Students on college campuses across the country were so filled with fear and anxiety following the presidential election that exams were postponed, cocoa was served, crayons and Play-Doh were given out, and counselors were made available. Fear spills out of every news channel as well as our Facebook news feeds. So many people are worried about their future, their children's future, the future of our country and the world. Yet, Jesus said in the midst of very tumultuous and troubling times... not unlike ours...   "Don’t ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about … [Read more...]

  You are so very blessed. I'm not talking about the roof over your head, the family that sits around the table with you, or any of the "stuff" of life. It's all good. But there's better.     As we embark on the season of Thanksgiving I am so taken with the knowledge that God takes joy in doing good to us. I will make an agreement with them that I will not turn away from them. I will do good to them, an agreement that will last forever... I will have joy in doing good to them. Jeremiah 32:40-41 Our good is His good. Our joy is His joy. It is His forever promise to … [Read more...]

  Words... Have you noticed that there's been a war of words, especially on Facebook? Granted Facebook isn't REALLY our personal space.... but it feels personal to me. It's where I keep up with my nieces... one lives in Connecticut and the other in Arizona. It's where I keep up with the friends I've made in New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and beyond. It's also a work space for me... there are the blogging groups I belong to and there's my biz page for my blog, too.     Words, memes, and other images have invaded the space where I usually I look forward to seeing … [Read more...]

  Do you remember that old saying, a smile is a frown turned upside down? The other day I found myself sitting at a stoplight and noticed that my mouth was set in a frown. What?!  At that moment I realized my happiness had gotten up and left. If I'm in charge of my happiness... how did that happen?     Before I answer that question, I need to ask... What is your happiness quotient? On a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the state of supreme happiness... where do you sit? Are you happy with that spot?     I don't think I'm the only one who has … [Read more...]

  Have you ever wondered how to pray for someone? Maybe someone in your family or a close friend has gone off to college for the first time. How do you pray for him? Maybe your friend is in a new job... or maybe they are in an old job that has challenges every way they turn. How do you pray for her? There are so many scenarios.  Someone needs prayer and you're at a loss. I have a prayer for you to pray and it comes straight from the Bible....   This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; that you will see … [Read more...]

    That got your attention. Good grief... we're taught not to shout. So how in the world will shouting bring happiness?  Good question. These verses from the Book of Psalms opened my eyes... But make everyone rejoice who puts his trust in you. Keep them shouting for joy because you are defending them. Fill all who love you with your happiness. For you bless the godly man, O Lord; you protect him with your shield of love. Psalm 5:11-12     The psalmist pleads with God to "make" all who trust in Him rejoice. That's such an odd thing.  Doesn't it seem like … [Read more...]

  This week was a double header. No there wasn't any baseball involved. However, I did enjoy two celebrations in one week. And a really big one too.     Tuesday was my birthday and then five days later we celebrated our anniversary.  It's a big milestone kind of anniversary.  One for which you gather your friends for a party or take a cruise or celebrate by purchasing a new fun car.     I'm sure you know our budget isn't capable of  even thinking of such extravagances.  So we did little things... like split a yummy pretzel sandwich and soda at cute … [Read more...]

  If August had an official flower, I think it might be the sunflower. They stand tall.. stretching for the sun... bravely holding their seedy heads high. As our days grow shorter and the sun sinks lower in the sky each day, the sunflowers with rays of brilliant yellow brighten our spirits.     How is it that we see emotion in the sunflowers? Do you think we just might be transferring our feelings? I know, it's a crazy thought, but we anthropomorphize animals and birds all the time, so I guess doing that with flowers isn't too far-fetched. Maybe we see happiness … [Read more...]

  We live along the Lake Michigan shoreline.  In less than 5 minutes we can wriggle our toes in the sand... watch the stillness or the crash of the waves... and stand or kneel in awe of the colors of the setting sun.     After being away for so many years, each night that we could, we'd go to the beach to watch the sunset and stand in absolute awe.  Humbled that our Creator would night after night "paint" the. most. gorgeous. colors across the sky and place thin and thick clouds to catch the colorful hues of the setting sun. Our hearts were grateful. Some nights we would start … [Read more...]

