Browsing Tag

living with gratitude

Handful of happy summer 2015

It was just too much.

Too many words.

Too much scrolling.

Too-too.

For two years I’ve posted Happy Day Moment Echoes for each month, a compilation of the 30 (or 31) daily postings on my HDM Facebook page.

So, now let’s make all this easier on our busy lives. I’ll just give you a HANDFUL of what I post each month. Here’s a handful of the encouraging/motivating/hopeful stuff I thought about during these summer months of 2015.

handful happy big

 

June

Don’t spend time tearing yourself apart and worrying if you’re good enough. You are good enough. 

May we look for the best in others. May we always forgive. May we never lose faith.

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

Let us never be inattentive to showing others graciousness and respect.

Don’t label others as “toxic” as an excuse to withhold compassion.

The real desire of our heart is that we want to be known, heard, and loved.

Don’t dwell more on what you’ve gone through; dwell more on what God has done for you.

Send that note. Take that meal. Hug that child. Serve that neighbor.

July

It’s not the stuff around us – it’s the stuff within us – that really matters.

A mark of maturity is when someone hurts you, you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.

Trust in God at all times. He is a refuge for us.

Let’s respect each other the way we long to be respected.

Let your list of blessings be longer than your list of complaints.

Every day do something you love. Every day tell someone you love them.

Your days will have greater peace if you are quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to be angry.

Let us have conversations that open up hearts and not shut them down.

For today, laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and keep on loving.

To be in someone’s heart, someone’s thoughts, someone’s prayers, is to be blessed.

August

Everybody struggles. Everybody has issues. Let’s show a bit more kindness.

What matters more is not how others treat me, but how I respond to how others treat me.

Stop comparing yourselves to others. Be your own best self.

What people need most: words that make them stronger, not words that tear them apart.

It’s not the happy people who are grateful; it’s the grateful people who are happy.

On this journey of life, let’s prop each other up and cheer each other on.

We all make mistakes; we all need grace and mercy. And forgiveness.

If you can’t speak kind words, then just don’t say anything.

 

There. How was that? Less scrolling. Tweet/comment on the one that pulled on your heart.

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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Living with gratitude: even in storms

Living with gratitude: even in storms

On April 1, 2010, I wrote Happy Day Moment #1 on my Facebook page. Now it’s five years later (no kidding!) and I recently posted #1900 (thank you, oh smartphone), and every day of every year I now think about “living with gratitude.” IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. 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.

Most days we’re sunshine beaming and flowers blooming and birds singing and chocolate and laughter and hugs from children. The posts were written when joyful euphoric smiling winning laughing.

When I began this Happy Day Moment project, I did not realize what it was preparing me for… I WAS happy—a few bumps and bruises and inconveniences from that thing, but my life was full of love and activities with family, grandchildren, friends, work …smoothness, sailing on calm, lovely water.

THEN….a storm. The … unexpected.

storm2Where once when I made mistakes and I was forgiven, where once I loved and I was loved in return. Then suddenly where I made mistakes and I was not forgiven and my love was rejected.

A storm, a tempest I did not foresee. Turbulent waters. And in that storm, God made me brave. Brave to cling to Him and strong to live in that dark place, that hurt place, and yet to write flickers of light. To be prepared to see and write about moments of gratitude even when life is UNHAPPY.

Even in the midst of overwhelming and difficult and bewildering situations.

Battered and crushed with days of rain wind storms rejections sorrows. And yet. The posts of searching seeking discovering a Happy Day Moment were still written when depressed grieving sobbing troubled losing.

When it comes to the storms of life, we need gratitude to help steer us through.

Because it lifts us above circumstance.

Because it refocuses our attention.

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.

When we face a dark, formidable storm with bravery and gratitude, we WILL be changed.

Time and time again, that’s what I discovered. I found that whenever I navigated any rough terrifying circumstances with gratitude—even through storms and difficult Joseph-experiences and hard places, I was encouraged, strengthened, braver.

So, my hope and prayer for today is that no matter what our struggles storms hurts dark places, that we’ll choose to face all with gratitude, with discovering ONE moment of thankfulness.  A moment outside ourselves, above our circumstance. A moment looking for a blessing.

When we steer our way with gratitude, we declare that the darkness does not win.

Today: I challenge us to live from a place of gratitude and joy.

This is what will help us to discover a Happy Day Moment:

Let’s have more gratitude. More understanding. More compassion. More grace. More mercy. More community. More forgiveness. More kindness. More charitableness.

Let’s not be cruel or hurtful or selfish or judgmental or isolating or thankless or intolerant or vengeful or rude.

Let’s keep our perspective. Our humor. Our appreciation.

Let’s be brave.

Let’s fill our hearts and minds and souls with gratitude. And with noticing a Happy Day Moment. Every day. To see us through any storm.

And we WILL BE CHANGED.
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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. 

 

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!

My 2015 sentence

So now January is over. And we’re halfway through February. And maybe that means all those expectations you wrote down are feeling less motivating and more paralyzing. Or maybe you chose a “word” to be your focus throughout the year and the letters are blurring.

I did not make resolutions. And since I’m a yakkety-yak, no single “word” for me. But I do have a sentence that has swirled in all the corners of my heart for months and months, a sentence which I know will carry me through 2015, which I pray will keep me motivated and moving forward and in focus. The sentence, the words: “Love like Jesus.”

The sentence that becomes a motto. A tattoo. A prayer.

All of us should want to love like Jesus, no matter our doctrine, theology, ideology or denomination. I want to learn to love like Jesus. I want my husband to love like Jesus. I want my sons and grandchildren to love like Jesus.

I want to be generous, forgiving, and compassionate enough to love people unconditionally. To understand sacrifice and selflessness. To get over being the center of my world, and to focus on looking for those who need my help every day.

I want love that is patient, that is kind, that doesn’t envy, that doesn’t boast, that isn’t proud. I want love that doesn’t dishonor others, that isn’t self-seeking, not easily angered, that keeps no record of wrongs. I want love that doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

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.

May my heart and eyes be open to loving like Jesus.

Open to love; closed to resentment. Open to forgiveness; closed to bitterness. Open to grace; closed to mercilessness.

Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around me. And all around you.

Love each other as I have loved you. ~ Jesus [John 15:12]

For the next eleven months, I’ll be writing and meditating on what it means to Love Like Jesus.

Want to join me?

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