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forgiveness

Back to basics

Back to basics … living with gratitude

There is no better time than now get back to basics, to start paying more attention to what’s important, returning to the values of gratitude and appreciation. Let them swell and expand our hearts. Let’s be less concerned with the complicated details of living. Let’s simplify our lives, concentrate on a perspective of thankfulness, and from the Echoes my February 2015 Happy Day Moments Facebook Page, let’s think on these things …

 B-basics type2

ALWAYS LOVE

Love always trusts, always hopes, always gives, even when the other person doesn’t give back. 

Let’s respect others the way we fiercely long to be respected. Love is one thing, respect is another. 

A significant synonym for “love” is “forgiveness.” 

Surround yourself with positive friendships and you will feed your soul.

Stay grounded with an underlying love for all people, without exception.

Let’s have real warm affection to one another and be willing to let the other person have the credit.

 

BE FORGIVING

Releasing grudges and bitterness will allow you to receive more beauty and joy in life. 

Be forgiving and look at your failings with mercy, patience, and as teachable moments.

Look forward. For forgiveness. For hope, for joy, for consolation. 

 

CHOOSE KINDNESS

Never qualify your kindness. Be kind to grumpy people as well as happy people.

Even being intentionally kind and gracious with smiles and cups of coffee shared can transform lives. 

Look around. And find someone to encourage. Remind them they’re not alone. 

 

DEVELOP GRATITUDE

Don’t lose heart or grow weary in doing what’s right, for in due time we’ll see blessings if we don’t get discouraged and give up.

Whatever you’re in the middle of — heartbreak or joy — know that you always have value and beauty and strength.

Seek that sacred space where gratitude dwells. 

Gratitude can push you through life’s slumps, thrust you over the humps, and pull you out of the dumps. ‪

 

EMBRACE ACCEPTANCE

  

Believe in yourself. Believe in your ability to succeed. 

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

Accept others for who they are; we’re all just trying to do our best.

It’s okay that sometimes you need a quiet place alone to help you figure stuff out. 

Learn the wisdom of being happy where you are and with what you have

Give your life to something bigger than yourself and your story becomes greater.

Believe that who you are and what you do makes a difference. Because it does. 

 

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Happy Day Moment Echoes: 10.14

Failure Can Be a Good Thing

I’ve spent a lot of this month feeling guilty. That I’ve let people down. That I’ve disappointed others. That I’ve not been enough.

crumpled paperI’ve tried tried tried. And somehow failed. There have been explanations. But still. Failure.

No matter what I gave, what I did, it was not enough.

The burden of such … is crushing. But the more I dwell on my shortcomings, the longer I entertain negative thoughts, the more they stay in focus.

I have to pound this hope into my mind and heart and soul: That there can be forgiveness for mistakes. That I can choose not to wallow in self-pity. That I am not doomed to be a constant failure. But I can choose to learn from my screw-ups and determine to be better.

That when I make a mistake, when I fail, I can tell myself, “You made a mistake, next time you will do better.”

When you fail, be brave and learn from it. Pick yourself up, and be better.

That every day is new, a fresh start. And I shouldn’t drag my failure in each new day.

That grace is all about starting over.

Grace allows us to forget the past and move forward in the future.

That David said of God: “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” {Psalm 139:5, NIV}. What’s behind can be forgiven; what’s before can be better.

Forget about what’s behind and keep looking toward what’s ahead.

That we all have ups and downs but the key to happiness is to always try to move forward. I need to not look back or obsess over my mistakes. We all have them, and there is nothing I can do to change the past. But I can determine to let failure be the good thing that initiates change, growth, improvement.

Failure can be a good thing.

IF we learn from it.

And, IF, like the song says, we can “Let It Go.”

