As I write on this Monday morning, a steady rain is blowing like windswept sheets against my kitchen window. It’s been dripping for days, and the forecast shows more on the way. Portland or Seattle takes weather like this in stride, but here in sunny Southern California this is a thing! You know what they say about rainy days and Mondays …

Early this morning Greg sat at the kitchen bar sipping coffee and scanning news while I tended a skillet of sizzling sausage and veggies to pour into his omelet.

“Did you know that in the UK, the third Monday in January is dubbed Blue Monday?”

“No,” I responded. “Why is it called that?”

Now, I’m a fan of many things British. I love the BBC productions based on my favorite writers such as Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, G.K. Chesterton, and James Herriot.

Have you seen All Creatures Great and Small? Fantastic. So naturally, I was curious why the Brits would single out one day as particularly depressing.

It seems that “Blue Monday” became an annual thing in 2005, after being dreamed up by life coach and happiness consultant, Dr. Cliff Arnall. He was commissioned by SkyTravel to calculate the most depressing day of the year as a way to help them market deals on winter travel.

It involved a complex formula that, at first glance, appears scientific: [W+(D-d)]xTQ/MxNA.

Greg continued reading, “Well, the W is for weather. The D is for debt and the little “d” is for monthly salary. The T means time since Christmas and the Q represents the length of time since you gave up on your New Year’s resolution!” (So much for being scientific.)

Granted, these things—weather, debt, work, the aftermath of Christmas, and failed resolutions—can all contribute to feelings of sadness. But while this Blue Monday theory has been debunked many times, it still pops up on your news feed each year.

So, on this third Monday in January, as I look at gray skies and the prospect of being cooped up inside all day, I’m pondering. Is there actually a specific day when depression strikes more than usual? I doubt it. On the other hand, I recognize “those days” are real. But we can think biblically about the factors in that formula and find strategies to help us through when we’re having one of those days.


Weather and Work

As Christians, we know who controls the weather. God hasn’t walked away from the day-to-day control of His creation. He has established physical laws that govern the forces of nature, but we should never forget those laws operate according to His sovereign will.

We can’t change the weather or prevent storms (physical or spiritual) from coming into our life, but we can prepare and respond. We can begin each day by offering ourselves to God, come rain or shine, and trust Him to work through us.

What do you suppose Noah did on the ark for all those days, shut in with family and noisy animals, all making a perpetual mess? How did Joseph cope, waking up in a miserable Egyptian prison every day for seven years? I imagine they had to keep busy.

Being productive is part of God’s plan for us, so whatever we do, let’s work at it with all our heart to the glory of God (Colossians 3:23).



Financial debt can weigh us down and it’s a hard reality we all face. I’m convicted just thinking how frugal our parents and grandparents were. There were five kids in my family and eating out was reserved for significant celebrations. Clothes were purchased as needed—not because of the latest fashions. To previous generations, financing luxury choices on credit cards was never even considered. We all could use a dose of that kind of thinking.

Times are changing, and like it or not, we’re all coming back around to seriously rethinking our spending habits.

God gives wisdom in His Word (particularly in Proverbs) on how to plan and manage our finances. We also have access to helpful information from financial planners, with steps we can take based on biblical principles for getting out of debt. Let’s begin today.

Greg says debt is a form of slavery, and I agree. It may rule the wallet but don’t let it master your soul or dictate your perspective. Never forget your worth to God and your value to the Body of Christ. These are treasures that can’t be measured by your bank account or wardrobe.



After Christmas, getting back to a normal rhythm is an adjustment. A little brain fog between Christmas and New Year’s is common, especially if we’ve been running on high energy and little sleep. Holidays stir up memories and as Christians, we aren’t exempt from sorrow. But we have unfading hope, even when we’re not bursting with energy. Our mood may fluctuate but Emmanuel—God with us—is our daily reality, year-round! I am certain there is still plenty of His abounding love for us in those moments. His mercies are new every day. He has promised, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Christmas is a joyful day to celebrate, but for believers, every day brings us closer to the second advent when He returns for us!


Failed Resolutions

Q represents the time since we made New Year’s resolutions. Why do you suppose the man who invented this formula chose a “Q” for this? Well, how’s that shaping up for you? Did you make any resolutions? I don’t typically, but I do believe 2023 is a great time for a reset. There is always room for new growth. If your “reset” is faltering, today is a new day!

That said, let’s remember that Christian discipline should not become merely an exercise in self-improvement. Yes, we set goals for developing skilled habits of grace. We work at it, realizing we will never do it perfectly.

But something far greater than human effort claims our focused devotion.

When all is said and done, dear one, your hope doesn’t rest in being an exceptionally skilled Bible reader, a profound pray-er, or a faithful churchgoer. Your hope rests in knowing Jesus, your heart beating in His, abiding in His love.

My friends, this is our sure cure for Blue Monday.


I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Jeremiah 31:3