Thought #10: Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Okay. So I set up this series of posts before Christmas, and of course these last few I’ve written at the last minute (It’s just after midnight on the 10th).  And right now, I don’t feel very qualified to write a post about being overwhelmed, because I am so overwhelmed right now!

Not really about important things, just things that seem urgent—like taking down my real Christmas tree that is still standing (well, actually kind of falling apart at this point).

And my house is a wreck. How is it that just two weeks ago, everything was clean and decorated and uncluttered and pretty, and now it looks like a tornado hit it? My word for 2013 is SIMPLIFY. If it’s clutter, or even closely resembles clutter, it’s out the door. (I say that so easily now, but I agonize over every little thing I get rid of. What’s the deal with that? I always feel better when it’s gone.)

And the laundry. UUGGHHHH! If Adam and Even hadn’t eaten that stupid fruit and realized they were naked, there would be no such thing as laundry!

And as we speak my hubby is in the kitchen/office tearing it apart even more looking for a piece of notebook paper he wrote some very important financial information on, and now it’s nowhere to be found. 

And Miranda is going through some relationship stuff…normal for an 18-year-old but I tend to go through it with her emotionally.

And Trevor has bronchitis and has missed two days of school and has two projects due plus a paper not to mention the homework and classwork he’s missed.

And Marlee got her cast off but is anxious about using her arm and is sad about having to miss her gymnastics meet this weekend.

Have I whined enough yet? Do all of my run-on sentences reveal my stress? And yet most of this stuff really doesn’t matter. A week from now I won’t be worried about any of it.

What  a way to end this New Years series, huh?

I know worrying doesn’t do any good. Lots of energy would serve me well right now, but worrying won’t help any of this a bit.

I’m so beyond blessed with my family and my life I have no reason to whine, so please forgive me for the pity party and thank you for actually reading this far! The thing is, God has it all under control. None of this stuff on my mind right now matters one bit in eternity. Sometimes I  just need reminding. I’m almost to ashamed to voice my trivial little issues here when there are so many people with real problems. But if I’m being honest, this is it right now.

Now that I’ve “voiced” all of my issues, I’m going to attempt to let them all go when I hit the “publish” button on this post. Tomorrow I”ll get up and take them one step at a time.

“Don’t worry, be happy,” right? God’s got this! 


Thought #9: Leave the Past Behind You


Everyone has a past. That past, good or bad, can shape you into the person you are to become—good or bad. Sometimes bad experiences from the past could cause us to make poor choices in our future, and then sometimes just the opposite is true. Sometimes it’s the bad events of the past that cause us to make good decisions for our future. The point is, you either learn from your past or you don’t.

How many times have you seen a family with a history of abuse that produces children who grow up to be abusive? And there are abused children who grow up and become advocates for other abused children to help stop the cycle.

When we receive Christ as our Savior, the Bible says we become “new.” The old us disappears. But does this mean we will never sin again? Unfortunately not. We live in a fallen world, and we face temptations and struggles every day. But the gift of Salvation allows those sins to be redeemed. Sometimes it takes a mistake to help understand exactly what the will of God is…

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)

The last thing in the world I want to dwell on is the mistakes I made when I ended up addicted to Lortab. I can replay the series of events with the migraines, seizures, and sinus surgery in my head over and over.  I can go back and think, “If only I’d done _____,” but that does no good. It happened, and praise God that time in my life is over.  I certainly don’t believe that God caused me to go through all of the things I did for seven years, but I do believe he allowed me to gain a new perspective so I can understand him better—so I could have a close relationship with him.

The past often brings shame, fear, resentment…all of those emotions you want to bury. Admitting addiction was the most shameful thing I’ve ever had to do. It was also the most  freeing thing I’ve ever done. Much to my surprise, other people were not shocked that I wasn’t perfect! (Imagine that!) And it was okay! It’s so much easier being exactly who you are… not some “made up” version of who you think people think you should be. (Did that make any sense?)

So learn from your past, but don’t let it define who you are…let it define who you are becoming. 


Thought #8: Live for today in gratitude and thanks


When Ann Voskamp wrote her book, One Thousand Gifts, she obviously awakened a place we’ve needed to get back to. A place where we can “live fully right where we are.”

As part of the human {rat}race, we are always “movin’ on up” as George Jefferson would say. We are constantly trying to be better—richer, thinner, more talented, etc. We search for blessings in our future as things we must earn. If we spend out entire lives striving to be more, when do we ever reach enough? When can we stop and see what blessing God has for us in the here and now?


