March 17, 2014

How to Stay Happy While Giving Up and Giving In

How do you hang on to Happy when you are Giving Up and Giving In... when the Lenten season is upon us and we are sacrificing, laying low, and bowing down?  

Through the Mountain Highs and the Valleys Low, here is the secret I have found that really works:

I have found that there is Joy in Giving up... in Giving In... in saying Yes, without hesitation. The secret to staying happy through our 'good' and through our 'bad' is to remember, as Ann Voskamp says, that all is grace.  

Hang on to Happy by reminding yourself that all is grace and that God is near.  Count your blessings, one thousand gifts at a time, and then start all over again!

Look for all the ways that God is pouring out... that God is providing and protecting, leading and loving.  They are there... a million little ways - they are all around us, if only we train our eyes to see!

I am sporadic at best... with the writing down of these gifts. But I am always amazed at how much clearer I see when I run for a pen.  When I open up my journal, and scratch down gifts, three at a time - and then some... my heart and mind and vision opens wide and I begin, once again, to see His hand actively arranging the details of my life.  I see His heart and spirit - moving, dancing, swaying to a love song sung over me - all in an attempt to grab a second of my attention and see the realization spread across my face... and seep into my soul... this:  He is here.  He is here!

"We worship and we praise,  We lift Your holy name
We rejoice for our King is here

We're living to proclaim, You've opened Heaven's gates

We rejoice for our King is here

...We are captured by You, Surrender to You
We'll never be same, Cause You are here
We're alive to praise You, Give our glory to You
We'll never be same, Cause You are here."
"The King Is Here" by Kim Walker Smith           
For me, that thought alone can rush in peace, and usher in His Presence!  He is here.  No matter what you are facing, you are not facing it alone... He is there - wherever you are! He is there!

Join me, won't you? Let's count His blessings poured out, & take notice of the ways He is showing up! 

Here is part of my growing list... 

& I Count On...

 3 Gifts in Christ:
#1921 - Sisters! Family - grafted in!
#1922 - Confidence in His Love! (#preapproved!)
#1923 - Grace - Received & Extended

#1924 & #1925 -Being part of a couple of Book Launch teams

3 Gifts Read:
#1926 - John 8 (If:Equip)

#1927 - Restless by Jennie Allen

#1928 - Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee

#1929 - Communicating - even via text, bringing clarity to relationships
#1930 - Errands and lunch and a gorgeous chatty walk with my Girlie

A Gift in Wind, Water, White:
#1931 - A Walk with Amy, hair blowing in the wind, signs of Spring popping up!

#1932 - Multnomah Falls in the rain, roaring loud

#1933 - A Blank Canvas or screen, waiting for Art to happen

3 Gifts Round:
#1934 - Pregnant Bellies housing new life
#1935 - Jonah Boy - our sweet happy fat cat
#1936 - Apples, raw or juiced - yum!

#1937 - Reading portions of my blog at Soar (Bible class) with some great encouragement and feedback.
#1938 - My Girlies' plans that involved hanging out with me!
#1939 - Sunrise making Mt. Adams Glow!

 #1940 - Warm and Sunny walks on March afternoons!

3 Gifts found in Silence:
#1942 - Eyes meeting across a crowded room, my Honey & I, a smile curling slightly on our lips, love pouring out in silence
#1943 - Early morning, empty house, full coffee cup!
#1944 - Peaceful sleep

3 Gifts Given Away:
#1945 - Love... Let it leak out
#1946 - Handmade Journals to help raise $ for Africa
#1947 - Grace... always grace

#1948 - Dinner out with my Honey, trying somewhere new... (it was a hit!)
#1949 - Family all snuggled up, relaxing together
#1950 - Lent - laying down Self-Doubt & Hesitation (with all the excuses and negative self-talk!)

3 Hard Eucharisteos:
#1951 - The Unknown -mysteries that too often give way to fear
#1952 - Unanswered Prayers -trusting & still believing He hears & He cares
#1953 - Silence between friends that goes on too long

#1954 - A Saturday spent reading & relaxing, & then...
#1955 - A Family Walk down in the Canyon on a Gorgeous pre-Spring day!

#1956 - Baby Shower Shopping/Planning/Crafting...

#1957 - Cake - by the (big) Slice... satisfies without having the rest of the cake around! #forthewin

A Gift Turned, Folded, Hung
#1958 - Turned -the weather, finally! It's beginning to look and feel like Spring!
#1959 - Folded -Baby clothes for an upcoming Baby Shower! So precious! It's been YEARS, ya'll! (Yes - you will miss folding all of those clothes one day!)
#1960 - Hung -My new favorite piece from Dayspring, strategically hung low on the wall, so I can see it from my favorite meeting place with the Lord (my morning spot on the couch!) #lyricsforlife

...more to come... (It's your turn now! Grab a pen!)

Lastly... as you are counting... enjoy the above mentioned song by Kim Walker Smith!

Linking up with Ann Voskamp in Counting (beyond) one thousand gifts...

Have you been counting?  Have you found that counting your blessings has helped you to hang on to happy... to see God actively involved in your daily life? If you have yet to start a list, may I encourage you to start today? Simply think of a few ways that you have been blessed over the weekend!  If you want some daily prompts to help get you started, you can go HERE for Ann's daily Gifts!


  1. Anonymous12:27 PM

    "I see His heart and spirit - moving, dancing, swaying to a love song sung over me - all in an attempt to grab a second of my attention and see the realization spread across my face... and seep into my soul... this: He is here."
    I, too, am so happy to have stopped by and that you are my neighbor today at Ann's. Your words above touch me this day and remind me of Zechariah 3:17 which is such a special verse for me. He rejoices over me with singing. Praising Him with you.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda
    P.S. your photo of Multnomah Falls brings precious memories to me as I lived in Portland for four years - 1978-1982 and then Bend for one - 1984-85. I love the NW.

    1. Linda, thank you so much for your sweet comment! Zech 3:17 is - not surprisingly - one of my favorite verses as well! Love that we are neighbors today! I need to go back to the link up and read around a bit! We are in WA, but love to visit Oregon... it's so pretty! Happy to have stirred up some fond memories, my friend!

  2. I am joining you and counting. I love these posts,. I always smile when I read your gifts!!

    1. I love that we count together, friend! And hey - if I can bring a smile to your face, then it's been a great day! Love you so!

  3. Anonymous10:08 AM

    Keep on working, great job!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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