Breathe… Finally

Breathe 2

I promised you a song almost three years ago. You can read my original Post of encouragement here.  

Well, without further ado, my debut of “Breathe.” (Click the orange word “Breathe” to take you to a YouTube video. Don’t click the picture below – my blog format doesn’t allow me to post videos!)


The video is definitely not quality material. I made it to post to my Facebook page because I felt like the message couldn’t wait. There is so much going on in this world. There are so many struggles, so much loss, so much heartache and so much fear. We need to remember to breathe. There is life sustaining hope with each breath we take.

So, remember, no matter what you are going through today,

“You’ll find healing,

You’ll find hope,

You’ll find peace that won’t let go,

When you BREATHE.”


Reason to SMILE #373 - Do you feel like your day will never end? This is how you make it through. |

Reason to SMILE #373

Reason to SMILE #373 - Do you feel like your day will never end? This is how you make it through. |

Some days, the world is overwhelming. You didn’t get enough sleep the night before. The work load is piling up. The aggravations and frustrations are multiplying. The bad news keeps coming and your coffee just ain’t cuttin’ it!

On these days, all we can do is take one moment at a time, one step after another and say a prayer with every breath we take:

God, thank you for this day. Help me remember that it is a gift from you. Walk with me and show me that you are near. I give you my troubles, stress and worries. I leave it all in your hands. Amen.

Remember, even on the rottenest of days, God is with you. He is carrying you through. You are going to make it!

And when you finally get to the end of your long, hard day, you can crawl into bed, relax and drift happily and peacefully off to sleep.

Ahhhhh! It’s finally over! Thank you, Jesus! 🙂


Reason to SMILE #368: DOING NOTHING - Can’t find a reason to SMILE today? You may just be trying too hard! |

From the frequency of my blog posts, you may be able to tell that I’m getting pretty good at doing nothing. It’s been two months since I’ve written anything worth posting.

Two. Whole. Months.

Do I feel bad?

I do.

Bad enough to turn off the TV, stop my Facebook scrolling and pick up the pen (well, the iPad)?


But isn’t it ironic that the first thing I choose to celebrate after deciding I’ve wasted enough time doing nothing is, well, “doing nothing”?!?

Or maybe it’s the perfect subject after a long break of doing just that.


Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been traipsing about life shirking my responsibilities and blowing off obligations as if I didn’t have a care in the world. No. I work for a living. I take care of a family. I cook. I do laundry. I clean – every now and then, anyway. 😉

But on any given Monday, if you were to ask me what I did over the weekend, my answer would unashamedly be, “Absolutely nothing”.

I know. I know. There are things that need to be done – walls to be painted, closets to be de-cluttered, projects to be finished, blog posts to be written – and I promise I’ll get to these things. I will. But right now, I’m truly enjoying doing nothing in my down time.

You should try it!

Now, I’m not advocating complacency or pure out laziness here. I’m only saying that just like there are times in life that call for us to take action, get the job done, stand up and do something, there are also times that call for doing nothing.

Let’s explore this fantastic idea, shall we?

When you’ve worked nonstop for days and you haven’t had a decent night’s sleep, taking some time to do nothing is a great way to rest and rejuvenate. If you don’t, I guarantee your body will do it for you.

When your spouse comes home in a fowl mood and starts snapping at everyone and everything, what’s the best thing for you to do? Nothing, my friend. Nothing. Better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret and make the situation worse!

And what about that co-worker or boss that insists on doing something his or her own way when you’ve tried and tried to explain that it’s not going to work? Do you continue to warn of an impending disaster? Nope. You sit back and watch. Some people simply have to learn the hard way and you doing nothing in this situation provides the perfect opportunity for that necessary life lesson!

You see, there are times when doing nothing is exactly what is needed. And, yes, even when the laundry is piling up and the unfinished projects are beckoning, choosing to do nothing on the couch with your favorite book in hand or your favorite movie playing can seriously do a body good.

So, what did you do last weekend?


I did absolutely nothing and I gotta tell ya. Doing nothing over the weekend sure did help me SMILE while doing a whole lotta somethings on Monday morning! 😉


Breathe 2

A couple of months ago, a Facebook friend was struggling with the death of a cherished friend and mentor.  His emotions were wreaking havoc with his mind and thoughts and the turmoil that ensued within was almost more than he could stand.  Post after post on his timeline told of his questions, his lack of understanding and his battle to find meaning in it all.  After weeks of wrestling with his grief and pain, one word began to premeate his thoughts –


He finally penned these words:

When you feel as if you can’t go on,
When the storms of life cover you,
When you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning,
When you struggle with your emotions,
When you feel as all is for naught,
When you need a refreshing start,
There are always going to be times when you feel choked off.  But know that the fresh breath of Oxygen will always be there to give you sustainable life.
– Ben Ford 4/8/18

Life can be overwhelming and if we aren’t careful, if we forget that we aren’t meant to do life alone, we can find ourselves suffocating under the weight of our burdens and cares.

In those desperate moments of grief, heartache, sorrow, uncertainty and helplessness, we must remember to breathe.

There is life-giving hope and strength in the surrender to our need to breathe.

There is rest and rejuvenation in each breath.

There is peace in the stillness that falls upon our souls.

Don’t allow life’s difficulties to smother you. Remember to breathe and in the quietness of each breath, talk to your Heavenly Father. Give Him your burdens, your troubles, your pain and your unanswered questions. Allow Him to breathe new life within you.

You can find peace in the midst of your turmoil today –

Just remember to



*** The heartfelt words written by my friend not only reminded me of my need to stop, be still and breathe when overwhelmed with life, they also inspired me to WRITE A SONG! I hope to be able to share it with you very soon. So keep an ear out! ***

He Restores My Soul


Because I overload my schedule,

Because I don’t know how to say “no”,

Because I keep everything to myself,

Because I believe asking for help is a sign of weakness,

Because I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders,

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He MAKES me.

