**This is a guest post by Deidra Riggs. She is my dear friend and neighbor, and I am so excited to have her here as guest at New Nostalgia. This post is just a glimpse of her authentic, loving heart—a heart that has been there for me & prayed me through some of my toughest life moments. Read on to know why her heart is happy these days, and enjoy the Simple Window Hack at the end of the post.
I’ve been having a secret celebration in my heart these days.
One year ago today, I was one sick woman. Last February, I had a business trip in California and, when it was over, I flew to Vancouver to meet up with my husband. It was the week of Valentine’s Day. Rarely do we do anything really special for Valentine’s Day, but last year, we decided to take a trip so that my husband could ski and I could write.
We had a great trip. While not the best ski weather (it rained nearly every day), it was good for us to get away and spend some time together. At the end of the week, we flew home to Nebraska and, not long after we’d settled back into our routine, I came down with a nasty virus.
It was one of those viruses that wrestles a person to the ground in about twelve hours. At first, I thought it was just a cold, and that I could press my way through it for three or four days. I was wrong. By the end of the first day, I knew I’d have to surrender and so, I climbed into bed, hoping to doctor myself back to health with Tylenol and NyQuil. But this one was a doozy. I was achy from the fever and worn out from the coughing. My head maintained a constant ache that made me wonder if someone had implanted a knife behind my eyes when I wasn’t looking.
That virus knocked me down for two entire weeks. Somewhere in the middle of those fourteen days, my husband drove me to see my doctor. She checked me out and then patted me gently on my knee. “This thing is going around,” she said. “It’s nasty, and you just have to tough it out.” So, home I went. Back to bed.
Now, worse than being sick with that virus was the fact that it rendered me incapable of doing anything but lie in my bed in my empty house with nothing but the thoughts in my head. My husband came home each day at lunch to check on me. At night, he’d bring me dinner and sit with me in the bedroom. But, for most of the day, I was all by myself and it that was not good. Not good at all.
Depression is a nasty bugger. For me, it usually begins with a sad or scary or sinister thought that won’t let go. It keeps running itself around on a little track in my head and, before I know what hit me, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of hopelessness. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know what I’m talking about. In those times, it’s a struggle to hold onto any shred of anything that offers hope.
Last year, in my bed, hope came through the window. I’d turn over onto my right side and peek out through the curtains, looking for a slice of blue between the branches, or listening for the call of the cardinal. Sometimes, a robin would land on the peak of the roof just on the other side of the screen. Most of the time, the hope lasted for just a few minutes, but a few minutes of hope is a magnificent deposit in the battle against deep sadness. Slowly, over a few weeks (at the tail end of that virus, I got a nasty case of strep throat which set me back for another week), my body healed and I was able to get myself outdoors. There, with daily doses of sunshine and fresh air and the promise of Spring, my mind found its way back to wholeness.
This year, I was silently fearing February. I know it was an irrational fear, but it was there, just the same. I was afraid I’d get sick again and wind up with a repeat of last year. But, here we are, all the way into Spring! Hoorah!
There is no guarantee that I’ll never be sick again. I probably will be, because we live in that kind of world. But, each time I pass by a window, or hear the song of a cardinal, I’m reminded of the power of hope, even in the smallest dose. And you, sweet warrior? You who know these feelings, too? I’m praying the power of hope over you today. May it reach you through the window of even the tiniest faith, and restore your beautiful soul.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:5)
SIMPLE CURTAIN HACK
Here’s a little decorating hack for the windows that surround you. It’s one I’ve used for many years and I love it because it’s sooooo inexpensive and easy! Not a single tool required. All you need is a tension rod, two tea towels, and some drapery hooks on rings. The total cost of this easy window hack? Less than $15!
Deidra Riggs is a national speaker, editor, and the founder & host of Jumping Tandem: The Retreat. She has been a featured speaker at Q Women, TEDx, and The City Gates Initiative, as well as several women’s events, including Allume, Winsome Retreat, the Beautiful Life Conference, and Compel. She is a contributing writer for Incourage, and her work has been featured online at the Washington Post and Today’s Christian Woman.
Deidra is the author of “Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are.” Her second book will release in the Spring of 2017. Deidra and her husband are the proud parents of two adult children, and the happy inhabitants of an empty nest. They live in Lincoln, Nebraska.