Saturday, October 31, 2015

Choose Joy day 31 -- Joy in the Midst of Winter

"When things get harder, when my health is more trying, the thing that keeps me calm and sane is the fact that I know I've done it before. The pain has been bad before, the symptoms are all ones that I've faced in the past, the exhaustion has reared it's ugly head and the headaches have tried to break me. And during those times, those wintry moments when things seem cold and endless and bleak, there is a summer deep within me that is untouchable. Invincible. I know it's there even when it seems far away and unreachable because I've been through it all before... and the summer always rises to the surface.

I have faith that He hasn't left me empty. So in those moments I remind myself of what I've already learned... that in the midst of winter there is in me an invincible summer.

What have you already learned that seems easy for you to forget?

Because I really do believe that once we know better we can't pretend to be ignorant anymore. Try making it a habit to remind yourself now of what you've already learned so that during your next run of trouble... the winter moments that inevitably come... you will remember and believe that He hasn't left you empty.

Remember that He has given you an invincible summer within." ~Sara Frankl

Thank you for joining me in 31 days of Choosing Joy...You can keep the joy by purchasing Sara's book...Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Choose Joy Day 30 -- Joy in Gratitude

"As I was thinking about thanksgiving and not being able to spend it with my family, I realized that its really not bothering me very much at all.

And I couldnt figure out why.

I mean, of course Id love to be with all of my family again. Sure, Id prefer to get out of the house and socialize with my friends. And YES, diving into mashed potatoes would have been delightful. Its not that I prefer this. Its that Ive learned to appreciate this.

Ive learned to appreciate the simplicity in my moments. Ive learned that being thankful in everything is more important than being thankful for something. I want to be grateful for everything in my life, not just the special moments.

Im thankful for the years of traditions, and Im thankful that now I get to reflect on them, remember them, cherish them. Im thankful to know that my family will be together and my nieces and nephews look forward to seeing each other again. I appreciate hearing my friends stories about their family get-togethers and the insanity that always ensues. And, while Im not in the middle of all of the festivities, I am still immersed in the blessings of my everyday life.

I'm not the least bit bothered to be here alone on the holiday of gratitude, because it's the same as any other day. I am simply grateful. I appreciate my life because it's the one He has given to me, and I don't want to waste a moment of wishing for anything else." ~Sara Frankl

Choose Joy Finding Hope and Purpose when Life Hurts...will find it full of JOY and GRATITUDE.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Choose Joy Day 29 -- Joy in the Dance

"The kitchen, as in most homes, has always been the gathering place for my family. The hustle and chaos were ever present. My sisters and I would chide my brothers — who were never required to cook or do dishes — that if they stayed in the kitchen they would undoubtedly turn into girls. No matter what the commotion, regardless if the television was blaring or if the radio was silent, my dad would come up behind my mom — standing at the sink or stove or counter — and they danced.

They danced. Dad would hum a tune or click out a beat and they would dance as though six children weren
t running and talking and creating an atmosphere of Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday.

They were experts in tuning out the world, until I came around. Until dad felt that tug on his leg. Until mom gave dad the knowing grin and I was scooped up between them. Dad would have just showered and the smell of his aftershave would wash over our small little circle of three. Mom would wink at me and we would begin the dance, the twirls, the spins. We would begin what I felt, but was too small to articulate, was my own world.

The dance would eventually end. The potatoes would boil on the stove or the phone would ring, and the universe would put my other little world on pause. But it was never on pause in my mind. Even today, when life seems overwhelming or uncertain, and that sense of security feels just beyond my reach, I can close my eyes and smell the smells of my youth. I see that old kitchen and my young parents, and I rest comfortably in the knowledge that at home in the new kitchen, my older parents are still dancing.

