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I wrote yesterday that maybe one of the reasons that women are so depressed is that we're taught that motherhood will make us blissfully happy. Happiness, though, can't be a goal in life. It can only be a byproduct.

And I promised to share a few more thoughts on why we so commonly become depressed.

Try this on: what if our culture has made an idol out of leisure? Have you ever noticed how much money and effort is spent in trying to have fun? We buy huge televisions and computers. We go on expensive vacations. We live to play.

Even with our kids, we structure our lives and theirs to maximize their fun!

I'm not against fun. I'm not even against vacations! We just went on a lovely cruise and it was great. But maybe, just maybe, in the process we've made it so that everytime you have to actually do any work you see it as a failure. Because the perfect success in life is to be free of work altogether.

People yearn for retirement when they can just relax. We look forward to the weekend so we can relax. We take breaks from work so we can relax.

When did work stop being fun? I'm not saying that it's the end all and be all, but WORK DID COME BEFORE THE FALL. It's not a bad four letter word. It's just work.

I like doing dishes. You feel like you've accomplished something, and that's good. I like doing laundry for the same reason. At the end of the day when I've really worked hard at homeschooling and gotten a lot done, I feel great. On the days when I've been goofing off, I don't.

We were meant to work. That doesn't mean we should never have fun, but we shouldn't see work as something which is intrinsically bad, and we shouldn't imagine that life is supposed to be endless leisure. Good relationships take work. Good marriages take work. Good kids take work! And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, there's a lot to be proud of.

I know many women suffer from genuine depression and medication can be a life-saver. I'm not trying to belittle that. But many of us, I think, do make ourselves more susceptible to mild depression because we see the world in the wrong way. We think it's about our own happiness, rather than about what God wants to do through us, and the excitement that comes from being part of His plan!

So next time I sink into a bath at the end of a long day and feel my muscles start to relax because I've been using them a lot, I'm going to feel grateful, rather than upset. God gave me work to do, I did it well, and that means a lot. What about you?

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At 7:23 AM , Blogger Terry said…

True! I feel much better on days when I've been productive than on the days when I've been slacking. Which reminds me, I need to get off this laptop, wake up the kids, and cook breakfast. But I will be back. I would love to read more of your writing when I have some time. Thanks for stopping by my blog!


At 10:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Forme, I have to ignore my emotions at times, and just get moving, doing something productive, and my feelings will definetly improve. Elisabeth Elliott has said that usally when we work, we work to excess, and when we relax, we relax excessively (not her words, mine :)) and we need to be more balanced.....just a thought that has helped me through the years.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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