Help! I Can’t Find the Script!

Progress Report: This is the 11th night of “Nick’s 7 Day Challenge.” From 97 unfinished documents, I am down to 70 so the “trash” has graciously received 16 below par attempts at putting thoughts together. I am trusting that some nuggets remain among what is left. Cheerleaders keep cheering. We shall reach the bottom of the list soon enough. Today’s entry seems different than most. It has to do with building your relalationship with your spouse, family member, or dearest friend. I hope you benefit from these thoughts as I have over the years.

How often do we get our feelings hurt or get angry because the other person didn’t say the “right thing.” Their reaction was far from what we had expected or hoped for. How dare they react that way or say that to me? Well, guess what! They might not have picked up their copy of the script. They are reacting or responding based on their past experiences, their perspective of the situation, mixed with their physical and emotional feelings at the time. They need a little help, a little mercy, a little grace, and a copy of the script.

Date nights are great for prepping for the next scene. It’s a time to calmly and pleasantly bring up some things that might be bothering you that could come up and cause an unpleasant reaction. It’s a time to make your requests known. You can bring up one or two things that have been bothering you, communicate how you feel, and listen to how he feels about it.You know he would be glad to work on it, if he knew it bothered you. You may have to offer suggestions to help him make the adjustment.  Then you ask what he would like you to work on. Or you could ask, “If I could give you a gift of changing something I’m doing or not doing, what would that be.” To give you an example, Larry would say, “More foot rubs!” and I would say, “More hand-holding!”

Another way to help your spouse or others close to you is to suggest how you’d like the person to respond. After all they really have no clue how you heard what they said. Sometimes it sounds completely different to their ear than you intended it to and so they respond differently than you needed or expected. Communication brings clarity. The last thing you want is for your loved one to have unmet needs! Talk about it, and let your requests be known. There is no need to be defensive. You had no idea how they were perceiving what you were saying. You have no idea what the other person needs unless they tell you. They probably won’t tell you unless you ask, and perhaps not even then because they would not want to appear weak or needy. Asking the Lord to reveal to you how they are feeling and what they need will also prove to be valuable.

You will be amazed at the progress you can make toward understanding one another. You can make each others lives happier and more productive with some open mindedness, communication, and kindness. Over hundreds of date nights, you’re both going to get pretty good at reading the script and reaping the rewards of a great relationship.

dare to be happy self improvement self help blog

Sail On!

Would you let your boat float in the open seas without trying to keep it on course?  Would you let it head straight into the pathway of a moving tanker? If it was about to run aground or crash into the rocks, would you change course. Of course you would! You would steer your boat away from danger and into calmer, safer seas. You would guide it, skillfully and carefully, onto the safest and most enjoyable route to your destination. You have tens of thousands of thoughts running through your mind throughout your day. You can allow them to randomly toss you to and fro and crash against the rocks, or you can control your thoughts and set a course toward your goal.

You don’t need to make a sharp turn; just gently place your oar in the water and slowly adjust your course. Gradually nudge your thoughts back to a positive, godly outlook, one that encourages you and inspires you. Let hope come. What is the best thing that could happen to you? Begin to think about that and be thankful. Everything that comes your way can work for your good. Put a smile on your face and sail on. You are not alone!

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

dare to be happy self improvement self help blog


Raise Your Happiness Temperature

Wouldn’t it be interesting if we had a thermometer to put under our tongues to measure our level of happiness? If we discovered we had a low “happiness temperature,” we could treat these symptoms and regain our “normal” levels. Here’s what Doctor Sharon suggests for maintaining high levels of happiness.