So if you ever wonder how to give your child security, how to teach them the presence of love, how to show them to live in the here and now — show them you love each other. Show your child you will forever love them by forever loving one another. Turn to your partner in the midst of chaos, in the midst of fear, in the midst of uncertainty, in the midst of love — and dance." ~Sara Frankl

Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts...order your book today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Choose Joy Day 28 -- I Will Take Joy

Become all that God intended you to be. Love Him. Love People. Love the life youve been given.

This quote sits by my bed so I see it all day the words I want to live by. And while I could write volumes about each little part of each sentence, the word that continuously jumps out at me is intended.

God has an intention for me. My life here is not random.

Soak that in a minute. You arent here just to get through life. Youre not even here to succeed with your plans in life. No youre here to fulfill what He has intended for you.

It changes things, doesnt it?

I find myself looking at every moment and opportunity differently. Life isnt about what I am in the mood for or what can fit into my day. Life is about being open to what He may need from me and what He has intended for me to notice. Im here to keep my eyes and heart open enough to be aware of the moments in which He has intended for me to act.

Do you know what else it made me realize? That if He has intentions for my life, and has seen all that has happened and will happen, then I dont have to worry about how Ill make it through.

I am a survivor. Not because I am strong or willful or unique. I am a survivor because God has intentions for me, and as long as I am here on this earth I have a job left to do. He saw that I would be sick, He saw that I would be devastated, He saw that I would feel weak, but He put me in this life because He also saw I would fulfill what He intended.

All I have to do is remember that this life isnt about me its about His intentions for me. If I trust Him with all of it, past present - future, then He will make sure I am in the right position to fulfill all He intended.

Oh, and according to the life verse my friend helped me choose, I plan on doing it with joy.

I will take joy. {Habakkuk 3:18}

Be intentional in bringing joy to others...Pre-order Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Choose Joy Day 27 -- Joy in the Gifts

"My praise is in direct relation to the thankfulness in my heart. And my thankfulness in all things needs to be in equal measure.

I think we're sometimes stuck on the rush. We're stuck needing something to hit us over the head and scream "something good just happened!" for us to really stop and take notice. But the reality is, when I stop in my moments and give praise to God, my heart feels the same when I am thanking Him for something big that someone has blessed me with, as it does when I'm thanking Him for the sparrow that landed on my feeder.

Because both are results of His eye being on me as much as it is on that sparrow. God has given me loving and attentive people in my life who provided me with so much. He has given me the birds that sing to me in the morning and fly around to remind me that life exists beyond these walls.

He lets the thunder roll and reminds me of His magnitude. He gives me the ability to walk to the kitchen and reminds me I will always have the strength I need when I need it. Some of His gifts smack me upside the head and others I need to keep my eyes open to see. But in the end, all are gifts. And all deserve my whole heart thanks. Every one of them deserves my praise.

So, on the days when things are supremely difficult and the pain takes all my energy, my eyes have to remain alert to see the blessings. Then there are days when His goodness is obvious and hits me upside the head like I've just had a V-8. And at the end of both of those days, when I think over the hours and my blessings and I stop to thank Him for all of it, do you know what the difference between them is?

Absolutely nothing.

Because in the end, love is love. Gift is gift. God is God and He is good. All the time.

And that's why I praise Him through all of it, with the same amount of thanks in my heart. Because, whether obvious or subtle, He is always there with gifts. You just have to be sure you're paying attention." ~Sara Frankl

Give yourself the gift of Joy by ordering your book today...Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Choose Joy Day 26 -- Joy in Celebration

"I am filled with joy. I'm exhausted, I'm in pain, I'm just getting by. But I am so incredibly blessed. I have a lovely home, an adorable pup, family and friends who care and people who love me, not despite my disease but because of who I am. I am blessed because I take nothing for granted. I love what I have instead of yearning for what I lack. I choose to be happy, and I am. It really is that simple..

