I have a tendency toward melancholy. Staying indoors, overcast days, mid-winter bare trees, being quiet… I don’t mind these things. They make me cozy and calm.

Because I know this about myself, when I was pregnant I asked my husband to keep an eye on me and my emotions after baby was born. We’ve been watchful and prayerful, and so far so good. A little more anxiety than before Samuel, and it’s easier for me to get irritated, but neither is consuming or big. I’ve had situational depression before, I know what to look for in myself and heart, and those things are absent (thanks God).

But the last weeks, I have been feeling a little off. Call it the baby blues, the mid-winter slump, or being down in the dumps. Envy comes quickly and creates a pit in my stomach. A case of the ‘grass is greener’ syndrome rears its ugly head. Unkind thoughts about myself slowly creep into my head. Loneliness and an absence of girlfriends – the call at 2am, coffee order knowing, rich-conversation-having kind – brings me to tears. Exhaustion sets in deeply, and so do the dark circles under my eyes. Postpartum pain lingers.

But through each symptom of unrest, a seed of gratitude digs hard in my heart, fighting to take root and bloom.
To combat the yuck, I will count. Along with Ann, and though I’m late to join, I’m counting His gifts. Three a day*, posted on Mondays. Because there are so many gifts, big and small, known and unknown, seen and forgotten.

I’m choosing to see. And in that choosing, the seed begins to bloom.

1. a cold drink, working while Sam snoozes beside me, my soft bed.

2. enough money for what we need, a favorite pair of rosebud earrings, the wrap in which I wear my son.

3. a new-to-me sweater, bigger jeans to accomodate my body that bore a child, my wedding ring.

he was chilly, so i snuggled him up IN that sweater =)

4. best friends who are far away, getting up at 4am every night, no snow.

a couple of dear far away friends

5. a swing my son loves, new passion to cultivate friendships, red polka dot egg cups.

It’s a good start.

*Ann provides a daily prompt – 3 gifts each day. I’ll be quietly using these – you can download your own copy of the Joy Dare prompts via her blog.

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