Browsing Tag


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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We can still give thanks

It started on November First when almost every other person on social media began a countdown to Thanksgiving with lists of what they were “thankful” for. And that’s all good. I, too, post a daily Happy Day Moment on my Facebook page, and my website tagline is “living with gratitude.”

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

And yet, these days I find myself thinking about this Thanksgiving that will pull and stretch and weigh on the emotions of so many I know. Especially, I’m thinking about those friends who see that empty chair.

The father not at the table. The husband not carving the turkey. The empty chair.

I think of Terri and Audrey. I think of Molly and Linda. I think of them facing this Thanksgiving, how very sad they must be and how much they would want to give the world’s biggest hug. Just one more time. To their husband. To their father.

For some, the loss was sudden, that shocking unexpected death.  For some, it was a knowing, a waiting, a grasping for more time.

For these friends, their gratitude on this Thanksgiving will have to look backward. To what was and not what is or will be. It will have to be the hard choice to still give thanks, even as they see that empty chair.

To still give thanks.

This is what I find myself thinking …

When we see that empty chair.

wrinkled handWhen there is such raw emotion that the washcloth, the sunlight through the window, the wrinkled hand brings us to tears and we choke and can’t breathe …

Then we can still give thanks.

When there is such loneliness that it cuts to the quick, right under our ribs, with razor sharpness, and we stare into the vacant space where we long for them to be …

Then we can still give thanks.

When there are so many days littered with problems and obstacles and hard things that we stumble and fall and bleed and long to be held …

Then we can still give thanks.

Because this giving of thanks is a choice.

We can choose to be thankful and grateful, understanding the fragility of life that make 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.

Thinking of Terri and Audrey and Molly and Linda, I have a new clarity of what matters most. That what we’ll never regret is time spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent. That days of love and caring and giving are the best days. That family days are the very best days. That we remember to express words of love every day because we never know when it might be our last opportunity.

Life is short, indeed. And it gets shorter. We can’t always wait for the perfect moment.  So let’s live generously, with no room for regrets, or wondering what could have been.

Today’s moments quickly become tomorrow’s memories. Let’s appreciate today for what it is and make our time count.  Let’s give the hug, make the apology, unpack the suitcase. Let’s make the days memorable.  Let’s live life so that we never have to regret the chances we never took, the love we never let in, and the gifts we never gave out.

We can still give thanks.

Even if we see that empty chair on this Thanksgiving. Or we know those who will be pushing through a loss or loneliness, let us love more. Appreciate more. Return more.

I’m thinking: Let us focus on doing the things that will matter forever. Understanding the value of time. Esteeming relationships. Making room for forgiveness and grace. Living with gratitude.

And just loving. Because in the end, there is nothing else.

Happy Day Moment Echoes: 7.13

The thread weaving through these July posts is about “others.” Loving. Giving.  When we love and give to others, our lives are changed. Love generates love.  Our human nature leans towards selfishness, wanting our own needs and desires before others. But when we stop thinking selfishly, when we love and embrace others first, something wonderful happens: we receive. Love. Blessings. Happy day moments.My Hand

Be a friend to others. If someone needs your help or advice, be ready to give it. Be encouraging.

Love others. In spite of their weaknesses.

Live and act as if each day matters. Because it does.

If you give generously, you receive generously.

Don’t worry about getting it right. Just don’t give up.

Sometimes you never know how one kind word can change a person’s day. ‪

Smile. Laugh. Give others encouragement and you’ll make a happy day moment.

Go out of your way to tell people why you appreciate them.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more.

Even when difficult things happen, we can embrace a beautiful life.

Set realistic goals so that you don’t become drained.

Love is the most powerful and positively enduring action there is.

Don’t quit. Be diligent to overcome your challenges.

Time, one of the best gifts given. And received.

Kindness and forgiveness make this world a better place.

Give your entire attention to today and don’t get worked up about tomorrow. Today, find a happy day moment.

There’s a sweetness that comes from investing heart time with those we love. 

When you start believing that life is a blessing, you will start to feel that it truly is. 

We will find grace to help us when we need it.

Captivate others with truth: God loves. God forgives. God redeems. 

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love others. No matter what. 

We can’t change the past. We can’t control the future. But we can believe for hope and joy in this moment.

It’s perfectly okay to need help. 

Focus on what’s most important: The people in our lives.