My list of Happiness Tips:

  1. Love the Lord with all of your heart.
  2. Think of others more often than you think of yourself.
  3. Laugh as much as possible.
  4. Think about positive things. Let a subtle positive thought slip in among any negative that is coming at you.
  5. Let pleasant pictures float through your mind. Picture yourself with Jesus, talking or doing things you would like to do with Him.
  6. Spend time with your family. Enjoy them.
  7. Be grateful. Think about all of the things you have to be thankful for.
  8. Notice things. Look around you as you travel about today. What have you missed? Try to see something you have been overlooking.
  9. Pray for people who need it.
  10. Flush negativity out of your life.
  11. Read positive books or blogs.
  12. Memorize and meditate scripture.
  13. Embrace the concepts that you want  magnified in your life like love, joy, peace, prosperity, safety, health, soundness of mind, positive relationships.
  14. Relax.
  15. Think outside the box. Let God’s inspiration and creativity come to you. Don’t follow your reasoner. Get it quiet so you can hear from God.

Today’s Action: Pick a random number from 1 to 15. Find the corresponding tip from the list above. That’s the one you work on today. I picked number 14 because it’s the 14th day of the month, so I am going to focus on relaxing today! That may be a challenge since I’m working 12 hours, but I’m always up for a challenge, as you well know! How can I fit relaxing into this 12 hour day? Suggestions appreciated, and let me know what you’re going to try today! With God’s help our “happiness temperatures” will be soaring!

Have a great day!


dare to be happy self improvement self help blog
dare to be happy self improvement self help blog



Whatever You Can Dream, You Can Have!

If you are not where you want to be in life, be extremely excited because you can be.

This is the eighth post in a series called “Nick’s 7 Day Challenge.” Here’s how I explain that: I started going through the 97 unfinished documents I had in my WordPress files. I am now down to 85 with 7 published posts. My plan is to see how long I can keep going without missing a night. I want to see how many of this 85 have something that might encourage me or someone else and how many I can quietly slip into the “trash” file. I hope you’ll find something worthwhile for yourself as you cheer me on in  continuing “Nick’s 7 Day Challenge.” Any guesses as to how many nights I can keep it up until the files are empty or the inspiration is gone? Or will there come a night when I am just too sleepy to post?

Here’s tonight’s entry:

Our thoughts have everything to do with our success and happiness in life. If we truly believed this, we would pay closer attention to the scripture that tells us to take every thought captive.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

And we would weigh much more heavily the following verses.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

The reason we do not fully acknowledge the truth of these verses and live accordingly is because the effects are not usually instantaneous. Changes are often very gradual, yet you can be sure that the thoughts you think are leading you down a path, which leads to a positive or negative outcome. Where that path leads is  based on your choice of consistent thought patterns. The effect of your thoughts upon your life can be likened to a child who becomes a teenager, and then an adult. Food, exercise, love and nurturing develop that child into the healthy, well-adjusted adult he will become. We can have the life we want in these four ways:

Food-Put positive godly information into your spirit via the things you read, watch, and listen to.

Exercise-Repeat the thoughts that describe the life you want over and over until you habitually think that way.

Love-Show gratitude and appreciation through praise and worship for what God is doing and will do in your life.

Nurturing-Use your imagination to picture the end result. What does it look like? What does it feel like?

You can’t see your thoughts building the life you want any more than you can see the grass grow, but when it comes time to mow the grass, you have no doubt that it has been growing all along.

Gently press your thoughts in the right direction. Embrace the idea of success and happiness, whatever that means to you. Change every thought to one that leads you in the direction you want to go. Don’t entertain thoughts of lack if you want to have plenty. Embrace plenty, and you will grow in that direction. The more you talk and think about lack, sickness, disappointment, any kind of negative, the more you will grow in that direction. The alternative is true, the more you talk and think about your dreams, the faster you move toward them. Be extremely excited because if you are not where you want to be in life, you can be!

dare to be happy self improvement self help blog
dare to be happy self improvement self help blog

Believe What You Want

If you think for one minute that this article is going to tell you that you can believe anything you want and never have any consequences, you are mistaken. It’s not about that or even about believing what is right or wrong. “Believe What You Want” is about Mark 11:23 and 24.

