The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

The Best Balm for a Bad Day

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Over at Encouragement for Today, I’m talking about how those faulty and frazzled moments in our day can be one of our greatest gifts.  I hope you’ll hop over to P31’s website and be encouraged. But before you go, I’d love to share the best tonic I know for those no-good-very-bad days.

When my daughter, Hannah, was six-years-old, we lovingly called her “Little Nightingale.”

It wasn’t because she was a winged warbler or kindergarten crooner. It’s because of her self-declared role as playground nurse.

You see, it didn’t take Hannah long to realize that recess can be a bit rough and tough on little kids. Or that a playground filled with racing and chasing hoopla can quickly become a crowded canvas of boo-boos and tears.

So, one afternoon when our sensitive third-born came home from school, she took a little treasure box from her bedroom and filled it with Bandaids and cotton swabs, bandages and tissues. Then she slipped it into her backpack right beside her library books and her lunch box. Hannah carried her “emergency kit” out to recess each day and wandered the dusty playground in search of kindergarten quandaries.

There was the pig-tailed princess who had fallen from the monkey bars and the singing diva who had slipped from the swings. There was the bragging boy who had scabbed his knee on home base and the klutzy kid who had stumbled on the snarled root of the old oak tree.

There were skinned knees and stubbed toes, bloody elbows and bruised bottoms. Tears and pouts and all kinds of tattle tale-ing.  But Hannah never ran out of empathy for her wounded, whining classmates. And when she wrapped up those sad playground tales, she usually ended with this simple summary–

I think he was just having a bad day.

I think she was just  having a bad day.

We heard of Gracie’s scrapes and Johnny’s falls; Samantha’s scabs and Ryan’s bumps. And thanks to a treasure box filled with Bandaids and a little girl’s heart filled with empathy, we heard, too, about the power of kindness and the tonic of mercy.

But then one afternoon, I opened Hannah’s school bag, and I discovered a bright orange shoe box tucked in the pocket where that little treasure box had always been.

“What do you have in there?” I asked Hannah as I waved that heavy shoebox in the air.

“Oh, that’s my new emergency kit,” Hannah replied with a smile and a shrug.

“But why is it so heavy? Are you carrying Band Aids made of steel?” I asked with a playful wink.

My little Nightingale giggled and shook her head at my ludicrous words. “‘That’s just my Bible in there, Mom,” she explained with a shake of her tawny blonde hair. Then she flashed me a toothless grin and held my gaze for a long serious moment. And with old-soul wisdom, she declared, “‘Cause a Band Aid can’t fix everything, ya know

I stood there speechless, soaking in my daughter’s words and nodding in quiet agreement.

Then as Hannah skipped down the hallway to go play Barbies with her sister, I opened that orange box and lifted out the well-worn children’s Bible tucked carefully beneath the bandaids and cotton balls, the bandages and tissues.

I ran my fingers along the cover of that treasured book and watched the bright colors blur through my own haze of grateful tears.

Because sometimes the best balm for a bad day is a healing word of hope.

Sometimes the quickest way to fix our emergency is to fix our mind on His majesty.

Sometimes the surest salve for our aching soul is to reach for the One who can make us whole. 

Sometimes the greatest help after a painful fall is sacred truth on which to stand tall.

So, before I stuffed that little Bible back into Hannah’s emergency kit, I thanked the Lord for the timeless tonic tucked between those pages of His holy writ.

And I vowed that the next time I find myself stuck in the middle of a bad day, I will grab my Bible before I whine or pout.

I’ll linger on the pages of those priceless promises, and I’ll follow the example of a wise little Nightingale I know.

Then, with a sincere prayer, I’ll practice the undying art of first aid. 

I will reach first for the One who has promised to come to my aid.

For You, O Eternal One, have come to my aid and offered me relief. Psalm 86:17 (The Voice)

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Today I’m giving away a trusted tonic for your next bad day. 

This Bible Promise Book for Women is packed with scripture that will root your feet on truth even when your world is quaking.

