Tuesday, February 5, 2019


It's time to shift gears. I've written about the struggle with this brain injury. I've written about trying to hold on to truth when everything around me seems to be falling apart. That struggle is very real, and God is walking with me daily as I work through the hardest parts of this journey. You can read about it here and here.

Walking through our darkest times feels like one of those weird situations no one tells us how to do. I know I felt left to my own devices when my emotions and the truths I had known my whole life didn't seem to match up. I felt like I had two choices: I could push on with a brave face and shove my doubts and questions down very deep, never to be dealt with; or I could hold my questions up to the light of day and beg for answers. I could run TO my struggle instead of away from it. Friend, if you are struggling, if life is hitting you hard, please don't run away from the struggle. Please run TO the One who has the answers!! I promise that Jesus can handle our anguish, our pain, our questions, and our doubts. He wants us to cry out to Him. And He is waiting with answers and comfort. If you aren't sure what it looks like to go to Him with your pain, or aren't sure I understand, please go read my recent post. I have been there - as recently as last week! And God is patiently and sweetly leading me out of the dark.

But is that all there is to life with a chronic condition? Struggle, suffering, spiritual wrestling? NO! Our God is so gracious and loving that He gives us so much more in our lives - we just have to look for it! If we look, we can find beauty, peace, joy, and laughter. This last one, laughter, is my favorite. God wired me (Enneagram 7 here ✋) with a smile on my face and a laugh just waiting to bubble up. I admit that in the dark days, it's harder to laugh, but so often, being able to laugh at life has broken through the darkness and gotten me (and my family) through another hard day.

There are many practical ways to "find your happy". Making a list of things I am thankful for is a huge boost for my spirits. It's hard for me to stay down when I list all my blessings. Another fun thing for me is to scroll back through photos. Memories can be wonderful mood boosters! There is an excellent book out with more great practical ideas called "A Year of Living Happy" by Alli Worthington. I highly recommend it!

I want to share a few things that have made me laugh over the last year. Why? Because it's important for us to remember that even in the hard times, God is alive and working. And one of the ways He reminds us that He is at work and on our side is by sending things that make us smile. We have to do our part by being on the lookout for those moments!

I'm willing to bet that the things that make me smile won't be the same things that put a smile on your face. That's ok. Part of the beauty of this wonderful world is the differences we all bring to the table. I would love to hear from you. What kind of things make you laugh? What moments put a smile on your face? What silliness breaks up a hard day and helps you make it to the next day? I'm posting my happy moments on social media with the hashtag #choosingtosmile - I would love for you to join me! When you post a picture of something that makes you laugh, especially on a hard day, tag it with #choosingtosmile - that will let folks know that even though life is hard, we are choosing, at least for that moment, to focus on the things that bring us joy. We can support each other together!

I think you know me well enough to know that I'm not suggesting we be anything less than authentic. I'm not recommending turning our Instagram feeds into highlight reels or our Facebook profiles into Fakebook pages. I'm all for keeping it real. I think that's the beauty behind the hashtag. It lets us say: "Yes, life can be hard. But in this post, I am acknowledging that while I can't control my circumstances, I can control my focus. And today, I am choosing to smile." Are you with me? #choosingtosmile

Ok 😊 Are you ready to see the things that have made me laugh? The moments that have brought me joy? The silliness that cracks me up?

A pig on a leash - how do you not laugh?
Deep fried oreos - now we are talking joy!
The bunny slippers my sons bought me for my birthday
I smile every time I wear them! The little ears flop
when I walk!!
Being a Band Mom brings me
so much joy! I love watching my
son tear it up out there! I cheer like a crazy woman.
Dates with Drew -
definitely reason to smile
Is anything more fun than being a
Football Mom? The crowd? The cheering?
The yelling at the refs? Watching my boy make
tackles? I love it!
That time we were playing basketball at a park in
Tennessee and a bear showed up! Y'all, life is full of
crazy moments!
My youngest is finding his way on the
basketball court. It's so fun watching him
come into his own. I love cheering him on!


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