CAN’T CATCH A BREAK: When things keep piling up, stop and smell the roses

Sheryl with flowers

Sometimes it seems we just can’t “catch a break.” It seems like everything is happening at once. It’s during those times we need to be extra diligent in feeding our souls and keeping our hearts full of hope. It’s times like this we need to “stop and smell the roses.”

Even when we feel so defeated, there are always ways we can survive—and even thrive.

I may say “choose happy” but who am I?  If the late great Maya Angelou says it, then we know it’s worth doing:

“Don’t let the incidents which take place in life bring you low. And certainly don’t whine. You can be brought low, that’s OK, but don’t be reduced by them. Just say, ‘That’s life.’”   — Maya Angelou

That’s life, we think with a sarcastic voice. And it sometimes situations that happen to us in our life stink. But it’s true. We all have our ups and downs and sometimes our “downs” seem to be almost more than we can stand.  Sometimes we don’t understand it and we question what is going on. “Why is this happening?” we ask. In our private moments we get mad and even cry.

It might help us to remember that no matter how upset we are or even how mad we are at God for “letting” these things happen, it’s ok to be upset… but just don’t stay that way.

I was once so upset with my situation I asked my pastor about it. I had stayed in my faith and prayed and thought I was doing everything right, but then bad things were happening.  “Why, why, why?” I thought.

I felt so upset with myself for being “mad at God” that I was embarrassed when I admitted it to my minister. What he said surprised me and it also helped me throughout my life.

“We all get mad at our dads sometime in our lives,” he told me. “God is our Heavenly Father so He understand when we are mad. As long as we stay in dialog with Him we are ok. It’s when we turn away that it’s bad.”

Just like with our own dads if we get mad at them, we know in our hearts they love us and want the best for us.

As you go through this trial you are facing, keep God close to your heart. Don’t be afraid—He is there to help you. He’s not causing your problems, but He is there to comfort you if you will just let him in.

He is there to cling on to and give you courage. It will get better.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present[a] help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…”.  —Psalm 46:1-2

Cling to God and cling to those who love you. And don’t forget to find the small blessings that are around you every day—even in the midst of a crisis. ESPECIALLY in the midst of crisis: Stop and smell the roses.

Bible Verse:

In the Bible, David said to Soloman his son, “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you…”  — Chronicles 28:20

I like that Bible verse because it says “do the work.” Iyanla Vansant (from “Iyanla Fix My Life” on the Oprah Channel) always encourages people to “do your work.” Even when we are upset about a situation we have work to do to get through. Don’t give up, just keep doing your work.


“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Dr. Robert Schuller

Action Plan:

Let’s get this thing in to perspective. Get your notebook out (or think it over in your mind).

  1. List the things that are piling up against you. (I can’t pay my bills, I am sick, my loved-one is sick, I’ve grown out of all my clothes, I don’t have any friends… whatever it is that you are upset about, write it down.)

You will find that once we start with the “poor me” we continue adding to it, so it’s easy to make a list of what’s going wrong in our lives. It’s like when I am complaining to my husband about one thing and then I keep coming back and saying, “and then another thing!” “And then another thing!”  I’m pretty sure all spouses know what I mean.

Go over the list. Are there some things that really aren’t as bad as others? Are you piling some things on to the list because you are feeling sorry for yourself?

  1. After you look at your list of what’s wrong, make another list of what went right today. Even on the worst days things go right. Example: the day my mom fell and broke her hip. That was an awful day but so many things went right, for example I happened to be off that day and had time to go over and help my parents. They were able to get her into a single room at the hospital. We were able to get a hold of our regular doctor. My son was able to stop in and visit her. It all looked so bleak that day but looking back on it there were little blessings everywhere.

Even though those “bright spots” may sound like they go with the negatives, but I like to find the positives and the small blessings along the way.

  1. Write down three ways you can be an unexpected blessing to someone today.

One Last Thought:

Once we decide to go from “poor me” to “lucky me” our life gets a lot better.

My daughter-in-law recently had to undergo several surgeries. Along with fear and physical pain she experiences due to her health situation, she knows she has many blessings in all the people who are supporting her. As she reaches out to them, they send blessings and prayers back to her tenfold. She is the one suffering, yet she is counting her blessings and being an example to others. Her great attitude brings more positivity to her life even when she’s going through a tough time—and it is also a blessing to her friends and loved-ones. Her children are watching her and there’s a good chance they will see how she greets every day of her life and emulate her.

Of course you are going to let down. Of course you are going to come to a breaking point and cry or feel angry, but then as the song says, “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again!”

Go out and live your life today. You CAN catch a break! You CAN be that break someone else needed.

Written by Rainbows for Kids Executive Director, Sally Tippett Rains.

Published by Peppertree Publishing, Sarasota, Florida, Distributed by BookBaby.



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