All the things
This morning, like all mornings, while I sipped my coffee, I turned on my cellphone, and before I checked texts or emails or Facebook, I clicked on my daily Bible verse app.
The minute I saw the verse, my breath caught, tears trickled down my cheeks. And just like that. God changed my day. This last day of the year.
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Words from my past.**
Words that resonated again in my raw, vulnerable place.
Words that have held the broken pieces of me together.
Way too many times. When I didn’t believe I could do things. When I didn’t think I could hold on. When I was fragile and wounded. When stuff, when all things, were just so hard.
This year has been like that.
I want to end 2014. I want to end it well. And I can. Wrapped in these words: “I can do all things.” All. I can close the chapter of 2014 with its pain and disappointment and rejection, yet with its joys and hopes and grace. With its Happy Day Moments woven in all. All. All the things. I got through all the things. In His strength.
I want to begin 2015. I want to begin it well. And I can.
Not some things, not most. But all.
** (From Then Came A Miracle) …Where did I get my strength? From the Lord who made heaven and earth. Where was my faith? In the Lord who made impossibilities possible. The promise I had lost sight of came into view again: He would never leave me. The live power of that promise sent a new surge of hope.
The Five-Word Challenge
Last week, on an ordinary Tuesday morning, as I brushed my hair with the bathroom door slightly ajar, I saw John peek around the corner. I smiled.
Then his words, five words. “You have a wonderful smile.”
Later that morning I posted on Facebook my 1,648th consecutive Happy Day Moment since April 1, 2014:
Happy Day Moment #1648 …”You have a wonderful smile,” he said. Five words. And just like that, it’s like the curtains are opened and sunlight streams into my heart. What five words can you give today? To uplift encourage bless someone. To let the light in.
So, this is my challenge: Give five words to someone. A five-word affirmation. A five-word stamp of approval. A five-word thumbs-up. A five-word blessing.
“I will always love you.”
“You are a special person.”
“You make me so happy.”
“I can do this with you.”
“God will never leave you.”
Because words are powerful.
Because our words matter.
Because words can give…
Hope praise encouragement confidence faith
These are the words from my Happy Day Moment Facebook Page, Echoes of August 2014. [I’m sure you’ll notice how I cleverly bolded five words.]
- Words of appreciation and encouragement stimulate more than caffeine. Speak some to someone today.
- Sometimes ordinary things can be extraordinary, just by doing them with the right people.
- Think about shifting away from the cramped spaces of grudges and toward the more spacious ways of grace.
- Let go of trying to control things you can’t control.
- Every time we fail, we learn. Every time we learn, we become more successful.
- Having the desire to give demonstrates that you care. And that is powerful.
- Because faith and truth and love do matter.
- Start your day with gratitude. Notice that life is full of beauty.
- Let your voice light a fire in others and encourage them even when it’s dark.
- Don’t self edit to feel more accepted, more popular, more worthy. Be you.
- Choosing to live with gratitude takes conscious, daily effort that can transform your life if you allow it to.
- Today, don’t miss one teeny tiny opportunity to tell someone how wonderful they are, how loved they are.
- Don’t spend energy being vindictive. Judgment is God’s job. He’s not asked us to settle the score or get even.
- The most contented people have found something more satisfying than pleasure; they’ve found a humble sense of gratitude.
- Opening our hearts doesn’t mean being naïve, but it does propose that we remain open to experience and possibility.
- The important thing is not to be right, or to be well thought of, but to love.
- We always have the ability to be kind, and kindness really does make the world a better place.
- It’s time to be merciful to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it.
- This time on earth is about more than just us. Just love. Love. And always be kind. Always.
- We should never let anything that happens in our lives be important enough that we willingly close our heart over it.
- You can’t say you love God and ignore loving your neighbor.
- Push love and grace into every corner of your heart and your life will start to change.
- We should all laugh more. Bring laughter into your home, your life, your friendships.
- Every day we can see ourselves in the middle of a hot mess or we can see ourselves in the middle of opportunities.
- A key to finding peace in the middle of perplexing problems is to be other-centered.
- Listen to your instincts. What does your heart tell you is the next right move?
- Love tries one more time. And one more time after that. And one more time after that.
- Love always gives more than it has.
- Above all, God asks us to love others without limits or borders.
My Five-Word Challenge: What five words will you give someone today?
Words. Words we say. Words we hear. Words we think. Words of calm and words of chaos. Words of love and words of hate. Words of peace and words of division. Words of encouragement and words of alienation. Words of joy and words of sorrow. Words of wisdom and words of recklessness. Words of help and words of harm. Words of truth and words of invention. Words of goodness and words of meanness. Words of respect and words of rejection.
Words of prayer. Of blessing. Words that bring healing, that don’t crush the spirit of others. Words we utter and words we chose not say.
We have a choice.
Words as gifts not words as arrows.
These are my words … the echoes of my Happy Day Moment tweets (#happydaymoment) and Facebook Page posts for June 2013.
- We are defined by what the Word of God says we are. We are not defined by what any person says we are.
- Be gracious and kind to family members. Show grace and love to strangers.
- I am convinced that nothing can ever separate me from God‘s love.
- The darker the night, the brighter the stars. The deeper the grief, the closer is God! ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
- I hope that I will never do anything apart from the desire to bless others and live with gratitude.
- Open your heart and live with confidence. You have much to offer.
- Kindness and respect are investments that never fail.
- Do something nice for yourself. Every day. You are worth it.
- Don’t be distracted with the things that don’t really matter. Grab onto life’s precious moments.
- Speak good encouraging words, that they may give grace to those who hear.
- Focus on doing the things that will matter forever.
- The miracle comes when we let go and trust.
- There is always Faith. Hope. Love. And the greatest is love.
- Do not take today for granted. Love. And be loved.
- Start humming. People will smile. Or roll their eyes. Or try to punch you in the mouth. Hum anyway.
- Reach out to people who are hurting. You never know what a difference you can make.
- Today tell everyone in your family “I love you.” Go on now. Life is short.
- Thou shalt be optimistic.
- A grateful mindset can help you navigate life’s turbulence.
- God never promised there would be no drama. But He did promise there would be redemption.
- Yes, you have limits. But yes, you also have abilities. Offer your gift anyway. Be who you are anyway.
- Your kindness sends light into the dark places.
- Choose praying over worrying.
- Grateful people are happy.