It is one of my favorite go-to’s when I’m in need of a little first aid for my soul.

To win a copy of this book, just tell us how you like to chase away a bad day. 


42 thoughts on “The Best Balm for a Bad Day

  1. Amanda

    Wow! I needed to hear these words of wisdom and encouragement. Lately, I seem to be stuck in a rut of no good, horrible, very bad days. I’ll admit that I don’t always handle and react to them in the ways I know I should but when I do think before reacting or catch myself going the “wrong way”, I’ll open my prayer journal and write it out of my system. Also, a lot of times, just opening my music app. and clicking on my “Worship Music” playlist will help me remember to praise God instead of complaining. … When we praise, we raise! When we complain, we remain!

    March 10, 2017 at 4:06 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Love this–when we praise we raise:) I’m going to remember that. Thanks, Amanda!

      March 10, 2017 at 9:14 am
  2. Kathy Horton

    Thank you. That was just what I needed as I am in the midst of a very bad storm. “And a child shall lead them…”. When I am at my lowest and feeling overwhelmed I stop and thank my Father for the storm. I thank Him for deeming me worthy of the lesson that he is teaching me. I thank Him for the solutions that he has already put in place. When I’m done praising my Father, although I’m still in the midst of the storm, I am able to hold my head up and know that He has my back. With Him by my side nothing is impossible and I can do anything but fail!

    March 10, 2017 at 5:47 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      I’m praying you through the storm, Kathy. So glad the winds and waves still obey our Savior.

      March 10, 2017 at 9:15 am
  3. The best thing I’ve found for a no good very bad terrible horrible day is the gift of praise and worship songs. Especially the silliness of some of the veggie tales songs (incredibly I’ve not grown too old for them yet) but at work I listen to the grown up songs. Sometimes just to sing along and sometimes just to give my coworkers alternative songs to sing along too. Plus it really does help me to keep my mind focused on “things above”.
    Thank you for Father for songs by Toby Mac and Jamie Grace and all the wonderful praise music that teaches me your word while reminding me of your wonders!!!! Thank you Father!!!

    March 10, 2017 at 6:12 am
    1. Mandi

      I still like to sing a little bit of “God is bigger than the bogeyman” to help me when I feel alone and scared sometimes!

      March 10, 2017 at 7:06 am
    2. Amanda

      My kids and I love us some Veggie Tales wisdom! 😉

      March 10, 2017 at 8:16 am
    3. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Love picturing you flipping your day around with some Veggie Tales:) I agree, worship music has a way of shifting the soul.

      March 10, 2017 at 9:16 am
  4. Leigh F

    I like to chase away a bad day by getting outside in God’s creation.

    March 10, 2017 at 6:13 am
  5. Michelle A

    Bay days are bound to happen. It is all about our attitude and choices on how we respond. I “try” to remember it’s not about me, not about my feelings or my happiness, but I remember what Christ did for me. 1 Chron 16:11 – Look to the Lord and his strength, seek his face always. This helps me get perspective on my circumstances. Trials are expected as said in James 1, consider it pure joy, because the testing of our faith produces perseverance. Let’s persevere!

    March 10, 2017 at 6:37 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Thanks for sharing the 1 Chronicles verse, Michelle– it’s one of my favorites. I’m scribbling that in my prayer journal today.

      March 10, 2017 at 9:18 am
  6. Trisha McBrayer

    This is a devotion that speaks right to my heart today! I typically try to remedy a bad or trying day with a little devotional or verse from my bible and a warm bubble bath! Thank you SO much for this amazing reminder today! Blessings ❤️

    March 10, 2017 at 6:48 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Trisha, the Bible and bubbles- could there be a more therapeutic combination? 🙂 Glad you landed here today.

      March 10, 2017 at 9:18 am
  7. Karen

    I like to chase away a bad day with faith declarations – speaking truth to my heart out loud and/ or sing songs of praise. 😊

    March 10, 2017 at 6:53 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Me, too, Karen. I like to follow the example of King David in the Psalms and “talk to my soul.”

