Feeling discouraged?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”(Joshua 1:9)

The role of mother and wife is difficult and we all get discouraged from time to time. 

Have you felt discouraged recently?  I have and I am sure you have too?

However for some women, it can be a long running battle and one they find difficult to get out of. 

And when discouraged, it can be so hard to get motivated and get jobs around the house done. Everything suddenly looks overwhelming and far beyond your capability - and this is when you are most likely to procrastinate as it is a way of avoiding doing the "need to be done" tasks. 

So what to do when feeling discouraged:
  • Firstly, you need to recognise the signs: are you feeling weary, defeated, tired, as if life is overpowering you, drained, snapping at your family, sad, self-pitying, feeling isolated . . . discouragement can drain us all of our hopes and dreams and suck us down further into a place we don't want to be.
Once you realise you are in the wrong place . . . here are some things you can do:

  • Pray . . . pray . . . pray and did I mention pray! Through pray you can put a stop to Satan worming his way into your head making you doubt  yourself and stumble and making you doubt God's love in the process. Satan has a way of making our discouragement even worse by tell us that God isn't beside us and that He doesn't really care. And before long you are beginning to believe Satan - he is very good at making our self-doubt and discouragement grow and fester.  "When we're distracted and discouraged, tired and overwhelmed, there is no better place to go than to our Father" ("Having a Mary heart in a Martha world") 
  • Open your bible and start reading, I love Psalms as it is so full of encouragement . . . David had a tough time too and called out to the Lord for help many times - we need to do the same.  At the bottom of this blog I have listed my favourite verses of encouragement and they certainly lift me up when I am down. 
  • If the day is looking bad, put on some uplifting hymns and sing along - classical music can also be a lovely distraction in the house and lift the mood. My mother often reads her hymns now that she in a nursing home and through reading she finds great comfort and encouragement. Many hymn writers were discouraged and had suffered great losses in their lives - they knew how to call out to God for strength. 
  • Find a uplifting book to read - if you feel discouraged often, have a pile of books that you can dip into when you are feeling defeated, that way you don't need to go off hunting for books when you least feel like - they are ready for you. 
  • Write down your blessings - we all have them, just sometimes we cover them up or look away. Place your blessings into a jar so you can revisit them from time to time.
  • Have you looked out of the window - even on a cold bleak day you will find beauty if only you look. Rain dancing on a window seal, sunbeams across a garden bench, the sound of wind, birds singing, a cat sleep - these are all God's creations and He gave them to us to enjoy and not ignore. 
  • Phone a friend and have a laugh - it is very true that laughter is the best medicine.Whilst on the phone, talk with your friend about your discouragement as it is often a good idea to get another persons perspective, sometimes they can see the forest from the trees, whereas you are too close to the situation to see logically. 
  • Focus on one thing at a time - sometimes our discouragement comes about because we are overwhelmed with the tasks ahead of us. If you kitchen is a disaster, start with the dishes, it won't take long before you are feeling a lot better. 
  • Have a cup of tea, it works for me (!) - seriously, take a break and enjoy a mug of tea, hot chocolate, milo, cup of coffee and something to nibble on. Just taking time away can be enough to get you back on track. Rest-stops also allow our bodies to stop and rest and time to mediate and enjoy the silence. 
  • Have a bubble bath - ask your husband to look after the children whilst you lie in a hot bubbly bath. Why not light some candles and play some heavenly music. Washing away your troubles does work! Perhaps make it a weekly indulgences. 
  • Joanne Weaver, author of "Having a Mary heart in a Martha world" suggests setting the timer - allow 10 minutes for a good cry, when the buzzer stops, blow your nose, wipe your eyes and surrender your situation to the Lord  (Ecclesiastes 3:4) - I think this is great idea and one that can be used for many stations besides discouragement (such as procrastination)
  • Go for a walk - no, not a march, you are not conquering Europe, just something quiet and relaxing. Look around you and see nature, it can be like medicine to the soul. Go to the park and walk on the grass with your bare feet, lie down and watch the clouds float by - smell the roses. All these things refreshes the mind and strengths the body. Does it really matter if the walk lasts an hour, no it doesn't and the children are enjoying a nature lesson in the process. 
  • Turn off the technology and take a break from the world and all its noise and clutter - we sometimes need to disconnect/unplug and return to simple living and enjoyments. Often world events can drag you down and make you feel discouraged. Don't listen to the news or read the paper, focus on what is pleasant, sweet and pure. 

