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!

A to Z BadgeSharySignature


A Note to the Reader

Dear Readers, (I’ll call you Milly, Sam, Jim, and Cecelia) and Hello Norway, Philippines, Turkey, Germany, Canada, and Australia! So glad you dropped by!

My statistics for this site show that over the last year my 62 articles have been read over 3000 times by people representing 64 countries. There is really no way to tell how many different people have become new friends of mine this year, but I can tell you that I am thankful for every one of you. I am hoping that at least one sentence gave you something to think about, or at least something made you smile.

dare to be happy1If you have kept up with what I’m doing here on “Dare to Be Happy, ” you know that I have a passion for encouraging people. I will remind you that:

1. God has great and wonderful plans for you.

2. You can access His best for your life by thinking about what you want. He guides you in the desires of our hearts.

3.  You are a unique individual with treasures inside of you. No one else can do what you can do.

4.  You attract what you think about. This is the essence of faith, and faith pleases God.

As you know, I firmly believe that a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, is the way to have a happy and successful life. The happiness and success we seek pleases Him because it is actually His desire for us. He is the One who places these desires in our heart, and He is the One who partners with us. He is the One who provides all of the resources, the training and the motivation to accomplish our dreams if we trust Him. He is the One who makes what we do meaningful and gives purpose to our lives.

Milly, Sam, Jim, Clarissa, and all of you from countries around the world, you are amazing creations that God gave as gifts to the world, each with your unique gifts and talents. I would love to know you, and learn what treasures He has placed within you. Sometimes, you have one sentence or one word, or that pleasant smile to share that changes a person’s life. I might meet you on the street or in a shop tomorrow, and you might smile and say, “hello” and it could bring me closer to God. Think of this as you meet people tomorrow. I’ll be looking for you. Have a great day, and come back by “Dare to Be Happy” to see what we’re talking about next. Blessings to you, my friends!SharySignature

So It’s Not as Easy As It Sounds?

Dr Sharon2“Dr. Sharon! Dr. Sharon! Dr. Sharon.” Bill rushes past the receptionist desk and into Dr. Sharon’s office where he finds her with her feet up, sipping a diet coke, with a book in her hand.

“Bill, what are you doing? I’m on a break between patients. Is this an emergency?” she inquires as she puts her feet on the floor, straightens her white jacket and smooths her hair.

“Yes, you’ve got to help me. Sorry to barge in, but I’ve been reading ‘Dare to Be Happy,’ you know the blog that everyone is talking about by Sharybary. The one from yesterday got me so excited. I knew I had found the answer! It was called, let’s see, what was it? The lion, the witch and the ditch? No, that’s not it. The hump, the bump and the barrel?”

“I read it,” the doctor replied. ‘The Bump, the Ditch, and the Cliff.’ Good reading. I think she may be onto something.

“Well, yes, that’s it. I thought so, too, but then I woke up this morning and I felt bad. Something at work was bothering me. It was just a bump,  and I tried to do what she said. I tried to think about Jesus, and relax and enjoy the day, but that bad feeling didn’t go away. I tried to figure out what I should do about this work problem, and I kept feeling worse. Why didn’t this work for me? If it didn’t work for this little bump, what’s going to happen when I fall off of a cliff.  It sounded so easy when she said it. As a matter of fact, all of this stuff sounds so easy. What’s wrong with me, Doc? Why isn’t it working for me?

hill1“Bill, sit down. The truth is, it’s not easy.” Bill’s faced looked glum, but she continued, “You see it is very easy to start sliding down a steep hill, isn’t it? You can land at the bottom in just a few seconds with no effort at all. When you turn around and look back up the hill, it’s not such an easy task to get back up there. You might even need some help. If you’ve got a friend that knows you’re down there, they could go for help, or throw you a rope, or send a helicopter. . The first thing to do when it seems too hard to get over the bump, or out of the ditch or to get help when the cliff looms ahead, is to realize you are not alone. Find someone to talk to, someone to pray with you and encourage you. Don’t just tell them your problems, but ask for help, and then listen, really listen, weigh it out, and if it seems right to you, follow their advice.

The second thing you need to do is put one foot in front of the other. Just do one thing to get you started up back up that hill. Like she was saying, you want to look to Jesus and take a step in the right direction. Your first step might be to smile, or find something to laugh about, or meditate a verse of scripture, or it might be to do something related to the problem to get you moving. Even if Jesus looks far away, you will do far better to look up to Him, than to look down at your feet, where you have landed. Remember, it is the resistance to get up the hill that strengthens your muscles. Are you understanding what I am saying?”

