30 Days to Happiness: O is for Organize

O I can’t count the times I have listed as a goal or affirmation that “I have a neat and well-organized house.” Beyond writing or saying the words, nothing ever happened to move me in that direction. . .until I met up with “40 Bags in 40 Days.”  I had been researching Lent for a post I was working on, when I discovered this blog which stated the writer was giving up clutter for Lent, one bag a day for 40 days. I knew this was my answer. “40 Bags” has been going on for years and has accumulated over 10,000 committed participants who blog about and facebook about their decluttering, “decrapifying,” organizing lives. It was fascinating to me, and  I joined forces with them on March 7. I set up my chart where I faithfully recorded what I had accomplished each day. First I went through my top right drawer and got rid of one bag of things I never wore. Success. You can follow my adventure on the chart below:

40 Bags in 40 Days!













Top Left Bedroom Drawer

3 things to give away, small bag of trash; drawer almost empty

1 small bag



Top Bathroom Drawer

Despicable mess; 3 hairbrushes, tweezers, etc. left

1 small bag




8 cookbooks left

1 small bag



Off (Worked a Double)



2  kitchen drawers

Lots of things not needed

1 small bag




Not much left there ice and 1 carton of chile, some flour tortillas

1 small bag



Started back rt corner of bedroom

Sorted papers

1 small bag



Bedroom rt corner

15 minutes +10 for put away

1 small bag



TV stand phase 1

 15 min. Cleaned out mess and straightened, now must make decisions on throw away

1 small bag



Day Off



2 kitchen drawers

15 minutes or less Placed toy lizards & frogs as “surprises”

Few items to trash



Day Off for Movie Night

“Mr. Peabody and Sherman” with Larry and Jay- Bags will have to wait




Just couldn’t do it; too sleepy




Bottom of closet and Vitamins sorted

1 small bag



Larry did top of his closet and top of dresser

Exciting that he was inspired!




Out of Town

Emmerson’s birthday






Closet Shelf

6 minutes amazing results




Nothing today

Must regroup



Nothing today



Nothing today



Sorted old papers (tough job) about 1 ½ hours

Papers to shred and papers

½ bag



Sorted box of papers been there 2 years

Papers to shred and ½ bag

½ lg bag




It had been a challenge indeed to find time to work on this project. I started with what was the easiest task, and I started with enthusiasm of epic proportions. Even if it was after midnight, I found a small job to do, or spent 15 minutes toward a corner, but I did something every day for 13 out of the first 17 days. The challenge was to do this every day until April 19, the end of Lent. What happened next is epic “Sharon.” I don’t know how I found the A to Z Challenge, but when I saw it. . .oh I remember now, it was from someone in my beloved 500 Words a Day group from Tribe Writers who mentioned the A to Z Challenge. When I saw it, I ran to it with abandon and began on April 1 with the A to Z Challenge. And hence we are at O for organize. I am only behind schedule by one letter if you don’t count H for Hawaii which I am researching.

Yes, I dropped the organizational ball and picked up another challenge. There just hasn’t been enough time what with my  Joyce Meyer’s 3030 Challenge, in which every night I take 30 minutes,usually the last 30 minutes of my day, and I meditate, memorize a chosen portion of scripture. I have been faithful to my 3030 challenge since March 1, and I’m doing well with my A to Z Challenge, but 4040 has gone by the wayside temporarily.

Not My House
Not My House

As you can see, I embrace challenges yet  I seem to run from organization. I can find many things to do that do not involve organizing or decluttering my house. What I found through the “40 Bags” groups was a belief that it is possible; it is fun; it is rewarding to have a neat and well organized home. I also found some wonderful people that I relate to. I found people who are decluttering their lives by dealing with emotional baggage, and it is inspiring to walk with them on their  journey of healing.  I have also gained confidence because I have seen “before” pictures  that would make the leaves fall off a tree! (example:  above, not my house!) Seriously  I found that there are people far messier than I am. God love ’em! My confidence has soared. I have gained a belief and an excitement that it is possible for me to accomplish the gratifying task of organizing and decluttering every corner, crevice, and closet in my home. I will find a way, a group, or a challenge to do it just as soon as this crazy A to Z Challenge is over!

