Browsing Tag

grateful

We Can All Be Grateful

With all I’ve been through, all the physical challenges, all the emotional heartaches, I’m still a glass-half-full kind of person, a rah-rah, God-is-Faithful believer. Many of you, however, are wired a bit differently; you may have to work a little harder to see the sunnyside of life. We’re not all programmed to be sunshiny in the dark places. We all can’t be that peppy bright person all the time if it isn’t in our making.

But the good news is that we call all learn to be more grateful. This takes time and focus and awareness. Fortunately, finding those “happy moments” and that gratitude can come from making little tweaks in our lives. So, why not try out these little changes* that could help you become a little more cheerful, a little more grateful, a little more sunshiny, a little more thanksgiving-y.

DO SOMETHING NICE

  • Go on the compassion offensive. Grab the initiative and deliberately choose a policy of being kind.
  • Aim to comfort those in sorrow and encourage those who are despondent.
  • Throw gratitude around like glitter.
  • Let’s love people. All people. Because all people are worthy.
  • Give your love away. Make others feel needed and loved.
  • Be the one who makes others smile.
  • Don’t be quarrelsome, but be kind to others.

PAY ATTENTION

  • Notice today the small things that you normally take for granted.
  • Never grow tired of doing what’s right.
  • When others talk, listen to understand, not to respond.
  • There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for.
  • Learn to let your mistakes be lessons and not losses.
  • Note to self: It may be hard, but hard is not impossible.

note-to-self

SPEAK OUT

  • Let your heart be glad; let your tongue speak happy words.
  • God blesses us so we can bless others.
  • Spend more time talking about your joys than your troubles.
  • May God’s love have the first and last word in everything we do.

UNDERSTAND

  • The result of forgiving is a life lived for God.
  • Don’t be trapped in a past memory or a future hope, but live in the present.
  • Sometimes good things take longer.
  • Don’t stumble over those things that are behind you.
  • You are not your weight, your height, your face, your age; you are your heart, your compassion, your humanity.
  • Deciding to be happy is good for your health.
  • God’s promises stand sure no matter what our doubts may be.
  • Don’t struggle to be what “others” like – be who you are.
  • The only reason I’ve made it this far is that God is with me.

the-only-reason-ive-made-it-this-far-is-that-god-is-with-me

*Posts from Happy Day Moment Facebook Page (September 2016). Like and follow my daily encouragements!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Handful of happy December 2015

Kindness = life’s glitter. Sprinkle that stuff everywhere.

We gotta do it.

We gotta be kind.

And we gotta sprinkle it all around.

Kindness. And gratefulness. And looking to the good. In ourselves. In others.

Follow me on Twitter  and my Happy Day Moments Facebook Page as I think and post about these good and kind and grateful things of life.

Here is the handful of posts from December that had the most likes, the most comments, the most shares.

Most journeys are easier when someone holds your hand.

Otters holding hands2

 

Life will always have obstacles. But you can decide to be happy anyway.

Sometimes being a kid is hard. Sometimes being a grown up is hard. Let’s all be nice to each other.

May our spirits be filled with God’s courage and our hearts with His love.

We often feel most grateful when we use our lives in ways that lift another person.

Hope doesn’t come from people or circumstances or situations. Our hope comes from God.

Focus your thinking on something you’re grateful for. Over and over again.

 

Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate each other in an atmosphere large with love.

Smile and speak kindly when you’re working, when shopping, when meeting strangers, when seeing friends.

We don’t repair fissures in relationships by ignoring them; we repair through forgiveness and communication.

Extending mercy and grace helps heal the tangled heart.

 

Blessings upon you in the new year! #happydaymoment

Handful of happy November 2015

Let’s pause and appreciate the things we have, not the things we don’t.

When it comes to the month of November, the moving from one season to another, the grasp of Thanksgiving, let’s hold fast to that thought … appreciating What. We. Have.

And the blessings of …

Love. Grace. Calm. Encouragement.

Here is the handful of posts from my Happy Day Moments Facebook Page and my Twitter feed from November that had the most likes, the most comments, the most shares. {Go ahead, tweet the ones that touch your heart.} 🙂

Love and kindness have transformative power

Communicate your love and appreciation while others are still around to hear it.

There will be water poured on your thirsty land and there will be grace for your desperate need.

Although you cannot calm the storm, you can remain calm in the storm.

Choose to be an encourager. A win for others. A win for you.

It’s not our job to change who we are in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being.