“Yes, ma’am. So it’s not as easy as it seemed when I read the story?”

step4“No, Bill, often times it is not easy. I don’t think she really meant to imply that it is. She just likes to be all upbeat and everything to get people’s minds off their problems. It’s a pretty good place to start, but she really knows it’s harder than it looks.  God has so much for us to do, more hills to climb. She kind of gets excited about telling folks they can live a happy, and successful life, so they don’t stay in one place any longer than they have to. She doesn’t mean to minimize the pain, or the struggle, or the value of it.  She knows the meaning of adversity, and she knows God has brought her through many things. She feels the more we can focus on the solutions and God’s power working in us, the sooner the victory comes.”

“How is it you know so much about what she was trying to say?” Bill asked.

“I know Ms. Bary personally. We have had long talks in the middle of the night, Bill.”

“So what’s your advice, Dr. Sharon?”

“Bill, keep reading the stories she writes. It’s good stuff. And even though it’s hard, get your eyes on step5the Lord and off of your problem; trust Him for the answer. That’s a good word for anyone.  And don’t forget to ask for help when you need it. Just like you did today.”

“Okay, Doc! Thanks. I think I understand, now. I can do this. Thanks for encouraging me. Hey, if you’re talking to Ms. Bary, please give my regards.”

“I’ll do that, Bill. and would you send the next patient in, please? Have a nice day!”


Somebody Do Something!

This is for those who have any problem, very small or very large. It may be anything from needing more money, to a job, a new friend, or even healing of a serious illness.

Yes, you have a problem. Yes, you have to deal with it. Yes, God will solve your problem. Yes, you have to have faith. Yes, you have to do something.mark1124

I just recently realized I had a mistaken idea about faith. I have studied faith and meditated on it, and I believe I have lived and acted on it most of my life. I like to fix things, and I like to be happy, so if something is broken or someone is not happy, I am immediately looking for the answer. The great news is I have found that God has all of the answers. I have also found that He doesn’t give them to me just because I need them, and often He doesn’t give them to me just because I ask for them. He wants more, and there is no way around it. I have to do something.

The mistake I made was in believing that ignoring a problem was faith. Just shutting down the thoughts about it because it brought me pain was not faith. Turning from the fear to think of something else wasn’t the answer that would set me free. It was like taking an aspirin, it could dull the pain, but never fix the problem. When a problem looms up in your life, you have to face up to it. That is how we grow.

prayer1Ignoring the problem does not make it go away. I thought it did there for awhile, but now I can see we must look that thing in the eye and get a picture of what we are really dealing with. Remember, you are not alone when you do this. Let God help you sort it out. What needs to happen here? What do you want to happen? What are my fears, and where did they come from? I can face my fear. I can face my problem. I don’t have to live with it; it won’t go away just by ignoring it. You must face up to it and with His help, you can do it. This is how you grow. His strength is made perfect in weakness, and He will not let you down.

Pretending it is not there, and saying, “Whatever” will not make the problem go away. It will go on and on for years and will keep you in the same place without having all that God has planned for you. It is overcoming adversity that makes you strong, not just ignoring it because it makes you feel uncomfortable and then just living with it and perpetuating it.

action1You do not have to let fear, depression, or any bad feelings overtake you when you look at your problem. You will feel uncomfortable at first. The enemy does not want you to face the problem. He pretty much likes things just the way they are. He can string you along and keep you down, making you feel miserable and trying to scare you out of doing anything at all, but there is a better way. Face the problem and any bad feelings associated with it, and plow ahead. Remember, you are not alone. God is with you! He will not fail you. All He needs from you is your Faith, your belief, your trust.

So if you must do something, what do you do? First, look your problem in the eye. See it for what it is without the drama the enemy wants to attach to it. It’s real, but it isn’t as bad as he will make you think it is. After you have faced it, then look past it to the solution. How will you feel when the problem is resolved. Finally, ask yourself what step you need to take to move in that direction. You are not going to be solving this problem yourself, God is well able to meet your need, but He does want you to take a step of faith in the right direction. Just try to do something each day that will keep you focused on the solution and will release your faith that God is solving it. Yes, somebody must do something, and you are the one to do it!

In “Do Something Part II,” you will see how exactly to develop the faith you need to face your problem and vanquish it from your life forever!  

action3Today’s Verse: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6

Today’s Action: Choose one problem, big or small and look at it. Sort it out. Think about what it would look like when you have the solution to it. Think about how you will feel when it has been resolved. Think what the first very small step would be. Take that small step. In other words, do something.

Special Note:

I know what you are thinking: You simply cannot do it. The fear is too great. There is no way you can change. There is no way you can do the thing you know you need to do. There is no way this will ever change. Just do two things for me, please. First, consider the idea that what if you could do it? If you could do it, what would be one tiny step in that direction. You can always step back. Secondly, take that tiny step into the scary place and then reevaluate.