Let it go Elsa3

So, during this hard month of struggle, these are the rest of the messages to myself, the Happy Day Moment Facebook Page Echoes for October:

  • Courage grows when we learn to trust God.
  • Apologize for your mistakes. Apologize for any unintentional hurts. But don’t apologize for being you.
  • Gratitude opens a window and lets the freshness in and the staleness out.
  • Let us be “again” people. Love again. Rejoice again. Bloom again. Forgive again.
  • Don’t allow anyone who has wronged you to have power over you. Forgive. And cover offenses with love.
  • You may be in the middle of a really difficult chapter, but don’t give up on the plot, on your amazing story.
  • When we look past our own pain, and help someone in theirs, we often see a different perspective, a view leads to gratitude.
  • If others beat you down with criticisms, remember you are always valuable and loved in God’s eyes.
  • It’s your heart’s attitude that determines how peaceful you will be during times of brokenness.
  • Let there be time for love and understanding, even in the midst of deep disagreement or disappointment.
  • If you’ve been stung by betrayal, bend your heart toward mercy. Forgiveness heals injury.
  • Be an apparent agent of love, not a secret one. Through the words you speak, through the life you live.
  • Stand on the promise that God’s grace is sufficient.
  • If you’ve been thrown into a storm you never saw coming, let hope be your anchor.
  • Small kindnesses go a long way in increasing happiness.
  • People who express gratitude every day live happier lives.
  • Nourish your soul. Take time to read.
  • Everything derives from this: Love God and love each other — period.
  • Most times it takes hardships to make us truly appreciate what we have.
  • Choose to believe you are precious regardless of how others treat you.
  • View others with eyes of grace, not eyes of judgment.
  • Be abundant in your love, in your forgiveness, in your mercy.
  • Remind yourself of the good stuff: that you showed up. That you asked for help. That you gave help. That you’re trying.
  • Be a champion of the message: Live with gratitude. No matter what you’re facing.
  • Spend intentional time being grateful and you will ground yourself in God’s love.
  • Invest your time and energy on the positive, not the negative.
  • Let love and forgiveness be your cloak against the harshness of rejection.
  • Those I most admire are benevolent. They share. They love.
  • Understand and embrace the idea that God has a plan for your life.

Can I just say, THANK YOU for reading my blog posts? For sometimes sharing them on Facebook, forwarding them to friends, tweeting about them on Twitter, and most of all, commenting on the blog itself. What a treasure your responses are to me!

 

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Happy Day Moment Echoes: 9.14

For today, lean toward Pooh and away from Eeyore.

Eeyore

As Winnie the Pooh has taught us, there is power in encouragement. There is power in a positive word, a kind gesture, a quiet gift that can change someone’s day. It’s in the small moments when we choose to listen to our hearts, to tell someone we’re thinking of them, that we believe in them, and that we’re praying for them, for their hearts and spirits to be lifted.

Here are some more encouraging words from the Happy Day Moments Facebook Page, Echoes from September 2014:

  • Letting go quickly of negative stuff is the healthiest way to live.
  • Focus on what you can do, not on what you could have done.
  • Choose love as your lifestyle. Love fearlessly and without limits.
  • Respect others for who they are. Not for who we want them to be.
  • Those people you appreciate, those you love – tell them. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
  • winnie-the-pooh-quoteSift all your decisions through love.
  • Understand and embrace the idea that God has a plan for your life.
  • Refocus your vision to see grace in your present situation.
  • What would life be like if we considered others more important than ourselves? If we truly placed others’ needs before our own?
  • Love and forgive more. Regret less.
  • When you put your best foot forward, you’re on your way to starting the hokey-pokey.
  • Treat others with love, dignity, and respect and you’ll build stronger relationships.
  • Remind yourself of the gifts God has given. Bear them in mind as you go through your day.
  • Difficulties are part of every success story.
  • When you are weary and can’t find strength to stand, let God carry you.
  • Fill your day with love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control.
  • Nurture and guard your friendships, because they matter.
  • Always go beyond what is required.
  • If you feel abandoned by those who were once close, shift your focus to those who remain faithful.
  • A beautiful day begins with a beautiful attitude.
  • Let your words bring out the best in others, not put them down.
  • Smile as often as possible.
  • In moments of great darkness, God continues to love us with an everlasting love. Again and again.
  • You are brave enough, smart enough, kind enough, and loved enough to move forward.

4e63d83c46f1d741f467981fb4d3da73Thanks for reading, and as usual I love hearing from you. Take a moment to comment on my post with your thoughts.

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Happy Day Moment Echoes: 7.14

I know some stuff.

