A Piece of Your Heart

A Piece of Your Heart

Make everyone’s day happier

by giving them a piece of your

heart

instead of a piece of your mind!

 Jesus replied: 

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

Love is an active noun.

Love is an active noun.

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring.

It is an active noun, like “struggle”.

To love someone is to strive to accept that person

exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”

~ Fred Rogers quote

No one is perfect. Not even you or me… and yet we are all loved, and can love.

Love is a gift. Pass it on…

Who will you actively love today?

(Even if it’s a struggle, how can you demonstrate you accept her or him exactly as they are? See below for 5 ideas. )

5 Ways to Show Love is an Active Noun

Let’s put some sweat equity into loving someone… show you love her or him exactly the way they are, right now and here.

  1. Communicate. Talk, text, or write. Use a sticky note on the bathroom mirror.
  2. Touch. A hug, handclasp, fist bump, shoulder rub, footsies, sideways nudge shoulder-to-shoulder, and if they’re your child, parent or spouse, you’ll know from experience what touch is most appreciated.
  3. Time. Yes, time. That precious commodity you say you don’t have enough of… take the time to invest in that someone. Do something that person values – together. Hint: it’s probably not watching TV.
  4. A Gift. No need for huge investments. What is that someone you are seeking to love missing in their life? What will bring a smile to their face? Buy/find that and give it to her or him. Think of something simple, but make the presentation of that simple thing spectacular. (Who doesn’t have fun opening a big box, to find a smaller box and opening that one to find an even smaller one…?)  Remember, It’s the “air” in the balloon that makes the balloon special!
  5. Serve. What chore or activity, if done by you, will make a difference in that person’s life? Make a meal, vacuum, clean up, organize, shovel, dust, fill the car with gas, sweep, or take out the garbage. Take action to demonstrate that love is an active noun.

These ideas are from a special book by a fellow we admire, Dr. Gary Chapman. His books are classic, and the simple ideas can be put into practice for anyone.

His premise is that one of these five actions will resonate the most – it’s like the primary language of love that you speak. The key is to find the action that the other person translates as “speaking love”.

I suggest you try all five as you lean into loving that someone.

Love is an active noun. DO love.

Here are the links for the books by Gary Chapman about the Love Languages. He’s covered all kinds of relationships: couples, singles, children, teens, and men. If you’re curious what your own “love language” is, then go to his website and complete a quick survey.

These books are affiliate links – should you click and purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting PositiveThanksLiving.

Here’s an infographic created by

Notice What Others Do Well

Notice What Others Do Well

Notice what others do well.

Point it out.

It’ll make their day!

People simply feel better about themselves when they’re good at something.

~ Stephen R. Covey

We have the ability to make the world around us better, simply by noticing the good stuff and commenting on it. 

Are there people in your circle of influence who need remedial classes in areas where you’re tempted to roll your eyes? Sure there are. However, it’s in our power to look past those weaknesses, and search out where that person has a strength.

No one is good at everything – but everyone is good at something! I challenge you to notice a strength in someone and affirm them!

And if you’d like an extra “gold star”, notice something about yourself that you do well, and give yourself a pat on the back for it! Be nice to yourself, too!

Cheers!

Rise Again

Rise Again

Celebrate rising again as much as reaching the finish line.

Life holds many disappointments. Sometimes even failure. Few walk through their life without being touched by that sour twisting of loss, and being thrown down by circumstances… but then they get back up.

They rise again. And again.

“If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

~ Mary Pickford, Canadian born actress 1892-1979

Getting back up needs to be noticed – it needs some celebration. 

Are you standing up again… yet again? Or it might not be you, but maybe someone you love is rising again.

Celebrate!

Rise again and gather those you love around to celebrate with you! Rising again may be even more important than reaching a finish line…


There’s a song by a Canadian folk-singer, Stan Rogers, that Rob and I love – it’s about a ship and maritime fishermen …  however, the last stanza seems appropriate for this post.

And you to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
Turn to and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.

 

Rise again! Rise again!
Though your heart it be broken and life about to end
No matter what you’ve lost, be it a home, a love, a friend
Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.

Rise again… rise again…

 

~ last stanzas of Stan Roger’s song “The Mary Ellen Carter”

Stan Rogers – Canadian folk-singer 1949 – 1983

 

Enjoy the YouTube video below (click HERE if you can’t see the player.)

This is a section from a film on Stan Rogers where a fellow recounts being shipwrecked in a wicked storm, and how the song made the difference between him giving up or hanging on until the Coast Guard arrived to rescue him.

Then you’ll see Stan Rogers sing the song, “The Mary Ellen Carter” in concert at minute 1:40.

