Accelerating on an interstate entrance ramp, I think about how gas pedals are small yet mighty.
Then I consider how the go of the gas pedal is balanced by the stop of the brake pedal. I ponder how cars have seats, steering wheels, mirrors, lights, and all the many parts that work together for the cause of convenient transportation.
My mind spins in a thankful vortex. How wonderful it is that we have little gas pedals that can do great things. I can go down a mental rabbit hole, I tell ya.
I asked a friend what she is doing for Mother’s Day. Her mom passed away recently. “Do you have a plan for Sunday?” What I really am asking is does she have something to be distracted by that day? I try to be there for those who face fresh grief during emotionally charged holidays.
In my own world, I am getting better at zero expectations for special dates. A different friend pointed out that as long as they’ve known me (since childhood) I’ve been overcoming something. A parent leaving or coming back, sicknesses, multiple deaths close to me, and so forth. They are not wrong. It’s been a mountainous road. I once had romanticized hopes for days like Mother’s Day, birthdays, etc. which of course leads to disappointment.
Now I have learned small gestures are bonus moments. I enjoy surprises that pop up in ways I don’t anticipate. I allow part of every day to be a celebration of the life I get to live. Yes, I’ve been known to turn up Mandisa’s Overcomer song on the car radio.
Four of the best strategies I know for getting through tough times are:
1. Identify a gratitude anchor. Is there a memory you cherish? Hug the memory and thank it for being part of your life. Is there an object of wonder? Take time to be thankful. Fill in the blanks: “I appreciate _________ because _________.” Repeat.
2. Help someone. You might be the bright spot in someone else’s day.
3. Give yourself permission to check out of a situation especially if you are recovering from a tragedy or grief. I am new to giving myself time-outs from people, places, or things. I’ve found time-outs helpful in 2019.
4. Do something you enjoy and fully relish it. My go to the last two weeks has been listening to Journey’s timeless music Faithfully and with Open Arms.
Romans 8: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.
Deep, slow breaths. Happy Mother’s Day.