Start every day by being thankful and celebrate your life instead of devaluing it. I am so very grateful for each of you who lift me up and celebrate my life with me, and you should know I am celebrating each one of you every day." ~ Sara Frankl

Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose when Life Hurts...Order your book today and while you are at it, order one for a friend and bless them with JOY too!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Choose Joy Day 25...Joy in Obedience

"I think trust comes down to walking a path simply because He has asked us to.

I thought about it as I read the old story of Noah and his ark. Everyone thought Noah was nuts. I mean, imagine it in this day and age. Imagine me randomly telling you all that I was stopping my life to build a boat the size of Noah's in my dad's field. Just because I felt God calling me to.

People would be saying I had messed up my medication. People would be screaming about how the money could be better spent helping the tornado victims or paying down our national debt. People would be judging me, calling me names, ridiculing my religious beliefs and making assumptions about my political party status.

I would be a laughing stock.

Of course, we look at Noah and see that he was right. That it all worked out. That the rain came and he saved his family and God was pleased.

My question is this: would he have been less right if it never rained?

I don't think so. I think it's about saying yes without the guarantee that anything will work out in our favor. I'd like to look at my life and hope good is coming out of my disadvantage. I'd like to think that because I am remaining faithful and joyful in this situation that good things will happen for me or someone else. We can all look at our lives and say, "Well, that was hard, but look at the good that came from it." 

But I think Noah was the hero before a drop of rain hit the thirsty earth. I think he said yes for no reason other than God commanded him. And I am going to think of Noah's decision before the rain every time I have a hard decision to make. Every time I start to get weary of living a difficult life. Every time I long or wish for different. I'm going to think of the man on dry land who said yes regardless of the outcome.

We don't all live to see the rain. We don't all live to see the benefit. We don't all get to know if there even is a benefit.

But, if we really trust Him, our thirst can be quenched in the simple decision of YES." ~Sara Frankl

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Choose Joy day 24...Joy in the Miracles!


I know people are going through their own struggles, but when your life seems overwhelming today, stop for a minute and realize that you aren't even aware of your own heart beating. It's of no concern to you... because it's doing its job without being asked.

That's a miracle. Everything is. We just have to remember to appreciate it." ~Sara Frankl

Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts. Order yours to find our more about choosing joy!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Choose Joy Day 23...Joy in Letting Go

"In a time when every self-help book I read talked about finding groups of like-minded people to further your goals, and being true to who you are over who others may want you to be, I found the opposite to be true. I found that if I went into every situation caring more about what was important to the other person, then who I was grew ten fold.

I learned that it was all about the person, and in order to care about the person I needed to choose to care about what was important to them, and make it important to me.

When it comes to children, their interest often times becomes our interest and their excitement becomes our excitement, and before we know it, we are filled up with contagious joy.

We all do that for children. Imagine if we did that for other adults as well.

Imagine if we cared more about them feeling happy than us feeling right.
Imagine if we cared more about them feeling known than us feeling superior.
Imagine if we cared more about them feeling accepted than us feeling righteous.
Imagine if we cared more about them feeling joy than us feeling envy.
Imagine if we cared more about them feeling abundance than us feeling security.

Maybe sometimes it's not so much about being who we are at all costs. Maybe sometimes it's about letting go of who we are to see who we might become.

Just something to think about." ~Sara Frankl

Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts. Order yours today! Bring JOY to someone by blessing them with one too!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Choose Joy Day 22...Joy in Surrender

"There should be no compromising when it comes to God's purpose. So, I've changed my thinking... and it changed my heart. Just as much as I would embrace a miracle of healing with open arms, I choose to embrace all that comes into my life the same way.

I've learned to embrace the pain. Embrace the solitude. Embrace the constantly changing plan of my day as my pain and energy levels fluctuate.

I've stopped trying to adapt between what I want and what I have... and I've learned instead to want what I'm given. By removing the expectations I placed on my life, I've come to appreciate the moments He's entrusted to me. It doesn't make the journey easy. But it does make it worthwhile.