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them

God wants us to use the power of our belief and the authority He has given us to get what we want. Keep in mind that when I say that, I am trusting that you and God are in this together and what you want and what He wants for you are one and the same. It is up to each of us to abide in Him in such a way that our desires are intertwined with His will. Apart from Him, our desires when manifested would be fruitless and meaningless.

Now that we are clear about that, we can confidently move ahead to follow these dynamic scriptures and once and for all take it to the heights God intended when He inspired those words. Getting a clear picture of what you want, asking for it, and believing you receive it gives God all He needs to bring it to pass. Many of us are waiting on God when He is already ahead of us waiting on us. Let’s catch up right now!

Kenneth Hagan used to say,  “Eradicate every thought that does not contribute to your faith.” I heard that powerful sentence years ago and was reminded of it this week. As I meditated on it for a bit, I was inspired, and I gave my self the following speech:

You are going to fill your mind with every positive God – centered thought you can think of. You are going to stuff every minute of every day with thoughts of what you desire. You are no longer going to allow or tolerate any thought contrary to what you want for yourself or anyone in your family. You will set up default thoughts that you will go to if any random negative thought or contrary idea comes to mind. You will take this land God has given you. This is your promised land!

I chose Mark 11:23 as my default thought. Every time a negative thought came yesterday, I would say “default” and then quote the verse a time or two until I could redirect my thinking. I did this about a half a dozen times yesterday and ended up having an outstanding day, feeling I had taken ground.

Here’s an example of using the default:

I was thinking about how great I felt and how thankful I was. The thought came,  “It won’t last.”
Fortunately, I caught it and said, “Default.” And then quoted the verse. This allowed me to stop the negative thoughts before they led me down a wrong pathway that would have created a gruesome snowball. Directing this time and energy to thinking about what I want moved me on toward my promised land.

Eradicate every negative thought and  take your promised land!

dare to be happy self improvement self help blog
dare to be happy self improvement self help blog

I’ve already said the word default 3 times this morning. saying default and then going to my default vs mark 11 23 and 24 I’ll say them loud and long and as many times as necessary to send that rogue thought back from whence it originated.

I Need You!

One Thanksgiving Day quite some time ago, I spilled turkey broth on my foot as I was taking “Tom” out of the oven. It wasn’t his fault, it was mine. Company was coming within a couple of hours and I was in excruciating pain. What should I do while enduring the pain as we prepared to go to the Emergency Care? Yes, it was that bad. I found myself praying for others. I prayed for those in pain. I thought of every kind of pain people might be enduring and prayed for God to touch them. I ended up praying for people all across the country in burn units. I will never know if anyone else was touched that day, but I was. After having the burns treated, I finished up with dinner and enjoyed the day with our thirteen or so guests and later another fabulous meal at my mom and dad’s house. Lesson learned: Give what you need.

Praying for others when you need prayer yourself is not the only time we can give what we need. I have found myself in situations many times (though it is embarrassing to admit) when I was uncomfortable in a social situation. Uncomfortable is not the word at all, “terrified,” “miserable” are closer matches, “frozen” is probably more accurate. You probably have never felt this way: You want to be a part of the conversation, but while thinking of what to say and practicing how it might sound, you find the subject has changed while you weren’t listening.

I remember being in the teacher’s lounge when I taught in public school and not being able to think of anything to say, especially when there were two or more people in the group. I just sat there, as they smoked and talked. Once a teacher was leaving and she turned to the other teacher remaining and said, “Sharon will talk to you if you talk to her.” Now what did that mean? I felt pretty “uncomfortable,” having them speak of me in the third person, let me tell you. The teacher was stepping in to be a bridge for us so that we could start a conversation when she left, but it was still embarrassing to me to have my weakness brought out.

