How to Reclaim Your Day When the Unexpected Happens

We are called to live anchored in the love of God. Click To Tweet

Dropping to my knees, I struggled to regain composure. A Monday morning, particularly this Monday morning, should not start this way.

The night before I had just returned from a four-day convention. I needed today to go as planned. But my daughter delivered the unexpected by messing her bed.

Not an uncommon experience, but one I did not have time for today.

A half-hour later with her cleaned up, I knelt on the floor to tackle the dark stain there. My attitude was anything but gracious.

I struggled to gain perspective.

How many times have I told my children not to let unwanted circumstances get the best of them?

How many times have I written about leaning into the Lord during times of struggle and maintaining joy in the midst of them?

How many times have I shared stories about looking for the blessings in the unexpected happenings?

After all, I blog about embracing grace in the MESS of life! 

So was I? Embracing God’s grace, that is?


Reframe the Day

Not at first.

But as I knelt with cloth in hand to clean up this unexpected and unwanted mess, I remembered an exercise that helps me refocus on the evidence of God’s love when I’m struggling. It’s the simple act of reaching out and giving thanks for the first thing I touch.

My extended hand fell on my daughter’s bed. And I remembered.

I remembered how excited we were at her birth. How terrified we were when we thought we were losing her at 6 weeks of age when she quit breathing. How we struggled to accept her disabilities.

I silently acknowledged how hard it is sometimes to care for and raise her. But instantly smiled at the incredible joy and inspiration she brings into our home.

Step back and reclaim your day! Let this free gift of 3 simple actions help you to do it!
Reclaim Today button 2

Reclaim the Day

As I remembered and gave thanks, my frustrations melted away. Because the truth of the blessings in my life hit me full force in that one act of reaching and remembering.

Rachel is truly a gift. She is worth cleaning up after. She is worth every manner of hard we face as we raise her.

Not because she will hold a high office someday or will accomplish some great feat.

Rachel is a gift because she is our daughter; she has been given to us. She is a gift because God is using her life to grow me and others in great and profound ways. She is a gift because she is God’s beautiful child.

Had I not intentionally reframed my thinking that morning, I would not have been able to reclaim my day. I have no doubt frustration and anxiety would have dominated much of it.

Refocusing on the evidence of God’s love in the midst of the mess didn’t change the circumstances. I still spent the next half hour cleaning up the stain. But it did change my attitude.

Refocusing on evidence of God's love in the midst of a mess won't change circumstances. But it will change attitudes. Click To Tweet

The Abundant Life

With the glimpse of the gifts in my life, my joy in the day returned. Yes, I was now behind in work. Yes, I had to do an unpleasant job. But now I could see that this was the priority of this day, of everyday.

This kneeling. This serving. This obedience to let God lead, even when the path leads into messy territory.

This IS the abundant life. Grace showing up in the unwanted. Gifts wrapped in brown paper bags (or, um … brown, stinky something). Joy found in humility … in obedience … in surrender.

This IS the abundant life. Grace showing up in the unwanted. Gifts wrapped in brown paper bags. Joy found in humility ... in obedience ... in surrender. Click To Tweet

This is how we are called to live: anchored in the love of God.

We waltz an imperfect dance, but led by the perfect King of kings, it’s all glory, it’s all grace.

And yes, even when the music stops, He continues to lead … right into eternity.

“A man’s steps are established by the Lordand He takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord holds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

Reflections: Are you following the Lord’s steps or trying to lead yourself?

Do you struggle with reframing your attitude when in the midst of difficult or unwanted circumstances? You’re not alone. To help, I created the Reclaim Today action card, three simple actions to take to remember that each day is indeed a gift, despite how it unfolds. Reclaim your day: Click on the button to get your FREE action card now! Reclaim Today button 2

I’m thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “anchored!” as well as Bonnie Gray from Faith Barista. I love these special linkups. They provide an abundance of great inspiration and encouragement all in one place. Click on the image below to check them out.

LIVEFREETHURSDAY    beloved_brews_faithbarista_badge

By His grace ≈



Encourage Others by Sharing This Post

Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

14 comments on “How to Reclaim Your Day When the Unexpected Happens
  1. Samantha Landrus says:

    Thank you for the three simple steps. My goal is to work on thankfulness. It seems everything falls into place after that!

  2. Meghan Weyerbacher says:

    “This kneeling. This serving. This obedience to let God lead, even when the path leads into messy territory.” This line especially hit home for me. I have 3 kids of my own, whom I home school, plus this summer I am babysitting, so I have a house full. It is in those times of going from one’s kids needs to the next, sometimes seeming never-ending, that I am inwardly (and sometimes outwardly) praising, praying, declaring….to My Lord Jesus…because He is who keeps my perspective in the right place. I fail at times yes but the more I get close to Him, He lavishes more desire to keep seeking Him on me. I am so glad I have followed His lead with writing and gleaning from others. Thank you for sharing!
    Your #BelovedBrews Neighbor,
    Meghan Weyerbacher |

    • Julie Sunne says:

      Blessings, Meghan! The Lord will pour that desire into our hearts increasingly as we allow Him in. What a wonderful witness you are being to your children!

  3. Ruthie Gray says:

    I still need reminded often that the plan of the day is HIS plan, not mine. Your words of wisdom are right on, for there is joy in the serving here and now, in the interrupted, in the day to day, the “not on the list”. I’m learning that through my elderly parent’s needs and little “accidents” they find themselves in. Not my plan Lord, not my list – but Yours.
    Blessings to you! Saw you on #livefreeThursday.

  4. This is an excellent post, Julie. This beautiful transparent story gave us a window into our own emotional challenges. We fell with you and rose with you. It was emotionally compelling and encouraging. Thanks for sharing. Way to go, my friend.

  5. Laura Naiser says:

    Such a fantastic post. It had tears stinging my eyes and a big lump in my throat! I can so relate to catching myself struggling with something I’ve blogged about. I’ve always said God has me write about the things I most need to learn and relearn. I need the constant reminding of his grace and truth. Thanks for sharing such an honest moment! Really helped me.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      “I need the constant reminding of his grace and truth.” Me too, Laura! Writing in this way is therapeutic and empowering me to follow nearer to God. Grateful for His call to share.

  6. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    Julie: Thank you for the reminder of God’s love for me and how His love can transform us, even when we feel our lowest.(That’s where I these days.)

  7. Julie Lefebure says:

    Julie, your words spur me on to live out God’s love better. Love this: “This is how we are called to live: anchored in the love of God.” Amen. Thank you for sharing your story and lesson. Blessings!

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "How to Reclaim Your Day When the Unexpected Happens"
  1. […] I have to clean up my daughter’s mess every day, it is a big […]

  2. […] Photo Courtesy of Julie Sunne […]

Join the Discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.