My daddy used to love to say, “Live like you will die tomorrow, but plan like you will live forever.” He said it, but honestly, I believe he did a bit more planning than living. But he lived exactly the way he wanted to, and died with no regrets. He planned for the future financially, but he didn’t put all of his blessings on a shelf to be enjoyed at a later date “when there was more time,” or “when we could afford it.”

James 1:17 tells us whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father. We have so many things around us to enjoy and be thankful for.

Today was an especially busy day for me, and I admit to being frustrated about one thing or another most of the day. And I regret it. Getting caught up in the chaos is such a habit for us, it happens before we realize it. We must learn to intentionally slow down, take a deep breath, and look around us at the things we can be thankful for. (You can tweet that here if you’d like Wink)

Okay, here I go with my post-it notes again…

Try putting little post-it notes scattered throughout your house and car, and every time you see one stop, take a deep breath, and say a little prayer of thanks for something or someone around you. I’ll be doing this myself so I don’t have more days like today! If you can use the post-it notes for 21 days—and actually say a prayer or thanks every time you see one—it should be a habit by the time your 21 days is complete.

If you haven’t read One Thousand Giftsit’s a must. The way we process thoughts is partially a habit. This is one way to change your thinking that can actually change your world. 


Thought #7: Helping others is key to leading a happy life

Well, here it is 11:17 pm on Jan 6th. My goal for the first 10 days of the year was to post once daily about how certain thoughts can actually change our world. And I believe 100% in these ten “thoughts” I’m writing about. My goal of posting daily for the first ten days of the year, however, might have been a bit ambitious. Because now it’s 11:23 pm, and I’m ending up worrying about myself after all because I don’t think I can stay awake to write this post! So…in an attempt to still elaborate on the thought for the day and give you information other than my dreams, I’ve pulled from the archives (I’m not sure, but I think that makes me sound old!)

Today’s particular thought on helping others was one of the posts in my series, “Tips to a happier  you in 2012,” so I’m reposting and getting to cheat a little. And get to sleep before midnight. Smile Enjoy!

Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”
 (Romans 15:1-2 Msg)
The definition of altruism in the New American Oxford Dictionary reads as follows:
altruism |ˈaltroōˌizəm|
the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others
One of the foundational truths repeated time and time again throughout the Bible is that we should practice altruism:
You shall love your neighbor
as yourself.
(Mark 12:31 ESV)
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law of the Prophets.
(Matthew 7:12 ESV)
We are to care for and have compassion for our fellow man.
Much scientific research has been done on the effects of altruism, and it has been proven time and time again it benefits both the giver and the receiver. Acts of kindness and altruism have shown to actually increase serotonin production in both parties involved.
When we are depressed, we tend to maintain the “poor, pitiful me” status. You can only remain miserable by continuing to look inward. When we begin to help someone else, we take our focus off ourselves and begin looking outward.
In doing some research on altruism, I did find a few studies that support findings that altruism can contribute to depression. The giver can get wrapped up in the problems of the receiver and become depressed. I do understand that way of thinking, and that’s where our faith must come into play. There will always be sad situations that are ultimately out of our control. But that’s where God comes in. We are only commanded to help others, not to solve all of their problems. God has a plan and as Christians, we must trust him to carry out that plan. We are only to carry out the part of that plan as he presents it to us.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28 ESV)
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
(Ephesians 1:11 ESV)
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
(Matthew 19:26 ESV)
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
(Proverbs 19:21 ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
(Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)
Serving others is always an adventure. To begin an act of service is to open yourself up to blessings you never know existed.
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’(Matthew 25:40 ESV)
Matthew 6:19-21 tells us not to collect treasures here on earth, but to lay up our treasures in Heaven. Have you ever wondered what that really means? Every single person on the earth has eternal significance—they all have souls worth saving—and will be our treasures in Heaven. 
I challenge you this week to look outward into the world around you and see what you can do for someone else.

Thought #6: Forgiveness is necessary for a life of freedom

Forgiving someone who has done you wrong is very difficult for some people. Our human instinct tells us to hold a grudge against people who have hurt us. But we are all sinners, and we have all hurt someone in one-way or another. What if no one ever forgave? The world is bad enough as it is, but what if we held a grudge against every single person who’d wronged us; and what if everyone who we’ve ever hurt held a grudge against us? Would there even be any relationships left?

