Did you ever stop to consider that the decisions we make today determine what our tomorrows look like?  I’ve determined that, with God’s help, I will start seeing each today with tomorrow’s eyes. It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it. 

 Choosing to spend 15 minutes cleaning up my work area means I can start tomorrow fresh.

Choosing to have the salmon instead of the chicken fried steak, opting to walk this evening before plopping down on the sofa may well translate into weight loss and better overall health.

Determining to spend 20 minutes of face time with  my husband rather than playing games on my phone will bring us closer, benefitting our marriage and our entire family. Resolving to spend two hours tackling the closet (or garage or basement or . . .) this weekend before napping or  hitting the theater will make me feel calmer and more in control. 

 You see where I’m going. . . .  I’ve chosen the most obvious areas we all seem to work on year after year, largely without success. There have to be so many others — resolving to hold my tongue, turning the other cheek, seeking out an enemy to pray for him or do him a good turn, giving generously and without expecting anything in return, stopping to spend time with my friends instead of always saying next time . . . 

What are YOUR thoughts on this? What are areas you need to rethink? I’d love to hear them.

Disclaimer:  I DO plan to occasionally (rather than regularly) opt for the chicken fried steak and nap!

As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 


Want to Be a Happier? Make a Shift

Want to be happier, more blessed? It can be as simple as making a mental shift.

When I think about  the blessings in my life, rather than the burdens, a truly wonderful thing happens. Put simply,  I’m happier.  Like everyone else, I have things in my life that are uncomfortable, disheartening, and plain old tough–failures, illnesses, bad decisions, pain given and pain received. I’m just as much a mess as everyone else. But I’ve finally determined I really, really like being happy and the choice is mine. That’s a shift–and an empowering one at that!

I’m seeing that as a woman thinketh in her heart, so is she (Proverbs 23:7). As I’ve deliberately focused on the blessings in my life they’ve “magically” increased. Instead of griping about extra projects on the job I can make a mental shift and thank God for a job with great bosses and a collaborative, positive environment. Complain about a migraine or not? I feel worse when I talk about and dwell on the pain. So, I rub on some essential oils or pop a pill and move on. One of the most important decisions I’ve made is to force myself to meditate on the great qualities my loved ones possess. When I feel irritated with my husband I mentally list his strengths and the many kindnesses he’s bestowed upon me until the irritation dissolves. Fume about traffic or turn on my favorite song? Sulk about the long lines at the store or grab my phone and check out Pinterest? You get the idea. Make the shift. It’s taken practice, but I’m getting good at almost immediately seeing the positive side of the coin. (Disclaimer: I don’t always CHOOSE to see and think about the positive. I sometimes intentionally dwell on the negative. It’s never beneficial, but I still opt to do it at times.)

I’ve also learned to relentlessly notice and collect the little joys that pop up– bear hugs, a kind word, puffy clouds, coffee in bed, making the light when I’m in a hurry, good hair days, a belly laugh. I’ve also tried to limit my time with negative people. Avoiding them altogether is impossible, but I don’t have to linger in their presence. Negativity and complaining are incredibly contagious. I don’t want to catch or spread that! I know from past experience how susceptible I am to it.

So, there it is. It’s taken me a couple of decades to figure out that Martha Washington had it right all along when she said, “I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” My happiness is my choice.