I saw a bunch of posts over the weekend that mentioned -- in one way or another -- how hard Mother's Day can be. You may have lost your mother, or had a bad relationship with your mom, or feel your own inadequacies as a mother, or have not been able to become a mother, or any number of other issues. The pain is real.
My wife had a good Mother's Day: Chocolates from me, chocolates from church, dinner from our German, a very nice note from one of "our kids," and a homemade cake from another. It was all very sweet and uplifting. But we also can't escape the loss. Having no biological children of our own and an adoption that fell through, there is melancholy even in the euphoria. And as the chocolates disappear and cake gets eaten, the ache lingers on and eats away at us.
I don't know what you're going through. I hope you had a great Mother's Day yourself. But today could easily have been rough. Screaming babies? Needy children? Grumpy kids? Students who somehow forgot seven year's of learning in the last 72 hours? A short temper? An argument with your spouse? A new financial strain that came out of nowhere?
And suddenly all the joy of yesterday becomes a new source of discouragement.
Celebrations can be like the drawer of awards I kept in my desk. On one hand, looking back at the certificates and ribbons and signed cards was a beautiful reminder. On the other hand, it was all in the past, new challenges were before me, and it was very clear how much further I had to grow.
I remember driving home from an awards banquet sometime back in high school. I was happy to remember my accomplishments; I still felt the warm glow of camaraderie and the payoff of hard work. But that moment was over. Tears sprang to my eyes as I looked toward the future. I wasn't scared or worried or disappointed. I was just sad. I was a little discouraged. And for some reason, I felt a little beaten down.
As we push toward the end of the school year, this time can also feel a little overwhelming.
Perhaps it'd be good to review some of Jill's tips for overcoming the winter slump. Despite the snow outside my window, it's no longer winter. I know that. But I know I often need encouragement as I approach the end of a project.
May you find encouragement today, even if it's been a hard day.
And may the joy of the Lord be your strength.
Filmmaker, Writer, Guardian