How To Live Crash-Proof Joy

As Lysa TerKeurst says, life’s got this way of bumping in to our happy. There’s traffic in the middle of the day for no reason at all. A friend’s words crash through our hearts like Hurricane Andrew. We work all month on a project and the boss goes with a different one in the end.

It can leave us feeling drained, colorless, and parched.

But there’s a way out. A superpower tucked inside us, that can not only refresh a weary heart, but make us crash-proof when life’s going haywire. Today, my friend Jennifer Janes shares the secret to just that.


Not long ago, as we were preparing to leave on a date for our anniversary, we heard a loud crash above our heads. Shaken, my husband and I rushed outside to see what had happened.

What we found was a 500-pound limb on our roof, with one of its smaller limbs sticking through our carport ceiling.

My heart sank. We had just had dead limbs cut out of that tree earlier that day, hoping to avoid this very scenario. And then, not two hours after the tree service left, a live limb fell.

I couldn’t believe it.

We were looking at more tree work and the second homeowner’s claim in two months. We knew medical bills were going to roll in, with more on the way because of some testing I’m going through. It was all a bit much. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.

And then our babysitter arrived. I ushered her into the house and asked her to sit with the kids while my husband and I figured out what to do next. I didn’t even know if we would still go out.

Refreshing comes when we start seeing the good that's already there. {Image credit: stillfx / 123RF Stock Photo. Words: Laurie Wallin}

Refreshing comes when we start seeing the good that’s already there. {Image credit: stillfx / 123RF Stock Photo. Words: Laurie Wallin}

After taking care of some things on the roof to make sure everything was safe, we left. It was hard to really enjoy our time together, but as we tried to process everything that was happening, we came to a few conclusions:

  • We were thankful the limb came through the carport instead of our living quarters.
  • We were thankful everyone was okay.
  • We were thankful it happened before we left instead of when the kids and sitter were home alone.
  • We knew that one day we would look back at this incident and laugh about it, remembering it as just another bump in the road, and “the anniversary when…”.

As we realized how much we have to be thankful for and that one day we would look back at this as we do other stressful situations, we were able to relax and smile more. Our family is safe and okay, and the repairs and tree removal will work themselves out. They always do.

Our perspective on a situation makes all the difference in how we feel about it, and how we handle it.

Take time to process tough circumstances, and dig deep to find the things you can be grateful for. You will enjoy the journey much more, and you’ll be looking back at it as history before you know it.

How do you keep your perspective in adverse circumstances?


Jennifer JanesJennifer A. Janes lives in Arkansas with her husband, two beautiful daughters, two cats, and two pet mice. Her younger daughter’s special needs have made her life more of an adventure than she ever anticipated, but she’s finally learning to relax and “embrace the crazy.” Jennifer blogs at her own site,, and is a regular contributor at Special Happens and the Home Educating Family blog. She led a meet-up for parents of kids with special needs at The 2:1 Conference in April 2012.

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  1. Lynn Hare says

    Jennifer, that’s so funny! I love your attitude of gratitude. Thanks for the reminder to focus on the positive. I keep perspective by – after privately journaling and reaching a calm center with God – talking to friends and joking about the event. Often they share similar stories, which validates & encourages both of us.