When I was a young girl and life overwhelmed I just buried my nose in a book.
Happy endings always seemed to make life more bearable. You know–the ones where the knight slays the dragon, the princess is rescued, and they all live happily ever after.
Trouble was, see, the sorrows of life continued to roil along beside as I immersed myself in story. I was able to suspend them for a time as I was carried away into a fictional land, but eventually the book ended and I had to come up for air.
While this coping mechanism left much to be desired, it did instill in me a healthy dose of optimism. Every good psychologist knows that a variable-ratio partial reinforcement schedule produces the most lasting behaviors.
I conditioned myself to expect beauty following times of despair.
I’m a grown up now (so they tell me), and I still find this book therapy a handy strategy.
What can I say? I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately.
A big cyber-hug and thank you to my sweet friends who have gently checked in on me. Your loving encouragement means more than I can say. Bless you.
We have been busy.
This pre-holiday season carries enough stress of its own, but our family has had some recent changes that are stretching our faith. Fortunately, the book I’m sticking my nose in these days offers more than a temporary escape. I’m putting my hope on The Promise that never disappoints.
In the meantime, here are some practical things I have done to help me through this blue time. Maybe you have some ideas of your own. Please share, I would love to hear. But these are my mood-boosters.
1. Get. Out. Side. This is my number one way of shaking the blues. Take a walk. Look deep into the creek bed. Study a leaf. The world is a fascinating place.
2. Exercise. I know you are sick of hearing it, but it really works.
3. Get some new music. Listen to it. And sing. No one can be sad when they are singing.
4. Hold a baby. ‘Nuff said.
5. Change around your bedroom. Or living room. Or both.
6. Call that one friend that always makes you laugh…you know the one.
7. Write a story with a child. Make it silly. Make it impossible. Give it a happy ending.
8. Experience beauty. Go to a museum exhibit. Go to the theater. Go to a concert. You will feel in ways you may have forgotten.
9. Catch up on your journaling. Write a poem.
10. Help someone else. Give out of your gifts. Be it time, food, words, music, love…make someone smile today.
11. Remember how wide and long and high and deep is His love for you. Nothing can separate you from It. Use a concordance and find scriptures that speak to your specific concerns. Write them in your journal, putting your name in where appropriate. Keep them on cards in your purse or stashed around the house; wherever they will be readily accessible in times of need.
Above all, seek Him first, Beloveds. Busy-ness is one of Satan’s greatest weapons. Carve out time for the Lord and guard it jealously.
May your week be blessed.