not spill out on others?  It is so contagious that just getting near a joyful person causes us to be lifted up.  Let us choose the joyful places in life rather than bitterness and sorrow.  Let us allow the Lord’s own joy be our strength.  Father God, help us to start spreading joy everywhere we go.  Ready?  Let’s get going!

 

 

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