He’s Not Playing Hide and Seek!

hideandseek4 What I really want to do is find God, to spend time with Him, to feel Him near and to know what He thinks about things, and what I should do about things. He’s not playing Hide and Seek. He is sitting on the bench waiting for me to come and join Him. He’s not hiding. I’m the one running like I’m playing Tag. I’m running on through the day, hoping He’s following me. No, He’s still waiting for me to come and sit with Him, or walk with Him and ask Him questions and hear, hideandseek2really hear His answers. He’s not playing games trying to keep me from being with Him. He’s waiting for me to stop and listen. What if it is all up to me how much of God there is in my life? What if it’s just me who can determine the level of His Presence, and the magnitude of His love that I experience in a day. What could I actually learn by keeping my unruly thoughts focused on Him for longer periods of time. I think it’s time for me to stop playing games and spend time with Him more. I’ve got a lot to learn and it might be a really good day to start learning.

Today’s Verse: Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

hideandseek5Today’s Action: Realize it’s in your hands. How much of God do you want in your life. Then give a little more of yourself. Start with 5 minutes more. If you’ve been reading the Bible 10 minutes a day, read it for 15. If you’ve been praying or worshiping for 5 minutes, try to do it for 10 minutes. If you’ve been giving 0 time, then start with 5 minutes. He will be there to greet you every time.

Lower the Temperature, Keep It Cool

??????????????????????????????????????????????????Do you feel the pressure rising on the inside of you. Your thoughts heating up? Steam building like a pressure cooker? Thoughts rolling around causing you to spiral almost out of control of your imagination? Someone was unfair to you. Someone doesn’t like you. Someone didn’t treat you right. You’re worried about something. Anger, fear, frustration, confusion, depression oppression?  Oh no! Stop before it gets worse. But how can you?

temperature1Take a deep breath and turn down the temperature. That is the way we would deal with a boiling pot before it overflows onto the stove, making a huge mess. Deep breath, new thoughts. Look at it from another angle. Completely change your focus. Think of things you’re grateful for. Think of how it might look to the other party. Put the best connotation on it. Things are often not the way they seem. Ask God a question about this. That’s right, bring the temperature down. Is there anything you can do to change the situation? Is there something you could do to make it right? Is there a way that you could help someone else through this? Do it. Think of the positive outcome. Now isn’t that much better?temperature4 temperature5

Three Things I’m Grateful For

happiness4Does being grateful affect our happiness? Can we use gratefulness to dispel darkness, lack of energy, lack of vision, or lack of hope? That is my theory. I’m ready to test it! This project was inspired by a fellow blogger who is afflicted with fibromyalgia. She writes about her pain, struggles and victories, but at the end of each of her writings, she lists “three things she is grateful for.”

Like One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I want to begin to focus every day on those things we so often take for granted. I have not read the book, though a friend said I could have written it. Good, kind, friend knows I love to look for the positive and the good in everything, yet I know I miss so much. We all do. My list has no rules. It will not be prioritized or “spiritualized.” I’m listing blessings as they come to my mind. I will  focus on those throughout the day, letting my mind grasp all of the joy that each one brings for whatever reason it came to mind that day. Each one may have it’s own story that I may or may not expound upon. It’s just me thanking God for his blessings. Come join me. We have an adventure of gratefulness, and all who join are sure to end up having a happier day.

May 24, 2013 Today I am grateful for. . .

cowboys1. Larry and I raised 3 cowboys. Rocky, Nick, and Jay all three had hats, vests, boots, holsters, and cap guns. Cutest boys you ever saw! They had so much fun and brought great joy to our lives through their play Just thinking about those cowboys reminds me of the joy of their childhood.

2. Books that I can read and hold in my hand. I have often been known to highlight with crayons.

3. Food, especially apples.

May 25, 2013 Today I am grateful for. . .

roses4. Fresh strawberries

5. Roses

6. the joy of blogging.

May 26, 2013
7. Giraffes

8. Blue
9. Laughter

May 27, 2013

Today I am grateful for
10. Sunshine
11. Sunsets
12. Bears (live bears)

May 28, 2013

13. Heroes who gave their lives for our freedom

14. Flags that remind us of our freedom

15. Veterans and those in armed forces who preserve our freedom

May 29, 2013

16. Celery

17. Carrots

18. Rabbits (especially very soft, furry bunnies, but also the wild, eat grass from your yard and hop away when you hear a noise, bunnies.)

May 30, 2013

flowering plantToday I am grateful for

19. Legos-Oh the towers we built!
20. Games-I do not have to win EVERY time!
21. Flowering plants-I was given a beautiful flowering plant on Mother’s Day this year, and she is surprisingly flourishing under my care. (Her name is Flora.)

May 31, 2013

Today I am grateful for
22. Mountains
23. Oceans
24. Grass
Imagine the earth without any one of these or with none if these!