The Bible is very clear on our forgiveness of others and God’s forgiveness of us:

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25 ESV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22 ESV)

But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:15 ESV)

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:13 ESV)

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 ESV)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34 ESV)

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)

Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, as been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. (2 Corinthians 2:10-11 ESV)

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20 ESV)

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7 ESV)

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV)

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17021 ESV)

…And I could sit here typing all night and still not cover all of the verses instructing us on forgiveness.

We are to forgive those who sin against us. Period. Not to mention the fact that we MUST forgive others in order for Christ to forgive us! Now if that’s not reason enough…

When we hold a grudge against someone, we think about it. We give attention to it. We nurture that little grudge until it grows into a giant. And usually the person we are growing the grudge against doesn’t even know it! We are only hurting ourselves. When we harbor sin in our heart, we squeeze God out.

I worked for Wal-Mart Pharmacy for almost fifteen years. We’ve all been in Wal-Mart. It’s one place that provides plenty of opportunities to exercise our forgiveness ability. When I first began working behind that pharmacy counter, I was immediately taught one of those life lessons everyone must learn: You cannot please all people all the time. (Now you know you want to tweet that one Wink). As a perfectionist, that realization did not sit too well with me. But I had to adapt. My solution? Kill them with kindness. I’m not sure at the time that it was the Godliness in my heart that came up with that solution, but it worked. I figured if I was kind  to Mr. or Mrs. Rude Customer no matter what, they’d either change their ways and decided to calm down, or they’d go home and have a big ‘ole cloud of guilt hanging over their head. Like I said, my motives may not have been completely pure, but I do hope that by always showing kindness, I reflected Christ in that crazy Wal-Mart world.

As Christians and sinners and humans and spouses and friends and children and parents and employees and employers we have many relationships. We inevitably screw them up here and there. And there and here. And all over the place. God is the only true judge and he tells us to forgive. So who are we not to obey? When we can finally wrap our goofy little brains around the fact if God forgives us when we screw up, we should be able to hand out forgiveness to other who screw up too. After all, none of us are perfect, but hopefully we all have the same goal in mind: eternity with Jesus.

So let’s just allow God do his job as judge, forgive other as he tells us to, and make our lives so much easier!

Forgiveness saved my marriage…several times as a matter of fact…and it really is a necessary trail on the path to freedom.



Oh and P.S.~Don’t wait for them to ask for it. Just give it freely. It’s much better that way!

Here’s a YouTube video of a Matthew West song that sums it all up. Enjoy!

Thought #5: There’s a difference between what’s important and what’s urgent

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephasians 5:15-17 ESV)

Let’s look at the definitions of “urgent” and “important…”

urgent |ˈərjənt|
(of a state or situation) requiring immediate action or attention : the situation is far more urgent than politicians are admitting. See note at crucial .
• (of action or an event) done or arranged in response to such a situation : she needs urgent treatment.
• (of a person or their manner) earnest and persistent in response to such a situation : an urgent whisper.


important |imˈpôrtnt|
of great significance or value; likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being : important habitats for wildlife | it is important to avoid monosyllabic answers | [ sentence adverb ] the speech had passion and, more important, compassion.
• (of a person) having high rank or status.
• (of an artist or artistic work) significantly original and influential.

