Don’t you just love this verse? Current application for me: V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N

We are immersing ourselves in white sugary beaches and tantalizing blue water.

(View from our balcony)

Rest for a while, he says.

Vacations of my past were filled with the stress and anxiety of addiction, migraine headaches and seizures. Especially at the beach. The glaring sun and blistering heat set up perfect conditions. Those vacations were anything but restful—only stressful and guilt-ridden. My family suffered the consequences of my depression.

But no more.

I’m enjoying every little bit of this vacation, thankful for every minute of freedom, good health, and happiness.

So as I take a little time away from my blog, I pray that you will be enjoying a little rest as well as this summer comes to an end.

I’m sure I won’t be able to stay away for too long though. I’ll see you soon!

From my heart, 

Tips to a Happier You in 2012~Happiness by Choice

David and I have been in Chicago this week at a training seminar for a home health care franchise we are purchasing in South Carolina. My brain is drained and we’ve had very little sleep. As I was in the seminar this morning, I was thinking, “When am I going to get my blog post done for tomorrow?” (You know the perfectionist in me can’t leave you without a {tips to a happier you} post for Saturday). 
As we were looking at their websites and blogs, I ran across this slideshow they posted and decided it would be perfect for your happy tip this week. 

If you read the prescription verse above and think, “What does that verse have to do with happiness?”, let me tell you: People who have suffered and overcome struggles in life have gained wisdom. Whether it’s addiction, depression, bankruptcy, loss, whatever…they have learned from the experience. 

When I was battling with depression and addiction, I wish I had been more willing to seek advice from others who had overcome. Instead, I stayed home in my pajamas and shut myself off from anyone and everyone. I didn’t want the difficulty of relationships and I certainly didn’t want to deal with the masks and pleasantries required for social     interaction. 

Maybe that’s why I had to suffer as long as I did. 

Maybe I’d have been ready for God to use me sooner if I’d been willing to learn from others. 

Maybe everything had to happen exactly as it did for me to learn how God wanted to use me to teach what I had to learn the hard way. 

Anyway, enjoy the slideshow below. Many of my Saturday tips I’ve shared thus far are included in the slideshow, so hopefully it will give you an overview of what happy looks like. 

I realize that depression is not a choice, but I believe happiness can be. Remember, it’s all about small steps—changing your thoughts a little at a time. 
Happiness by choice

View more presentations from hosanna

From my heart, 


A Little Time for Learning and Celebrating

Okay my friends; I’m taking the advice of Matthew here…
I leave for the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference on Sunday. When I went last year, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This year, I’m a little more prepared on what to expect, but I have my work cut out for me! 
This last year of blogging and writing has been a year of learning. I feel a little like I’ve gone back to college! Now if you know me, you know I can be impatient, and I know this is all on God’s time, but I really hope God thinks it’s time for me to take this writing thing to the next level! Like with an agent? Publisher? Contract? I’m thinking big, I know. But God does big things…when the time is right. 
So with that being said, I’m taking the next two weeks to soak in all I can learn at the writing conference so that I can produce exactly the product that God has purposed for me. 
As soon as I return from the conference (literally that same day), Miranda graduates from high school. So we shall be celebrating her walk across that stage! (If you only knew how glad we are she is getting to walk across that stage…)  Wow, I’m getting old! 
Anyway, I will be back with you on June 2nd with more {tips to a happier you} and {make a change Mondays} and whatever else comes to mind in between. 
Hope everyone has a great few weeks as we end this school year and begin summer! 
{Talk} to you soon! (((Hugs)))
From my heart, 

My One Word

I’ve been enjoying reading about all of the New Year “stuff” this week. The trend this year seems to be steering away from resolutions and more toward focus. We shouldn’t make an over-the-top resolution and set ourselves up to fail. How many times have we done that

What I’ve seen much ado about this year is “One Word.” Everywhere I turn online I see someone talking about his or her word for 2012. Well, with my newfound passion for writing, I began my word search. 
But there are so many words! 

Determination…that’s a great one. I’m determined to run a 5k. I’m determined to get my rough draft finished before May. 
Perspective...another good one for me. It seems that all I’ve learned in the last year has changed my perspective on things. I have a much more eternal perspective these days. And when we look at things from a different perspective, we can learn so much. 
Purpose…2012 will be a year to begin to fulfill my purpose. Last year I found it, this year I’m starting to fulfill it. 
These were three of my top choices, but there is one word that keeps coming to mind no matter what. I spent seven years trying to “fix” myself. I learned I could not do it. Last year was a year full of learning new things…blogging, writing, publishing…to begin to fulfill my purpose. My mind as whirled and twirled as I’d think “what if” this or “what if” that. I’d question whether or not I was doing the right thing–making the right choice. At every turn, I was reminded that I am not in control. 
Yes, I know it’s the standard church answer, but for 2012, the first year I’ve chose a word, my word is…simply…“God.”
Have you chosen your one word for 2012? 
From my heart, 
P.s. Click the following link and see what word others have chosen.  

         One Word 365

What if the Bible didn’t exist?

