Managing Life’s Disappointments

photo 2-1I was watching my 7-year-old, Celina, attempt to manage some disappointment the other day. Actually she made no effort to manage it — she was feeling it fully. Her second grade world often involves disappointments like not receiving the pencil prize, or losing three minutes of recess because the entire class would not be quiet. On this particular day things did not turn out how Celina had planned in her mind. She and BJ (her 10-year-old sister) had sold pie certificates from the local pie company for a school fundraiser. They worked together and knew they would share the prizes. If your kids have done fundraisers like Jump Rope for Heart or jog-a-thon you know they have a list of prizes that accumulate based on how much is sold. BJ and Celina had sold enough to receive prizes A-G and had figured out who would keep which prizes.

On prize day, the girls got off the bus with only a small envelope. Apparently the listed prizes were only for the sale of cookie dough; the girls had sold only pies. Celina was devastated. She was especially sad over the loss of the finger puppet. Did you read that? She was devastated because she didn’t earn the finger puppet! It seems ridiculous, doesn’t it?

photo 5Perspective. In Celina’s world it was a big deal and a big disappointment. Life didn’t go as she planned. I can be guilty of the same thing; in the middle of a situation it is easy to lose perspective and only see the one thing that didn’t go as I wanted. Celina became so focused on what she did not have that she could not even fully enjoy what she did have. Do you want to know what she did have? BJ and Celina were the top pie sellers in the whole school, and won a $50 gift card to Toys R’ Us!!! She could buy 100 finger puppets with $50!

Are you so focused right now on the thing or things that are not working, that you are missing out on the big prize? It is easy to do this in marriage, parenting, business, health, etc. My challenge to myself and to you today is to gain a little perspective. Step back from your situation and look for the blessings you are missing. You may be surprised at what you find.

Be Extraordinary!

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2 comments on “Managing Life’s Disappointments”

  1. Beth Reply

    Traci, this was such a great post! This last week I’ve been praying through Philippians 4:6
    New International Version (NIV) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”…the thanksgiving part of it..can I be thankful for that “hard thing”. Yesterday in my math class we prayed for a student’s mom who had kidney stones, we prayed for her and her doctors…yesterday in the evening when she went in to look at having surgery to help with this the doctors found a problem with her heart which will delay the kidney stone solution…but gives them a clearer view of her total health and caught something very serious early. My student shared this today…and I reminded them of the verse..and the phrase…with thanksgiving. I’m looking at trying to be more thankful for everything as I bring my requests before God.

    • tracicast Reply

      Thanks for this great share, Beth! I love those verses in Philippians. It is easy to be thankful when we get exactly what we want. Extraordinary comes from a foundation of thankfulness that supersedes circumstances.

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