There are lessons in the pain. There is discovery in the solitude. There are blessings in the opportunities that have come because of my limitations. I've learned to love hearing about what's going on in the world outside of my home as much as I loved living it with my friends.

I see every moment of my life now, both the difficult and the joyful, as moment to be embraced. Because I know that God is in the middle of all of them. He is in the center of my storms and my blessings. He sees it all with eyes that know and understand and foresee the purpose of my situation. And I want what He wants.

So I no longer adapt, compromise or adjust. I surrender. I simply trust that whatever is in front of me at any given moment, He is in the center of it.

And there's no place else I'd rather be." ~Sara Frankl

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Choose Joy Day 21...Rejoice!

"Loss. I didn't expect this a year later after dad's death. I knew it would be hard. I knew the anticipation was weighing on me. But I didn't expect for it to be visceral. I didn't expect for my body to feel in shock again, for the nausea to creep in. I expected sorrow, not grief. But I felt grief again.

I have felt all week like I needed to reach my hands into my chest and hold up my heart for the weight of it. I missed my family and I missed the community and I missed my dad. Oh, how I miss my dad.

And I grieve for us but I rejoice for them. Because our loss is their joy as they bask in the bliss of His love." ~Sara Frankl

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Choose Joy Day 20 -- Finding Joy in the Here and Now

I have had people who thought I should go to Medjagory for healing. I believe miracles happen there. And I believe there are people who go with the purest of hearts and the most genuine intentions, who are not healed. I dont think its about who puts their faith on the line better, I think its about fulfilling a mission. Some are healed because that miracle will spur some on to faith. Some are not healed because that suffering will help others in some way. Im not big enough to know which should be true for me. I trust God to make that decision. I am open to either option and I believe if healing is meant for me, He will make that happen.

But in the interim, Im not wasting a moment of what is by waiting for what could be. Well, I may waste a moment here or there I am human after all and disappointment does not escape me just because I know better. But Im leaving the choice with Him. Right now I have a lot of pain, I have a lot of limitations, and I cant go outside without suffering the consequences. Thats my reality.

If He chooses to change that reality tomorrow I will embrace it without question, just as I am going to deal with what is in front of me right now without question. Its ok if you think Im wrong to approach it this way. Its wonderful if you took a different approach and experienced healing. All I know is that I have talked about this with God at length, and this is what I find to be peaceful in my heart. Its working for me, this decision to leave the choice with Him. It may not look like its working out all that well physically, but its working out well for my spirit.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Choose Joy Day 19 -- How Would You Define Joy?

Joy is a big part of life... no matter how you define it or what brings it to you. I'm sure there are as many things that instill joy in people as there are people to describe it.
Maybe for you it's the smile on your child's face in the early morning hours when you walk in the room to lift them from their crib. Maybe it's walking along the beach as the waves crash on the shore and seagulls make a choir in the distance. Maybe it's pulling into a gas station where the price is below $3/gallon.

To each their own.

But here's a question: have you stopped long enough to figure out what brings you joy, define what that joy feels like to you and realize that, like everything in life, it can be a choice?

I made a decision a long time ago that I was going to choose joy. I even painted a big rectangle on my wall and printed it in big letters so I wouldn't forget to make that choice every day. The major word in that rectangle isn't joy... it's CHOOSE. It's looking around me when life is difficult and trading every complaint I have for something beautiful in my life that far outweighs it. I know, you may be thinking I am looking at life through rose colored glasses, but living joyful beats being cynical any day of the week.

Read more about how to choose joy in Sara's book...Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Choose Joy Day 18 -- Finding Joy Through Peace

It's taken me a lot of years to get to a place where I can feel accepting of my life as it is and as it will be. There were so many years of fighting to be who I had imagined I would be at this point in my life. And the fighting turned out to be more exhausting than the accepting.

