Happiness is… A Keeper

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Happiness is to know the Savior,
Living a life within His favor,
Having a change in my behavior,
Happiness is the Lord.

Happiness is a new creation,
Jesus and me in close relation,
Having a part in His salvation,
Happiness is the Lord.

Real joy is mine,
No matter if the teardrops start,
I’ve found a secret,
It’s Jesus in my heart.

Happiness is to be forgiven,
Living a life that’s worth the livin’,
Taking a trip that leads to Heaven,
Happiness is the Lord.

“Happiness is the Lord” by Ira F. Stanphill

I learned this fun, little song when I was a child and as soon as I began this endeavor of blogging about happiness, the memories of singing this song in church so many years ago flooded my mind. And it has been playing over and over again in my head ever since. Even now, I can’t help but hear (and sing) it! But what a great message – Happiness is the Lord! And what a perfect introduction to this final installment of “Happiness Is…”.

What have we learned thus far about happiness?

We’ve learned that it is not an object, a person, or a desired set of circumstances. These are merely vehicles for temporary pleasure. They elicit short-lived feelings and never usher us into a lasting state of true Joy.

We’ve also learned that true happiness is not a goal to be reached but rather a by-product of how we live. When we live in such a way that honors God, the Creator and Giver of true happiness, only then will we find a Joy that can weather any storm and sustain us for all of our days.

That’s good stuff! 😉

Now that we know how to attain real happiness, how do we successfully retain it?

Yes, unfortunately, it is possible to lose our Joy. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Once we’ve found the true Joy of the Lord, it’s ours for keeps. That doesn’t mean, however, that our lives will be filled with nothing but blue skies and smooth sailing. No, life is filled with storms – big ones! Difficult people, sickness, death, financial struggles and so many other trials of life are lurking around every corner waiting to steal our Joy. All of these “storms” have the potential to leave us lonely, depressed, sorrowful and hopeless. So, how do we make it through the storms of life without losing our Joy?

When the storms of life begin to threaten and we feel as though our Joy is waning, it’s helpful to stop a moment for some serious introspection. In times like these, there are four areas of our lives that we need to examine:

  1. Our faith
  2. Our foundation
  3. Our focus
  4. Our hope (Well, pooey! I couldn’t think of a fourth word beginning with “F” to complete my alliteration. How on earth do pastors do it every single Sunday? 😉 )

An honest look at these four areas is key to learning how to retain our happiness.

Where is your Faith?

The tendency we all have (as we learned in Part One of this series) is to stake our happiness on the desires of our hearts, obtaining one treasure, one relationship or one ideal moment after another. When we do this, however, we are trusting our happiness to the objects of our affection and allowing them to reign over us emotionally, mentally and physically. We are essentially placing our faith in our desires rather than in our Creator and Heavenly Father. Only when our faith is placed in God can we be filled with true happiness.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. 

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence,  with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 16:2, 9-11 (NIV)

Is your faith in the pleasures of this world, temporary treasures that are here today and gone tomorrow? Or is your faith in the Giver of good things in your life and the Author of your Joy?

What is your Foundation?

Just like your house needs a firm foundation to keep it from slipping, sinking or falling apart, so does your life need a secure foundation in order to weather the storms that come your way. Unlike the several types of house foundations, though, there are only two options for the foundation of your life: Rock or Sand. Take a look at what Jesus has to say about your foundation:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:24-27‬ (‭NIV)‬‬

You see, your life’s foundation is your faith put into action. And the consistency of that foundation depends on where your faith lies (see question #1). If your actions, words and thoughts are driven by your faith in people, things or ideals, your foundation will be shifty and unstable just like the sands on the beach. If, however, you live your life in accordance with God’s Word, putting Him first and allowing Him to be Lord over every area of your life, you’ll find there’s no storm big enough to shake your Joy because your foundation is established on the Rock of your salvation!

Truly HE is my rock and my salvation; HE is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭62:2‬ (‭NIV)‬‬

Are you building your life on shifting sand by living out your misplaced faith? Or are you building a firm foundation by honoring God in every area of your life?

