Posts Tagged ‘Joy Lessons’


Happy people.

What a better place the world is because of them.

We’ve all heard the suggestions to surround ourselves with happy, positive people. That isn’t hollow advice but sage wisdom.

Happy people are awesome.

That’s not to say they don’t have dark moments, but for the most part, happy people choose to let the let shine in and through them.

Happy people might seem rather Pollyanna-ish to the outsider looking in, but I think they are incredibly strong and absolutely amazing. It takes a lot of work and conscious thought to stay dialed in to happiness.

I’m learning, slowly it seems, to spend less and less time with the gloomy, negative, negative-Nellie type people and more around people who make me laugh, bring a smile to my face, and fill my heart with joy – those fantastic happy people.

Life’s too short to waste our precious moments with people who bring a big basket full of crazy, emotional drama with them wherever they go. All their efforts to bring others down to their level of misery doesn’t do anyone any good.

Focus on the happy people.

Even better, focus on being one of those happy people. That’s my goal for the day.

Maybe this song from Little Big Town, which I love, can get you off to a good start.

Happy People.

May you be one today.



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This weekend was one full of memories for me. On Saturday, Lil Miss had friends coming over for a barbecue to celebrate the end of the school year. As I prepared food and and got things ready, my mind wandered back to the birthday parties we always had for my sister. Her birthday would have been Sunday. She passed away eleven years ago from head trauma sustained from a grand mal seizure.

During my growing up years, since her birthday was in early summer, right after school got out, (and the weather was generally nice), we’d always have a barbecue to celebrate. While I made potato salad and cleaned off the patio and cut roses for a vase, it brought back many memories of helping Mom do those things in preparation of my sister’s birthday.

I was just thinking this morning that the memories hold far more sweetness than bittersweet feelings now.

Also, there is a swell of joy when I take out those memories and allow myself to sink into them.

It made me think of the Disney movie Inside Out.


The story follows a young girl who is uprooted from her life in the Midwest and moved to San Francisco. Her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school. The film shows the emotions as characters, and it’s hard not to love Joy.

So this weekend, as I was remembering all the fun times we had giving my sister happy birthdays, I felt a little like Joy in this picture… as if I was wrapping my arms around those joyful memories and holding them close to my heart.

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I just loved this quote.

Our mindset plays such a key role in our attitude, in how we see life, in how we react to and interact with others.

When we allow ourselves to realize just how good things really are, our hearts fill with joy and gratitude and a light shines in us.

It’s easy in this world to get caught up in the things we don’t have, the things that aren’t going right in our day (weeks – lives!), but when we intentionally focus on the good, that’s when we can find joy.

I hope you’ll join me this week in allowing the good things in your life to fill your heart that you might have an extra measure of joy.

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Joy Lessons Week 20


Recently, Captain Cavedweller and I had the opportunity to take a trip to Atlanta. The reason for our travels was so I could attending the RT Convention (which is an event for both readers and writers).

There were many things about this trip that brought me joy.

Perhaps the most important, though, was being able to spend a lot of time with my husband. We both get so busy with work and the day-to-day details that we sometimes don’t spend much time together with just the two of us.

It was awesome to just hang out with him. To laugh together and explore and just be.

I also found joy in meeting new old friends. What I mean by that is people I consider my friends because I’ve met them online but hadn’t yet met in person. It was so wonderful to actually shake their hands or give them hugs and say “hello, friend” in person.

There was also joy in just connecting with the people attending the conference. The readers were so fun and excited and it made me smile to interact with them at book signings.

And, admittedly, I found joy in exploring places I’ve read about and always wanted to visit – like Margaret Mitchell’s house!

Despite the piles of work waiting for me when we returned home, it was so worth it to take that time away, to get a new perspective, and spend time with people who make my heart smile.

May you spend the day with those who fill your heart with joy.

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Joy Lessons Week 17


For those of you who have been participating in the Joy Challenge this month, how are things going?

Do you find some days easier than others? I sure do.

But today’s challenge is “Notice the Magic.”


That seems like a fun and interesting challenge. Can you find magic in a loved one’s smile? In the colorful array of spring flowers? The decadent taste of a piece of rich, dark chocolate?

Where do you think you’ll find magic today? Wherever it is, I hope it brings you an abundance of joy!

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Joy Lessons Week 13


On Thursday, I set aside all my to-do lists and worries about deadlines, climbed in my car, and made a five-hour drive to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people on the planet.

I have to tell you – there is so much joy in spending time around people who know you (really know you) and love you, faults and all.

As we shopped our way through a mall, we tried to recall when we first began taking these trips together. It started back around 2006 (give or take a year). My cousin Brad called and discussed doing something special and fun for his mom. I was all ears.

Brad is one of those super nice, incredibly sweet all-around great guys you are thrilled just to know. Add in the fact that his mom, my wonderful Aunt Robbie, has been like a second mother to me for my entire life, and I couldn’t refuse whatever it was he was going to ask.

My most wonderful auntie has always been extra special to me. I was born the day after Aunt Robbie’s birthday, we share the same middle name, we both love the color pink and have yet to find a mall we didn’t like.

Aunt Robbie was blessed with two boys, but no girls. So Brad proposed a few of us girl cousins do something fun with Aunt Robbie. We plotted and planned and ended up with four of us girls taking Aunt Robbie for an overnight stay in a cute little town with fun shops, great food, and a nice hotel. It was bliss!

My three cousins are daughters of my Dad’s two other sisters, both of whom have passed away. Aunt Robbie became “Mom” to us all on that trip. With each of us she loves, laughs, cries, teases and counsels – and that just makes us love her all the more.

We had such a great time on that first trip, we decided to make it an annual event. We all look forward to the time we can spend with each other, reconnecting, sharing memories, shopping, eating and enjoying the company. Our little group includes my cousins Julie, Nancy and Twylia – all fun, fantastic women in their own unique way- and Aunt Robbie.

Brad’s girlfriend, Brenda, was able to join us this year and brought even more fun to our group.

These women know how to laugh and cry. They know how to offer encouragement and support. They know how to tease and be teased. And they really know how to shop.

As we packed up our cars and prepared to head our separate ways home, we were already discussing plans for next year.

I think we all look forward to it and just enjoy that special time we have to connect, relate, and deepen our bonds of kinship and friendship.

No matter if you gather with one or a dozen, whether they are family or friends, I think everyone needs a special weekend now and again to reconnect, to grow, to just be and celebrate the joy of spending time with special people you love.

It does your heart and spirit so much good!

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Joy Lessons Week 12


Happy First Day of Spring, everyone!

Although it is rainy and foggy here today (what a combination), I’m so excited it is finally spring. This weekend, I even saw a robin playing in the cat’s water bowl, splashing and shaking its tail feathers, having a marvelous time.

And this morning, I feel a little bit like that robin, excited and full of joy (even if I have no plans of shaking my tail feathers around) because it is officially spring.

Spring is such a beautiful, glorious time for so many reasons. It means winter is behind us (something I cheer about every year). It means new life is springing up all around us as the grass begins to turn green, flowers begin to bloom, temperatures warm, and the sky seems bluer. To me, spring is also about renewal and hope and faith.

It’s about filling our hearts with joy brought on by the possibilities and wonder that await us.

Today, I wish you all a heart full of joy as we welcome in the arrival of spring.

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