It’s a shame that events like those in Connecticut last week are what it takes sometimes to make us stop and think…get our priorities in order.
When our children are graduating, getting married and having kids of their own, what will we look back and remember?
  • Our little girl asking us to sit down and read a book, but we were too busy checking emails?
  • Our teenager wanting us to meet her for lunch, but we have too many errands to run?
  • Our kids begging to go to the pool, but we say it’s just too hot outside…so we stay home and mow the lawn instead?
 What will they look back and remember?
  • How the cabinets and floors sparkled every Saturday night in preparation for a new week?
  • How much fun dad always had playing golf every Saturday?
  • How mom sat at the computer every waking hour of the day? (Stepping on my own toes bigtime)
  • How dad’s coworkers respected him because he was at the office by 7:00 am and didn’t leave work until after 7:00 pm?
  • How there was always one more thing that had to be done before they could go out and play?
There is a huge difference between what is urgent and what is important. In our fast-paced days, the line between the two gets easily blurred.
My hubby and I can open up our emails at any given moment and have a thousand or more. The urge to clean out that inbox is intense, but how many of those emails are really important?
I have to stop and give God some praise for blessing me with such an awesome husband. I’m sure if he reads this post he will be difficult to live with for a few days, but nevertheless…he loves to play golf, yet he rarely does. To be good at golf, he says you have to play often, which usually means Saturdays. He decided when our kids were little that having a good golf game was not what he wanted to look back on when he was old. He wanted to look back on Saturdays spent as a family. Hiking, movies, swimming…whatever we did, we did it together. And we still do. For David, family comes absolutely first. Not to say that we haven’t had tough times. We’ve had our share of marital issues, especially when I was battling addiction and depression. But by the grace of God, David persevered. And God delivered me. Whew! I sure am glad those years are over!
Back on topic…urgent vs. important. 
  • The laundry room is overflowing, but my kids want us to bake cookies and watch a movie. We may be going naked next week.
  • I’m really not hungry and need to go to Wal-Mart before Marlee gets out of school, but Miranda and her boyfriend want me to meet them for lunch at La Fogata. Am I going to remember going to Wal-Mart (again) or having lunch with my soon-to-be-in-college daughter? So what if they only want me there so I will pay?
  • I had to be up early to work Friday morning, but the premier of the much anticipated Hunger Games movie was at midnight that particular Thursday night and Trevor really wanted to go.
I was really sleepy on Friday.
But it was important.
We made a memory. 
When you make that “to do” list every day, stop and evaluate what’s urgent, and what’s important. Be sure to leave room for those impromptu moments that just might become a favorite memory. (You know, when you’re putting up groceries and you just happen to accidentally spray the can of whipped cream at any moving target in the kitchen?) Make memories. The good kind. The emails, the laundry, and the dog hair on the floor will all still be there. Even when you do accomplish those tasks, I promise they will all return again.
The opportunity to make memories may not.


Thought #4: Money doesn’t buy happiness…or does it?


Money typically causes more problems than anything else, but unfortunately, it’s one of the necessary evils in life. Money is necessary to live, and does provide opportunity. Because we must work for money, we tend to become selfish with it. We do need to be responsible, planning for our future and that of our family, yada, yada, yada…

But the statement “money will never buy happiness” is so true. Just like the “stuff” I referred to in my last post, when money was the most plentiful in my family, my happiness was the least. You truly cannot buy your way out of depression.

But there is one way that money can buy happiness…when  you give it away.

I’ve tithed at church pretty much my entire life, and that gave me a foundation. I was raised knowing that 10% of everything I made belonged to God. It never felt like a sacrifice because it was something I always did. As I’ve gotten older and made more money, 10% seemed like a little bigger sacrifice. But the sacrifice part just made giving it away that much better.

There always has been and there always will be the people in church who bicker about where money is going. People who choose not to tithe because they do not “approve” of the finance committee’s plan. Here’s the thing. I give because God calls me to.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35 ESV)

It’s not my job to figure out where that money goes. Sure God “nudges” me when there is a cause close to my heart (like Gospel for Asia) and I give when I know where the money is going. There’s nothing terribly romantic or satisfying about giving to the “general fund” at church. But God calls us to do it.

So to rephrase my last quote…

newmoneyquoteEach one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 (2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV)


Thought #3: Stuff is just stuff

This lesson has been a hard lesson for me to learn. We moved into a new house in April of 2007. A big, clean, empty house. Our forever house. To fill with children and grandchildren…and of course the Vaughan Zoo.

So how is it that a mere five years later you’d think we’d lived in this house through at least three generations? But the closets and drawers are full, and my hubby’s business is storage warehouses, so naturally we have plenty of extra storage space for all of our necessities!

As we grow in age and experiences, both joyful and sorrowful, we gain wisdom as to what is important and what is not. For the first 40 years of my life I’ve spent accumulating those “treasures” that fill my closets, rooms, and warehouses. I’m certain I may be spending my last 40 years to getting rid of the “stuff” and laying up some treasures in Heaven instead. Only I really don’t want it to take 40 years. The word “simplify” has become a very important word in my life. If you click on that link you will see a prior blog post including some photos of a messy house that needs much purging. It’s not a quick job but it’s getting there. The biggest challenge to simplifying your home is simplifying your mind. {Care to tweet that?}

I was all about the Southern Living Magazine and Parade of Homes when I begin building my “life.” I wanted the American Dream. But the American Dream if full of empty promises. Just look at our government! (Okay, I won’t get started there). But you get my point. In 2007, I moved into my dream house, but it was the most miserable time in my life. The “stuff” solved nothing.

