Dear Daddy,

I’ve heard your voice a lot these past few weeks. Maybe it has to do with the record-breaking snowfall we are getting this year.

I still remember you teaching me to drive on snow and ice when I was a teenager.  As we drove out of our neighborhood on that cold morning, the roads glistened like glass and you told me to slam on the breaks.

Being the obedient daughter, I am I did.

Of course, you knew what would happen, and as we spun around and ended up in the opposite direction, you sat next to me laughing and sternly said: “NEVER SLAM ON THE BREAKS WHEN DRIVING ON ICY ROADS!”

Back then I thought it was a cruel joke.

But looking back on it now, I see it wasn’t just a lesson in safety; it would become another valuable life lesson you would leave with me years after you passed.

Gaining Control

It’s funny how simple lessons from our parents carry with us throughout our lives. Years ago, Dad took me out for a simple driving lesson.  Little did I know then, he was also teaching a valuable lesson on navigating the roads of life.

There are seasons in our lives when we have clear skies, and the warmth of the sun fills our soul. Birds are singing, bees are buzzing, and all is right with the world.

But some seasons are gray and gloomy. The bitter cold chills us to the bone, while icy dispositions cause us to slip and slide making it hard to find traction in our lives.

Sometimes we fall, sometimes we spin out of control, and sometimes we feel life is a cruel joke.

How do we regain traction for our lives?

Slow down – Trying to go too far too fast won’t get us anywhere. We need to take our foot off the life’s accelerator and slow down. Allowing time to get to our destination is an important part. Remember life isn’t a race, it’s a journey.

Evaluate the surface before accelerating – Sometimes putting your foot on the gas thrusts you out of a rut, but other times it digs you in further. Take the time to invest in your passions. There is nothing wrong with ‘me time.’ In fact, it’s essential to living an emotionally healthy life.

Stay Calm – Freaking out does nothing positive. (I’m preaching to the choir here.) It can be entertaining for observers, like my dad. But it only brings us added stress and can cause us to slide further into the doldrums.

Changes

Sliding on ice is caused by change. A change of direction or a change in speed. Life can be like that. We can coast along enjoying the ride, and suddenly we are faced with a significant change.

The loss of a loved one, a job, or a relationship can spin our world out of control causing us to lose traction.

Dealing with change isn’t always easy.  It can cause us to be uncomfortable, vulnerable and even afraid.

Sometimes the change will usher in an empowering strength that was just waiting below the surface. Other times the change will challenge us and cause us to re-evaluate and reflect on which direction we need to go.

So, hold on during the tough times.

It’s in those moments we discover how strong we really are.

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