1 of 8 Ways Positive People Improve Other People’s Outlook

1 of 8 Ways Positive People Improve Other People’s Outlook

“Positive people help to remove or subdue stress,

improving your outlook and your health.”

~ Tom Corely quote

The above quote is from this post by Tom Corley. In his post, he’s talking about toxic people and then contrasts them with positive people. He suggests we surround ourselves with other positive people.

Tom’s post got me thinking… there are at least 8 ways positive people help other people’s outlook on life. (I’m guessing they’re more than eight… maybe you can add some.)

Rather than overwhelm you with all eight right now, the rest will come to you one every day for the next eight days. Little bites to consider.

There’s every chance that none of us will be good at all eight – even if we are pursuing positivity. No worries. Optimists always know there’s room for improvement.

Here we go:

#1 of 8 Ways Positive People Help Other People’s Outlook

1 – Positive People acknowledge the truth and manage the overflow.

There are some truly overwhelming events which cause ripples of anxiety, fear, pain and doubt in every life. Not every happening is good.

A positive person can see and determine the truth in these events while (eventually) putting a plan in place to handle each ripple.

These plans help other people’s outlook because everyone feels better when there’s a plan. A direction or plan adds a feeling of hope. Positive people find hope even in the worst circumstances.

Is finding hope in a difficult circumstance one of your strengths?

If you can acknowledge the truth, make plans to manage the overflow and find hope… you might be a positive person!

Are you a positive person? Positive people help to remove or subdue stress,improving your outlook and your health.

 

Benefits of Humility

Benefits of Humility

What are the benefits of humility?

Humility is a state which helps us meet others where they are.

No judgment. No criticism. No fixing.

“Don’t criticize and speak evil about each other, dear brothers. If you do, you will be fighting against God’s law of loving one another, declaring it is wrong. But your job is not to decide whether this law is right or wrong, but to obey it.

Only He who made the law can rightly judge among us. He alone decides to save us or destroy. So what right do you have to judge or criticize others?”

TLB, James 4:11-12

Being humble doesn’t deny our own worth as a person,

rather it affirms the other person’s worth.

It’s like saying,

Yes, friend – you go first.

instead of

“Me first.”

Humility starts sentences with “you” instead of “I”.

It draws us closer together, instead of pulling us farther apart.

Unity could be easier when everyone strives for humility… 

What could be some indicators of humbleness in action? 

  • asking for help, when needed, without hesitation
  • giving compliments with ease
  • listening to understand the other viewpoint
  • graciously accepting help, compliments, or correction
  • embracing our differences because they make for a better team
  • being right without pointing it out
  • working with what we have, with a thankful heart

Humility says YOU GO FIRST

Consider C.S Lewis’ take on humility:

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

Working to be humble means you’re deliberately letting go of pride and all its pitfalls. It’s looking at yourself with a clear view – neither all good, nor all bad.

Letting go of pride quickly tunes us into the uniqueness of others, and allows us to celebrate the gifts of others.

Proverbs tells us that:

When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

Proberbs 11:2 NIV

Ah – wisdom. That’s a benefit in every area of life. What if wisdom is as easy (or hard) as pursuing humility?

How do you feel humility is expressed?

Knowing, of course, that as soon as we self-profess humility, then we’re not humble…  <grin and wink>.

Humility affirms the worth of others

Humility says YOU GO FIRST - Benefits of Humility - where and how is it expressed?

Invite someone to join you inside.

Invite someone to join you inside.

Give thanks for all the areas where you’re on the “inside”. Now, invite someone else inside also!

“On the inside.”

What does this term mean to you? It’s probably not about being indoor or outdoor… rather it’s a carry-over from our days in a school or institution.

When Rob and I stopped into a Christian bookstore, one book I leafed through was called, “We Saved You a Seat – Bible Study Book: Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships” by Lisa-Jo Baker. One of the many statements that stood out to me was about being dissatisfied where we are…

“The thing we don’t realize in highschool, and sometimes we still haven’t learned during the mini-van driving years, is that everyone is on the outside of something.

But that is only half the story.

We are all, each one of us, also on the inside of something

— often without even realizing it.” 

Think of the relationships you have with people.

Are you thankful for those you are already connected to?

Maybe if we stop comparing ourselves

in our perceived “in” or “out” spot,

and began giving thanks,

inviting and encouraging others to join us,

our lives would hold more joy…

That’s my thought… what does this bring up in you?

Some of us might find making new friends easy. Some of us might feel daunted.

I’m guessing we might share some discouragement from the past – being or not being part of a group for !oh! so many reasons. Is it time to leave that discomfort behind?