Don’t wait for some special day; celebrate each day as special.

Relationships are what matter most. Not possessions. Not pursuits.

Life is tough, my dear, but so are you.

Do not be arrogant and unconcerned; and do not neglect the poor and needy.

***

And approaching Christmas, let’s hold onto this …

The evidence of a grateful heart is generosity and unselfishness.

 

A gob(ble) of grateful

It’s not happy moments that make us grateful,

but gratefulness that makes happy moments.

A search for “grateful” in my blog posts reveals that word appears 53 times, and that doesn’t include the word “gratitude,” which appears 118 times. So, here’s my GRATEFUL recap……

My goal for this project [of posting a daily Happy Day Moment of Facebook] was to make myself focus on some “moment” during each day where I could be positive, thankful, and “happy” that I was alive. To slow down. Just for a bit. And be grateful.

I’ve learned what being grateful can do, embracing each day. Life can be hard. I know.  But every day that I choose to look for the happy, the good, the blessing, the love, the joy – shifts my heart and my head into a better place. A place of gratitude.

Look for those moments. Listen for them. Wait for them. Be grateful for them.

What started as a simple essay I was asked to write morphed into a Facebook project and is now a website. The idea of choosing to be grateful, to find a “moment” even in the worst day, that was happy, that was thankful.

Because there is always a moment, no matter how small, no matter how dark the day, that is worthy of being grateful.

Because when you’re grateful, you increase your happiness by 25%!

You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to be grateful when you make a daily effort to think about good and not bad; praises and not pain; kindness and not meanness; acceptance and not rejection.

A grateful mindset can help you navigate life’s turbulence.

Grateful people are happy.

Taking in the good and being grateful is not about always putting a happy shiny face on everything, nor is it about turning away from the hard things in life. It’s about nourishing gratitude, your inner well-being, contentment, and peace—refuges to which you can always return.

So I’m all about thankfulness and gratefulness and saluting the goodness of each day.

We can choose to be thankful and grateful, understanding the fragility of life that makes every moment so meaningful. We often waste too many moments immersing ourselves in needless distractions that steal our attention away from the things that actually matter. We should grasp the precious moments of this life and stop being distracted with the things that don’t really matter.

Grateful eyes can see grace and goodness, even in complicated and thorny packages.

Catalog the kindnesses of each day. Look at what you have. You have much to be grateful for.

As I’m intentionally learning that “Living with Gratitude” changes everything, changes the way I think.

Changes the way I see things. Changes me. It’s not that I’ve never been grateful before.  But I seemed to focus my thanks when it was easy. Now I’m learning to give thanks, to live EVERY day with a sense of gratitude. Even when my heart has those hard white cold days.

David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, wrote, “The root of joy is gratefulness … It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” And the Bible tells us to be grateful “in all circumstances.”

Be joyful. Be grateful. Always.

That’s one reason why I post “Happy Day Moments” daily on my Facebook page (and on my personal Facebook page) – to live intentionally with a grateful heart, to plant words and messages of love, hope, confidence, faith and encouragement.

Every day that you wake up healthy, be grateful.

Living with gratitude, discovering a Happy Moment takes practice, believe me. But you can learn to be happy (even for a bit a fleck a jiffy of a time) each day by simply being grateful.

We all get to decide how happy we want to be. Because everyone gets to decide how grateful they are willing to be.

One of the lessons I learned in any hard sad dark season is that it’s important to stop and breathe deeply and look around me and choose to embrace a beautiful life, a grateful life, a happy life, whatever that might look like in any season of my life.

Look out the window. Just look for 30 seconds. Look and really see. Then pause and be grateful for the looking.

Right now is the best time for loving and for being grateful.

There is always, under the mess of life, something to be grateful for.

It’s easy to be cynical; it’s brave to be grateful.

Being grateful is the shortest and surest way to being happy.

Spend intentional time being grateful and you will ground yourself in God’s love.

My first real step towards becoming a “happyologist” came as a teenager when I dove into that swimming pool on that summer day and broke my neck and became a quadriplegic. There was a choice before me: become bitter or become better. {Read more of the story here.} Will I focus on what I lost? Or will I focus on what I can gain? Focus on who I was? Or who I can become? Could I still be grateful, even in the midst of this life-altering circumstance?

I decided to live with gratefulness. I chose happy.

We decide what to look for and what we see. We decide our focus.  It’s about learning, studying the ways of contentment and appreciation.  As a happyologist, I know that by slowing down, by looking differently, I choose to focus on the light, the positive, and all the reasons I have to be eternally grateful.