Some say, “Jama, sure, she knows some stuff.”

They may say, “She knows some stuff about…”

  • Bible stuff (lots of scripture stuff)
  • Raising boys stuff (baseball cards and Legos and pirates and rockets and video games)
  • Sports stuff (lots and lots of sports stuff)
  • Books stuff (and English literature stuff)
  • Grammar stuff and writing stuff (don’t mess with her about apostrophe misuse)
  • Midwest Writers Workshop stuff.

Yeah, I know some of that stuff.

But the best stuff I hope that they know I know is stuff about loving and giving grace and forgiveness. About doing all that I can do and then leaving everything up to God. That the best stuff I know is that God is in control, and that with God nothing is impossible, and that Jesus loves me this I know.

And I know stuff about finding a Happy Day Moment.

There’s lots of stuff I’ll never know, stuff like rocket science or brain surgery or axiomatic geometry. And that’s okay.

Because I know stuff about waiting and going slow and being patient and having faith and obeying God and believing and trusting and staying strong and living with gratitude.

I know that kindness matters. In all things.

I know about love about compassion about sacrifice about healing about friendliness about mercy about generosity about tolerance about understanding about listening about encouraging.

I know stuff about getting older and wiser and learning from mistakes.

I know about good stuff sad stuff happy stuff and hard stuff.

But it’s not always about the stuff we know. It’s also about the stuff we say and do.

I know about being brave.  That we should say what we need to say.  That when we don’t speak up, there’s a lot of important stuff that ends up not getting said.

It’s good to believe in ourselves during the hard stuff, but it’s better to believe in God during the hard stuff.

I know that I will never regret the chances I took, the love I gave out, and the gifts I shared.

So, sure, thanks for noticing that “Jama knows some stuff.” I want to keep knowing more and more stuff.

You know, you’re always welcome to follow the daily stuff I know and post on my Happy Day Moment Facebook Page. Here’s the stuff I know and posted on the Happy Day Moment Echoes for July.

  • Don’t let anyone’s ignorance, hate, drama or negativity stop you from walking a path of kindness and grace.
  • Seek the benefit and the blessing hidden in the folds of each experience and each decision.
  • Let your dreams be bigger than your fears. Be strong. Take chances.
  • Don’t be afraid of the size of your dream or the magnitude of your mission. All things are possible.
  • Don’t rush things that need time to grow.
  • All those painful things we experience in relationships remind us of our need for God and His grace.
  • Be a love that is not just words. But be a love that is words wrapped in actions.
  • Choose to be loving even when you are wronged, misunderstood and rejected.
  • Do your best to love what is.
  • Where you can help, help. Where you can give, give. Good given will be good comes around.
  • Injustices don’t change when we choose to be angry. They change when we choose to love.Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. ~Plato
  • What God has graciously given to you is always enough to be abundant grace for someone else.
  • Why not be the one to makes a difference instead of the one who makes division?
  • Make time for quiet every day.
  • Discover ways to enjoy your successes in life and don’t obsess over what hasn’t worked.
  • Do more of the stuff that makes you happy.
  • Life is always better when we approach it with intentional gratitude.
  • Let giving grace be your response, let it not be getting even.
  • We can make every day blessed if we decide to make it so.
  • If you’re unwilling to give love and forgiveness and grace, don’t expect to receive them.
  • Write something positive today and tell your friends that you love them.
  • Look around for happiness. It shows up in the smallest ways, in the minutiae of moments, in the collection of pieces we often forget.
  • Having a friend who tells you when you have something in your teeth or a booger in your nose makes life good.
  • Let’s think of ways to spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
  • Our attitudes directly impact how well we live our lives. Successful people are positive-thinking people.
  • Being grateful is the shortest and surest way to being happy.
  • Sometimes our own pains and failures will help others. Be empathetic.
  • We’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
  • Have faith. Don’t focus on obstacles; focus on God.
  • Offer to help others in ways that you feel in your heart will guide and uplift them.
  • There will be a day when our family, our relationships, our friends as we know them will no longer exist. Make and cherish daily memories.

 

And I know you know stuff. You can always share your stuff with me.

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