June 1 and 2, 2013

Today I chose 7 of my most important blessings to be grateful for:
25. My relationship to God
26. Larry
27. Rocky
28. Nick
29. Jay
30. Taylor
31. Emmerson

Emmerson’s dedication was June 2 and we had a wonderful time with family and friends in Winston-Salem and at Agape Faith Church!

June 3, 2013

Today I am grateful for:

32. Waterfallswaterfall

33. Mountain streams

34. Rainfall

June 4, 2013

Today I am grateful for:
35. Dogs, especially Ranger. There is no dog like Ranger, beautiful, smart, and well, he is family. My childhood dogs that I fondly remember were “Sarge” and “Queenie.” Good beagles who gave us darling little puppies to play with.
36. Cats, especially kittens because I am reminded of Pincushion, my grandmother’s cat who gave us Blackie who gave us Tish and other kittens when we lived in Falmouth, Kentucky. I was 6 to 8 years old at the time. Also in loving memory of Rocky’s first and only kitten. They are  just so cute!
37. Macaroni and cheese because it is comfort food.

June 5, 2013

Remember when being grateful, there are no rules. I’m not prioritizing or spiritualizing. I am simply thinking about how amazing God is for creating everything from a gorilla to insects and also for intangibles like love and forgiveness! I’m very grateful today for:
38. Gorillas- can be 600 lbs
39. Insects-over a million different kinds
40. Forgiveness-unlimited

June 6, 2013

Today I am grateful for:
41. Long time dear friends Jerry and Pam Watts who celebrated their 37th anniversary yesterday. They are beautiful examples of 2 intangibles that I am grateful for.
42. Kindness
43. Thoughtfulness

June 7, 2013Today I am grateful for:
44. Unsweetened tea with lemon!
45. Hugs-Can’t live without them! Can’t get or give too many!
46. Ice-Who wants a drink without ice?

June 8, 2013

Today I was on the beach with a wonderful breeze and brilliant sunshine when I decided I would be grateful for:
47. Peacocks
48. Ostriches
49. Flamingos
Makes perfect sense!

June 9, 2013

I am grateful for:


51. Cars

52. Airplanes

June 10, 2013

Today I am grateful for

53. The Bible, the whole thing
54. Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because He trusteth in thee.
55. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.

June 11, 2013

Keep in mind that these are in no way prioritized. I am grateful for:
56.Teddy Bears
57. Jelly beans
and. . .
58. Angels

June 12, 2013

Today I am grateful for:
59 My dad, Edward Lee Rouse. Happy Father’s Day!
60. Pizza
61. Peace

June 15, 2013

Today I am grateful for:
62. Pillows
63. Clouds
64. Marshmallows-if eating them, this should be done in sweet potato casserole or rice krispy treats or roasted over the open fire. In the square squishy form, it is best to use them to have a marshmallow fight, as my opinion is they are disgusting to eat in that form. Also it is a good week to buy a new pillow and analyze cloud formations.

Three Things I’m Grateful For Part II

In this next phase, I am attempting to complete a list of 1000 things I am grateful for. So I will list more than 3 at a time. In fact I will list as many as I can at a ten minute sitting. My only rule is to list only those things that I am glad are part of my life and my world. Asking the question, what would the world be like without. . .will guide me to what to put on my list. Sometimes I will use prompts like letters of the alphabet, or animals, or intangibles, or Scripture verses. Let me know if you’re ready to accept the challenge. Here goes:

November 26, 2013

65. My job at Wyndham

66. My managers and other leadership team at Wyndham-they are so supportive and basically awesome!

67. So many great friends at my work. I’ll just mention one. Phyllis has enriched my life with her energy, and joy!

Now I’m going back in time to be grateful for some significant events, people, or places.

68. My job as a teacher and principal at AFCA 2001-2006. What an amazing opportunity we had. Words can’t express what those years meant to me. Each student, their parents, and each teacher is like a gem in a treasure chest of memories for me.

69. My dearest of dear friends Hope. (She started our school, and gave me her job.) But more than that, she’s such a beautiful example of what a godly woman should be and what a true friend should be.

70. For 17 years, I was home with Rocky, Nick, and Jay.

71. Home schooling

72. Field trips

73. Just remembered that incredible trip we took to Washington DC, my first year as a teacher at AFCA.

74. Pilot Mountain

75. The Zoo

76. Beach vacations: Ocean Park, Summertree, Sands Ocean Club

77. The Yankees and the Braves

78. Morningstar on Friday nights

79. The first Women’s conference at All Nations with Hope

80. Playmobile cowboys

81. Birth of Jay

82. Birth of Nick

83. Birth of Rocky

84. Snow

85. Sleds

86. Boots

87. Coats

88. Socks

89. Scarves

90. Toboggans