When I let go of my earthly ideas of who I should be and how I should live, I got everything I really wanted. I have authentic relationships that are based on real connections. I am closer to my family. I have opportunities to be creative and expressive; it just came in a different form than a job. I am loved and respected and cared for and cared about.

What else is there that I could need?

Now, the reality is that the noise and trouble creep in all the time. There are moments when I keep the shades drawn because the sunshine outside is just a reminder that I can't be outside and a part of it. There are those moments when I see myself in a new photograph and am startled that I don't see the same face I always knew... it's a face that's a little swollen and medicated and sick. Sick with a smile, but sick nonetheless. There are moments of watching people dance and longing for the days of being carefree.

But that's where the Peace comes into play. "Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." ~Unknown

What is important is that God gave me gifts and I used them. And if I don't have those gifts anymore I believe it's because He doesn't have a need for me to use them anymore. But that doesn't stop me from seeing the gifts that remain, the gifts that come from the hard stuff. The gifts that allow me to have peace in my heart while the noise and trouble and hard work rumble on.

I got everything I really wanted once I let it all go.

Purchase Sara's book...Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts, to learn more about choosing joy.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Choose Joy Day 17 -- Joy in the Rainbow...

One thing is always consistent during my storm troubles... I really look forward to the rainbow. I hold on for the headache to go, the sun to come out and the little extra energy to show up after being so exhausted the previous days. I begin to feel like I'm starting over, starting fresh... like I've been granted a reprieve from something worse than my normal self, which suddenly makes the normal not seem so bad.

Do me a favor and remind yourself of this the next time you have to go through a rainy season: There's nowhere to go but through it.

Whether that means you have to white knuckle it or maybe be cuddled a little on your way through, I promise if you keep plugging away to the other side the sun will come out and the blessing will be there. God promised you the rainbow. And He promised to be right there with you in the center of the storm. All you have to do is put up with the rain.

To learn more about choosing joy, order Sara's book. Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Choose Joy Day 16...Finding Joy in What Matters

When people say Its mind over matter they usually follow it with declarative statements like:

I dont get sick. I just decide not to.
Just push through it you can make it if you really want to.

If you want it bad enough, you can make it happen.
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but none of us has that much control. I am all about the power of positive thinking, but I have a bit of a different take on it.

Maybe instead of looking at mind over matter as a way for us to control our environment and create desired outcomes, instead of looking at it as a way to force the universe to conform to our wants, we could see it as an opportunity to use our minds to make good choices regardless of the matter.

My mind has chosen, regardless of circumstance, to find joy in the little things. I cant control the physical, I cant control the outcomes, I cant control others actions but I can control my response.

I guess thats my version of mind over matter.

I had a number of times this past week where my exhaustion and pain has hit hard. It puts me in what I call a coma sleep, where I'm aware of what's going on around me but just can't move or open my eyes for the life of me. I will literally say in my mind, Open your eyes! and nothing happens. My mind has no physical control over the matter.

But my mind does have the choice to stop struggling and fighting against it, which only exhausts me more. My mind has the choice to not be frustrated by all I could not do in those hours, but instead be grateful during the times when I am rested and my energy comes back.

My limitations continue to teach me valuable lessons. I have learned not to live under the illusion that I have control over any part of my life Im happy to leave all of that to God. But I will continue to choose to be grateful, to be happy, and to be content in my earthly dwelling.

I do this because my mind, and everything else in my life, is a gift from Him.

And that matters.

Learn more on Choosing Joy in Sara's book...Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Choose Joy Day 15...Joy in Serving

"I think because I’m pretty matter-of-fact about my life, and because I seem quick to accept my fate, it gives the impression that I don’t think miracles can happen. And that’s not true. I believe in miracles, I believe in healing, I believe in a God that is so much bigger than I can imagine Him to be that anything is possible. I also believe that sometimes healing must not be what He needs for us, or it would happen to everyone.