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30 Days to Happiness: N is for: 8 Reasons I Want Your Name

I like to play the game of collecting names, attaching some information about the person to the name, and then trying to remember the name. It’s part of my work, but it’s an exercise in using my mind, as well as an exercise in reaching out to others. Our names are important to us, and by sharing our names we put value on people. It is definitely a work in progress. I’ll let you know how it goes.

8 Reasons I Want Your Name

1. When I know your name, my mind creates a file to put all of the interesting information I learn about you.

2. When I know your name, I acknowledge that you are an individual, a special person to the Lord.

3. Knowing your name brings us a step closer to friendship.

4. If I know your name, I can use it, and that puts value on you.

5. Your name is important to you.

6. If I feel like praying for you, I have a name to use.

7. It’s fun to see if you look like your name.

8. It might give us something to talk about.

So friend, what is your name? Do you like your given name? Do you have a nickname? I am guessing many of you know what your name means, and that means something to you. Feel free to share. You can just call me “Princess.”

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30 Days to Happiness: M is for Meet

Meet Everyone Everywhere Today

I don’t know about you, but that conjures up a ridiculous picture of me walking down the street sticking my hand out to everyone, saying “Hi, I’m Sharon. And you are?” Within minutes, someone would send the men in white coats to pick me up or  worse,  they might think I’m a politician vying for their votes. No kissing babies for me.

meetWhen the acronym presented itself to me, I  liked it as a reminder that  we actually do meet people everywhere every day. There are people everywhere. When I connect with the one in front of me, I meet them right where they are. I can look them in the eye, remember that they are a person with a life just as important as mine. Many people have troubled lives, sad lives, destructive lives. Others have peaceful lives, prosperous lives, interesting lives, but, no one has it all together.

When I take this word “meet” as a guide word, it leads me to reach out to people and recognize that they are a person just like me. My natural curiosity and sincere interest will cause me to ask questions so that I can see through the window into their life for a moment. This expands my understanding of God’s infinite creativity. It enriches my life. It gives me the opportunity to project a ray of sunshine through that window . Hopefully they will see God’s love for them reflected in me as I let them see a bit of myself as well. If I get a chance to actually stick out a hand and get their name, then a true connection has been made, and I can truthfully say, “It was nice meeting you!”

So meet everyone everywhere today by acknowledging them as God’s creation, getting to know them a little bit, and opening up so they can see who you are as well.

Even though it’s not face-to-face, we’re actually meeting here today. Because of my curiosity and sincere interest, would you answer one of these questions, and as always feel free to ask one of your own. 1) Where is your favorite place to vacation? 2. How many people live in your house? 3. What kind of work do you do? and if you dare, 4. What is a challenge you are facing? I would be happy to send up a prayer on your behalf.


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30 Days to Happiness: L is for Listen

LL is for Listen and laughter, but first things first. My guide word, “listen” reminds me to pay attention to what others are saying. I especially try to practice this when my husband, Larry and my youngest son, Jay are telling me things. Learning to listen is going to lead to greater happiness for me and for those I love. It will also have a positive effect on everyone I am listening to because it shows respect and gives value to people. Talking comes so naturally to us because there is a running conversation going on in our head all of the time. All we have to do is open our mouth and our thoughts are sure to come out. This is sometimes how we end up with our “foot in our mouth.” Learning to listen can be extremely beneficial as it requires our mouth to be closed and our ears to be open thereby minimizing the possibility of saying something we would regret.

Listening is not only a skill we can learn, it is a gift we can give.  Instead of thinking about what we want to say, we need to hear what others are saying, remember it,  and ask them questions to gain further insight. It  takes a conscious effort to hear and remember what people say. It shows true caring when we ask more about it  or make a reference to it later. What better way to show that we care and to bring happiness to others than to really listen?

My 8 Quotes

On Listening

  1. Listening2 “Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer.”― Ed Cunningham
  2. “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”― David Augsburger
  3. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” –Ernest Hemingway
  4. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” —Stephen R. Covey
  5. “The art of conversation lies in listening.” –Malcom Forbes
  6. “You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” -M. Scott Peck
  7. “We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” –Diogenes
  8. “The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’.”― Alfred Brendel

How do you rate your listening skills right now? Is there room for improvement? I’d really like to hear how you feel about this!A to Z Badge



30 Days to Happiness: I is for Inspiration



InspsirationInspiration is a spark, just a little something to get things started.