He frees me of obligations.

He lightens my load.

He loosens my grip.

He reminds me that He is in control.

He quiets my heart and gives me rest.

He restores my soul.

Because He is the Good Shepherd and I –

I am his stubborn little sheep.



A Year of Smiles – Day 252 and 253

I’ve fallen behind again on my SMILES so here’s another double feature.


My weekday lunchtime is often non-existent. Typically, I run through a drive thru close to my office and eat my lunch at my desk. Sometimes, however, I need a break from the computer screen and the noise of the office. On days like this, I eat my lunch at the park. Unfortunately, I don’t always get the chance to find a quiet place of escape but when I do, no matter how short the break, I always find a SMILE. It’s nice to have a quiet place to reflect or decompress when the stresses of work or co-workers are stealing your SMILE. It’s even better when some of that peaceful time is spent talking with a friend which brings me to…


I’m really not much of a conversationalist. I listen well but don’t always know the right things to say. So phone calls for me are usually one-side or extremely short. But let the phone conversation be with my sister or a trusted friend and that’s a different story altogether. When I don’t feel like I need to impress, like I can express my true feelings and say anything that comes to mind without being judged, those are the phone calls I love. Phone calls filled with laughter, silliness, transparency, reminiscing, and maybe a few tears from time to time, always leave me with a SMILE.

A Year of Smiles – Day 248

Reason to SMILE #248: COMFORT

Comfort 2

You may feel that you will never find joy again.

Hold tight, my friend. You will.

Until then, lean into the strong arms of your Heavenly Father. When the sorrows of night have passed, you will know JOY anew – JOY unmeasurable and SMILES innumerable.

But for now, rest in His comfort.

A Year of Smiles – Day 150

heart-home-imageReason to SMILE #150: HOME


Home is where the heart is.

It’s the place where I belong,

The place where rest comes easy,

Where I never feel alone.


Home is where guards are dropped –

True colors can be shown –

Where PJs can be worn about

And hair need not be combed.


Peace and love fill its walls;

It’s often filled with laughter.

Of course, no home is perfect –

It’s worth we must look after.


Times may get tough and bleak.

Trials may come and tempers flare

But a multitude of sins

Can a loving home repair.


I find it hard to wander

From this place that I call home

For it’s where my SMILES begin

And where my Loves are grown!



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A Year of Smiles – Day 97

Reason to SMILE #97: LETTING GO

The final “Amen” had been pronounced and the sanctuary was clearing. I sat down to collect my things when I heard a worried yet determined voice say, “Mom, I want you to ground me for nineteen days.” I looked up to answer this curious request as my little boy continued, “I’ve been holding on to something for two years.” As my mind compiled a list of all the things my child could possibly have done to cause such distress, I remembered the Pastor’s sermon illustration of the little boy with his hand caught in a vase because he would not let go of the penny he found inside. Though I did not know what was to follow this introduction to a confession, I did know that God had spoken to my son and my son had listened.

IMG_7729Further explanation revealed a deed which would not have troubled many, I think. My son told a lie to a classmate. He was even punished for the content of the lie; still, he had not admitted that he lied. He held the sin in his heart for two years, and although he had prayed for God’s forgiveness, the conscience of this seven year old would not be eased until mom assured him all was well.

Looking into the face of my little boy, I longed to cheer the apparent sadness that he was feeling as he realized his wrong. I longed to ease the familiar pain that guilt so mercilessly inflicts and I wondered how much greater the longing of our Heavenly Father must be to wipe away the guilt and shame of our transgressions and fill us with peace and joy.  While we cling to our destructive habits and self-serving choices in our search for happiness and contentment, our loving Father patiently waits to bless his children with abundant life and freedom – blessings which are so readily available to the one who is willing to loosen his grip on the world and simply let go.

Taking my hand, my little boy sighed in relief, “I’m glad I let that go!” And as we walked out of the sanctuary, another confession emerged. “Mom, do you know why I wanted to be grounded for just nineteen days?”

“No,” I replied.

“That’s when I get out of school, and I don’t want to be grounded during the summer.”

Hmmm.  I think I’ll let that go and save the lesson on “Facing the Consequences” for another day.

Do you need to let go of something today?  What are you waiting for?  The sooner you do, the sooner you feel that peaceful SMILE again.
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A Year of Smiles – Day 90


We all have our routines. We wake at a certain time, eat particular foods for breakfast, get ready for the day in a certain way, drive to school or work on a strategically chosen route, navigate the work day in our own special way, clock out at generally the same time, drive home, eat dinner, do chores/homework/projects, ready kids and ourselves for bed, go through our bedtime rituals and go to sleep only to wake up the next morning and do it all over again. We get in a groove and our lives begin to run smoothly so we think we can handle a few new tasks each day. The routine is shaken a bit but we find our groove soon enough. Then life decides we need a few hurdles to jump or mountains to conquer. “Routines, shmoutine!” life says and our days begin to feel less and less fulfilling.  Time runs from us. Chaos invades what once was a peaceful, secure existence and we find ourselves spinning out of control, slamming doors, throwing tantrums and wishing you could smash your co-workers phone to stop the silly game noises from ruining your concentration. (That last one might just be me. 🙂 )

It’s times like these that call for a break.  Sometimes to get your SMILE back, you have to remove yourself from the equation – even if it’s only for a short while.  You could take a trip to the beach, go for a walk in the park, spend a night out of town, go on a coffee date with a friend or just take a few minutes out of the room. But don’t put it off. And remember, it is okay to take a break. You are allowed.

Little getaways – they do a body good and help a soul to SMILE!!

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