I have Moved!

Hi, If you show up here, it is because I commented on a link I found. I’m so glad you came, but I have a new WordPress account, please visit me there. I am doing an exciting challenge with 31 Days of Dare to Pray. Please comment and let me know you found me! Thanks!

http://idaretobehappy.com/2014/10/04/welcome-to-31-days-of-dare-to-pray/

U is for Understanding–The Other Side of the Die

If you landed here, it is because the link you clicked is not attached to my new self-hosted site. You will find the same article and more at my new site, http://idaretobehappy.com Please come over and read this article there. You can find it in search under “The Other Side of the Die.”

This article was first published under the title, “The Other Side of the Die.” It  depicts what “understanding” means to me. We oftenA to Z Badge focus only on how we see something, and we seek out new  and more powerful ways to convince others that our point of view is the one and only correct one. When we realize that we are seeing only “one side of the dice,” it opens the door for us to see and understand how things look from someone else’s perspective. At our house now, we often remind each other, that “it’s just another side of the dice.”

The Other Side of the Die

That’s right. “die”. . .singular of dice. We can say dice for singular or plural, kind of like deer and deer, but to get your attention, I decided to title this article, “The Other Side of the dice8Die.”  While I am randomly discussing weird words, I have a question for you. When you are alone in the kitchen, do you reach for the thyme and quietly say “thime” or do you really, even in the privacy of your own home, actually say “time.” I was just wondering because it is very difficult for me to say “time” for “thyme” and makes no sense at all and that is the whole point of “The Other Side of the Die.” Let me explain. When I am looking at one side of a die, let’s say I see a one; someone across from me will be seeing a six (as in one says “time” and another says “thime.”) Two other friends are going to see the two and the five. Every one of us sees things from our very own point of view, based on our personality, our experiences, and our beliefs.

dice6When we can accept this, it opens up a whole new interesting world. We can look at ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, anddice7 sixes and have an understanding of how someone else might view the world. There are those who truly enjoy seeing weird speckle-faced aliens boarding spaceships and trying to take over the minds of the crew and condemn them to spinning endlessly in space never to return home again. The same person might view a fun, light-hearted detective show like Monk as uninteresting, if not annoying. Once you realize that it’s just the other side of the die, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make one good and one bad, or one right and one wrong. It makes life interesting.

In another scenario, we may have someone who loves Christian rock music while another prefers contemporary music. There are even those who prefer science fiction over historical Christian fiction. Tamera Alexander, you didn’t hear it from me. These differences can be an open door for conversation and greater understanding. It can  be fascinating to find out what is going on in someone’s else’s world.  You might also find it intriguing  to find  out how other people view politics and religion, if you can learn to view it from “the other side of the dice.” We can learn not to react or overreact when someone is  blatantly opposed to our way of thinking. Consider it the same as you would a different preference for chocolate over vanilla ice-cream or a preference for cheese pizza over supreme. Why anyone would prefer vanilla over chocolate, I have no idea, but I am willing to open the door of understanding to find out.

Exploring different viewpoints is a healthy alternative to thinking that you and only you are right in all things. Learning to respect  the differences in others is like giving vivid colors to an otherwise drab one-sided way of looking at life. Differences are simply a springboard for digging deeper, for asking questions and finding out more about those you love and those you meet.

Sir Isaac NewtonThere are many sides to every strongly held belief, yet, let us not be mistaken in the fact that there is Absolute Truth. Just as there are laws that govern the universe like the law of gravity, inertia, and the law of lift, there is also Absolute Truth. . .absolute right and wrong.   It is important to have a firm foundation on which to stand as we develop our way of looking at the universe. Thank God that He is unchangeable. His laws are right and true and His plan of salvation through His Son is sure! Standing on our firm foundation, we are free to accept and understand others even when their views are diametrically opposed to our own.

Whether it be differences in our entertainment preferences, our music, our political viewsdice1 or our understanding of Scripture, we can open doors of communication by asking questions, being respectful, calm, and kind and simply having fun by looking at something in a new way. Turn the die around, look at each side. Know that each and every person is important to our Creator, Look more deeply at what makes them who they are. “Time or thime,” it really doesn’t matter. It’s all in how you throw the dice.