Inspiration is a spark of desire to do more.

It is a stirring that makes you want to do more.

It’s a better idea.

Fanny Crosby who is well known for writing over 8000 hymns began her writing each day with the prayer to God to be her inspiration.

Inspiration is that which motivates you from a higher perspective to do something good.

Relax, breathe deeply. Let it come.

Ask for it, God will provide it.

Seek it by reading, listening, asking questions of others.

Quiet your mind.

Open up your spirit to God.

Inspiration is a close relative of creativity.

God is the source of inspiration. Don’t forget that, Sharon. He is your inspiration, whether He uses people, nature, His word, a book or a blog. He will inspire you with truth and creative ideas. He can inspire you to love and care for others and care for yourself. He can inspire you to reach deeply within and be more than you are. He can give you dreams and visions that will expand your faith and your expectations. You can stretch and grow and do more than you dreamed possible. God’s words will flow through you as you yield to Him, and you will find yourself encouraging others and having great ideas to work with. Ask for inspiration and let it come.

Is God inspiring you to do something? Would you share it in the comments and let us encourage you? As you can see, I’m learning what inspiration is, so if you’d like please share what inspiration means to you.






30 Days to Happiness: J is for Jesus

J A great deal of happiness comes from simply bringing Jesus into my daily life by focusing on Him throughout the day. Using my imagination, seeing Him and talking to Him, is changing my life as much as anything I have done since I met Jesus as my Savior at the age of five in my grandfather’s church. In the article, 10 Things You Can Do With Jesus, you will find some creative ideas for spending time with Him. The first one suggests that you “tell Him who you believe He is.” Here are my words to Him as I meditated on this:

“Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me. I know you walked the earth 2000 years ago healing the sick and setting the captives free. You preached in the synagogue and on the hillside. You turned water into wine, and you fed 5000 people with loaves and fishes. You raised the dead, healed the sick, and cast out demons. You are patient, loving, kind, and wise,  You are gentle and forgiving,  You love to make us think by giving us parables and asking questions. You’ve shown us how to live. You are all-powerful, all-knowing, and you are always with us even to the end of the earth. I can trust you and when I think of you my heart is full of peace.”

Those of us who are seeking happiness in life need to look no further than Jesus, Himself. He has the answers to every problem and every question. He has creative ideas for adventures we haven’t even dreamed of yet. Finding ways to spend time with Him will lead to happiness more quickly than anything we can do.

Maybe you would like to try one of the “things to do with Jesus” from the article and tell us your impressions, or whether you know Him personally or not, tell us who He is to you. This is a “no judgement zone,” so no one is going to argue with you or judge your for your opinion. We’d just love to hear your thoughts. It’s very healthy to see and understand others’ points of view. So let’s hear it. . .

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Daniel Gollimer Keeps A Record

Enjoy the continuing saga of Kingdom Animal Adventures. If you missed the first installment, you can read it here. K is for keeping a record. Let’s see what the animals have to say about this!

BEAVER3 public domainBelinda leaned back on her 15″ tail and flashed her beautiful front tooth as Johnny leaned down closer so his tiny ears could hear Belinda’s answer. “Johnny, it’s very important to declare the things of God in your life every day, you know that, quiet or loud, you must do it!”

Belinda and Johnny walked toward the rest of the forest animals as they could see everyone was beginning to sit down for the morning round-up.

King Louie had just called the meeting to order, and asked if there were any challenges that needed to be dealt with. Belinda and Johnny joined the giraffes  Jeremy, Johnson, and Judy and squatted down so they could see. The other beavers were seated near a tasty tree in case they needed a snack if the meeting went longer than it should. As the first animal was recognized to speak, all of the giraffes became restless, rollling their eyes, muttering, “Not him again.” “Oh, no, It’s D.G.!” “Mr. Doom and Gloom himself.” “Here we go again.” Other animals expressed unease as well.