Where is your Focus?

There is nothing that can affect your happiness more than your focus. Even when your faith is sure and your foundation is firm, your focus can make the difference between a joy-filled life and a life consumed by negativity and sadness. When you choose to focus on problems, irritations, frustrations and other pains of life, eventually, that’s all your mind will be able to see. And what a shame that would be! God has given each and every one of us so many good things like family, friends, time, the comforts of home, hugs, beautiful mornings and on and on the list goes. Who would want to miss such wonderful blessings!

Focusing your attention on the positive is essential to maintaining your Joy each and every day. It reminds us of what is truly important in life and helps us to stay above those pesky, threatening waves of negativity.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Is your attention on the negativity of life? Or are you focusing on the good gifts the Lord has given you?

What is your Hope?

At this point (if you’ve stuck with me this long), you may be saying, “Come on! Sadness is a given. There’s no way anyone can be happy all the time.”

You’re right. We all experience sadness, anger, regret, grief and every other negative emotion there is. We are human. We are going to misplace our faith. Our foundations are going to crack under pressure and our focus is most certainly going to be diverted from where it should be. And all of this will result in the loss of our Joy.

But if you take anything away from this post, I hope that you will remember this: No matter your struggles, no matter your sorrow, no matter your pain, it will not last forever. The God who gives us our Joy also walks with us through the storms of life. He comforts us. He leads us and more often than not, He carries us. And when the last rain drop has fallen and the winds have finally settled, He will remind us of His great Joy that has surrounded and sustained us through our troubled times.

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm30:5b (NIV)

That, my friend, is your hope. It is the hope to which I tightly cling.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV)

The Choice is Yours

There’s nothing easy about maintaining our Joy. I struggle with it more times than I’d like to admit but each time I let anger, hurt, disappointment or sadness overtake me, I try to remind myself of the questions of faith, foundation, focus and hope. Ultimately, though, hanging on to our Joy is a matter of choice. We can choose to live a life of misery or we can choose a life of Joy.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Habakkuk 3:17-18 (ESV)

When your happiness is being threatened, you have a choice to make: either give in and allow your circumstances to steal your joy or stand firm and hold tightly to the precious Joy of the Lord.

As for me, well…



Happiness is… The Search Continues

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Did you know that not once in God’s Word are we instructed to seek out happiness?

It’s true!

While searching for the perfect quote to accompany this highly-anticipated second installment of my “Happiness Is…” series (Hahaha! You’re laughing with me, right?), I came across an article in which the author asserts that the pursuit of happiness does not line up with God’s instructions for our lives.¹ “Hunh!” I thought to myself as I was reading the article, “Could this really be?” I decided to do some digging into God’s Word on my own. What I found is enlightening.

Throughout the Bible, we are instructed to seek out many virtues and qualities in life. Some of these treasures to be sought are wisdom (James 1:5), understanding (Proverbs 4:7), peace (Psalm 34:14), good (Amos 5:14), righteousness (1 Timothy 6:11) and humility (Zephaniah 2:3). This list is certainly not exhaustive for the Bible is filled with instructions for living a godly life. Nowhere, however, could I find one direct instruction to seek out happiness.

What does that mean for us? Is God not concerned with our happiness?

Well, let’s not jump to conclusions. First, let’s take a look at the Biblical view of happiness and the source of that happiness.

So, what does God’s Word say about happiness?

In Part One of my “Happiness is…” series, I discussed our desperate pursuit of the objects of our happiness and the fleeting pleasures these objects or people bring. This temporary happiness comes and goes with our ever-changing moods and circumstances. If this type of happiness is all there is, we are doomed for disappointment. The good news is this fickle emotion is not true happiness as revealed in the pages of God’s Word.

The Bible speaks volumes about happiness. There is passage after passage that addresses our joy, especially in the Psalms and Proverbs. Here are a few: (Note that depending on the version you are reading, you may not find the word “happy”; often, you will find the word “blessed”.)

Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. 

Proverbs 3:13 (NKJV) 

And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.

Proverbs 8:32 (ESV)

He who despises his neighbor sins; but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Proverbs 14:21 (NKJV)

He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.

Proverbs 16:20 (NKJV)

Happy is the man who is always reverent, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Proverbs 28:14 (NKJV)

Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!

Psalm 144:15b (NKJV)

But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!

Psalm 68:3 (ESV)

What do you see in these verses?

At first glance, you may think that the “formula” for happiness in the Bible is the same as our own:


IF I DO THIS (obtain/do something, go somewhere, etc.), I’LL BE HAPPY.


IF I DO THIS (live righteously, trust God, give to the poor, etc.), I’LL BE HAPPY.

But a closer examination of God’s Word will reveal a stark difference between the two views. You see, in our formula, the goal is happiness. It is the object we seek in all that we do. In the Biblical view of true happiness, the goal is fellowship with the Heavenly Father, seeking His will for our lives and living accordingly. Happiness in this formula is not the goal but rather the by-product, a purposefully designed result of living a life that honors the Lord.

It seems Eleanor Roosevelt had it right!

You see, God is concerned with our happiness. He has a plan for each one of our lives, “plans to prosper [us] and not harm [us], plans to give [us] hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) And “the hope of the righteous brings joy!” (Proverbs 10:28a)

Above all, God longs for all of us to have an intimate relationship with Him. He desires that we trust Him with our lives, that we embrace His love for us and then share that love with others. God loves to bless us and give us “good and perfect gifts” (James 1:17) but His priority for our lives is clear: We must seek Him first in all that we do.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

All these things will be given to you!

God is the Source of true happiness. He is the Giver of our joy. It is a joy that endures, a joy that is unexplainable and a joy unmatched by anything this world has to offer.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. 

Psalm 16:11 (NIV)

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:8-9

Forget the chase of temporary pleasures. Who needs that drama! Follow the Source of true happiness and the Giver of everlasting joy!

Whew! We found it, my friend. But cling tightly to it for there’s someone out there who’s chomping at the bit to steal your joy. We’ll take a look at how to keep your joy in my next post.

Keep on the look out for Part Three of “Happiness Is…”!

¹Unfortunately, I forgot to save the link to the article I was reading and when I searched for it again, I was not able to find it in order to share it with you.

Happiness is…

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As I was scrolling through Facebook on New Year’s Eve reading all the happy wishes for the New Year and all the smack talk over the highly anticipated Rose Bowl (Yay, Dawgs!), I came across a post that brought my scrolling to a screeching halt. It was a simple question asked by a friend from my high school days:

What makes one happy?

I stared at the post for a long time wondering what prompted the question. What circumstances surrounding that person’s life caused such an inquiry? Was he experiencing some deep emotional crisis and seeking clarity and encouragement from his friends and family? Or was he only curious, wondering what responses the question would provoke?

(Funny how Facebook does this to us. Unless you are closely connected to a person, you never truly know the full meaning behind every post. We’re often left to our imaginations which leads to conjecture, which leads to misunderstandings – one of the downfalls of social media. But that may be a topic for another blog post!)

After pondering all the possible reasons for his question, I felt the need to respond. The problem was I didn’t know how to respond. Because I was unsure of the “why” behind the question, I didn’t feel I could give an adequate answer. But, again, the urge to respond was strong. I began to type but quickly backspaced deleting my reply. I began to type a second time. I deleted it, as well.

“What is my problem?” I thought to myself. “Of all people, I should be able to give an answer to a question about happiness. After all, I did just complete a whole year of posts about finding and sharing SMILES!”

I stared at the Facebook post a while longer but ultimately, I moved on feeling a bit defeated. The question, however, has not moved on from me. In fact, it has prompted even more questions:

What is real happiness?

How does one find happiness?

Once you find it, how do you keep it?

How can one be happy in the midst of a sad and troubled world?



Maybe not.

