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Don’t Get Your Knickers in a Knot

3 Jun

Mondays are notorious for problems. You’re tired from a busy weekend, you’re running late, didn’t have time for breakfast, got stuck in a traffic jam, and then a car cut you off. Oh, and this was all before you left your neighborhood. :) Once you arrive at the office, the opportunities for things to go wrong seem to multiply exponentially with each passing hour.

So we have to make a choice. Are we going to succumb to the outside influences and allow ourselves to be pulled down into the pit of frustration and ill-moods? Or are we going to rise above the circumstances of our day, stand up tall, and walk with grace through the day?

Wanna choose grace with me today?

And if you are not successful in choosing grace, simply pray this prayer:




You are the Light

29 Apr

Today. Before you get busy checking items off your to-do list. Before you get distracted, annoyed, frustrated, and stressed. Before you respond in a negative way. Make a promise to yourself that you will be the light.


You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. – Matthew 5:14

There’s enough darkness in our world. We need to be the light, the good, the blessings for others. Make a commitment right now to be the light in your corner of the world today.


Another Way of Looking At It

22 Apr

I found myself a little (ok, a lot) annoyed and frustrated after every news channel and outlet overloaded us with the second-by-second playback of the capture of the youngest Boston bomber this weekend. The amount of time they spent analyzing, replaying, and digging into every aspect of the lives of these two criminals/cowards/terrorists was astonishing.

Who cares, right? Not me.


Tell me about the victims, the brave ones who are still fighting for their lives in the hospital. Tell me about the heroes, you know the true heroes who rushed toward the smoke before they even knew what was happening. Tell me about the officers who poured their heart and soul into finding these people. Tell me about the ones who lost their lives to yet another senseless act of violence.

But don’t tell me about the criminals. I don’t want to know their names, where they’re from or why they did it. I don’t care what their friends think about them, how great they did in school, or if their neighbor thinks they were “very American.”

I wish they would focus on the good ones. Focus on those who have courageous stories to tell – give them the spotlight (if they want it).

Before I knew it, I was all worked up about the media and their incessant coverage of this event (and how they just run every single tragedy/disaster into the ground).

And then I saw this:


And I realized I needed to look at this another way. I could remain annoyed by the ridiculous amount of media coverage of this event or I could be grateful because:

  • I have ears to hear and eyes to see it.
  • I have a brain that works (most of the time!) and can comprehend what they are saying.
  • I have a heart that feels compassion for the victims.
  • I have numerous ways to watch the news – TV, computer, phone.
  • I am alive and well and safe today.

There are an unlimited number of things that can annoy and frustrate us on any given day . . . if we allow them. If you find yourself becoming aggravated today, try to stop your complaints before they grow too big and look at it another way – from a heart of gratitude.


What Will You Choose Today?

4 Apr

I’m heading to treatment tomorrow. This is #8; only four more to go after this! My labs were out of whack last time, but after re-doing them and getting an early CT scan, everything looked fine. I’m not expecting anything unusual with this treatment – just the same ‘ole, same ‘ole. :)

Paper Coterie, the makers of some seriously adorable paper products, came up with three cheerful Spring printables that caught my eye. They are super cute and FREE. We love free, don’t we?


[Click on the image above, or this link, to hop over to Paper Coterie where you can download any or all of these lovely printables.]

I’m not sure which is my favorite. It’s either Hello Sunshine or Choose Happy, but I love them all.

I’ve talked before about how there’s more to life than being happy – that happiness shouldn’t be our goal because it’s a fickle feeling that can often be hard to come by. Rather, we should strive for joy-filled hearts.

That being said, we shouldn’t overlook happiness and the role being happy can play. If you think about it for a minute, I bet you you can picture someone you know who is perpetually unhappy. Now think about the negative “cloud” that surrounds that person. Do you want to be around him or her often?

Now, envision someone you know who is generally happy and pleasant. They tend to be the type of people others want to be around because their happy attitude is contagious.

A happy attitude is a choice and can be a powerful force in our own life and in the lives of those around us. We are faced with countless opportunities to choose positive or negative behavior:

Will we start our mornings in a foul mood because we woke up late?

Will we react in anger when we don’t get our way?

Will we become frustrated when asked to do more than our share of the work?

Will we wear a scowl or frown on our face just because we can?

Or . . .

Will we shake off the late start and appreciate having a job to go to?

Will we graciously accept not getting our way as an opportunity to serve someone else?

Will we tackle each task with energy being grateful we are physically able to work?

Will we wear a smile on our face, just because we can?