Sure enough Daniel Gollimer, a gopher, of course, waddled up to the front of the group and stood trembling before them. “As you know friends, I keep a record of all the things that might go wrong and I wwwwant to ggggogo over them with you. I have  been hearing rrrrumbbblings. They are getting cccccloser. Some herd of something is coming. The ground vvvvibrates every day stronger and sssstronger.I can’t tell how far away or how close they are yet, but I can tell you something bbbbaddd is about to happen. It doesn’t rrrrreaally matter,” he stuttered as he shook, “because our food ssssupply is going to run out before they get here. Lightning and heavy rains are going to destroy our forest and our food supply. We have no way to escape. I’m going bbbback underground. It’s all I’ve got to say. Good-bye everybbbbody.”

Naturally, there was a stirring among the animals. They had heard this before, but yet every time it gave them pause. What if there was some truth to it? Gonzalez rose to quiet the crowd. “Now friends, remember you have nothing to fear, but fear itself, let us list again all of the successes we have had here in the forest. Who will be first, Willie, what do you walruses have to say to kick this thing off?

“Well,” Willie mustered his courage, and addressed the group, “Number 1: There were rumblings before, and it was only the grasshoppers swarming in for their food fest.”

“And number 2,” the elephant, Ellie piped up swinging her trunk high in the air, “Another time rumblings turned out to be that herd of elephants, pretty nice bunch. They went on their way after checking out our waterholes for a couple of days.

3. The beavers built 12 dams just last week, so our food stock is good for a very long time. We can take care of the ducks, frogs, and fish in our waters.

4. “The streams are still running clear, plenty of fresh water,” one of the dogs remarked with a gesture toward the stream.

5. Plenty of leaves on the trees to eat. No shortage there,”Jeremy, a giraffe commented.

6. “Worms are plenteous,” shouted the hogs.

The list went on for several more minutes, and you could feel the tension easing among the animals. Gonzalez made a final remark, “It’s important to keep a record of our successes, of all we’ve got in our favor, and of the blessings we have every day of our lives. We are not in this alone. We’re God’s creatures, and He will provide everything we need. Now who’s going in after D.G. We gotta get that boy turned around in more ways than one.”

Will the animals be able to get D.G. turned around, and what is that rumbling they hear in the distance?SharySignature

30 Days to Happiness: Finish What You Start

procrastination3FThere it is. . .looming in the darkness ahead of you. You can’t see it, but you know it is out there lurking in the shadows. It is nagging at you, calling you. . .louder. . .louder. . .LOUDER. “Finish me, finish me, finish me.” it’s one of your unfinished projects calling you again. Will they never leave you alone?

“Quiet!” you say. I will finish you later. I don’t want to do it now. I want to do something else, something fun or relaxing. It will still be there when I’m ready to do it. Now it’s LOUDER again. There’s only one way to stop this incessant, annoying, nagging voice. Get it behind you. You’ll be so much happier when you see the finished product. It will encourage you to finish another one, and another one. You will find yourself getting happier and more confident with each one. Finish it and then relax and have some fun.

What unfinished projects do you have on your “to do” list? Can you work on one a little every day until you get it done? Or tell us about a project you have finished and how that made you feel. We need all of the encouragement we can get!

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30 Days to Happiness: Exercise is Exhilarating!

It has been suggested that 20 focused minutes a day can provide a “full happiness boost” every day. Can exercise really affect your level of happiness?  Here are 10 Fun Facts about exercise that can motivate and stimulate our desire to get moving.

Ten Fun Facts About Exercise

  1. You will stay with your exercising longer if you are listening to music or are otherwise distracted.
  2. Exercise is more effective at increasing your energy levels than caffeine.
  3. You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.
  4.  Regular exercise can enhance mood and overall well-being.
  5. The top three factors that determine whether or not you will stick to your exercise routine include having support, finding a workout that you like and knowing what you’re doing.
  6. There is no “best time to exercise.” It turns out that the best time to exercise is when it works for you.
  7. Exercise1Visualization can help to improve your workout. By visualizing yourself completing the exercise before you actually perform it, then you will be able to perform the exercise with more intensity and effectiveness.
  8. Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity.
  9. Exercising for 30 minutes in the morning can change your whole day. Endorphins are released into your bloodstream during exercise so you feel much more energized the rest of the day.
  10. If all 600 muscles in your body pulled in the same direction, you could lift 25 tons.

exercise2Why I am starting tomorrow:

1. I will have increased energy. Sounds like the more I exercise, the more I will exercise. That’s encouraging.

2. I will burn more calories than sleeping.That’s encouraging!

3. My mood will be enhanced. Wooohoooo! It’s working already!

4. My mind will be clearer. That will be a big plus!

5. If I can figure out how to get all of 600 of my muscles moving in the same direction, I will be able to lift 25 tons! Now who wouldn’t want to give that a try?