We are all adults now.

And yet…

Being candid, that’s one reason I picked up the book from where today’s Positivity Prompt originates. Friendship amongst women has its ups and downs. It shouldn’t. But it does.

We all need to practice forgiveness, overlooking hurts, and serving each other. 

And where some believe this topic is only for teens, consider again. If you’ve ever moved to a new city/state and began forging friendships anew, you might be revisiting some of the issues you felt when you were a teen.

Friendship… making friends and feeling on the “inside/outside” can be difficult.

So be encouraging, and invite a new person into your “inside” friendships… start today!

Who will you reach out to and invite “inside”?

And for whom will you give thanks that you’re already on the “inside”?

If you’re interested, here’s the book – the link is an affiliate link. We saved you a seat - stop fighting to find a way in

Friendship starts with you - Be thankful for all the areaswhere you're on the "inside" - now go and invite someone else "inside" also. #friendship

 

 

 

Your Time is the Greatest Investment

Your Time is the Greatest Investment

Time. Investing your time with a child can be the greatest act you do for your future. You won’t see the dividends now. The impact is seen much later.

Consider — who spent time with you as a child? What good memories do you have from that experience?  Pass those memories on…

Parents too!

No matter how hard the day (or night), or how many times you’ve put together that Duplo/Lego, or cleaned up after an old-fashioned board-game, your time is worthwhile when it’s invested in your child. Even a few minutes are good for that child. The minutes add up to hours… and hours together are a great investment.

The memories you’re making together are never wasted. It might feel futile now, but it’s not. Really.

Kindess: A seed to grow gratitude.

Kindess: A seed to grow gratitude.

Your kindness has an impact. It’s more than just that act, it’s a seed for something greater.

Perhaps you’ll never see how your act of kindness changes the world around you, but I believe we sow seeds with our kindnesses from which gratitude will grow. Sometimes those seeds will languish, and do nothing. But there will be times where those seeds will grow into a blossom of gratitude.

If you see value in a being thankful, then create an environment where others will have specific reasons to feel thankful themselves.

Your generous kindness

creates the environment

for gratitude to blossom in others.

Do you need ideas on practical acts of kindness? Here are 25 ideas on how to be kind for no reason. 

Now, imagine your world filled with thankful human beings. You can make it happen. It starts with your kindnesses – random and simple or deliberate and complex.

When you are kind you are building a more beautiful space. And that is something to be thankful for… yes?

Kindness is a seed from which gratitude grows

Kindness is a seed from which gratitude grows - #thankfulThursday

Getting through indifference and rigid defenses.

Getting through indifference and rigid defenses.

Patient. Persistent. Gentle.

Maybe these aren’t the usual words that would come to mind when you want to introduce and influence a change… and yet – wisdom tells us that if our attitude includes these attributes, we will see success.

Patient persistence pierces through indifference; gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.~ Proverbs 25:15 MSG

Be patient in prayer.

Believe God can make a way. (Catch that? GOD makes the way, not us.)

If you’re dealing with your spouse, with a co-worker or boss, if you’re trying, yet again, with in-laws or parents, siblings or children, remain patient, yet persistent.

Let your voice and words be gentle.

Gentleness is one of the strongest values – part of the definition of “gentleness” as a value is “strength under control”. This post about gentleness in marriage is one of the most read where I write about marriage. You will differentiate yourself in every encounter if you are gentle. Just try catching a toddler’s attention – where shouting might not work, a whisper will intrigue a mass of mischievous energy. Whispering words into a teen’s ear will make a greater impact than shouting your statements of fact through a closed door.

Are you facing relationships filled with indifference or rigid defenses?

Try persistent patience and gentleness if you want to see a change for the positive.

Patient persistence pierces through indifference; gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses. Proverbs 25_15 MSG (1)

Be the Sunshine!

Be the Sunshine!

When you can’t see the sunshine… be the sunshine!

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

You make me happy when skies are grey.

You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you,

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

Be someone’s sunshine today!

Send them the photo below – text it or email it!

If you’re married, begin with your spouse.

Brighten someone’s day by telling her or him how much you value their friendship.

Better yet –  if you can, give ’em a call and sing that person this song. 

(Click for a YouTube video if you need a reminder of the tune. As a bit of trivia, this song was composed by Jimmie Davis in 1939)

Reach out to encourage someone!

Positive people know the value of being encouraged and encouraged each other.

 reach out to someone - be their sunshine

Be the sunshine! Have you sung this song to someone you love? It's an oldy (1939) but a good way to encourage someone. Simple is good.