Because God is so big, so out-of-the-box for me, I have no interest in making my life into something that wouldn’t serve Him. I have had people tell me that if I had more faith I would be healed. I’ve had people tell me that if I just don’t talk about being sick and move forward in faith as though I will be well, then healing will come from my faithfulness. I’ve had people tell me that I haven’t been healed because I haven’t told God to do it… being timid gets you nowhere and  declaring what I want will prove to God that I truly believe.

For me, I tell God what I think would be lovely for my life… but I also tell Him that I am fully open to whatever He needs from me. I would love to wake up and never have pain again. I would love to open my windows and sit on my patio or go for a walk or swim in a lake. But I don’t want those things if they don’t serve Him." ~Sara Frankl

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Choose Joy Day 14...Stepping Stones to Joy

"No moment from my God is a rock of burden, it's just a rock waiting to be broken apart into stepping stones. This is the exact visual I get when something is weighing on me. Whether we are facing a financial burden, a health issue, an employment decision or a personal loss... these are all things that we have to walk through, conquer or accept. They can look like boulders and feel like burdens that weigh so heavy on our shoulders we don't know how we can possibly keep moving or recover.

Now picture that burden, that rock that is so large and heavy, and break it up into pieces. It's not so difficult to carry when you take a piece at a time... what can be done now, what needs to be thought about, and what will come in the future (the unknown of every equation). When that rock is in manageable pieces you are able to stop carrying them and instead lay them out into a path you can travel down.

Are you selling your business? That is a stepping stone to your next job or venture. Are you moving? Maybe this is your opportunity to meet someone significant; maybe it's just a stepping stone to your next opportunity or destination. Did you not get the job you wanted? Maybe God has a plan for a better job a month from now. Are you grieving? Your tears are a step in a process that will take you to a peaceful heart. Those rocks only weigh us down if we are standing still and trying to hold them up on our own.

Set the rock down. Break it apart. Pray for trust and start taking steps on the stones that God lays out before you. The terrain may be rough, but the destination is worth every step of the journey." ~Sara Frankl

You can learn more about choosing joy in Sara's book...Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Choose Joy day 13 -- Joy in the French Fries!

"By the time I got in to see my Doctor that day, I wasn’t doing well. My voice was going, my breathing was bad, my pain was increasing by the minute. My doctor and I both knew, after 15 years of treating me, I wouldn’t be coming in to see her again. She would make my medical decisions, but it would be through home nursing now so I won’t have to make an extra trip out of my house again.

As we left, I stood outside the door of the car and decided I wasn’t getting in until the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. After going outside and visiting with my doctor, I told mom that no matter how life progresses for me from this point out, it was ok. I was good with it, that God and I are good with it.

Then the sun came out.

And Mom said she thought God was good with me, too.

I can close my eyes and feel the breeze, feel the sun on my face and see the bright orange color that rests on the inside of my eyelids when they are closed and facing the sunshine. I can smile remembering that, for a few fleeting minutes, Mom, Dad and I sat in those patio chairs I’ve been longing to relax in and ate McDonald’s french fries just because we could… the damage was done and we were determined to take our moments.

I have a lot of things that aren’t going right because I left the house on that day. Those things will take awhile to leave my system. But I choose the joy. I choose the conversation, the relationships, the breeze and the sunshine.

And especially the french fries." ~Sara Frankl

Learn more about choosing joy in Sara's book...Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Choose Joy Day 12 His Purpose

"How often do we think of what God can do for us… what He hasn’t been doing for us… what we desire and ask for and expect. But, what we should care most about is who He is. His identity. What we can do for His glory.

I hope that I remember that more often than not as I continue on this journey. I pray that in the next year I focus more on God’s identity and my role in His purpose than on what I expect His activity in my life to be.

