Failed Expectations: How To Refocus and Find Joy

Failed Expectations and How To Find Your Joy Again

The older I get, the less I enjoy birthdays (and no I’m not old enough yet that its due to my age…haha). For some reason this world insists that we need to be treated like royalty on our birthday, the Birthday Princess! It tells us that for a full 24hrs the spotlight should be on us. That’s pretty unrealistic and no matter how much we try not to allow those expectations to creep in, they do.

Don’t get me wrong, I love knowing I’m being thought about by people I love and that am important in their lives, important enough for them to show love through a birthday message. However, I fall into that trap of expectations….failed expectations to be exact.

Expectations.

Those are the vile culprits. No matter how much I try to avoid them, they are always rearing their ugly head around this time of year. It’s too easy to become caught up in emotions and allow the whirlwind to sweep us away.

Plans are made, hopes are raised and they usually end up crashing and burning in one way or another. People say things, make plans and don’t follow through. As much as you don’t want to be upset, it hurts. Some people even pass you by and barely acknowledge you’re there. You feel invisible.

Then the guilt sets in. Ya know, when you’re having a bad day, throwing yourself a pity party and telling yourself to “suck it up buttercup” and then you start feeling guilty for feeling sorry for yourself in the first place because you’re blessed. LIKE, EXTREMELY BLESSED, and instead of jumping up and down and celebrating all the GOOD things, you’re focused on the bad, the negative and the tears begin to flow. Then you’re more upset about feeling guilty that you’re having a pity party for yourself then the failed expectations which started it all. It’s a vicious annoying cycle.

The truth is, no matter if the events that caused the emotions are reasons to truly be upset, it still hurts. Emotions are hard. They’re not an excuse, but they are real. Try following these steps to bring things into perspective when failed expectations cause your heart to ache (whether its on your birthday or not 😉 ):

1. Refocus:

When we enter the realm of expectations not being met and feeling sorry for ourselves we do need to take a step back, refocus and enjoy the GOOD that surrounds us everyday. Paul tells us to focus on things above instead of earthly things.

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2

So when things seem a bit overwhelming, focus elsewhere. Don’t focus on the negative.

When you face something that upsets you and breaks you down, remember that these trials serve a purpose. They help to shape us and mold us into a better person when we lean on Christ’s strength to navigate through them.

 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3

2. Take a deep breath.

Pause and just breathe.

This is one of my favorite songs. “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz

“Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe”

Send the kids to their room, sip a cup of tea or coffee. Read the Bible, listen to worship music. Just be still….

3. Count Your Blessings

Quite literally. Go grab a piece of paper and start writing. EVERYTHING you’re thankful for, write it down.

Set a timer and try to see how many things you can think of in a set time frame. One precious memory I have of my children is when my older two were quite young. We were saying our prayers at bedtime and they asked me what they should pray about. I explain that we could thank God for things; anything. I told them well could be thankful for many things including doors and windows because there are many people in the world who don’t have the luxury of having doors and windows on their homes. So from that point on for quite awhile they thanked God for our doors and windows each night.

My point is, DON’T FORGET THE LITTLE THINGS.

I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1

4. Love Someone

Are your kids driving you crazy? Did your husband upset you? Did your friend let you down? Did your parent not listen? Love them. Find some way to show them they are loved. When you are feeling unappreciated or unloved one of the best ways to refocus is to spread some love. Give them a hug, offer them an encouraging word. BE A LIGHT. Turn your sorrow into something good.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

5. Get To The Core

Once you’ve had time to calm down. Get to the core of the problem. If a small thing set off those emotions, mostly likely there’s a bigger issue hiding underneath. What’s bothering you? Take a moment to pray and ask God to reveal to you what is bothering you at the core of this issue. Do you feel unappreciated? Do you feel invisible? Was this the one day you were hoping someone would notice you? Do you feel unloved? If you answer yes to your question, then ask yourself why that is. Is is something you can fix on your own through prayer and reading God’s word or is it something you need to talk to a loved one about and let them know how you are feeling?

If you get to the source and try to work on a solution, it’s less likely to bother you in the future once it’s being addressed.

Don’t allow satan to rob you of your joy!

Your joy is in JESUS CHRIST; not your circumstances! <3 These tips can work for bigger giants you’re facing in your life as well. No matter what obstacles are in your path right now just know that Jesus has the answers. He holds your joy.

On that note….I’m going to go enjoy the rest of my birthday and thank God for His many blessings in my life. <3

Invisitble - Poem

 

INVISIBLE

by Faith Lohr

 

Tears fall like raindrops,

splashing on the floor.

Your heart is feeling guilty,

for wanting something more.

 

Fleeting expectations,

Cause pains in your heart.

You think your being selfish,

and wish for a new start.

 

At the core it’s so much more,

than being focused on yourself.

It’s a desire to be noticed,

And not be placed away on a shelf.

 

Wipe your tears and remember,

To lay your burdens at His feet.

In His arms you find your peace,

And your pain will meet defeat.

 

He sees you and He loves you,

You are precious in His eyes.

Remember in your sorrow,

In Him is where true JOY lies.

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About Faith Lohr

Faith is a wife and stay at home mom of five children. She has three boys and two girls who keep her on her toes, teach her new things each day, inspire her, and at times drive her crazy! She has felt a calling into youth ministry since the young age of 15 and uses her roles of being a homeschooling mom, helper at church, and creator/author at Artistic Hands of Faith to fulfill that calling. She loves anything hands on and creative and enjoys using her artistic talents for God's glory.

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