Even if conversation seems to come easy to some people, and they seem like the most confident people in the world, they need you to be interested in what they are saying. You can meet their need by trying to find something in common with them. This places value on them. By being self-conscious around the other teachers, I was not meeting their need for conversation and affirmation.

I now know there are many people who are self-conscious and have difficulty thinking of what to say in social situations. Even if we have this same need ourselves, we can reach out to them and help them feel a part of the group. We can ask a question to help draw them into conversation. This is not an easy skill to develop, but with patience and prayer, it can be developed so that we become need-meeters.

Self-confidence is simply being comfortable with who you are. It is knowing that you are valuable to God and that you have something of value He wants you to share with others. I can show interest and learn from what others have to say and still be a valuable part of the interaction even without being a big talker.

We are more valuable to God and others than we realize. As we are in Him, and He in us, we have what others need. He will show us more and more how to meet these needs, and He will meet every need we could possibly have in the process.

When you need prayer, pray for others.

When you need confidence, help others feel confident.

When you need a friend, be a friend.

When you need money, give money.

When you need more of God, help others find God.

When you need love, give love.

When you need a smile, give a smile.

dare to be happy self improvement self help blog
dare to be happy self improvement self help blog




Sunshine Moments

Every morning, God gives us our day one moment at a time.  Twenty-four hours stretch out before us as we open our eyes. If you have seen the movie, “Groundhog Day,” you may think life is a mundane succession of days creating a boring saga that goes on and on, never changing. However, God gives us everything we need to fill each day with new accomplishment, growth, and adventure.

Sometimes this day does not seem any different from the one before it, yet each day has potential for greatness. With God’s help, we can do a few simple things to get ourselves in position to create sunshine moments. It is within our power to make each day great.We do this by looking to Him for His solutions to our problems, His answers to our questions, and His guidance for our actions and decisions.

Here is a checklist for filling our days with moments of sunshine:

  1. Carefully think about what you want today (love, joy, peace, health, prosperity) and not what you don’t want (frustration, lack, illness, fear, and worry.)
  2. Continually let positive thoughts roll around in your mind all through the day. Ask God for His thoughts to fill your mind.
  3. Be prepared for negative thoughts to come. Recognize where they come from and weigh them accordingly.
  4. Place your projects, plans and problems in God’s hands. Let Him take over. He’s much better at handling them than you are.
  5. Spend some time thinking about how much God loves you.
  6. Take time to be thankful for the things in your life that God has already provided.
  7.  Let people know that they are valuable by acknowledging them as a person by asking them questions and listening to them.
  8. Ask God for what you need instead of just assuming He knows. Remember that the Scripture says, “Ask, and you shall receive.”
  9. Expect the favor of  God in your life today and look for it.
  10. Remember that you are someone very special to the Lord.


Today’s Action: Read through the checklist and choose one to specifically work on today. Then try another one tomorrow, and again the next day until all ten of these become a habit.

Enjoy your day full of sunshine moments!

dare to be happy self improvement self help blog

Let It Go!

People do things wrong. Churches do. Government leaders do. Moms do. People we work for do. Maybe even sometimes you do. When someone “wrongs” us, we don’t have to get upset. One of the  most important lessons I have learned over the years is to let it go.

My first experience in learning this involved work. It’s been years now, about four probably. I got my work schedule, but something was “wrong.” I had been blessed with the same certain schedule that had worked well for me for many months and all of a sudden it was different, and I felt shorted. I thought I was in danger of losing hundreds of dollars because of this change. I was extremely upset, to say the least. My good friend and supervisor told me “It would be all right.” It wasn’t all right with me. I stewed about it, going over and over the injustice of it all.

I lost money that weekend, possibly hundreds of dollars. On Monday, my friend had a simple conversation and the matter was put to right. Yet I lost money. Who’s fault? Mine alone.

That one lesson stayed with me over the next years. I have had opportunity to be upset for sure as things have not always gone my way, but the lesson learned was that I lost more money over being upset than in the change that I thought would cost me money. It is embarrassing to admit this here, but it is the truth. It is a truth that you lose more by having the wrong heart about something than you lose from the situation itself.

