It seems counter-intuitive, does it? Usually when I am going through a hard time, my instinct is to keep my perspective on the future—I will get through this; this will end soon; only 5 more minutes, 3 more hours, one more day.
But a recent hard day showed me a different perspective…
It was going to be a horrible day, I just knew it.
It was the end of our vacation.
I hadn’t slept more than 2 hours for the last two nights. Thanks, Traveling Anxiety. You’re the best!
We were flying from Colorado to Virginia with four kids.
We had to get up at 4am to take a shuttle to the airport.
I am a hot, grumpy mess in the mornings.
Oh Lord, I prayed. Help?
All I could think about was that I wanted this day to be over. We had had a great week in Colorado and I just wanted to be back in my own bed (I just need some sweet sleep!), but there was a mammoth day of travel in front of us.
Did I mention that we were flying with FOUR KIDS?
Thankfully from Denver to Houston, my 18 month old, Eli, conked out in my arms for the 90 minute flight. My 3 year old, Silas, (who is our easiest-going kid) happily played next to me the whole time.
Then we had the 3+ hour whopper to get from Texas to Virginia.
Now, Eli was awake and he did not want to sit. We had only been in the air for 5 minutes and he was tired of flirting with the flight attendants, opening and closing the seat tray, and my offer of snacks received a big “NO NO!” Holding on to my squirmy toddler was akin to wrestling an eel.
My easy-going 3 year old was dead asleep in Daddy’s arms in the row behind us and, sitting next to me, my 8 year old twins were giving Thing 1 and Thing 2 a run for their money.
One of my eight year olds had sulfur burps every five minutes that smelled so bad that I felt sick to my stomach (and I’m sure he felt so much worse, poor baby!)
Oh, and the ipad battery just died.
This was a bad, bad day and I could see it all, stretching out before me, miserable and endless (bad days are full of hyperbole).
I needed a change—fast (mostly of my attitude), but it started with a quick change of seats.
Somehow, in those narrow, suffocating seats, Eli and I managed to switch places with Micah and Benji to sit next to the window.
Ooooh! The shade goes UP and DOWN!
Hello clouds! Goodbye clouds!
Good morning! Good night!
We played and my toddler lost his desire to eel out of my lap.
I took a deep breath and settled into the moment. Ok. This right here? This is good.
And, right then, I stopped trying to swallow my whole bad day in one huge engulfing gulp.
Moment by moment.
That’s how I was going to get through this flight, squashed in an airplane row with 3 of my 4 kids.
We played with the shade.
UP and DOWN! UP and DOWN!
It was good.
We sang patty-cake.
Good times, good times.
Moment by moment.
We said Hello clouds! Goodbye clouds!
Slowly, the minutes passed. I chose to live in them, not beyond them. As long as I lived in each single minute and celebrated it as “good,” I kept my perspective.
I can do this.
And then? In the last blessed 45 minutes of the flight, all 3 of my children in that suffocating row fell asleep.
Jesus loves me.
So I breathed in and out, knowing that while the day was long, the minutes could be good as long as I chose to celebrate that good and be thankful, each minute, each moment, until we came out on the other side.
What’s your “bad day” strategy?
How do you live in the moment when you just want to get through it?
Share your story below!
I hope that my story can bring hope, healing, and happiness to you. TheBamBlog is trying to grow! Did this post encourage you or would it inspire someone you know?