17 Things to Make You Smile

Happy Sunday! I hope you are enjoying a great day full of Jesus and family. What do you typically do on a Sunday?

Today I wanted to brighten your spirits! We all need a reason to smile sometimes. We can all use a little happiness in our busy and often stressful lives. Sometimes we get caught up in the chaos and the problems in our lives and forget to be happy and to remember the little things. That’s why I wanted to share 17 simple and easy ways to get your smile front and center!

  1. Buy yourself a new lipstick- A new lipstick always brightens my day and brings a smile to my face. How about you?
  2. Take a moment and read a chapter of the Bible- I suggest any of the Psalms, Exodus 14, or a chapter in Matthew.
  3. Stop and look at the flowers…literally- Sometimes even a glance at something beautiful like flowers can cause a smile on a hard day.
  4. Write a kind note to someone else- Remember that we aren’t the only ones that have hard days. So to cause a smile, try giving someone else some kindness!
  5. Take a walk and see Gods creation- When life is stressful, go for a walk and take a look around at God’s brilliant and beautiful creation. It always makes me smile.
  6. Have a Netflix marathon of your favorite funny movie or show- There is nothing in life that a Psych marathon or a few episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond can’t fix. Grab a snack, a blanket, and a crack a smile while laughing and enjoying your favorite show.
  7. Buy yourself a new outfit- Sometimes we need to spoil ourselves, so when life is tough go buy a new outfit and smile—show the world you’re in control.
  8. Pay it forward- Buy someone’s coffee or lunch! Spread smiles and happiness to others even when life is hard for us.
  9. Create something- If you paint—paint. If you make cards—make a card. If you write—write! Create something and I bet you will smile.
  10. Read a new book- For me, reading a new book (or a classic favorite) always tends to put a smile on my face.
  11. Take some time to yourself- Go get a manicure, a massage, or go have lunch on your own. Take a few moments to yourself to gather your thoughts and to relax.
  12. Have a worship service in your room- For me, nothing makes me happier than a worship session alone in my car or my room. God’s presence never fails to put life in perspective.
  13. Drink out of a fancy glass- Maybe this won’t make everyone smile, but it does me! There is nothing better than sipping tea out of a fancy wine glass.
  14. Spend time with loved ones- Show your family some love. Crack some jokes and love on each other.
  15. Talk with an accent- Some of the biggest smiles happen because my sister and I talk in fake accents while doing housework.
  16. Be intentional- Smile by being intentional. Love others, be caring, and have fun in life.
  17. Order a Venti instead- treat yourself and order a big coffee on those crazy mornings and smile because at least you have coffee!

Those are just a few ideas of things to do to make you smile. There is always something to smile about even on our darkest days. Jesus is always a reason to smile and have hope. If you don’t know about Jesus or salvation, I’d love to talk to you about it!

What are a few things that make YOU smile?? Let me know in the comments!

Meet Rhiannon // Guest Post

Today’s post is from Rhiannon Skeen, a great blogging friend of mine. We are swapping testimonies and sharing our hearts for Jesus with each others readers today. Please show her some love and following her (all links at the bottom). Be sure to go check out my post on her site.

4-edit

Discovering Who I Am Through Falling in Love with Him

I grew up in a Christian home. My parents were good, godly people, my dad was even in the ministry for most of my life. From the outside looking in it looked like I should have had confidence in who I was. My parents loved me and they loved God, surely that was enough to give a kid a great foundation for knowing they were loved?

My early childhood was pretty normal. My dad worked, my mom stayed home, the kids went to school, we all went to church, it was peaches and cream. Then, when I was around 7-8 my dad felt the call to go pastor a church. We left our home, our church, our friends and moved a couple of hours away to a new life.

The years there were good. We learned a lot and we made great friends. That wouldn’t be the last move or transition in ministry. Over the next 8-10 years my dad transitioned about 4 times and we moved 3. During these years I was growing and when I hit my teenage years life got hard.

I Hated Me

I was always the fluffy one in my family. I weighed more and I knew it. As a child I didn’t think too much about it but during the early teen years it really started to depress me. This pushed me into dangerously low self-confidence and hate for myself. I hated how I looked and there were many times I seriously considered ending life altogether. “Surely death couldn’t hurt as bad as I was hurting now,” I thought.

I survived my teen years, barely, and as I entered my 20’s life took a turn for the better. We had moved back to our home state of Tennessee and I had just graduated from junior college. For the first time ever I was about to spread my wings and leave home. I was university bound and I was scared as all get out!

Changes for the Better

Going into college was a huge leap for me but moving 5 hours away and going to a university? That was pushing me waaay outside of my comfort zone. I had no idea how Lee would change me, but God knew and He knew it would save my life.

At Lee University I majored in Children’s Ministry. I took Bible classes and ministry classes and in the mix somewhere I began to fall in love.

Yes, I did meet my future husband there and fall for him too but the first love I found was something I had had all along: the Word.

Even though I did grow up in a godly house surrounded by the ministry I never learned how to love the word for myself and I never learned how to study it. I knew I was supposed to read it  because that is what “good Christians” do but I didn’t know how to really take it in. It was because of this that I had struggled so much during my teen years. I had allowed the lies of satan to tell me who I was not because I had no understanding of who I was in Christ.

The enemy loves to get us to walk in less than we are because if he can prevent our potential he can limit our testimony. When he limits our testimony there are lives that aren’t impacted. Our story impacts others, but if we never allow God to tell us who we are and how to use it then we can never reach our full potential in Christ.