A wise man once said, “Things are never as bad as they seem. . .or as good as they seem.” Optimist that I am, I do think things are often better than they seem or better than you realize, but I wholeheartedly agree that few things turn out to be as bad as they seem.

If we can learn to keep our peace when potentially upsetting events occur, we will ride it out and win every time! When our heart is right, things will turn out right. Keeping a happy heart shows our trust in God that He can handle our troubles and challenges, and we can rest in Him and keep smiling! I don’t have this all right yet by any means, but let’s keep trying to let it go.

Have you thought of times when you had the choice to be upset or let it go? Please add your thoughts in the comments! By being aware of potential opportunities, we’ll be ready to let it go!



Be Light Today!

This morning while praying for my family, I had a picture of a giant flood light that God Himself directed into each of our minds: Rocky, Nick, Jay, Taylor, Emmerson, Larry and I. I prayed that His light would shine upon us so that we would clearly see life His way. We would have His wisdom and direction for each situation. As I prayed I saw that as we had that Light to guide us, we would be lighthearted. We would not have heavy burdens to bear or troubles weighing us down. We could see clearly what to do and how to view our daily lives from His perspective

I was astounded to see the relationship between having the Light shining into our thinking and living and being Light-hearted. It put a whole new meaning to the word. Again there’s that lightness that allows us to float above our circumstances. When His light is shining upon us, our hearts are lighter. His light shines through us with the joy that we have in our “lightness.” Who will benefit from this? Everyone He brings across our path!

For those of you who faithfully read Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, you may have noticed the reference to lightheartedness in the July 7 reading. Here it is in context:

Reject negative or sinful thoughts as soon as you become aware of them. Don’t try to hide them from Me; confess them and leave them with Me. Go on your way lightheartedly.

We can direct His Light to our negative and sinful thoughts, confess them and leave them with Him. Then we go on our way lightheartedly. We have no burden to bear. We’ve given it to Him.

Three words full of Life and Light: Be Light Today!

On a side note, I can count 7 blessings that came to our family today, and I haven’t even heard from everyone yet.

Be Light and let us know the blessings that come your way!






I’ve Been Brainwashed!

It feels awesome just to let that fresh, clear, sparkling water wash through every groove of my brain, taking with it all of my negative thoughts. (Relax and use your imagination to picture this for a few minutes, feeling the fresh water as it flows through your brain.)

A little deeper cleaning with my handy toothbrush disassembles networks of wrong beliefs and debilitating thought patterns. (You might even say, “There goes the belief that ‘No one cares about me,’ or other negative beliefs you have held for too long.)

Insecurities that have plagued me since childhood are dislodged from their crevices by using a tiny screwdriver. Then a refreshing spray rinses those insecure thoughts away. I release a satisfying sigh of relief at being free of this debris once and for all.

At the conclusion of this “brainwashing” session, peace prevails. I am free from the feelings associated with any bad things that have happened over the years. I have found my way back to the peace of God! This is simply a fresh way to allow God to work in our hearts and minds. He washes us, cleanses us, refreshes us. He has blessed us with our imaginations so that we can allow Him to renew our minds transforming us into His image.

The concept of “brainwashing” was explained to me by Rocky, my oldest. He started talking about it one night in the jacuzzi, and I thought I knew where he was going with it. I had used a positive form of “brainwashing” by repeating beliefs I wanted to adopt such as “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This kind of “brainwashing was an effort to implant the new belief in my brain and rid myself of old beliefs such as “I’m not good enough,” or “I can’t do this or that.” Rocky’s concept of brainwashing was fresh and new and surprisingly effective at restoring a sense of peace and well being.  He recommends doing this for a few minutes each night or morning and throughout the day as needed.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the blessing of being “brainwashed.”