Rain or Shine

I admit it. I’d rather be out running around on a sunshiny day than to be dodging puddles and trying to keep my glasses spot-free on a dreary, rainy day. I’ve been known to avoid water rides at theme parks, too. I guess I just don’t like getting wet :)

But while I stay holed up singing rain, rain, go away, I’ve noticed that our feathered friends don’t let a few showers get them down or sway them from their tasks.

That’s right, as long as the weather is not severe and even though they may get a little wet-for-the-wear, I still see birds out and about, singing and faithfully taking care of business—flying, looking for food, eating, working, and patrolling their territory among other things. Yes, they continue on.

Could the same be said for us when the showers of life come raining down? Do we continue on or do we easily get discouraged and pull back or even pout and give up?

Let’s consider some of the things that might discourage us from pressing on with our work, our personal growth and goals, or our walk of faith.

The answers might be different for you, but for me as a writer, I can be tempted to give up when I experience rejection or hear about more things I must do to compete in the industry. I can also be derailed by the distractions of life, burn-out, lack of support, and weariness or other physical problems. I go through periods of discouragement where blogging is concerned because my readership doesn’t grow (or even shrinks at times) and because I don’t receive much feedback.

As I consider these culprits of discouragement to my writing life, I see that some of these same factors also hamper me in my personal and spiritual pursuits. It’s hard to stay enthused when I don’t feel well or when too many demands clamor for my attention or when I feel alone. On the spiritual front, I’m also impacted by feelings of failure when I sin as well as the enemy’s ongoing tactics to defeat me.

It’s clear that all our days will not be sunny. Rain will come. Will we let circumstances or setbacks dampen our enthusiasm and keep us holed up singing rain, rain go away, or will we faithfully continue taking care of business?

Let’s not be afraid to get wet. Let’s press on—rain or shine.

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7

*What do you do to battle discouragement?

*Flickr photo by net_efekt

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out next week. Sign up is free and to the right!

Comments

  1. When I feel discouraged, the first thing I do is decide if I’ve been getting enough sleep. If not, then it is a passing mood that a good night’s sleep will cure.
    If my sleep is caught up, I try to find the answer to why I am discouraged. Can I do anything to remedy the situation? If yes, I make plans.
    If no, I change channels, metaphorically. Blog not going well? Do something else for awhile: a day, a week, a month, whatever it takes for enthusiasm to reignite.
    I too get discouraged about the lack of blog growth, but accept the fact that I don’t really need a Big Deal Readership. So much better to know the readers than to have hoards of strangers bouncing through. (Maybe your commenters give up because of those prove-you’re-not-a-robot things. . . half the time I can’t read them and don’t follow through with a comment because of them.)

  2. Great strategies for dealing with discouragement and reigniting enthusiasm, Jana. Thanks for sharing!

    By the way, I agree that the word verification for leaving comments is very frustrating — so sorry I had to implement it. I held off requiring it as long as I could, but I ended up with so many spam comments I had to do something. I’ve discovered that if you make a mistake in typing in the word verfication, it gives you a much easier one to read the second time. So I’d suggest giving it a quick shot the first time, and the second one will be much easier.

  3. Debbie KY says:

    I’d love to share a wonderful cure for discouragement, but I haven’t found it yet! Some days you just manage to get by.

    But, when you can make it a good rainy day, go stomping through those puddles, raising a ruckus, and having fun.

    You rock, Chery.

  4. Aw, thanks so much, Debbie. You made me smile! Love your strategy to go stomping through the puddles, raising a ruckus and having fun. What a great approach!

  5. Sometimes when I battle discouragement (especially as it pertains to writing/blogging, etc.) I take a big long break from it. When it happens in other areas of my life? Well, I take a break there as well, not from the world and the problems, but I make sure I have time alone with Jesus – long walks, long baths, little jaunts to Starbucks, etc. When I am alone with God and when I am intentional about making heart investments, the discouragement lessens and God’s peace arrives.

    Thank you for being so faithful to the writing call, Cheryl, and in all of life. God sees the seeds you have planted together with him. Perhaps the rain could be a symbol of the water necessary to bring those seeds to harvest time.

    Blessings and peace, sister.

  6. This is also a good reminder that the things we don’t like are often the very things we need. Rain brings much-needed water for us, for the lakes, for crops, and so much more. But I’m like you, I’d rather it not rain when I need to be out.

    But God chooses to rain down whatever we need to bring Him glory. :-)

  7. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Elaine. And yes, time alone with God can make such a difference when battling discouragement – or at any other time for that matter!

    Vonda, love the additional application you’ve mentioned and love how you said God chooses to rain down whatever is needed to bring Him glory. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. I’ve been struggling with discouragement and depression lately. A lot. Depression is usually not an issue, but it’s definitely situational. And menopause is wreaking havoc with my usually upbeat emotional state. I really needed to read this today. Thank you, Cheryl.

  9. Rain or shine, just keep plodding on. It’s easier said than done sometimes, especially as a writer. Books are such momentous undertakings, and when you think you’re done, you’re probably not even half way through the journey. But just keep on plodding through the rain and puddles. Thanks for another great inspirational post, Cheryl, and a prod to look inwardly at the factors that motivate and hinder me as a writer.

  10. Flea, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with depression and discouragement. My heart goes out to you. I’m so glad this post helped a little. I hope the majority of your days will soon be sunny again!

    And Mairead, thanks so much. So happy I can provide another writer a little bit of inspiration. Like you said, the challenges are indeed great!

  11. Encouraging words Cheryl!

  12. Thank you, Annette!

  13. Discouragement? I too have had discouragement in my blog writing – at first I was very motivated and then life got in the way and I let it. That has frustrated me but I am now working on writing and plan on getting back to it! for discouragement in general I tend to turn on music, read through encouraging scriptures I have written on notecards, come to your blog (which always leaves me with a good feeling).

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