 

 

Moving Day!

friendsDear Friends and Subscribers,

I have recently set up “Dare to Be Happy” as a self-hosted site and have move to http://idaretobehappy.com/ I have requested that WordPress move my subscribers but I am not sure when this will take place. It might be best if you  come on over and “subscribe” or “follow” on your own. For the past few weeks I have been writing my posts, over at the new site and then also copying them here and publishing. I will stop doing that in the next few days, and you will not be aware of new posts unless you are redirected by WordPress or come over on your own. It is  a good time for you to reevaluate whether or not you want to continue to follow me. I sure hope you do. I am having such fun writing, and it is all the more fun when you think someone is reading it and hopefully benefiting from it. I also love to hear from you and I encourage you to jump into the discussions when you can and share your own thoughts. I will be looking for you over at the new site! Blessings to you!

Sharon

Come on over!

http://idaretobehappy.com/

30 Days to Happiness: T is for Trust

Please Don’t Let Me Fall!

Trust Exercise # 1 Choose someone in the world that you “trust.” Ask them to catch you as you totally fall back into their arms. This is a team-building exercise often used in group encounters to encourage trusting others. Don’t you just want to say to the person who is supposedly behind you, “Please, don’t let me fall.”

Since they are human, there is ever the possibility that they could be distracted by trust1something and step away at just the moment you are “trusting them” as you fall back. It is also remotely possible that they could, heaven forbid, decide to see what actually happens if they step back and watch you fall. Your life and health are in their hands. So you say, “Please, don’t let me fall.” I realized that I daily have the opportunity to fall back, trusting  God to catch me, but something was holding me back from fully trusting God. I was dealing with worry, and trying to figure out solutions to my own problems, being frustrated and even frightened when things didn’t go my way.

trust1_2I found a quote online that answered the question, “What is trust?” Here is the answer: “Trust is believing that the person you are in a relationship with means good for you.” That statement bolted through my consciousness. I realized that at the heart of my “trust issue” was the fact that I was not sure that God meant good for me. I was afraid He would let me fall.

This led me to the next question. Does God ever cause destruction, pain and failure? No, He does not.  At the first sign of trouble, He sweeps in to bring every ounce of good and benefit and blessing out of anything that comes our way. It doesn’t matter if it comes to us through our own mistakes, consequences of our actions, life, or the enemy of our soul. He is there. He will not let us fall.  A loving  parent can’t, and really shouldn’t, stop every unpleasant thing from happening to their child, yet they are always available and rush in to help, love, advise, comfort, and restore. They can be trusted. Just like this, God is always there to rush in to help, love, advise, comfort, restore, strengthen, and guide, through it all. By doing this He brings forth treasures we could never have had otherwise. Yes, He can be trusted.

trust2Taking it a step higher, by staying close, close, close to Him, we will avoid many of the troubles that would have come our way had we trekked out on our own course. Yes, I can trust Him. He wants my good, He alone knows how to lead me to fulfill His Plan for me. Without a doubt, as I walk and talk with Him throughout the day, He loves and leads, guides and encourages. He can be trusted. He will not let me fall!

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30 Days to Happiness: S is for Send

Send me flowers. Send me your love. Send up prayers. Send cards. Send packages. Send Valentines. Send cookies. Send a thank-you note. It is so much fun to get things in the mail, especially if there is something in it. So send it!

packageMy grandmother always sent a birthday card with a dollar in it to every child, grandchild and in-law. She did this until she was well into her 80’s, and we always looked forward to getting Mammaw’s dolllar even when the monetary value of that dollar had plummeted. As I pondered what I would send, when “send” popped up as one of my “guide words” the first thing that came to mind was to send birthday cards to my family members. I have three precious nieces that I do not get to see more than once a year. Frankly, I wish I could have been more involved in their lives. I don’t know where the time goes, but it has slipped away. I love them dearly, and I am extremely proud of all three of them. I have an amazingly cute great-nephew and great-niece that I also love and do not see often enough. My plan is to send them birthday cards on time this year.  We have a rather small family compared to many, and I treasure each one, and sincerely hope they know that.  I have dear friends on my “send list” as well. These  friends are as much family as friends, and I can’t imagine our lives without them. Sending cards can be a valuable expression of thoughtfulness and love, especially if sent with prayers that they will carry a special touch from the Lord.

Reminders to myself:

  • Buy stamps.
  • Buy cards in advance.
  • Prepare cards early.
  • Mail 2-3 days before birthdate.
  • Send holiday cards to special people.
  • Send thank-you notes for each dinner invitation and any gifts received.
  • Always RSVP to invitations.

Fun ways to send packages: Here and more ideas for sending things, here.

Send some love today!