      March 10, 2017 at 9:19 am
  8. Mandi

    I needed to hear this today and I’m going to do just that! Grab my bible and read. I like to chase away a bad day by listening to music.

    March 10, 2017 at 7:03 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort
  9. Betsy

    Thank you so much for your loving insights into our everyday world!! I find checking in with God and also listening to contemporary Christian music can usually turn my day around. I frequently try turning to someone in need and that will take the focus off of me and place it where it needs to be – on others!!

    March 10, 2017 at 7:21 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Betsy, you’re so wise… funny how fixing our eyes on someone else can be a powerful tonic for curing a bad day.

      March 10, 2017 at 9:20 am
  10. Amy Dowty

    I like to turn on worship music to connect with God

    March 10, 2017 at 8:08 am
  11. Janet

    I enjoy exercising to chase a bad day away. I go for walks and reflect on the day and talk to God.

    March 10, 2017 at 8:09 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Me too, Janet. Worship walks are my favorite:)

      March 10, 2017 at 9:21 am
  12. Kassandra Velasquez

    As a woman, i like to think im so “strong” but then even when a little bit of a very bad no good day peeks its way in my direction i unravel and tangle like loose thread…usually i can be the grand queen of stress and loosing every ounce of any peace or selfcontrol i have, but lately God has been showing me that he is the grandest and best safe place. Now originally i had placed the honor and title of “safe place” to my husband but as people of flesh tend to do, he would fail me (like i do him) and i finally realized (through the grace of God) that God is the ultimate safe place because he will never fail me and i can certainly run to him with every little and major thing good or bad and he is happy to deal with it. How many of us can say we want to deal with someones elses craziness and problems? But he does, he delights to do so (Thank you Jesus). I think to myself “why do i constantly forget i have good good father who has a good plan for me even in the middle of all my mess” im so thankful that in the midst of very bad horrible no good days that God is like “come here, i got you”

    March 10, 2017 at 8:36 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Kassandra, thanks for reminding us that the ROCK of our Father is truly the safest place to stand in the middle of a bad day. Love that He always invites us to run to Him!

      March 10, 2017 at 9:22 am
  13. Tammy Dyer

    Thank you, thank you! This is my struggle right now…..but I am progressing!
    In His awesomeness He always provides. I go to The Word! I love the section in the back of mine…. It has an emotion or situation listed and scripture to go with it! I send my friends to this section when they call for support!
    Now I want to begin journaling these connections I make that help me find God in dark moments to share with others. I know I’m not the first by far to do so…. But in my little community it could be a help!
    Again thank you and if I win the book it will be an added blessings.
    Blessings to you.

    March 10, 2017 at 8:44 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Tammy, I love your idea of journaling your connections–it’s amazing how much more clearly I see and “hear” God when I take time to listen to and record His whispers. And sharing them? YES! Praying God will bless your community through your willingness to share. May He speak life and hope through you when others are having a bad day.

      March 10, 2017 at 9:24 am
  14. Kimbery

    Praying first. Asking my husband, momma, Aunt(second momma), and friends to pray NOW and pass along. Listening to worship music, getting outside in God’s creation, exercise and house cleaning. Not to forget pet therapy by my sweet Cocker Spaniel, Abigail.

    March 10, 2017 at 9:10 am
  15. De

    What a great reminder!

    March 10, 2017 at 9:32 am
  16. Elizabeth

    Sitting by the ocean will heal almost any bad day…

    March 10, 2017 at 10:28 am
  17. Tamie

    I write, or go for a ride, I love to sit by the water listening to the tide roll in and out. I tell myself that I serve a good God and my bad day has to turn into a good day, because he is a good God on a bad day and the peacefulness of that thought and time to think on Gods grace and mercy and the mercy he extended to me when I was in my mess. I listen to hear what he will say to me. The book sounds wonderful like a go to when you need a pick me up when having a no good day.

