“If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.”

~Lucy Larcom (1824-1893), American poet

This past week was a rough one. Our family got some bad news and it has caused us to re-evaluate a few things in our lives. I have faith everything will turn out fine. But it does take some effort to see the bright side right now. One thing I have learned over the years is that happiness is mostly a result of our attitude. Being grateful for the good things in our lives is a powerful tool to combat the negative and the depression that often follows. To that end I am making it a habit to notice the good things in my life and acknowledge them specifically. I thank God for blessings each day even when I don’t feel like it.

The other major change in my life that has helped me cope with stressful circumstances is cleaning up my diet and getting my vitamin D levels into the normal range. These things have done wonders for my mood. I do not need medication for depression. The winter months used to leave me feeling blue but now I find even the gray days of the season calming and pleasant in their own way.

Frozen Lake

The photo above is from my drive to work. This lake is frozen and covered in snow right now. As beautiful as it is in the summer – when we see bald eagles, exotic ducks and the like – the winter has its own charm. Rather than wishing for summer, I am making a special effort to appreciate the beauty of the current season. The drive to my office may be long, but it is filled with beautiful moments that I often overlook. When I focus on those beautiful aspects, the drive becomes an entirely new experience. In the same way, I am beginning to look at the negative events in my life and instead of letting them get me down I am focusing on what God is doing through them. Things that seem sad and scary and depressing at first may be just the beginning of blessings. He has great plans for each of us and we just have to focus on that and enjoy what is good in each day.

I heard the following song recently that really puts things into perspective. The lyrics contain a great message and I hope you will find some encouragement in it.

Don’t Give Up Hope 

by Third Day

“Don’t give up faith 
Don’t give up hope 
There’s always something better 
Waiting around the corner 
Don’t give up now 
Please, don’t let go 
What can feel like the ending 
Could just be the beginning 
Don’t give up hope”

Tomorrow I will get back to recipes. I plan to finally post Paleo Mini Meatloaves. They are great comfort food and perfect for kids and meals on-the-go. Stay tuned!

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