  Let me tell you about the day I settled for second best... It wasn't pretty.     It was one of those days. You know... the kind where you take one cookie... and before you know it... you've had six. I've never thought of myself as an emotional eater. But SIX cookies?!!     Cookies don't make me feel better... in fact... they give me a pain in my stomach.  My stomach was NOT designed for SIX cookies. (Six peanut M&M's, maybe.) So why did I eat them? Because at the moment... their sweet and chocolaty goodness gave me a brief … [Read more...]

  The sky was the bluest blue when we placed our tattered windowpane check bed sheet just inches from the reach of the waves and sparkling waters at our nearby beach. After a sandal was placed on each corner of the sheet, I dropped the large beach bag and then my body onto the sheet.  I sat there, digging my toes into the dampness of the sand.     This little beach excursion had been planned.  Though there have been plenty of decent beach days to take advantage of this summer... the forecast was for a picture perfect day and we didn't want to miss it. At least not until I … [Read more...]

    “Don’t you mind,” said Puddleglum. “There are no accidents. Our guide is Aslan.” --The Silver Chair   I enjoy reading snippets of C.S. Lewis.  So much so that I subscribe to a daily C.S. Lewis devotional.  In actuality, these are not devotionals in the typical sense but are bite-sized excerpts of Lewis' writings from his many books.  Don't tell anyone, but I haven't read the Chronicles of Narnia series.  I haven't even seen the movies.  However, one winter, my husband did read the first book to me as we sat by the fire in the evenings.  That was pretty special.  That's probably why … [Read more...]

    Do you remember how God rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians by way of the Red Sea?  You would think that the people would have worshiped God continuously and trusted Him with every single thing.  Instead, they complained.  A lot. They complained against God and said to Moses, “Did you bring us out of Egypt, just to let us die in the desert? There’s no water out here, and we can’t stand this awful food!”  Numbers 21:5 As I read this, I thought, how could these people have been so ungrateful.  Every day God provided them all they needed to eat for that day. He completely met … [Read more...]

    Have you ever come home, expecting that your spouse or your children will be there waiting for you, only to find your house is empty? Immediately you look for a note.  Where are they? Your mind goes a million miles a minute and your thoughts dance all over the place with possibilities.  Most not good. What's the first thing you do?  You pick up your phone. You try to reach them. If your children are younger.... old enough to stay home alone for a short while... but not to leave the house without your permission... you undoubtedly fly out the door and start searching your … [Read more...]

  Yesterday, while working on a project, I thought about and prayed for some friends who have had one unpleasant surprise after another.  The guy said to Tim, "I feel like Job, only I still have my wife and kids."  No doubt you relate.  All of us go through days, weeks, months, and sometimes years, of challenges. As I attempted to encase a mound of fiberfill pushing to be free while applying just the right amount of pressure to the sewing machine pedal, this verse came to mind... Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God … [Read more...]

    Joy is the serious business of Heaven. C. S. Lewis   We talk a lot about joy around here. Joy is a funny thing. It can completely engulf us and yet be entirely elusive. It all depends on us.   You see, Jesus not only made a way for us to have joy... big, bright, unbridled joy. He wants us to have the very same joy that He has.   I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. John 15:11 As Jesus was entering His final hours here on earth, He prayed for us. This prayer to the Father, … [Read more...]

    Do you start your day with a spring in your step and a happy expression on your face? Maybe you find yourself plodding through the day with a fake smile awkwardly affixed to cover what you're really feeling? No matter where you are on the spectrum, I sure you want to know... How to Put More Joy in Your Day   Each week here at An Extraordinary Day we have JoyDay! Over the past four years (Yes... I just celebrated my 4th blog anniversary.) I've chatted with you about joy and living a joy-filled life.  But, what I haven't done is put some of those thoughts together in one spot … [Read more...]