Now, the “stuff” just takes away my time and energy that I should be spending with my husband, my children, and my God. Not necessarily in that order. The “stuff” brings frustration. It’s constantly about making room for the new stuff. And what if something tragic happened? Like the horrendous event in Connecticut? None of the “stuff” would matter. A photograph, a toy, a few special memories to cherish…but that’s it.

Stuff is just that…stuff. It means nothing. After all, you can’t take it with you. 

Finding time to clean out is not easy. But once you start, it’s amazing how much thought you put into future purchases. T.J. Maxx used to be a dream store for me. ALL OF THAT GREAT STUFF AT DISCOUNTED PRICES! Now? I can honestly go in and get only what I’m looking for, because I know it will just be cluttering my mind and I’ll be trying to figure out what to do with it in a year.

Now remember, when I introduced you to my Ten Thoughts, I told you I wish I could write them on the back of my eyelids so every time I blink I’d get that subliminal message. That hasn’t changed. I must remind myself of these thoughts every day. But each day, they get a little easier.

Don’t let the “stuff” in your life get in the way of what’s important. There are many books and blogs out there about how to simplify your life…just google it. I have.  They are all a little different, and you can find one that’s right for you. But believe me, when you get in the mindset that stuff is just stuff, you can see the blessings in your life so much easier!


 This Organized Simplicity is a great book that I’ve used, and if you jump on over to Tsh’s site at, you’ll fine many more resources.


Another great blog post I found was at TLC Parentables: 54 Ways to Declutter and Organize Your Home. Lots of great information and advice there.

Good luck! And know that we’re in it together. Please share any resources that you happen to love!

  Thanks Bunches  Smile

Thought #2: In marriage, you’re on the same team

, a

There’s just no two ways about it, marriage is a tricky business.  I just gave my daughter a book to read by Gary Chapman—Things I Wish We’d Known Before We Got Married. I would have loved to had that book before I got married, but honestly, I doubt I would have read it.
Young, head-over-heels in love, with nothing but marital bliss in my future, I knew nothing bad could happen. I mean, we’d dated for almost six years, and we were in LOVE. It didn’t matter that we would have petty little things to deal with like jobs, money, decisions about home and church, people of the opposite sex invading our territory, raising kids, family in-law issues, etc… LOVE CONQUERS ALL, RIGHT???
You’d think the divorce rate alone would make people realize that marriage can be a bit harrowing at times. Your spouse is the one you come home to every night that hasn’t done the dishes or made supper and left all the laundry in the floor in the hallway. Your spouse is the one who leaves the toilet paper roll empty. Your spouse is the one who never picks up his socks from the floor beside the bed. Petty little things, right? But those are the starting points for the bigger arguments. Before you know it, those socks in the floor have turned into an entire closet full of clothes thrown out the upstairs bedroom window onto the lawn! That’s not what you
signed up for, is it?
It’s a fact that living with someone requires compromise. Overlooking a sock or hopping with your pants down to get to the toilet paper just might be necessary every once in a while.
My husband and I both do things that get on each others nerves. But after 23 years of marriage, I think we’ve finally figured a few things out…things we had forgotten since we first said ,”I do.”
  • We are a team. The day we said “I do” we made a commitment to spend life together as husband and wife—”one flesh.” We both wanted the same things in life, but somehow “life” keeps getting in the way. We must remember teamwork.
  • It’s natural to think about all of the hard work you do every day. Try honestly putting yourself in your spouses shoes. Talk to them and try to understand what they have to go through every day. My hubby deals with business finances all day every day, in addition to employee/staffing problems, thousands of e-mails, and so much more I’m not even aware of. Yet he makes it a point to spend time with his family every day. Maybe because I’m an only child, or I’m just plain selfish, but this one I have to work on daily. I’m quite sure I don’t work nearly as hard as he does and I need to find more to alleviate some of his responsibility.
  • Communicate your feelings/frustrations before you act on them. Watchout…here come that “a” word…affair. When frustrations build inside a marriage, other options can look very appealing. I’ve seen some second marriages work better than the first, only because they learned some valuable lessons the first time around. But you can bet that a new spouse will bring on a whole new set of frustrations to deal with, plus the baggage from the first marriage. So you might as well do it right the first time!


