Sunday, July 31, 2016

Another Ozarks' Sunset

Just a few photos of God's amazing creation here around the Ozarks...

and proof that we have some fun around here too... hubby Mark and sweet friend-like-family Rachel (who's been working this summer out at Kids Across America).

Happy Sabbath.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Happiness Dare: Week 3, Book Review

Oh my. I read this book because I loved her book Love Idol, and I thought this would be a good book to have in my library as I encourage others to do Missionary Care. I didn't realize the profound effect that the book would have on me! 

Oh, it starts off fun enough, identifying your happiness style and how it affects your outlook on life (or how others' styles are affected). As you get deeper into it, it breaks you wide open with little exercises to allow you to change your brain's happiness power in 5 minutes a day. 

She uses science and scripture, stories and confessions to guide us along this life-changing journey at a time there is so much to be unhappy about in the world. The timing is perfect. We need this book today. 

(I read this book as a part of a pre-release book club and I received a free digital copy to read in exchange for my honest review. I purchased 2 more copies of the book - and will be leading a Women's book club through my church this fall, because it's that good!) 

#TheHappinessDare #JenniferDukesLee

BONUS!! This week you can join in here!! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mums the Word... Around My Yard

Mums the word... but zinnias are the flower! I've shared before how Mark scattered wild flower seeds in a garden plot in the back yard, and the view of it continues to change. There are things already fading (like the bachelor buttons) and some things just coming into their glory (like the zinnias). I just love the pinks and oranges that are dominating that space right now! Some of my favorite colors, and they just make me happy!
I hope that these blooms (and a few bugs) bring you happiness today, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances! Know that God loves you. He created you with intention and purpose. There's only ONE YOU, and there's no plan b for your life. He loves you just the way you are!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


The Easter message of Resurrection is for us every day! 

I'm glad that in a world full of death and destruction, life can be found in Jesus! 

HE LIVES!! He overcame the grave! We can find life and restoration and renewal in Him and His Word. Daily. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Happiness Dare, Week 2

This past week's reading in The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee was challenging for me. Although I loved the Happiness Style Assessment, I wasn't sure of my results. I scored highest in the "Giver" category, but close behind in the other 4; all within 8 points of each other. My other areas of Happiness Styles were Relater, Experiencer, Thinker and Doer, in that order.

I struggled with the fact that my scores were all so close, and that I could relate to each of the categories in my life with strong examples of happiness shining through. I wasn't sure if having so many so close together was a good thing, or a bad thing.

I landed with the fact that it's just a "God thing."  He created me this way, and through life's experiences I've had the opportunity to develop happiness traits in many ways. It's not as odd as I thought it was. I'm not THAT unusual. Many people have clusters of strong points, usually with two or three of the styles stronger than the others, but some people have all of them in the middle of the road like me.

It was important for me to get back to the fact of what Jennifer says at the closing of the assessment,

"Remember, there are no superior happiness styles. This test is not to quantify how happy you are. Rather, it is intended to single out your primary style so you can maximize your happiness in the way God made you."

I loved reading the descriptions of all my facets of Happiness Style, and will be able to identify others' styles easily, hoping that I can help my interactions with them to be happier. (That's the Giver in me!)

I look forward to completing the book in the next few weeks, and learning more about what to do to nurture happiness, and what obstacles there are to finding happiness in daily life. I also look forward to sharing this book with other women I know. Already we're talking about our need for happiness skills, especially as young moms are sending kids off to school, older moms are facing empty nesting, and we all are facing seasonal sadness and the loneliness of the holidays just around the corner. I plan to be well equipped to fighting for happiness this winter (and every other season of life).

I received a free copy of The Happiness Dare from the publishers, with the benefits of a pre-read and share my honest opinions of the book. 

Romans 12, Parts 2 and 3: Balanced and Beautiful in Christ

The new posts that I wrote for Balanced and Beautiful in Christ are now live on their Facebook page, and here on my new blog site (subscrib...