Mary and Joseph had some hard times to endure when she was pregnant. Here she was, probably 15 years old, betrothed to be married, and found out she was pregnant. She had to convince Joseph that an angel had come to her to tell her the Holy Spirit impregnated her!
Joseph, as you can well imagine, was having second thoughts about marrying Mary. An angel spoke to Joseph in a dream, and confirmed that Mary was indeed still a virgin. But do you think anyone else believed him? I’m sure he received quite a bit of ridicule for believing something that just could not be possible!
In thinking about the faith God expected of Mary and Joseph, I wondered how in the world they did it. They lived before the Bible was written. They didn’t have the well-known verse, With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God (Matthew 10:27). And then there’s Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Mary and Joseph had the wisdom of prophets and other witnesses for Christ, but no collective “backup” to refer to and rely on.
Even if we don’t read our Bible on a daily basis, we do rely on it. How different would our lives be if the Bible did not exist? The government can try to take God out of schools all they want to, but truthfully, our nation was built around the one, true God. Our pledge of allegiance says, “One nation, under God.”
I used to think the Bible was full of a bunch of old stories, and it is. But they are real stories, full of rises and falls of great and not-so-great men. Miracles. Plagues. Wars. Not so different from today. I’m trying to read the Bible with this thought at the forefront of my mind. What if King David were our president? What if Mary was your teenage daughter? Or Joseph your son? Would your tell your son to stay with and support his pregnant teenage girlfriend who claims she’s a virgin? Or would you think she’s crazy? I read these old, familiar stories and try to think how it would play out today. And they didn’t have the Bible as a foundation! Can you imagine the faith that Mary and Joseph had to have? 
How often are we presented with situations that require just as much faith? And aren’t we grateful for that book full of old stories that we can depend on? 
I have a new friend who is beginning a ministry called “Read the Book Ministries”, and I’m trying to take her advice and READ THE BOOK!
…With an open mind and heart. 

 From my heart, 


The Trulywed Game~Episode Five: Languages of Love

Well throughout this sermon series on marriage, I’ve squirmed in my seat, been lovingly “nudged” by my hubby, and turned red in the face. Hopefully Perry won’t step on my toes quite so much during the next series! This post concludes “The Trulywed Game” as we discuss the Languages of Love. Perry’s words are in blue, my added thoughts in black…and here’s the link if you’d like to watch the sermon (and the conclusion of “The Trulywed Game” itself) ~
The way to improve marital intimacy is communicating love so my spouse will understand. 
Gary Chapman came out with the book, “The Five Love Languages” years which Perry based this sermon on. Learning your spouse’s love language (and your children’s) makes for a much happier home. 
Five ways to communicate love: 
1) Words
Some people thrive on words of praise. If you grew up in a home of constant praise, it may be what you expect. If you grew up in a home of constant criticism and lack of praise, you might crave praise in your current relationship. 
Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim. Proverbs 15:4 (Msg)
When you live with someone, lets face it; they can get on your nerves. Their bad traits come front and center, and their good traits get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes we have to go back and remember why we married them in the first place. To get past the “life” that happens every day, it takes work to see and put emphasis on the qualities that you love about your spouse. I find that if I’m bragging about David to someone else, I name all of the things I love about him. I need to do that more often! 
When you do praise your spouse, your words must be sincere and honest, without attached criticism. 
2) Time
This one is high on the list of David’s love languages. How many of you multitask? I think I drive myself and everyone around me crazy trying to do five things at once, and if I’m not doing them, I’m thinking that I need to be. This is an area I need to work on. When I am spending time with David, it needs to be time spent focusing on our relationship (not sitting on the sofa beside him working on my laptop…that was last night =o/).
My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!…The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come…” Song of Songs 2:10, 12 (NLT)
He escorts me to the banquet hall; it’s obvious how much he loves me. Song of Songs 2:4 (NLT)
Sometimes it’s necessary to dress up, put on those heels or fancy tie and go on a date. Taking the time to get uncomfortable and do something your spouse likes to do will speak volumes if time is their love language. 
3) Gifts
I’m making jewelry for you, gold and silver jewelry that will mark and accent your beauty. Song of Songs 1:10-11 (Msg)
A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person; a heartfelt present cools a hot temper. Proverbs 21:14 (Msg)
If receiving gifts is your spouse’s love language, one of the best ways to communicate that message is to know them well enough to actually know what gifts they like! If your wife always wears black and white, a bright yellow sundress might not be the best choice. 
Always buying on the markdown rack might send the wrong message. =o)  (Thanks, Perry!)
4) Service
This is a big one for me. Have you ever seen the ultimate book of porn for women? In it you’ll find photos of men (fully dressed) vacuuming, washing dishes, taking out trash, etc. I love it! 
Serve each other with love. Galatians 5:13 (NCV)
Rebekah said to Jacob: “Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish.” Genesis 27:9 (NLT)
Service is also an important love language for David, especially when it comes to his stomach! Even if we’re having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he always says they taste better when I fix them! 
5) Touch
I found the one my heart loves. I threw my arms around him. I didn’t let him go… Song of Songs 3:4 (WORD)
Again, this love language is important to David as well (I might as well just focus on all five the keep this man happy!) 
I am almost five years younger than David. When we were dating, I felt uncomfortable showing much affection in public, because I didn’t want it to look like I was “hanging” all over him. I was just worried what other people would think. David, on the other hand, wanted me to hold his hand and put my arms around him in public. To him, showing affection in public made it obvious to people that I loved him and was proud to be with him. 
One mistake we can easily make is using our own love language to try to communicate with our spouse. That doesn’t work. Washing dishes and vacuuming does not show David that I love him, no matter how much I do it! I have to communicate my love to him through his love language. 
How do I discover my mate’s love language(s)?
1) Observe how my spouse expresses love (we most often express love how we want to be loved).
2) Listen to what my spouse requests most often. 
3) Offer choices between options representing different love languages. 
…Let us practice loving each other… 1 John 4:7 (TLB)
It’s a shame Rosetta Stone doesn’t have software for this! 
From my heart,