Goodness knows David and I have been through some tough stuff. Yet in every situation, we tried to seek God’s will. But in the midst of a difficult relationship, God can seem very far away because we turn inward to the “poor, pitiful me” mentality. Once we were on the other side of whatever the situation was, we could clearly see God’s hand in the situation. And let me tell you, there were some seriously bad situations. But we made it through them stronger, and our marriage is better than it’s ever been.


Love is definitely a decision. Marriage is a commitment. If you put God at the head of your marriage and remember that you began and plan to end this journey as a team, marriage can be a life of unparalleled happiness.



Thought #1: God has a purpose for you

purposequoteLife in this world is difficult. No doubt about it. Every step of life brings a new set of struggles. What is hard for us to see, though, is that everything we go through shapes us into the person God wants us to become.

How many times have you quoted Romans 8:28 when someone is going through a difficult time?

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)

It is a very comforting verse, to know that God can take all things and make something good from them. He absolutely can work things for good. The part that we tend to ignore, though, is who will receive that good? Bad things happen to good people. We see it every day. But “good people” may not always be people who love God or are searching for his purpose for their lives.

When I was struggling for seven years with seizures, migraine headaches, addiction, and depression, I’m honestly not sure I could say I “loved” God. I respected him; I feared him; I knew about him and needed a relationship with him. But how can you truly love someone you don’t really know? To know God and learn to really love him, he must be in your life every day. And since he’s not standing in the kitchen with you cooking breakfast every morning, it takes a little creativity to include him in your life every day. I love the book The Shack and highly recommend it. It’s a fantastic story~Falling in love with God requires intentional actions every day. (Feel free to tweet that little tidbit of wisdom Wink)

Here are a few simple (and yes, probably corny) ways to intentionally bring God into your life every day:

  1. Put post-it notes in prominent places that simply say “God” and it will remind you to converse with him.
  2. Don’t shelter yourself from the sad world we live in. Choose some way to volunteer to help other less fortunate.
  3. Look up at the stars at night and realize that God created it all.
  4. Talk to God out loud as you go about your day (thought you might want to reserve this one for when you’re alone so you won’t look too crazy).
  5. Make a list that you must add to every day of five things you were thankful for that day.
  6. Look at your children and remember they came from a sperm and an egg. The amazement of conception & birth, and then growth and personality development will help you love God every time you look at them.
  7. Spend time in God’s word every day. The Bible is a love letter from God to his people. And when you read it, keep in mind it was written just for you. j2911bird

Spend 2013 intentionally falling in love with God. Seek him and his purpose for your life. It’s be so easy for a mountain to fall on our head and instantly be in love with God. And it may happen that way for some, but for most, it’s a process…a journey. He’d love nothing more than to walk beside  you on that journey and show you his plans for  you!



“Change your thoughts and you change your world”~Norman Vincent Peale


One of the first non-fiction books I ever read was The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. I was in my first year of college at Clemson University, and I was hopelessly homesick. My mom put everything into my hands she could to help me through that first semester at Clemson, and that book was part of the package.

It’s a shame wisdom comes with age, but I’m sure it’s all part of God’s plan. That’s one of those questions I’ll ask Him someday.  From that first year at Clemson, through pharmacy school at USC, marriage, three children, too many funerals to count, seven years of grand-mal seizures and migraine headaches and addiction to narcotics, God has instilled much wisdom. My hubby has always said, “Hindsight is 20/20” and he is so right. Even after all of the struggles of life I’ve survived, I still need reminders to help remember what’s important in life.

I’ve always said I wish I could write on the inside of my eyelids, so I’d get a subliminal message every time I blink. So for the first ten days of the new year, I thought I’d share some of those “eyelid reminders” with you and remind myself in the process.

So join me for the next ten days for some “celestial” wisdom (celestial meaning “heavenly,” of course)…thoughts to renew your mind and so that you might be transformed to live a happy, God-centered life.

P.S. Sign up for your prescriptions to come right to your email so you don’t miss any 😉

As a bonus start to a blessed new year, here’s a free printable for your fridge, mirror, or wherever you might need a little reminder and join along with me as we go through these thought for the first ten days of 2013. SmileI’m thinking my bathroom mirror…enjoy!

Click here to download the free PDF printable: Click here to download your “Ten Thoughts” Printable 🙂

Ten LIfe-Changing Thoughts for a Happy 2013