Because sometimes His activity can be masked by life’s toll. But faith is knowing that, regardless of how things may seem, who He is never falters." ~Sara Frankl

Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts provides more examples of how you can choose joy in the midst of pain.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Choose Joy Day 11 Savor the Moments

"I realized how incredibly grateful I am that I savored my moments when I had them. I had no idea that someday all of that wouldn't be possible anymore. I think my not traveling is probably easier for me to accept than it is for others because I live every day with how I feel... and I know that nothing could keep me away from all of those moments except the inevitable. And the inevitable is here.

I didn't know I was doing something smart back then. I wasn't living my life thinking "what if." I was just doing what I couldn't help but do: love the people in my family. I don't like missing those things now, but ... I am SO grateful I didn't miss them back then. Because I have savored moments that are irreplaceable to me. I've messed up things in my life, but this is one area for which I am thankful to have understood it's importance.

I know life is busy. I know the holidays overwhelm us ... there are presents to buy and parties to go to and school plays to attend. There's rushing around and busyness and stress. But there are also movies to be watched and hot chocolate to be drank. There are games to be played and stories to be read and time to play in the snow. Don't worry too much about it all being perfect -- don't worry about capturing the perfect moments. Just remember to savor them.

Savor your moments." ~Sara Frankl

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Choose Joy Day 10 -- Resting Quietly

"Today I'm going to stop searching and wondering and trying to figuring it out. I'm going to stop passing my time fretting. I'm going to lay down and rest quietly on the heart of Jesus.

Take a deep breath for a moment to do the same yourself...

It's a relief, isn't it? 

Maybe tomorrow my perfect storm will turn into a perfect rainbow. For today, I'm resting quietly." ~ Sara Frankl

You can learn about more ways of how to trust Him to help you choose joy in the book...Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Choose Joy Day 9 -- Gratitude

"I choose the joy. When something is going badly and I’m dwelling on it, I think instead of something for which I am grateful. I swear to you, it’s as simple as that. You just have to decide today, and again tomorrow. And before you know it, you’ll have an attitude of joy more than any other attitude you have at your disposal." ~Sara Frankl

You can learn more by purchasing... Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Choose Joy Day 8 -- Finding Joy in Who I Am.

"Something had changed inside of me. All those years of people proclaiming that it's not about what you do, it's about who your are...I finally, really, fully understood that. I had to lose my job, my health, my abilities and my hobbies...all the things that made me "who I was" to see who I am.

Through the process of loosing more of my abilities and seeking Him, is when I realized that what I have can't be found in the pages between covers of a magazine or book. It can't be found in things.

What I've found is that I'm resilient. I've found I have fortitude and faith. I've found that I care more about your feelings than mine. I've found there is nothing that cannot be redeemed and there is no one that doesn't need encouragement. I've found I don't need to be who the world wants me to be, because all the world really needs is who I already am.

The truth is that life today is no better or worse than I's just completely and utterly different. The wisdom comes from knowing that it is exactly as it should be. the joy comes in learning to love it, not despite all I've lost, but because of all that it has brought to me."  ~Sara Frankl

There are so many ways that society today puts the focus of our importance on what we have or how we look. When my daughter became a teenager I made a canvas for her bathroom and hung it next to her mirror. It displayed the verse from 1 Peter 3:3-4 -- "It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No your beauty should come from within you -- The beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This beauty will never disappear and is of great worth in God's sight."

The canvas and the verse didn't make those teenage years any easier. It didn't make the pressure of peers go away. There were still trials and tears, but what I hope it did do, was remind her of what was MOST important. That the beauty of who she is will always be of great worth in God's sight.

Is it possible to have both joy and sorrow in the midst of trials? I think it is...I don't think there is one trial that I have gone through where my relationship with God hasn't deepened and where joy hasn't come from it. The pain of childbirth bringing me the joy of children; the sorrow of losing loved ones bringing joy because of the blessings they gave; the sadness felt when children move away bringing joy when they add more loved ones to the family...the list goes on...

I am blessed...because each pain and sorrow I have had to face has brought me more joy than I could imagine.