As I began to develop a love for the Word I began to see that all those things I had called myself for years was a lie. God was flushing out the lies and destroying them with His truth! Darkness cannot handle when Light walks in which is why we need the light of the Word daily.

Life Now

Ever since college life has changed. I got married, started a family, moved back to my home city, and started a blog based ministry. I’m a mom and wife that is crazy in love with Jesus. I found out who I was because I fell in love with the One who created me. That same passion is for everyone. If you walk in pain or darkness there is hope and there is light. It all begins with Jesus and realizing that He is the love of your life.

I had to realize that my desire to be loved by a man was really my desire to be loved by the King of Kings. No man, no-thing could ever fill that until I really knew love for Jesus.

Now my heart beats to spread the message of identity. I walked in lies for over 20 years and God has put a passion in me to help others not have to go through that. Our identity is birthed out of intimacy and getting to know Jesus really changed everything for me!

Rhiannon is a mom, wife, blogger, designer, vlogger and coffee addict that can be found at http://rhiannonskeen.com . That is her corner of the inter-webs where she shares her heart about life and loving Jesus. She also hops on to vlog from time to time and you can find her over on her YouTube channel HERE .

Social Media

Twitter- https://twitter.com/rhiannonrskeen

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/RhiannonRSkeen/

Youtube- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX-rS-Eg6HXG7bwZziJDcA

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/rhiannonskeen/

Pinterest- https://www.pinterest.com/rhiannonrskeen/

You’re Here

What is Christmas really about?

   Is it about the gifts?

Lights?

Santa?

Food?

How about none of the above. I’ve been trying to think of a way to express to you all what Christmas means to me. Recently, I was listening to a Christmas song called “You’re Here” by Francesca Battistelli. If you haven’t heard it, here it is:

Did you listen to it? I mean really listen? I believe it is written to be from the perspective of Mary. But the lyrics give us a beautiful picture of what Christmas really is. While Mary was the mother of Jesus; she’s a lot like us. She wasn’t perfect…she wasn’t God…she was human. She was a human that was called to do something extraordinary. Can you imagine Mary singing this song over Jesus? I can.

One of my favorite parts is the heartbeat of Christmas:

            “You could have left us on our own, but You’re Here”

Jesus could have not come down to Earth. God didn’t need us, we need Him. God could have decided not to deal with us but He sent Jesus down to be born of a virgin and in a lowly manger. He could have left us. He could have left us alone and on our own with no hope. But, He’s here. Because He is here, we have Christmas. We celebrate Christmas because God didn’t leave us alone. Because God is here, we celebrate and rejoice. Those tiny hands in the manger were later stretched out to save us all.

This Christmas, I am so thankful that God didn’t leave us on our own. I’m thankful I have a real reason to celebrate during the season. I’m thankful that we have a God that is here and present in our lives.

Wishing you a merry day, XO Hilary

“You Split the Seas”

I listen to an abundance of worship music…I’m a worship leader so it’s some of my favorite music. I’m also a writer and sometimes a certain phrase just stands out to me…and makes an impact. Recently, I started listening to the song, “No Longer Slaves,” by Bethel. The song is recorded by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser but the version I personally prefer is a YouTube video of Bethel’s Kalley Heiligenthal—you can watch it here. {NOTE: I only prefer that version because I am a big fan of Kalley’s vocals and her adaption of it, the original version is just as amazing, it’s just a personal preference. I have the recorded version bought on my iTunes}

The whole song is anointed…I feel God’s presence every time I sing the words. But one specific phrase stands out to me lately.

“You split the seas so I could walk right through it. My fears are drowned in perfect love.”

Have you ever thought about when Moses, through God, parted the Red Sea? Can you imagine being an Israelite? Running from captivity, running to be free, and you come upon a sea. The Bible says that when Pharaoh and his men caught up to them, they feared greatly and they immediately start complaining and blaming God. They said it would have been better to stay with Pharaoh than to die in the wilderness. They thought they were stuck—the sea keeping them where they were. Then comes one of my favorite Bible verses. Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” What the Israelites didn’t realize is that with God fighting for them they were about to walk right through the sea. And they did. Moses held out his staff and the seas parted and God’s people walked across the sea on dry land.

How many times have we come to a point in our lives that we feel like we are surrounded with nowhere to go? Maybe it’s a sin, maybe it’s a fear, and maybe it’s a trial; but we look out at the sea and think, God why would you bring me here? Why didn’t you take me a simpler way…an easy way? We think our trials are in vain and that we are alone. We don’t see a way past the sin, trial, fear, and stronghold.

What we don’t realize is that God splits the sea so we could walk right through it. It might take longer. It might be more painful. But I don’t believe that God brings us to a sea without getting us through it. He spilt the seas so we could walk right through it.

I’m a very anxious person. And his phrase is my anthem right now. I have to remember that God is the miracle worker. He is a sea splitter, healer, water walker, and never failing God. Sometimes God brings us to a sea to see if we have the faith in Him to step out. And when we do, our fears are drowned in His perfect love.

God splits my fear, my pain, my heartache, my stress, my sins, my worry, my anxiousness, my hate, my incompleteness so I can WALK right through them. So I can face them. So I can conquer them— all because of Him. Listen today friends, He will split your sea but you have to be ready to walk right through. Give Him your money problems, your job, your family, your spouse, your fear, your disease and then be still as He fights for you. One of the ways He fights for you is He allows you the grace and the strength to walk right through trials and experience miracles. He splits the sea of sin so we can walk into salvation. He splits the sea of fear so we can walk in faith. And because we walk through it and find salvation and faith…we are no longer slaves to fear or anything. We are  children of God.

IMG_2963

children of God.