The more I ponder, though, the more I realize the importance of knowing the meaning of happiness, the source of happiness and the keys to maintaining happiness.

So, what is happiness?

Take a quick survey on your favorite social media site. Most likely, you’ll find that when asked the question “What is happiness?”, people will respond with an object, a person or a moment. I actually tested this assumption on Facebook. My post simply asked others to finish the sentence “Happiness is…” with the first thing that comes to mind. Here are some of the answers:

“Happiness is an endless supply of dark chocolate.”

“Happiness is family.”

“Happiness is the beach.”

“Happiness is bread.” (I love this one! She’s been on the Keto Diet.)

“Happiness is grandkids.”

I realize I may have skewed the results somewhat by qualifying the responses but even these lighthearted answers from my unsuspecting test subjects (Forgive me, please!) can provide insight into how we, as a society, define happiness. In general, I think many of us view our happiness as being contingent on something or someone.

If I can buy that new car, I’ll be happy.

If I can find a spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend, I’ll be happy.

If I get that promotion, I’ll be happy.

If he says that he loves me, I’ll be happy.

If she does this –

If I obtain that –

If –

If –

If –

Thus, if our happiness depends solely on others or on things, the logical conclusion is that happiness is nothing more than a feeling or an emotion. And if that’s the case, boy, are we in trouble! Happiness, as it turns out, is quite fickle. Think about it. What makes me happy today may not necessarily make me happy tomorrow. Let’s say I get that new car I was certain would bring me happiness but I find that after a few weeks of driving it, I really don’t like it. What then? I become dissatisfied and – Bam! I’m unhappy, again.

Surely, the happiness we so desperately pursue is more than a mere ride on the emotional roller coaster of life!


Today, I again came across my friend’s Facebook question that prompted me to delve into the true meaning of happiness and to my surprise, I found that I’m not the only one who couldn’t offer an answer. After four days, he’s received only one response. Could it be that we’ve become so jaded by the disappointments in our pursuits of happiness that we no longer believe in the possibility of a happy life? Have we settled for a mediocre life over an abundant and joy-filled life?

Well, my friend, hold on. There is an answer to your question and I have to tell you, it’s a good one! There is hope for happiness and we’ll dig into that hope in my next post.

Keep reading! Part Two of “Happiness is…” will be posted soon!


A Year of Smiles – Day 365

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Reason to SMILE #365: A NEW YEAR

It’s New Year’s Eve! The countdown to 2018 has begun. Many of you may be getting all gussied up and will soon be heading out to a New Year’s Eve celebration filled with music, laughter, excitement and fun. Others, like me, are getting all gussied down (Is that a thing?), cozying up on the couch in pajamas and looking forward to a quiet evening with the family. Well, at least, until the neighborhood fireworks begin.

Whatever your plans this New Year’s Eve, please be safe. And remember to look out for the SMILES. They really are all around – in the little moments, the connections with others, the quiet thoughts, the striking revelations, the selfless acts of kindness, the gentle tears, the rays of hope and all the many different gifts God allows in every minute of our lives in order to grow us, mature us, and bring us closer to Him.

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With the new year comes new opportunities for so many SMILES. So keep your eyes peeled. God is always doing something new.

Happy New Year!

A Year of Smiles – Day 352: The SMILES of Christmas

Adobe SparkChristmas SMILE #18 (Reason to SMILE #352): THE QUIET REFLECTIONS

Can you imagine what Mary, the mother of Jesus, was thinking on the night she gave birth to Jesus? What an awesome privilege was bestowed upon this “highly-favored” woman yet this privilege was surrounded by controversy and uncertainty. The impossibility of a virgin birth, a secret plan of divorce and a government edict to displace an entire nation threatened the promise delivered to Mary by God’s angel. How strong and courageous this young girl must have been to proclaim in the midst of all the chaos, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 (ESV)

By the time of Jesus’ birth, Mary had plenty of new experiences to reflect upon and as she watched her newborn baby lying in the feeding trough, Mary may have had these thoughts:

There he is, lying in a manger. What a beautiful baby boy. The angel hadn’t said anything about being here in this place. Oh, God, are you sure? Listen to him. Oh, I wish there was some other place to spend the night. Well, the hardest part is over now. We can all get some rest. Joseph has been so strong through all of this. He’s going to be a good father. Look at him. He’s just standing there looking at the baby. I wish there was more light but when the morning comes, there will be plenty of time to see our precious son. Oh, I am so tired. Maybe the baby will sleep a while now. I have to get some rest. At least no one knows us here in Bethlehem and we won’t have any visitors tonight.