Here are some of my favourite bible verses that provide comfort and strength when I am feeling discouraged. Why not write them in a book or on cards to keep them close - like taking an aspirin for a headache, take one or all of these when feeling discouraged and they will wash away the pain. 

And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1: 5)

Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you (Psalm 55:22)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (Psalm 112:7)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:17-19)

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)

*****

Comments

  1. Hello Jo, Once again your ideas are very good ones! I must say that some days do feel a bit overwhelming. Sometimes I just give myself a day off, and I do something that inspires me or I just rest and read. Summer is in full swing and it has been very busy for us! I do hope you are doing well!
    Hugs, Roxy

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    1. Thanks Roxy, giving yourself a day off is a great idea :)) Winter is in full swing here and it has been very cold and damp lately with lots of foggy mornings. I will welcome summer when it comes, but we are some months away!! Thanks for stopping by.xx

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  2. These are all wonderful ideas! I think we're not being honest with ourselves if we don't acknowledge that some days are just more difficult than others. I have to remember to try some of these things more often.

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    1. We like to think we are tough but there are times that a good cry is beneficial and healthy for us :)) have a lovely week a head.

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  3. Discouragement is something that everyone experiences at least from time to time - and I love the fact that the Scriptures are full of encouragement for just such a time. We all have to be so strong so much of the time, and yet as humans we are so weak - I'm so thankful for those everlasting arms that give us strength, endurance, protection, comfort, and the ability to just take one step at a time. And I'm so thankful for the simplicity of the joy of the Lord giving us strength. If we simply joy in Him, we will have HIS strength to help us go on in spite of everything. :)

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    1. Funny how we like to think we are strong, but the Lord knows otherwise and packs the Bible with so many encouraging verses just for us :))

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  4. The warm fireplaceJuly 11, 2015 at 8:27 PM

    Thank you so much for this post, i have written down all the verses, i am finding life quite difficult at the moment, and His words are so very uplifting.
    Sue

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    1. The bible is so full of encouraging verses, The Lord knew we would need them in bucket loads :))) Keep smiling and keeping looking up and remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is always with you, even in the difficult times.

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  5. A cup of tea and Michael Jackson song in the background. Always an instant boost for me. :D

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    1. A cup of tea works wonders for me too, not so much MJ, but classical music I find calms the soul :)))

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  6. Your post is timely for me as I have been in a "discouraged rut". Just this weekend the Lord taught me that a big part of my problem is that in being overwhelmed, I have been neglecting intentional time in the Word. I always notice a huge difference when I start my day in the Word.

    I loved all your suggestions to help with discouragement.

    At the top of your verse list, is my life verse. :-)

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Ruts are not good places to be for sure and the Bible offers so many words of encouragement as the Lord knew that we would need them BIG TIME!! When feeling down, LOOK UP.
      Blessings to you - have a lovely week (what is left of it!)

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  7. I was feeling rather low last evening. It is not my usual way of being as i am annoyingly cheerful. But, I did sit myself down and read some out of my bible...and though it may not have changed much...at least not yet...it did snap me out of my funk.

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    1. Whilst I am generally happy almost all the time, every now and again I just feel sad (I think most humans have these moments) and it can be really hard to get back into cheerful mode - I agree, that the Bible is such a wonderful and precious place to visit at times like this as it does help.

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