4 Strategies That Get Us Through Life’s Impossible Moments

It’s not pretty, this milk splattered over my dining room floor. Ten feet in all directions, up the wall. It’s breakfast and I’m barely even alert. Why must every day with kids be a spectacular mess?

I want to yell.
I start to yell.
I stop and swallow words back.

Those words… and ones for my mood-battling daughter whose morning verbal shrapnel flies everywhere. And for my sink that creates dishes overnight. And for the neighbor whose careless judgement strangles what’s left of my morning joy?

What to do with all these words I eat for breakfast? These hurts, frustrations and stressors that, if I let words out, would hurt the people I love most? 

How, exactly, do any of us do this? This eating impossible for breakfast?

Over years I’ve grappled with this question. Some years I lost the fight and dove into depression. Then one weekend I sat in a room at a women’s retreat, listening to my friend speak on forgiveness. You know, the kind of topic that in bitter seasons makes us cringe, but we sit there and listen because it’s your friend, and that’s what you do for friends?

It seems there are a few supplements that help digest the impossible, even first thing in the morning.

Vitamin M – Mindset 
Wake each day “in the game,” ready for problems that will inevitably come. Decide from the day’s first moments how you’ll react to these challenges. Keep a notebook by the bed, a ready arsenal of strength-building Scripture, affirmation, and favorite quotes.

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I (Jesus) have overcome the world” (John 16:33). 

Vitamin T – Trust 
Decide to believe that with every struggle you face, you have what you need. Every problem is covered. Every grace given. You are, after all, still here after all you’ve faced to this point. You’ll make it through what is to come – with His strength, wisdom and joy.

“Lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:10).

Vitamin R – Remember 
Keep a list, and check it twice (three times, twenty times… however many times you need during the day!). From your first breath, the God of the entire universe is already up and thinking of you. He created you for this moment, these challenges, these relationships. Consider all the times you’ve discovered that truth, even if it came in unexpected packages. You aren’t alone.

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Vitamin F – Forgive
If you’re like me, you balk at the supposedly huge number that sermons preach – the “forgive your brother 70 times 7.” In families with special needs, grief, loss, blended families… well, let’s just say that’s about a month. If that. So we can either wake each day already primed to be mad and resentful or we can decide right then to have a posture of forgiveness – a willingness to “give before” anything hurts us (and before we hurt others).

As we let out the poison of resentment, our ability to digest the “impossible” in our days grows by leaps and bounds.

Are we still going to feel like freaking out when we see 12 ounces of milk seeping across our floors? Or when our tweens roll their eyes at us AGAIN? Or when a therapist says your kid’s needs are going to require even MORE of your time and money than they have over years so far?

Yeah. We are.

But if we bolster up our emotional immunity with these 4 vitamins, we can look impossible straight in the face, even through sleepy morning eyes, and eat it for breakfast.

Go get ’em!
-Laurie

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