Have you received or sent something fun in the mail? What does it mean to you to get something personal instead of junk mail and bills? Motivate us to mail something!

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30 Days to Happiness: R is for Relax

RelaxA book, a hot bath, a beach chair, a float for the pool, a pillow, blanket, sofa, a massage. . .Any one of these or a combination will beckon me, and I will obey and relax. My resume clearly shows that relaxing is a definite strength. I can usually put off any number of high priority tasks if opportunity and inspiration presents itself for me to relax.  I have one question for you, if  I am so good at relaxing, why can I  get intense so easily? The answer lies in the fact that I may be relaxing my body, but my mind is still on the job.

If we can learn to give our minds a rest along with our bodies, I believe  we will find a  deeper place of relaxation  where God can speak to us, refresh us, and bring about the best in us. It is going to require getting our mind, “our reasoner” to be quiet. When I am “relaxing” my mind is still rapidly chasing rabbit trails Thousands of thoughts continue to vy for my attention, pulling me away from the book I am reading, busily solving problems or making plans. That may be relaxation of the body, but it is not RELAXATION of the mind.

I would venture to say that our minds are the hardest working organ in our bodies. For example, the heart basically has one job to do, pump blood. The liver gets poisons out of our systems; the lungs take in air and release carbon dioxide; the stomach digests food. Read this list of what our brains do:

  •  “Controls the  body’s functions, such as walking, talking, swallowing, breathing, taste, smell, heart rate
  • Controls all our thinking functions, our emotions, how we behave and all our intellectual (cognitive) activities, such as how we attend to things, how we perceive and understand our world and its physical surroundings, how we learn and remember and so on.” (ABI Manual)

I don’t know about you, but my brain needs to RELAX!

I know that when I can get my “reasoner” to be quiet, I can better hear from God, I can be more creative, and I can receive inspiration from Him. This is great motivation to find techniques to quiet my mind and learn to really relax. I’ll be experimenting with this over the next few weeks, so if you have any tips, please feel free to share them.

Here’ s a method of relaxation suggested by Norman Vincent Peale’s in his book, The Power of Positive Thinking.

Lay with your palms up.

  • Begin with the toes, and think or say “My toes are relaxed.” Do this slowly without thinking too much about it.
  • Move up your body, doing this with every muscle part until you have covered all of the muscles of the face and the top of the head.
  • At this point you should be completely relaxed or asleep.

Another idea for entering into a deeper state of relaxation is to imagine you are on the 50th floor of an elevator. Count down as the elevator goes down opening out onto a beautiful beach or a peaceful scene. Your mind should be quieted now, and you can relax, thinking only of the Lord and the beautiful scene in your imagination.

A third method is to simply put on some relaxing music. You can find a number of sessions on Youtube. Just lie down, breathe deeply, and and totally relax.

If you have tips and methods for deep relaxation, please share. I really want to give my brain a rest!

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30 Days to Happiness: Q is for Questions

QIn November, 1999, a friend and I went to a women’s retreat at a church in Fort Mill, South Carolina. We had never been to anything like this, but we signed up for a “prophetic word session.” We were quite unsure of what to expect, but we were together, and we knew nothing bad could happen to us. We knew we would be able to discern the truth of what we were told through scripture and through our spirit and our counsel with each other.

There were three ladies across from us, and they took our hands and prayed for the Holy Spirit to show them something to encourage us. What you are about to read is what  a woman named Sue told me. They were kind enough to give us a tape of the session, and I later transcribed this into my  journal. She could not have depicted me more clearly than what she said about me being inquisitive. Her words of encouragement or rather His words of encouragement through her have blessed me over the years. Last night I went to sleep thinking about what I would write for my “Q is for Questions,” and this came back to me as I was sleeping or waking or somewhere in between. I hope you will be encouraged as well to keep asking your questions.

Sharon, I just keep seeing this child in class that would always raise their hand and say “why”, always asking questions. “Why does this work?””Why does that not work?””How can the stars hang in the sky?” You’re very inquisitive, and that goes over into your spiritual life. You’re always asking the Father “Why?” “How does this work?” Sometimes you feel like you can’t get enough answers to all your questions, but the Lords says He will answer every one of them in His way and in His time, but He will answer them and don’t stop asking because he enjoys you asking Him.

Do you have unanswered questions? Share them if you like. I won’t answer them, though I might give a thought about them, but I will pray that the Holy Spirit will give you the answers you seek. Remember He enjoys your questions.

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