Reason to SMILE #30: MONDAYS (Really??)

Reason to SMILE #30: MONDAYS (Really???) - Do you have an aversion to Mondays? Discover how to find a SMILE in the most dreaded day of the week. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Mondays, for me, are like mornings. I’d much rather avoid them.

The problem is I can’t hit the fast forward button and skip over Mondays just like I can’t skip over mornings. Well, I suppose I could stay in bed and wait til Mondays pass but if I do that, my week would begin with Tuesdays. Then Tuesdays would end up being my Mondays and you’d eventually be reading a post about how much I hate Tuesdays.

OK. That’s a little too much thinking for a Monday.

So, how can I turn the dreaded Monday into a SMILE? To be honest with you, I’m still working on that one.

But I have an idea.

What if we turned the beginning of our work week into a celebration? You know, like New Year’s.

No, I’m not talking fire works (though my neighbor, who doesn’t seem to need a reason to shoot off fireworks, wouldn’t mind it!). And, no, I’m not talking alcohol, either. You can’t very well begin your work week tipsy, now can you! (The correct answer to that is “No,” in case you were wavering on that concept. 😉 )

I’m talking about turning your Monday into a day you can look forward to. Find a way to have a little fun. Blast some tunes as you’re getting ready for the day. Do a little dancing to get your blood flowing and those endorphins jumping. Splurge on your favorite coffee from that expensive coffee shop. Pick a new route to work. Buy donuts!

You see, it’s all about perspective – about focusing on the positive instead of the negative.

Monday is a new day, a new beginning, the start of a fresh work week filled with new opportunities for all sorts of SMILES – SMILES for you and SMILES to share with others.

Still not convinced that Mondays can be SMILES? That’s okay. Just keep telling yourself there are only 4 more days til the weekend and SMILE anyway!

So, what are you waiting for? Pump up the music and keep the coffee flowin’.

Let’s get this Monday started!

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HAPPINESS in the New Year

Happiness in the New Year - Are you dragging the problems of the past into the new year? Here’s one way to deal with those struggles. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

I don’t know about you but I’m ready to say “Good-bye” to 2018. This past year has felt like one endless struggle to keep afloat in the tumultuous waters of life. And let me tell you, treading water has never been my strong suit.

So as the clock ticks toward midnight, I’m looking forward to kicking 2018 to the curb.

Sayonara.

See ya.

Good riddance!

The problem is, though, flipping the calendar page does not ensure that the struggles of the old year, the messes, the dilemmas, the hurts, are going to disappear.

If only it were that simple.

But the coming of a new year, a new beginning, gives us the perfect opportunity to embrace a different outlook, to change the way we view our world and to embrace the hope of good things to come.

Happiness can be yours – and mine – in 2019. It’s true! (I’m beginning to sound like an infomercial! For just one down payment of $19.99 and 3 monthly payments of $49.99, you, too, can find your bliss in the new year!! Ha! Ha! I need to be in bed. 😉 )

Seriously. No matter your circumstances, no matter the struggles that are following you into the new year, the one thing that can make the difference between faltering under the heavy burdens of the past year (or years) and freeing yourself from binding chains allowing you to live each day of the new year (and years to come) to the fullest is…

… your perspective.

Happiness in the New Year - Are you dragging the problems of the past into the new year? Here’s one way to deal with those struggles. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Problems will always abound. How you approach them is key. Do you buckle under their weight and succumb to the siren song of “Woe is me”? Or do you search for the lesson behind the struggles and look forward to the wisdom and growth you will gain from your endurance?

Don’t spend your new year throwing pity parties! Happiness cannot live where complaining takes up residency.

Embrace the struggles as growth opportunities. Step back and look for the big picture. And remember, these situtations are only temporary.

God’s Word says this:

“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Well, the sound of rockets bursting in the air tells me that we’ve completed another trip around the sun. WooHoo! It’s a new year and as we begin this next revolution, let’s remember to keep our focus on the eternal unseen – the hope of “an absolutely eternal weight of glory.” That’s it right there, folks. Your new perspective for 2019!

How can you change your perspective in 2019? Do you have any problems, situations or people that you need to view in a different light?

*****When you have a moment, go check out the post, Lean Into Loneliness, by Dr. Andrea Dinardo at Thriving Under Pressure.  What an inspiration it was for me this week and a reminder to “make the space for the lesson beneath the suffering.”*****

Happy, Happy New Year!