Dear God, thank you for a healthy birth and a beautiful baby boy. I’m still struggling with all your angel has told us but He’s so perfect! Jesus is the perfect name for our son. Thank you, God! And, oh yes, God, if you will, help these animals around us keep quiet through the night so Jesus won’t be disturbed and I can get some sleep. Amen.

– written by Rev. Charles S. Jones (my dad!)

Check out his music on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/JesusSinger10/videos

Boy, was Mary in for a surprise! For soon she would be visited by an excited group of shepherds anxious to see their Savior. And you can be sure that these shepherds were shouting praises and singing the song of the angels which was just heard in their fields, “Glory to God in the highest!” It was a visit to be added to Mary’s collection of priceless treasures – all her thoughts of wondrous revelations and miracles which she “pondered in her heart” (Luke 2:19 ESV), I’m sure, for a lifetime.

We all have special memories of Christmas that we hold dear in our hearts. Each recollection of loved ones no longer with us, time spent with family and friends and excitement of little children who are no longer little brings warmth to our spirits and a SMILE to our faces – though often accompanied by a bittersweet tear or two. These memories are priceless treasures worth more than any present found under the Christmas tree.

Of all our wonderful reflections at Christmas, though, none can uplift the spirits more than remembering the reason for our Joy. The birth of Jesus and His presence in our lives makes every moment of every Christmas and every moment of every day worth experiencing. And when our quiet reflections of Christmas begin with Jesus, enjoying the rest of our priceless memories will be so much sweeter.

A Year of Smiles – Day 341: The SMILES of Christmas

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Christmas SMILE #7 (Reason to SMILE #341): THE CAROLING

When was the last time you opened your front door to Christmas carolers? It doesn’t seem to happen as often as portrayed in all the Christmas movies, does it? I wonder why that is.

Maybe it’s too cold to go trudging through neighborhoods at Christmastime. Have you ever tried singing when your body is shivering and your teeth are chattering?

Maybe no one knows the words to Christmas carols anymore. Do you know all the words or even the tunes to “Joy to the World”, “Good Christian Men, Rejoice”, “Hark! The Herald Angel Sings” or “The First Noel”?

Maybe the reason we don’t go caroling anymore is simply because we’re too busy. There’s just too much shopping, cooking, wrapping, decorating and celebrating to do.

Oh, but think of all the SMILES you could spread if you carved out a little time to go Christmas caroling. In the words of the world’s leading authority on Christmas spirit, Buddy the Elf, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” And you can’t argue with Buddy.

No excuses, folks! There’s even a day already set for you to take part in this wonderful Christmas tradition. It’s called “Go Caroling Day” and this year, it’s December 20th. (Yay! I didn’t miss it like I missed World Smile Day and World Kindness Day.) So, grab some friends and make the most of this Christmas season. And don’t worry about the cold – that’s what hot chocolate and apple cider is for!

Alright. You have ten days. So, get brushed up on those Christmas carols and prepare yourself for all the SMILES.

A Very Smiley Christmas (A Year of Smiles – Day 335)

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There’s only twenty-five days until Christmas. TWENTY-FIVE! Are you ready? I am!… unless we’re talking about having all my presents purchased, wrapped and sitting under the tree! Then, no. No, I am not. But I am ready for the Christmas season. I love this time of year. There are so many wonderful ways to celebrate, so many sights, smells, tastes and sounds that are unique to the Christmas holiday. And, of course, there are so many SMILES to find and share.

