Desperate Book Study {Chapters 5 & 6}

Desperate Book Study at amandamedlin.com

Chapter 5: When the Dark Invades

Depression.

Something that many women struggle with but no one wants to admit to it or talk about it, especially in Christian circles. I applaud Sarah Mae and Sally for going there, and bringing this topic to the table for discussion.

Depression can be such a strange thing. One would think that depression is only caused by sadness or dissatisfaction with one’s life, but for me, the darkness tends to be brought on by physical and mental exhaustion.

If there was one thing that I didn’t quite understand before becoming a mother, it was the fact that you never really get a break. Once you put the mom hat on, you don’t take it back off. It’s not like a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday job where you get to sit around and relax on the weekends. No.

Motherhood is 24/7.

And even when the kids are away at school or at grandma’s house, us moms are usually running around like crazy trying to get as much as possible accomplished before they get home.

I have shared before that I tend to be a little more Martha than Mary. I have a really hard time slowing down, and almost never take time to myself to do anything for pleasure or relaxation. There is always too much work to be done!

But I find that when life gets crazier and more stressful than usual and I continue to go, go, go without slowing down to access my needs and take care of myself, the darkness soon invades and I crash.

Hard.

All of a sudden I struggle to get out of bed. I lack the motivation to get dressed. I don’t want to go anywhere or see anybody. I am like a car that has run out of gas. I am physically and mentally depleted. And unfortunately, it usually takes me a while to bounce back.

I loved Sally’s list on p.61 of ways to access your needs. I know that for me, allowing myself to take time for simple pleasures throughout my day, such as knitting and reading, help me to slowly nurture myself back to normal. Things like regular fresh air and exercise also help me out so much.

And as Sarah Mae said…

“…making a very conscious choice to be in the Word, eating the bread of life every day, and recognizing that I am not my bad days.”

I love what Sally had to say…

“Feelings and dark thoughts in the midst of battle are not wrong or sinful. Even so, what we choose to do with those thoughts is imperative. If we are to worship God, we must tell Him how we are feeling and confess the feelings and thoughts of our hearts, just as we would to our own loving parents or friends. Then we must say, as Jesus did through the prophetic Psalm 22 of His own feelings on the cross, ‘Yet, You are holy.’ We can proclaim, ‘And because I am choosing to believe that you are loving and providential, and that you do care. I will choose to worship you with my mind. I will take captive every dark or anxious thought I have and give it to you. I will choose to cling to what the Bible tells me is true.”

How about you? Does the darkness invade your life from time to time? What usually brings it on? How do you cope?

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Chapter 6: Lack of Training

Following such a heavy topic as Chapter 5, I found Chapter 6 to be a little more lighthearted and fun.

Sarah Mae and Sally shared how that they were not properly trained to manage their homes in the practical aspects of housekeeping and organization, and they offered some practical tips on how to grow in these areas.

I feel that I was well-trained in keeping a clean and organized home, as well as how to do laundry. My personal area of struggle is in the kitchen. I was taught how to cook growing up, and I can follow a recipe and make some tasty dishes. My husband actually thinks I’m a great cook…when I cook. My struggle is just finding the motivation. It’s a lot of work and it isn’t something that I particularly enjoy or something that comes naturally. I will do laundry all day long without a complaint, but making dinner, ugh. Let’s go out to eat!

I like Sally’s advice.

“A wise woman copies wise women. I learned from others. I would ask them questions, observe their homes, and then apply their wisdom in my own home.”

My mother-in-law and my pastor’s wife are two women in my life that are gifted in the area of hospitality when it comes to food. When you go to their houses, they are always ready to serve you a cup of coffee. Their pantries and refrigerators are always well-stocked with snacks, and they can throw together a meal for a large number of people without having a small panic attack.

I have been slowly working on this, and will continue to do so, because I long to grow in this area of homemaking and motherhood.

“The more I grew in this area, the better my self-image grew. Though I had never been taught how to be efficient, I established foundations and structures, and with God’s grace made it through. I now take comfort in the knowledge that my children consider my home the best place to be; not because it is immaculate, but because it is a safe haven of meals shared, love expressed, and relationships cherished. Such work is accomplishable, and will give joyful life to you and your family.” – Sally Clarkson, Desperate

How about you? When you got married or became a mother, did you feel unprepared or untrained for the practical aspects of homemaking and home management? 

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What were your biggest takeaways from these chapters?

I would love to get some conversations started in the comments, so please share your thoughts!

Go ahead and start reading Chapters 7 & 8 and meet me back here next Friday to discuss!

Always,

Amanda

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