Let’s hear it, what’s the status of exercise in your life, 0 to 10. What do you do? What works for you? Have you noticed any correlation between happiness and exercise? All of your comments will be valuable in getting this girl moving!

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The Lion and the Porcupine DECLARE the Day

lion1lion1lion1Louie, the Lion came out into the forest clearing, his crown tilted slightly to the side, his large mouth opening wide, as he declared, “It’s going to be a great day, here in the forest! I declare that every forest creature will be blessed, prosperous, safe, and healthy today.” All of the animals, small and large came out hopping, loping, and some slithering in response to his roar as they did every day. It was going to be another good day in the forest, plenty to eat, plenty to do, perhaps some challenges to overcome, but King Louie had spoken and surely all would be well with them today.

porcupine1Quintessa, the quietest of the forest animals slowly meandered from her favorite tree where early this morning she had climbed down from the comfortable crook she had been sleeping in. Yes, that’s right porcupines like to sleep in the crook of a tree unless they are nurturing their babies in a cozy burrow. This morning, she carried a basket of clover in her mouth and greeted the other animals with a nod of her prickly head. She looked characteristically happy, and content and ready to take on the day.

giraffe1“She’s done it again,” the giraffe exclaimed. I know what you’re thinking and you are right. Giraffes are not usually found in forests; they are out on the savanna with the lions and zebras and such but for the purpose of this story, all kinds of animals of every size, shape, description, and personality will be found here in our extraordinary animal kingdom. Here we will meet and interact with God’s creatures as they live and breathe in the imagination of this author. These fanciful animals have unforgettable and pertinent messages to deliver to us. Today’s message: “Declare (decree) a thing, and it shall be done.” Job 22:28 So back to our story. . .
“What did you say?” questioned the believable beaver, Belinda.

“She’s done it again,” replied Johnny, the giraffe. “She’s been up early, she’s gathered food, she’s got a smile on her face. I don’t know how she does it. I barely have my eyes open now, and the smile that started at my toes won’t reach my mouth before mid afternoon. Course that’s because it has such a looooooong way to go, but that is beside the point. Quintessa is always so positive, and optimistic. What’s her secret? You told me the other day, but I forgot.”

beaver2“Her secret,” Belinda reminded Johnny patiently, “is that she does the same thing that King Louie does, just in a completely different way. She explained it to me this way, ‘I open my eyes and I look up to the sky. I can see it through the branches of the tree, and without saying a word, I send my thoughts up to God, and I say, It’s going to be a great day in the forest today. I declare a blessing over all the forest creatures, and I say they are blessed, prosperous, safe, and healthy today. Then I get up and wash my face and gather food and then meet you all here to see what adventures await us. It’s going to be a great day, today.’ That’s what she does every day without opening her mouth because she’s quiet like that. She doesn’t roar it out. She just thinks it, you could say prays it out. Of course when she does say something it is lined up with how she’s thinking, that’s for sure.”

“That’s all very interesting,” Johnny remarked. “Different kinds of ways to get the thing done that needs to be done. We should all roar it out or pray it out, and even think the right things out every day. Is that right, Belinda?”

What will Belinda answer? And what adventures will greet the animals of the forest today?

Before I get out of bed each morning, like Quintessa, I usually quietly say in my mind , “It’s going to be a great day today!” or I remind myself, “I’m happier than I’ve ever been! God is with me, today! I have the mind of Christ today!” God Then Like Louie the Lion, I often will shout declarations when I am in the car. I will speak loudly about the blessings that will come upon each family member during the day. I have a very strong belief that declaring our day is a great way to tap into the happiness that God has planned for us! How do you start your day? Do you have any declarations or routines that help you have a happier day? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and have a GREAT day!SharySignature

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