So, without further ado…

Let the Christmas SMILES begin! <SQUEAL> I’m so excited! 😉


I’ve always thought it strange to sing a ballad to a tree.
You know the one, don’t you, about the fir forever green?

We hear it playing in the stores, while we’re Christmas shopping.
We hum along to its tune in movies that we’re watching.

As it’s sung, sweet voices raise with fervor and great passion
For the object of their joy and holiday affection.

Friends, families, strangers even, the tree they gather ’roundchristmas-tree-1833186_1280
As hand-in-hand, they sway in sync to music’s mellow sound.

I see these scenes and wonder “Who on earth does this so?
It’s a tree, for heaven’s sake, not a sacred shrine — although…’

I do love my Christmas tree. It’s first to bedeck my halls.
I love to see the twinkling lights drape branches stretched so tall.

Its smell wafts through the air and prompts frequent inhalations
Made with eyes closed up tight – Oh, the mem’ries it emblazons!

Its beauty, natural and God-made, is cheerfully adorned
With ribbons, stars of gold and red, and strings of air-popped corn.

Oh, how could I have Christmas if I did not have my tree!
For more than decoration this fir tree is to me.

This evergreen reminds me of a life everlasting.
Hope springs from its branches and the shadows it is casting.

For one day, the One whose birth we joyously celebrate
Did give His life upon a tree for you and me to save.

The precious gift of Christmas gave His life for all the world
So we could live forever in the presence of the Lord.

Yes! I love my Christmas tree; to its sign of hope, I’ll cling.
I’ll praise God for its message and for all the SMILES it brings!


Just don’t expect me to hold hands in a circle around the thing and sing to it!

It ain’t happenin’.

Period. 😉


A Year of Smiles – Day 299

Reason to SMILE #299: THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARDuntitled (4)

Look at this! I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. All can I can say is “WOW!”

Thank you, Gail, of gaillovesgod, for thinking of me. I am honored and I was blessed by your words of encouragement that came with the nomination:

May this put a smile on your face, as you do mine and His all the time.

I certainly am SMILING but not only because of the award. It makes my heart soar to know that my daily posts are being used by God to encourage others. My SMILES are spreading! 😉

Here are the Rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions asked.
3. Nominate 11 other blogs and ask 11 new questions for them.
4. Finally, list the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in the post.

No. 1 was easy. What an encouragement Gail is to me through her blog and her uplifting comments on my posts. I need to be thanking her daily!

Now on to No. 2. My answers to Gail’s questions are:

1. How are you doing?

Honestly, I’m a little down. This week, I had to tell my kids at church that my last day as their children’s minister is this Sunday. I’m really going to miss these kids but I know I am following the Lord’s direction. It’s tough and I’m pretty bummed.

2. How are you and Jesus getting along? (It’s okay to be honest)

Jesus and I are talking more and more. I am leaning on Him for so much and trusting my Good Shepherd to lead me where he wants me to be.

3. What did you last blog about?

My last SMILE post was about breakfast! Yummy, yummy!

4. What season is it where you live?

We finally have Fall weather in southwest Georgia! Yay!

5. What encourages you to be positive?

The promises of God always remind me that He holds me in the palm of His hand. He has a plan for me and He is working for my good. Believing this makes it difficult not to be positive.

6. Do you know someone waiting to be nominated?

I’m sure there are many bloggers out there who could use the encouragement that these awards bring.

7. What do you like to do on the weekend?

I love to relax, sit outside with my husband while he grills and binge watch The Flash or Once Upon a Time on Netflix.

8. What’s your favorite song right now?

“What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship and “Even If” by MercyMe both resonate within my soul right now. My all time favorite is an oldie – “Joy Comes in the Morning” by the Gaither. That’s good singing right there!!

9. Have you ever read the entire Bible?

Yes, but for me, it takes a lot of discipline.

