The Last Laugh — Remembering How Good It Feels

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

Last week I watched a movie where the main character suddenly started laughing…uproariouly…joyfully…that deep from her insides kind of laugh.

Once she stopped, she commented that she couldn’t remember the last time she’d laughed. Really laughed.

I sat there thinking about the last time I’d laughed that hard.

Thinking.
Thinking.
Thinking.

Nothing came immediately to mind. And that thought is enough to make anyone cry.

So I started looking through old photos trying to recall some experiences that had me doubled over in laughter. I found one.

It’s not too recent (but it still makes me smile…so it still counts.)

About a year and a half ago, I traveled up North for a friend’s daughter’s wedding and while there my kids and I trekked up and down the sand dunes each day. On the first afternoon, that first hill about killed me (not because it was…

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When a Little Perspective Changes Everything

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

heisstillgood

I woke up hurting (again)…and feeling sorry for myself that I can predict the weather before I even open my eyes.

Within an hour, I was reading this excerpt from Randy Alcorn’s fine text, 90 Days of God’s Goodness: That Shine Light on Personal Darkness…disappointment, despair, discouragement, defeat…and every other dismal adjective beginning with the letter “D.”

When I first started reading…my thought was…poor me.

As I continued to read…reflect…and pause long enough to consider…my poor me changed to something far better.

Thank you, Lord…for giving me a better perspective on pain and suffering and bodily limitations.

I hope reading this little excerpt will encourage your heart too.

You may not feel satisfied with your current body or mind, but your resurrection upgrade will never disappoint you.

Paraplegic, Joni Eareckson Tada tells an audience of mentally handicapped Christians…that one day she will get a new body…and you’re going to…

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I’m Fine and You? (and other lies we tell)

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

fine

With thanks to David Jeremiah I’m happy to share this excerpt from his book, Journey.

Day-Tight Compartments

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

The most widely-read book of the twentieth century on the subject of anxiety was Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, in which the famous self-help expert suggested thirty ways to overcome worry. Carnegie’s first rule was: “Live in day-tight compartments.” While we should plan for the future, we shouldn’t worry about what tomorrow may hold.’

Carnegie said, “You and I are standing at this very second at the meeting place of two eternities: the vast past that has endured forever, and the future that is plunging on to the last syllable of recorded time. We can’t possibly live in either of those eternities…but, by trying…

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Own the Moment…Being Quietly Kind

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

loganplant

When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. Galatians 6:10

Last summer, Logan “owned the moment” when asked to help carry plants from the yard into the garden. He was all about it as this photo shows.

Sure, it was a small thing. But I’ve come to believe life is all about the little moments.

Small kindnesses.
Little bits of help along the way.
Gestures of courtesy in a cruel world.
Stepping out to assist even when it’s uncomfortable.

Kind hearts are quietly kind.

Going about their business, not drawing attention to themselves. Just going about their day, leaving their world a little better than they found it.

Kind hearts are quietly kind. They let the car cut into traffic and the young mom with three kids move up in the checkout line. They pick up the neighbor’s trash can that rolled into the street…

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iPause – Do You?

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

Lifestyle diseases – what are they? Simply put, lifestyle diseases are those diseases caused by the way in which we live our life. Perhaps lifestyle disease is communicable. You catch it through prosperity.”

Will Samson in Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess

Every morning I open up my inbox(es) and read several different commentaries by my favorite writers. A few days ago, one of these authors used the term, “iPause” and how important it is to stop, pause, be still.

I read this essay fast and got moving on to my next task, but I couldn’t shake the message that I couldn’t seem to stop, let alone pause and be still? not without all this internal dialogue going on. I felt confined and hemmed in by my own choices.

Then, I had a day alone…didn’t talk to one person…and what I discovered made me sort…

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Why You Need to Be Ready to Forgive

10waysWhat a nice surprise from Inspire Me Today…they opted to re-post my article on forgiveness…and if you feel so inclined, click on their link and share it with your FB/Twitter/LinkedIn/Pinterest friends and family. :)

We are mistake-makers. It is part of being human. Every day, more accurately, every hour, we err. Whether in areas of judgment, precision, or skill…individuals forget to read an entire report, they overlook a deadline, or rush to the next task without first checking their calendar. In short, we are error-ridden folk. This we have in common.

The difference lies in how we handle our mistakes and how we respond to the transgressions of others. Do we write people off, cut them from our life (personally and professionally)? Or in the midst of the heat, do we look for some way to salvage the situation and thereby offer a lifeline to the offender?