Start to see the good, the happy, even in the small.  Actively search for those moments, develop a posture of looking for and of finding happy. Cultivate this vision: seeing those moments, and being grateful for the happy day moments.

Be patience when you have little; be grateful when you have more than enough.

I want to understand that every day love makes a difference. That life is a gift. That love is a gift. That each day I awake and breathe is a gift.

It’s the only gift that I have right now. And my only appropriate response is gratefulness.

When we view our situation through the lens of gratefulness, instead of a self-centered mind-set, we have the potential to be happy in spite of circumstances.

You’ll have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t grateful for what you already have.

Focusing on finding a “happy/grateful” moment in each day has made me powerful and positive and able to conquer disappointment and pain and innumerable hard places.

Some days we wake up with body aches and heart aches and life is bleak and the truth is we’re tired and we know we just may carry sadness all day long. And then. We shift our focus, we look above, we refocus and we become grateful for love and for a God who can take our aches and replace them with joy, who can be light in darkness, a compass for direction ….even in the midst of storms and difficult places.

That season of minimal color, stark branches, when the world feels forsaken, will become a season of blossoms.

And I will be grateful.

For every season holds something of value. The buried seed blooms.

Essential to living a life with joy, confidence, faith, and hope is remembering to be grateful.

By understanding that every moment of every day in every life does not have to be happy.

Only ONE moment does. ONE glimpse. ONE second. ONE breath.

And choosing to find it. Choosing to hold onto it. Choosing to claim it to redeem any hard messy heartbreaking sorrowful day. It’s our choice. Being grateful. For life.

Happy Day Moment Echoes: 5.15

There will be blossoms.

More than likely, you’re experienced deep, hard moments. Maybe you’re like me and are in the middle of them right now. Moments of emptiness loneliness bleakness.

And yet. (Those two words are a promise.)

And yet, for all the struggles, questions, hard times, there is gratitude.

Gratitude that shines a light in every dark, desolate place. Gratitude that remembers a summer, a fruitful place.

That season of minimal color, stark branches, when the world feels forsaken, will become a season of blossoms.

And I will be grateful.

For every season holds something of value. The buried seed blooms.

As Echoes of the May posts on my Happy Day Moment Facebook page,

As one who strives and yearns and (sometimes) blooms to live with gratitude, I make these statements as blossoms to you:

Pink blossom (Explore 2014-05-09)

It’s not happy moments that make us grateful, but gratefulness that makes happy moments.

Be profoundly, crazily, completely, utterly you.

Life is too short to live even one day without celebrating and expressing love for others.

Let the next chapter of your story be a story of love and rescue.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Don’t be defeated by hatefulness, but defeat hatefulness with love.

We all make mistakes, but let’s forgive one another, covering offenses with love when we’re wronged or hurt.

When you see others in a hard season, love them well.

 

It’s good to believe that anything is possible.

God’s grace can never fail

People will always judge or misjudge you; live with kindness and forgiveness anyway.

Love covers over all wrongs.

Essential to living a life with joy, confidence, faith, and hope is remembering to be grateful.

 

Let’s pause before we speak and understand the weight of our words.

Don’t let the voices of guilt or inadequacy whisper negativity into your moments.

Stop judging; start accepting. Stop rejecting; start embracing. Stop withholding; start giving.

Be hopeful. Share hope. Because in the end God wins.

Nobody is better at being you than you. Say yes to being who God made you.

 

May these words be as a hand upon your shoulder: “Despite everything, you belong to God.”

The key to being happy is to make kindness a fundamental pursuit in your life.

We can always choose kindness — a most excellent expression of love.

Nothing much matters if we don’t have love. Love others extravagantly.

 

Help others in ways small and large and put aside a “payback” mentality.

We are equally important and we all have different gifts for doing things well. Be you!

Embrace new opportunities. Enter new relationships and new situations with courage.

Each and every passing day, we are the beneficiaries of a myriad of mercies

Faith helps us live with the unanswered.

 

Be deliberately encouraging to others and see what happens.

There is always something more important than our feelings, and that is God’s love.

Shift your focus to thankfulness and all the ways you are blessed.

Choose to make time for the sweetness of intimacy that comes from investing heart time with those we love.

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post and think it may be helpful for others, please share it by using the social media buttons! Thanks! Or post a comment and let me know what blessed  you. 🙂

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