Saturday, October 31, 2009

30 days of happiness challenge

I am going to try something different this month on my blog. As we are nearing the holidays I thought it would be a good practice to focus for the next 30 days on being happier. I, as many others I know, have had some challenging times lately and I have noticed so many others are to, so my hope is that if we focus on being happy and what makes us happy and choosing to be happy - that no matter what our circumstances we can not only be happier this month, but spread the happiness around. We may even create a habit of happiness! Wouldn't that be nice.

Now the very big challenge to me is that I am going to commit to a daily post of what I am doing each day to promote more happiness in my life. This really should be interesting! I am going to give a list of things I plan to do each day and would love you to follow along with me or even come up with your own plan and share it with us. So check in each day to see how I'm doing or not.... :) and give me some feedback if you are doing it with me. Or if you hate this kind of stuff or blogs in general that is ok too. :-)

Tomorrow will be the first day and the following is my list of things I plan to do this week: (although I will reserve the right to change it if needed)
  • Sunday - find a scripture that speaks of where our joy comes from. Write it on an index card and look at it often through the day, especially if there are a few challenges. :) I may even get really bold and memorize it!
  • Monday - Be VERY aware of having a positive attitude. Watch for any negative thoughts or talk and correct it immediately. Look at the good in everything.
  • Tuesday - have a day of gratefulness. Spend time all day reflecting on all the things in life to be grateful for.
  • Wednesday - Make three people smile today
  • Thursday - spend time with someone under 6 and think about watch how they view life.
  • Friday - Start a conversation with a stranger today
  • Saturday - clean one area of clutter in my home.
Some last thoughts as we get started - The Pew Research Center asked a number of Americans if they were enjoying their lives. Only about 34 percent report they are "very happy" in life and this was before the recession we are now experiencing. We live in a society that values more what people have over who they are.

What about you? Are you enjoying your life? Are you generally happy, content and satisfied with who you are and what you do each day? Do you take time to notice and appreciate everyday things that make life rich and rewarding?

I challenge you today to go to a new level of enjoyment in your daily life. Let's do it together!

Jesus said in John 10:10 -
"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full till it overflows)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Words I Would Say......

I downloaded some new songs this weekend to put on my ipod for when I run and this song just had such an impact on me. I wanted to share it with anyone who comes by my blog as a message of encouragement.

As stated in previous blogs, a lot of people I know are going through some very difficult times. Some are short-term and some are long-term but whatever and however long it may be when your in the middle of it - it is hard and sometimes we just need to be reminded of how present God is and how Good His is and How much He loves us.

As I was running I just kept feeling I need to put this on the blog for someone - if it is you I pray you will be blessed and given hope by these words.

"Your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child" Deut. 1:31

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Annual North Carolina Vacation

Time to take a break from Life Coaching concepts to post about my family a little bit.

Almost every year since the year I was pregnant with Debbie, my oldest, (I'm not sure if it's ok for me to say her age so I won't but it has been a long time) we have made a yearly trek to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our favorite spot is in a cozy little town called, Maggie Valley.

We went from it being my hubby, me and pregnant with daughter Debbie in 1977 to our family of four through the years, until the last few years it is now hubby, me, daughter Debbie, her hubby Abel and two sweet grandgirls Kaitlyn and Anna. We are all hoping for son Johnny, his future wife Sarah and little Mattie to join us next year. Then it would be complete. :)

So once again 32 years from our first trip here we are again and loving it more than ever.
Our first North Carolina trip in 1977 - daughter Debbie's first trip - (I'm 3 month pregnant)
Debbie's first trip outside the womb..... 1980
Son Johnny's first Carolina trip - 1984
A few years later
Our last trip with just the four of us - probably around 1996
Then we started all over again in 2002 with a new son-in-law, who is a blessing to our family
the next trip was in 2007 - enjoying sharing our family tradition with our granddaughters....
It's so fun doing all the same things we did with our kids with our grandchildren and seeing the same excitement on their faces of every new experience
2008 - a little easier - the girls a little older
2009 - another wonderful week of fun, laughter, talking about life and
just enjoying being together. We are blessed and God is good and so is our life.

Next year - Johnny is determined to have his little family there with us so
we are looking forward to adding to our crew.
Enjoy this wonderful time of the year. If you live in Florida like me, decorate your house for fall and put the air down as far as you can and sit down with a cup of hot chocolate. :)
If you have children, cherish those moments as they go quickly and have some family traditions that they can always remember or even pass on to their children.
Life is Good! and I am so thankful....

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:7 (New Living Translation)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

7 Principles that will Keep us in Hope during the Storm

As I was walking through these long-term perplexing problems in my life a few years ago and even recently again encountering some storms coming my way, I began to realize although it is never easy to walk through these times it is possible to walk through them with joy, peace and Hope most of the time.

As I was preparing to speak at a conference at the beginning of the year, and was praying for God to give me a message of hope to the woman I would be speaking to. I was at my bank and I felt a prompting to get a piece of paper out and began to write. Of course all I had was a receipt slip but that was good enough. I pulled the car over and I these principles began to pour out on my paper. God was giving me the principles that I had, without putting them on paper, been using in the last few years to not just survive the storm but to be full of Hope, peace and faith during the storm.

So here are those principles as He gave them to me. They are not things we do not already know but when we apply them during our storms we will see not only God give us peace and hope but also we will begin to see God move in our situations

1. Begin by looking at the condition of our heart: to deal with and resolve with any unforgiveness, whether it was from past hurts or present hurts. Matt 6:14, Matt 18:21

  • to learn to be content in whatever situation I was in. Phil 4:11, I Tim.
  • to let go of pride in my life, my situations helped me quite abit to do this.
  • to have faith in the face of impossible circumstance
  • to develop and even embrace the fruit of the spirit such as patience (not one of my best qualities) longsuffering and all the rest in Gal 5:22, 23

2. We need to be in the presence of God Everyday: Psalm 63:1-8

Ways to do this:

  • Pray God’s Word with thanks, tell Him your heart
  • Reflect, journal, pray, take a walk, beach
  • Listen to worship music, schedule regular quiet time
  • Examine - check your heart on a regular basis for any of the items in #1

3. We need to be in the Word everyday: Psalm 130:5, Romans 15:4 (nlt)

Some ways I did this:

· Reading the Word – Look for scriptures that give hope and encouragement

· Memorizing – Pick a couple very specific scripture, put on index cards

· Studying – Do word studies on Hope, God’s Love and God’s Names

· Meditating - Take all of the above and think on these things in the morning and in the evening and throughout the day

4. We need to keep the “negatives” out of our lives as much as possible:

· Negative thoughts

· Negative people

· Negative attitude

Make a choice to be positive in all things…. Roman’s 5:3, James 1:2

5. We need to ask for help and give help: I Thess 5:11

· Let your friends and family be there for you. (don’t isolate).

· Stay involved in life and with other people even when you don’t feel like it.

· Ask regularly for prayer.

· Encourage, Pray and Help others needing hope

· Share your story

· God will and can use you even in the mist of your difficulties

6. We need to look for the Purpose: 1 Peter 1:6,7, James 2:2, Gen. 50:20

· It’s Ok to ask WHY?

· Look - for God’s plan

· Listen – to God’s voice

· Learn – what God is doing in you through this trial.

“My Grace is all you need My power works best in weakness.

7. We need to have a thankful heart: I Thess. 5:19

Focus of what’s working for you instead of what it not.

· Notice the small things

· Get a notebook and pen, write down things thoughout the day you are thankful

· Write down at least 3 Thank you a day

Next Post: Vacation in North Carolina!