Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Four Ways to Keep Daily Joy (When Things Go Wrong)


four ways to keep daily joy

Do you ever have days when your best laid plans go awry? When little mishaps crop up and threaten to ruin your day, do you get as frustrated as I do? As much as I wish I would just flex and go with the flow, I tend to fret and fume instead.

A few Saturdays ago, several setbacks left me frustrated and tense. I was late preparing breakfast for guests who arrived early. The gas tank on our stove ran out (a reality of life in Turkey). I had nothing to offer our friends while we waited an hour for a new tank to be delivered. Later on, a simple errand turned into an afternoon of driving from store to store through heavy traffic in the rain. While we were out, the optical called, but when I went to pick up my new glasses, the lab had made a mistake, so instead of the cute modern style I’d chosen, I had Benjamin Franklin spectacles!

As I walked back in the door at home, my inward fretting spilled out with a litany of complaints, but my teenaged daughter interrupted me:

“Mom, LET IT GO. There’s nothing you can do to change things. Why don’t you just let it go?”

She was repeating back what she’s heard me say a hundred times: Let it go. (Out of the mouths of babes…) I stopped in my tracks and tasted my own medicine. I considered the choice before me. Either I could keep complaining and let the rest of the day be ruined, or I could let go of frustration and hold on tighter to daily joy. Do you ever face that choice?

Four Ways to Hold on to Daily Joy When Things Go Wrong:

Stop a Moment

When you’re frustrated or tense, stopping for a moment to recollect yourself can help. Take a deep breath. Whisper a prayer and lift your frustration heavenward.  Let God know how you feel, and then ask for grace to let negative feelings go.

Adjust Your Expectations

Sometimes when things don’t go our way, it helps to consciously let go of our expectations for the day and make a choice to surrender to God’s plan instead. That Saturday I had hoped for a relaxing afternoon, but maybe God was more interested in teaching me patience through little mishaps. Are you willing to go with God’s plan for your day?

Give Thanks Anyway

Choosing to give thanks even when little things go wrong helps us to see the bigger picture of God’s goodness in our lives. Focusing on daily frustrations with a magnifying glass will only bog us down.

Move on Past It

We don’t have to let minor irritations ruin the rest of our day. So you burned dinner? Enjoy the rest of your evening.  You were late to work? You can still accomplish a lot. Didn’t get enough sleep? How about praying for grace and believing that with God’s help you can have a good day anyway? Move on past it!

I need so much to grow in learning to let go of daily frustrations, but God’s Spirit whispers encouragement: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18)

What helps you to hold onto joy when things go wrong?

Angie Ryg


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

9 thoughts on “Four Ways to Keep Daily Joy (When Things Go Wrong)

  1. Hey Betsy…I’m hopping over from Angie Ryg’s Inspire Me Monday! Thanks for the words of encouragement! My take away will be- Give. Thanks. Anyway. Love it!

  2. Betsy, you always write the best inspirational thoughts to help us other moms stay motivated! I enjoyed this post (as usual).
    I handle it pretty well when things don’t work out as I plan, but there is one area I have a huge problem with. On the outside, I seem to handle rude or angry people well. I remain outwardly pleasant and calm. But inside, it eats me up! I dislike people like that so much, and it bothers me to the point that I keep replaying over and over in my mind what they said or did and getting more upset about it. I have a very hard time letting it go and calming down inside.
    I’m going to follow your first three steps the next time it happens, and I bet I’ll reach that fourth step- getting past it- much easier. Thanks!

    • Thanks for your encouragement, Deborah! I know what you mean about rude or angry people. That is so hard and so easy for us to let it eat away at us inside. Thanks for reminding me to LET IT GO the next time I come across someone who pushes my buttons.

  3. You’re right, Betsy. God was definitely speaking to us along the same lines this week! Love your tips! Joy can only come when we take time to be thankful for what the Lord has given us. And expectations…whew! God’s speaking to me right here this week! Letting it go isn’t easy. But, boy, it’s essential! Thanks for giving me some sound advice for this day ahead!

  4. I love this blog! What a great reminder. God knew I needed to hear it today. I’m heading into a very busy day and I don’t feel like I had enough sleep. I think I’ll lean on His grace as you suggested. My favorite quote: “Focusing on daily frustrations with a magnifying glass will only bog us down”. What a great visual! Thank you Betsy 🙂

  5. Just as you touched on, I find it so helpful to find something- ANYTHING- to be thankful about. It really puts things into perspective.

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