Happiness in Imperfection

Wonderfully Made

She walked in the room and looked down at me. I wasn’t surprised by her serious expression nor was I surprised by her remarks.

“Your pics are bad,” she reported. She glanced over at my husband and reiterated, “They’re bad.”

I simply nodded my head in agreement for even though I had not seen what she had, I knew her assessment was correct. She was my doctor, after all.

No, the pics she was reviewing were not head shots for my blog (although I could use a new one of those!). The pictures to which my doctor was referring were x-rays of my spine.

When life gives you Lemons…

Lemons and Grace

My scoliosis was detected in my preteen years. I was no stranger to physical malady, however. I had been living with a genetic muscle disorder all of my life. Scoliosis was just another lemon to add to the pitcher. But I have to tell you, these lemons were pretty rotten. How do you make the best of a muscle disorder that prevents you from living a “normal” life and a spinal condition that disfigures your body and promises even greater complications in the future?

Grace. My only answer is Grace.

God’s sufficient Grace

The way I see it, my life has been one big miracle. From walking when the neurologists said it wasn’t possible to roller skating, bike riding and tree climbing, a diagnosis didn’t seem to stop me. The typical activities of children were challenges that I faced with the love and support of family and friends. Some activities were (and still are) more challenging than others, like climbing a flight of stairs (Check out my post about the stairs of life here.), but I did it. I pushed myself to live a “normal” life. None of it was normal, though. I had to learn to compensate my weaknesses with my strengths. I had to take advantage of railings or whatever was available (including people) to pull me along or assist in climbing or getting up after a frequent fall. I had to adapt to make it through life. It hasn’t been easy and I know that if it weren’t for God’s grace…

Well, I try not to think about that.

God’s Work on Display

My Weakness

So, here I am, a few decades down the road from its first detection, and I find myself facing the inevitable. The scoliosis has progressed along with all of its lovely side effects – deformity, labored mobility and pain. I’ve been ignoring it, telling myself that it’s my norm. The reality is I didn’t want to admit that I needed medical help. It’s discouraging to face my imperfections and dependence head on (Have I ever talked with you about my stubbornness? 😉 ) but I’m doing my best to keep it all in perspective. (Really, I am.)

You see, I don’t believe I was cursed. I don’t believe God gave these problems to me. None of us are perfect. We all have something in our lives that makes us feel abnormal whether we admit it or not. What I do believe is that God can use my medical issues to display His mighty works. In fact, as I look at all He has enabled me to accomplish, in my physical growth and in every area of my life, I realize His Grace has always been shining brightly in me, through me and around me as a miraculous beacon of hope – a hope that will carry me through all that is to come.

Finally, Lemonade!

Since I began this post, I have had my first visit (in 18 years) with a chiropractor. He showed me my x-rays and as I already mentioned, my doctor was right. It’s not good. (I’d show them to you but that’d be taking transparency a little bit too far, don’t you think? 😉 )

On the bright side, though, I have learned that I am the topic of conversation throughout the entire doctor’s office. It seems I’ve presented them with a case unlike they have ever seen. In the words of the chiropractor, “There is no textbook for [me].” Well, what d’ya know! I’m one of a kind.

Now how’s that for lemonade! 🙂

And Fortune Smiled

My Post (2)

From a pile of 8 or so fortune cookies, the “Eeyore” in my life picked up this one. How fortunate!

(Check out my post on the Eeyores of life here.)

Immediately, he placed the cookie’s secret message in front of me without saying a word. The reveal had nothing to do with my blog posts, though – my Eeyore doesn’t read them. I knew that bringing it to my attention meant he heard the message loud and clear.

It’s a little disconcerting to be overshadowed by a cookie. You see, I’ve been preaching this same message to him day in and day out. He appears to be listening and always responds in agreement.

“Yes, I know it’s how I look at things.”

“Yes, I know I control my own happiness.”

“Yes, yes. You’re right.”

But the message never seems to make it past his earlobes.

I suppose it takes something out of the ordinary to get our attention every now and then. However, those attention grabbers may not always turn out to be as yummy as a cookie. For many of us, it takes a hard knock or two to wake us up and prompt us to make a change. We’re so wonderfully headstrong, aren’t we!

However, for some of us, we only need the wake up call to be delivered in an unsuspected or unusual method – like a fortune cookie.

So, go ahead, my Eeyore. Ignore the encouragement I’ve been giving you for years and listen to the stinkin’ cookie!

I’m pretty sure whoever wrote that fortune has been reading my blog, anyway. 😉