    March 10, 2017 at 11:38 am
  18. Courtney

    Your daughter is such a blessing! How I wish we would all easily have the kind, generous, empathetic heart of a child, like your amazing little one. I still struggle quite badly with being able to handle (hand over) my bad days. Sometimes, however, when a day gets incredibly difficult, I am able enough to realize it & turn to God for help. Every so often I will Google Bible verses aimed toward whatever the problem involves. But, majority of the time I go to the P31 EFT archives, select the best category for the current situation, & read the first one I come to that I haven’t previously read. I am so thankful for you & all the other women with P31. The blessing you all have been & my growth that you have contributed to over the last year is indescribable!

    March 10, 2017 at 1:31 pm
  19. Rebecca Portteus

    I go and pray, read, or sometimes exercise. Such a great reminder!

    March 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm
  20. Shirley Berry

    I like to get alone with the Lord, sometimes to cry or ask for forgiveness, or better than those things go praise Him in song, until I sense His presence !

    March 11, 2017 at 12:10 am
  21. Cheryl

    After a trying day, what helps me the most is pulling out my journal before I go to bed. Then I pour through Bible verses that I have written down that have been especially meaningful to me. Getting grounded in the Word just before I go to sleep helps me to wake up grounded in the Word.

    March 11, 2017 at 6:47 am
  22. Sue

    I love to listen to praise music on the way to meet some godly girlfriends for coffee! That brightens any bad day:) Thank you for your sweet devotion!

    March 11, 2017 at 7:47 am
  23. Terri Septer

    I too have been very encouraged by this story! I struggle trying to take care of my very rambunctious 4 yr old son! He just won’t listen or obey me and I find myself being drug down by the weight of it all!? I have given it to God and usually can just stop and pray before I react but there are still some days that I let the evil one get the best of me and I yell at him but afterward I feel horrible! Hoping I get better at dealing with his unruliness without yelling! Thanks for allowing me to vent ..that helps too!

    March 12, 2017 at 5:21 pm
  24. Elsie

    To be joyful when I am having a bad day. To choose joy over happiness meaning to still be cheerful in the Lord with His help and power. To always look for the good in everything. To enjoy the simple things in life.

    March 13, 2017 at 9:16 am
  25. Jeanna

    Chasing away a bad day can be difficult. It sounds cliche, but I do reach for my devotional studies. I find that when I immerse myself in them, as I’m reading and absorbing, something happens along the way….I’m not the same when I’m finished reading. God has helped to change my heart and my day doesn’t seem so bad after all.

    March 13, 2017 at 9:57 am
  26. Trina klone

    To cure a bad day.I. stop what im doing.Take a deep breath ,go on my hands and knees and pray
    Then i give my kids a big kiss and sit there quietly and i start to think of all the good things i have in my life and think that someone else out there is having a worse day and start praying for them.After i put some upbeat music and my kids and I start dancing.

    Music ,Dance and prayer is all you need
    Godbless everyone that reads this

    March 16, 2017 at 11:49 am
  27. Carmen N

    I have a tendency to turn to snacks – esp sweets on a bad day – or knitting/crocheting. The latter is healthier for me, but in the last week I’ve had a series of bad days and I’ve tried to remember to turn to His Word first before destressing or dwelling on the problems without.

    March 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm
  28. Simangaliso Luwaca

    When I am having a bad day I like taking a walking playing my worship music on loud with my headphones on and praying in the spirit. This lifts up my spirit as I engage with my innerself.

    May 8, 2017 at 9:07 am
  29. Jamie L Hitt

    I new to your blog but I could not have read a more perfect balm for my bad day, week, month etc…My own method will probably sound crazy but I get in my car, put the top down, crank up some Toby Mac and just talk to God. Just me and Jesus and some music can almost always chase away that devil that’s on my back that day and just beat him to the ground. I then come home feeling renewed, refreshed and ready to take on anything!

    May 10, 2017 at 8:19 am

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