I don’t know about you, but the latter sure sounds better to me. Not necessarily easier, because it’s easy to be grumpy, fowl, and self-centered. But it’s better to aim for happy. And I think if we “Choose Happy” today we will feel better, those around us will feel better, and we will lay our heads down to sleep tonight knowing that we tried our best to leave a positive mark in our little corner of the world.


The Thing About Happiness

21 Mar

Yesterday was the International Day of Happiness. (There’s a day for everything, isn’t there?) Not surprisingly, this day devoted to  being happy coincided with the first day of Spring which, in my opinion, is definitely a reason for feeling some happy! Hello Spring!!


On my drive home from work (which offers me numerous opportunities to lose my happy), I thought about being happy – what it means to be truly happy, why some people seem happy and others do not, and how we can get to happy-ville & stay there.

The key, I think, is quite simple. In fact, it’s just three little words: joy. Happiness without joy is shallow and temporary. Something will happen in our circumstances that will change our happiness to sadness, grief, frustration, anger, or a thousand other emotions. Without joy, we can’t retain happiness.

Many people believe the purpose of life is to be happy. You’ve heard the phrases before – you may have even said them yourself:

  • “Do what makes you happy.”
  • “I just want to be happy.”
  • “I’m not happy in this {marriage/job/relationship/city} anymore.”

But the elusive “happy” can be frustrating to capture and even more challenging to maintain. That’s because happiness is a temporary emotion brought on by a positive experience. Without positive experiences, there is no happy.

Joy, on the other hand, is a decision, not an emotion. It is a conscious state of being that we choose to achieve or we choose to avoid.

I’ve realized it’s not happiness we should try to secure, but instead we should work toward living life filled with joy. If we are able to do that, happiness will follow at appropriate times. But don’t be misled, living a joyful life doesn’t mean you have to always smile, be perky, or hum a happy tune all day. On the contrary, a joyful life means that in the middle of the everyday struggles or gut-wrenching pain, we can experience peace and keep resentment at bay.

We can experience joy even when we are not happy.

  • I can choose to be joyful in the face of a cancer diagnosis.
  • You can choose to live with joy while dealing with a personal crisis or heartache.
  • We can choose a life filled with joy, no matter how difficult this season of life may be.

And by choosing joy, we open up the door and invite happiness inside. By choosing joy, we refuse to allow bitterness to take root. By choosing joy, we embrace the good, look for the beauty, and trust that God’s got this.

I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.

Psalm 16:8-9


10 Things You Must Give Up to Move Forward

7 Mar

Here’s a little infographic that contains a few words of wisdom from the late Stephen Covey. (Did anyone else know that he passed away last year?? Where have I been?)

(Click on the image to view larger.)



To varying degrees, each of these points resonates with me, but some moreso than others.

Give up letting the opinions of others control my life. Hmmm. I’m a bit of a people-pleaser. That one’s tough, but important to grasp and live out.

Give up my need to be right. Ouch. But what if I AM always right??? {grin} No, needing to always be right prevents us from learning because we think we already know everything.

Give up overlooking the positive points in my life. Why is it easier to see the bad, to focus on the negative than it is to recognize the good – and even great – aspects of our lives?

What about you? Do any of these items speak to you?


A Spark of Kindness

29 Jan

Is it easier to be kind or unkind? Depends on what day you are asking me. {grin} If I’m being honest I will tell you that some times, I find it quite challenging to be kind . . . especially in response to unkind behavior from someone else.

Isn’t it amazing how someone else’s mood can influence our own? All it takes is someone being snippy, rude, or simply mean and my initial reaction wants to be (and regretfully sometimes is) snippy, rude, or mean.


But when I think about some of the moments that truly have put a burst of sunshine in my day – that have put an unexpected smile on my face – they were moments when someone expressed kindness to me. A stranger goes out of their way to hold a door open for me. A car lets me merge in front of them on my way to work. A shopper allows me and my three items go ahead of them and their cart full of groceries. Six Publix employees all ask if they can help me – and mean it. (I’m calling out Publix here because this kind of thing really happens and we all know this kind of thing just doesn’t happen at  Walmart! Truth? Truth.). A friend calls or sends a note just to let me know they are thinking of me.

If simple acts of kindness can make me feel great, they must do the same for others. And if simple acts of kindness can make others feel great, why wouldn’t I go out of my way to bring a little burst of sunshine into their day?

Being kind does not have to be some grand, elaborate gesture that takes enormous planning and expense. Being kind is simple. It’s a word. A smile. An open door. A listening ear. A hug. A note. The list of kind “sparks” is endless.

I challenge you to think of one way you can be kind to someone today. You have to initiate a kind action. You will get bonus points for being kind to someone who has been unkind to you in the past.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger,
harsh words, and slander,
as well as all types of evil behavior.
Instead, be kind to each other,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:31-32