10. How do you feel to know you make others smile? (anyone I nominated makes me smile! and God!)

Well, it makes me SMILE! Seriously, I’m cheesin’!! 😉

11. Do you know how much God loves you? Because He does!

Yes, Yes! His love for me – and for everyone –  is immeasurable!

Whew! This is a lot of work! Oh, but here comes the good part. Step No. 3 allows me to nominate 11 more recipients of the Sunshine Blogger Award.  I get to pass the SMILE on to others! So, get out your catcher’s mitt, there’s a SMILE coming your way.


  1. Rae of Real as the Streets
  2. Dr. Andrea Dinardo of Thriving Under Pressure
  3. Carolyn of BeautyBeyondBones
  4. Jeff Rab of RabBits
  5. Romy at savedandblessedblog
  6. Brandi of Brandi’s World
  7. Christina Embree at reFocus
  8. Rotimi Elijah at Inspire Me
  9. Apostle Gabriel Cross at Pure Glory
  10. Ndifreke Efiok Akpan at Kip Walkin
  11. Jon & Hayley at Red Letters

I know some of you may not want to participate and that’s perfectly okay. Just know that you inspire and encourage me and so many others. You make me SMILE and that’s good stuff! 🙂

If you do decide to join in, here are the 11 questions I have for you:

  1. Why did you begin blogging?
  2. Who inspires you?
  3. What are your methods for overcoming writer’s block?
  4. Are you a published writer?
  5. Do you aspire to be a published writer?
  6. When was the last time you were truly happy?
  7. Do you have a favorite childhood memory? What is it?
  8. What is one of your goals in life?
  9. If you could have a conversation with any celebrity (dead or alive), who would it be?
  10. What’s your favorite ice cream? (Ha! I don’t know why just knowing your answers will make me SMILE. 🙂 )
  11. What would you like to be your legacy?

Let’s see. I believe I’ve completed all of the steps. Yep, my award acceptance is complete but I have to give one more great big shout out to Gail. THANK YOU FOR THIS AMAZING SMILE. Boy, did I ever need it.

Okay, nominees. It’s your turn. Keep the SMILE going!

A Year of Smiles – Day 283

Reason to SMILE #283: THE ORDINARY

Adobe Spark (23)

Dear Lord,

I take so many things for granted, so many little things. A comfortable pair of shoes, a warm sweater, a hot meal, the light of each new day, the consistency of my every breath, a job that provides for my family’s sustenance – all these things are mine because of your goodness alone. With careless hands I receive such wonderful gifts and my words of thanksgiving for all of these things are spoken in hypocrisy.

Every day I experience your inexhaustible goodness yet I do not allow myself to see it. How happy I would be if I learned to appreciate the ordinary for extraordinary may only occur once in a lifetime. The ordinary, however, fills all of my days.

Thank you, Lord, for pouring out your goodness into my life despite the many times I do not acknowledge that goodness. Help me to see the good in the ordinary, to find the SMILES in the everyday things and to know that even the smallest things of life are extraordinary gifts from you.

A Year of Smiles – Days 278 and 280

It seems I skipped a day. Boy, is my blog thread going to be messed up! But here comes two SMILES for you today.


My older son was participating in a youth camppooh.jpeg last weekend with the church he interned for over the summer. He sent me this picture and asked, “You want?”

I assumed he was at store and thought I might want him to buy it so I asked, “How much?”

His response: “Free… I did that.”

Umm. Yes, I want it! You really had to ask? 😉

He painted this from a picture he saw on a t-shirt. The kid has skills! And it will be a SMILE I always cherish because…

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” – Winnie the Pooh


Reason to SMILE #280: REESE’S COFFEE CREAMERCoffee Creamer

I gotta tell ya. This right here might be the best SMILE ever! Well, at least the best SMILE today, anyway. You know I love my coffee but what you may not know is I love my Reese’s just as much as Pooh loves honey. This indulgence just might have me looking like that silly old bear before I know it!

Maybe not. But it may help me find my SMILE a little earlier every day. 😉 Mmmm. Mmmm. Good.