As people prone to creating tangled webs of problems (intentionally or not) we have a decision to make. On this barely subconscious level, each person decides whether to offer someone the benefit of the doubt or not. In short mental steps of succession, we’ve already judged and juried another’s transgression or we’ve offered forgiveness.

Depending upon the person who’s harmed us (or our project, objective, feelings or ego), we decide. How we determine to lend some measure of compassion or grace is generally a multifaceted proposition. Did we enjoy a good breakfast? Have that second cup of coffee? Was the ride to work uneventful? Did our inbox contain the messages we anticipated? Or none of the above?

Seems petty, doesn’t it? Too often we further compound one mistake by meting out added layers of punishment simply to make a point. People generally feel bad enough after making a problematic issue larger. On a practical scope, dredging up an individual’s shortcomings does nothing to solve the problem. It’s just that it comes so “naturally” to be critical of another’s failings and we’re so good at blaming.

Instead of believing the worst about another person (doesn’t matter much what they did or didn’t do), try extending the benefit of doubt. See how that person responds. Extend trust, both in terms of being able to right the wrong…and by expecting better results for the future. Watch what happens.

Individuals who are aware of their shortcomings are already feeling defensive, on the edge, and ready to do battle…in their minds, it’s “me against the world.” So, a strong offensive stance is required here…offer pardon, grace, and some gesture of confidence in their ability to do better.

The final word on trust…none of us “deserves” it, but there’s no one who doesn’t cherish it and then attempt to live up to another’s higher expectations. It’s a win-win situation for communities, for businesses, and for families.

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New Day…New Review!!!

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New day…new review!!!

What a pleasant surprise.

Please take a moment and read the FaithfulReader.com review of my newest book…and give thanks with me. :)

Faith, Friends, and Other Flotation Devices: A Woman’s Guide to Abundant Living

God gives us a plentiful supply of resources to help us thrive; robust scriptural promises, intimate caring relationships, a generous supply of buoyant faith-filled, life-saving instruction. As we flourish, so do all those who come into contact with us.”
— Michele Howe, Introduction

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV) King Solomon, traditionally thought to have written this Old Testament book, was perhaps right. Though circumstances and cultural changes have continued to evolve over the years, human nature has remained much the same as it was since the beginning. We enjoy the benefits of knowing God, but following His rules…not so much. However, although there may be nothing new under the sun, enthusiastic writers continue to explore new ways to express age-old ideas — both the problems and the solutions.

“Whether you are one who relies on faith, friends or other flotation devices, this book will enrich your experiences and help you be a blessing to others. It would make an excellent resource for a small group or simply as a daily devotional.”

In FAITH, FRIENDS, AND OTHER FLOTATION DEVICES, Michele Howe presents her perspective on how women in today’s world can have a more abundant life. That is, a life filled with the blessings of God rather than the troubles of the world. A life that relies on faith, friends and other flotation devices to weather the tough times. Howe has written 14 books and numerous articles concerning similar topics. Yet here is a slightly different spin designed to meet the unique needs of women who are still struggling with some of the difficulties that life hands out.

The issues are not limited to women of faith but are common to believers and non-believers alike. “Forgiveness,” “Regret,” “Contentment,” “Respect,” “Fearlessness” and Peace are some of the chapter headings. Howe’s skill lies in her ability to make the reader feel like she is having a conversation with a wise friend, perhaps a mentor. A friend who has experienced much of what she, herself, is now facing. A friend who has learned how to rise above the circumstances.

When stress happens or heartaches cause unbearable pain, how we respond is the key to how we will be affected. Howe’s approach to life’s challenges is more proactive than reactive. In other words, don’t just accept the situation and allow it to produce negativity; rather, engage one of the helps that the title suggests so that you can take charge rather than be victimized. She explains, “Choices matter. So instead of giving in to the blues, we should counter them with constructive, decisive thinking and action. It’s surprising how these bleak emotions can slowly be replaced by a positive outlook. Do it for you, do it for others.”

FAITH, FRIENDS, AND OTHER FLOTATION DEVICES applies sound Biblical principles to familiar problems, provides real-life illustrations and suggests practical applications. Whether you are one who relies on faith, friends or other flotation devices, this book will enrich your experiences and help you be a blessing to others. It would make an excellent resource for a small group or simply as a daily devotional.

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