Thursday, June 28, 2012

He Loves the Worst in Us

I'm often in awe that Jesus loves the worst in me.  The very worst.  He didn't come to socialize with the best of the best.  He sought after the very worst the world had to offer and loved them.  He looked for the unlovable, the outcast and those that were often shunned by society.

Not only did our Lord Jesus look for the worst of us, but he also USED the worst.  They only had to be willing to go.  They only had to be willing to trust Him.  He didn't require them to clean themselves up, get better and walk the straight and narrow first.  

He simply loved them and cleaned them from the inside.

We, need to be like Jesus and quit looking for the best of the best to hang out with.  Quit looking for the high and mighty and start caring for the least of these.

Take the time to offer His love and then watch what His power will do in His time.

Love like He loves
Give like He gives
Go like He goes
Be like He IS.....

Remember.... He loves the worst in you too.

1 Thessalonians 3:12
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:


Psalm 25:8
Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

Matthew 9:11
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

Matthew 9:13
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Psalm 40:16
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

Psalm 116:1
love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Power of a Simple Smile

I love when someone that I don’t know flashes me a smile!

I love when someone that I love and adore flashes me a smile from across the room.

I love when someone is spilling their heart of hurt, then looks up and smiles and says…but it will all be ok, I just know it.

I think smiles are among the most powerful things ever.

Hugs are neck and neck with just how powerful a simple gesture can be.

Think about it with me for a moment will you?  You can never smile at the wrong person and regardless of who you are, what circumstances you face or financial situation you are in, you have smiles that are ready in an instant.

You simply choose when to smile and to whom you smile. Easy!

Let’s take a deeper look at just how powerful a simple smile is!
  1.  A smile will calm the deepest fear – You’ve been there before. So fearful that you feel you can’t move and then someone smiles, extends a hand and immediately your heart is reassured and the fear starts to diminish.
  2. A smile will ease the pain of hurt – Regardless of what kind of pain you are dealing with…it hurts! Pain is pain and it all hurts.  Sometimes pain is noticeable and when we smile, we help acknowledge their hurt.  The most powerful one is when we smile, acknowledging and have no clue just how deep the hurt runs.
  3. A smile will destroy anger – Anger can be very controlling.  We get caught up in its choke hold and find that we can’t wiggle our way out.  Sometimes smiling is the only way, other than walking away.  My son was very angry at some unfortunate events.  He had “had enough” and was telling me about it.  I was listening intently to the reasons he was so angry and then right in the middle he stopped and said.  “Just stop it.” I shook my head and said stop what?  He then replied – “stop smiling because I can’t be angry when you are smiling at me.”  I wasn’t smiling to diminish his feelings in anyway, I was smiling because I love him and I wanted to help him because he was hurting.
  4. A smile will help to dry tears – I know this could easily fit under the pain of hurt, but some hurts don’t bring tears, while others do.  Sometimes we just cry…just because.  Sometimes we carry the weight of the world and it reduces us to tears.  Sometimes tears of joy fall and even though they are joyful, they are still tears.  A smile at someone who is tearful will be huge to them.
  5.  A smile will encourage – Sometimes we all need a little encouragement.  All of us.  Sometimes we need a gentle nudge that reminds us to take the next step.  Sometimes a smile is all that we need.  Such Power!
  6. A smile instantly displays kindness – Kindness is almost a forgotten thing these days.  We are busy, we are always behind and are rarely understanding.  When there are 15 people in ONE check-out line, the tension is always thick and kindness is nowhere to be found.  ONE smile from you can change that.  Chatter will start and people will enjoy the wait a lot more just because you displayed some unexpected kindness.
  7. A smile is reassuring – You’ve been there before, we all have.  You completely blew it and blew it big time.  You wonder what in the world you were thinking and wish you could just be swallowed up by the ocean or have the mountain fall down on you.  What if right in the middle of all of this, someone stopped and smiled?  You’ve admitted to your mistake, you are fixing it to the best you can and then…the smile comes.  Your heart is eased and your mind is reassured.
  8. A smile is extraordinary in the middle of the ordinary – We all love the early morning hours don’t we? WHAT?!? You don’t? ohhh baaah humbug.  *smiling* I’m a night person and not much of a morning person, but for whatever reason, I’m generally very perky in the morning.  (Just not after a nap…read here next) Many people are slow to “get going” and your bright smile will help to get the mundane morning off to a great start.  Try it sometime.  A HUGE smile and warm Good morning….powerful!
  9. A smile is pure JOY in the middle of the ickiness – You’ve had one of “those days” before.  No need to recount it here, BUT, that person that smiled at you right out of nowhere brought you more joy than they realized didn’t they?  So, let me challenge you! Right smack in the middle of your icky day… SMILE! It’s Powerful!
  10. A smile is the same in any language – I don’t always have the opportunity to speak with people that don’t speak English, but when I do, I smile HUGE first.  We all speak that language and it means the same, regardless of where you are from.  It speaks volumes before the first word has been spoken.

Every single one of us has something POWERFUL, yet we don’t use it nearly enough.

Use your smile daily!

It’s more powerful than you know!

What is your story of a powerful smile? Share with us below. 

Monday, June 18, 2012


Guys are huge! Huge!  Especially if you are a little girl, you look up and see a mighty man towering over you, your heart trembles a little.  Men are giants in the eyes of children.

I remember as a little, tiny girl being afraid of those towering giants in my life.  There were only two giant men that I took to early on without fear and they were my Father and Grandfather.

While I understand that not every man is full of care, compassion and concern for the women and children in his world and those that are quietly observing, (make no mistake, they are observing and retaining what they observe) I also understand that there are men that want to be a force for good in this world. 

I applaud you and want to encourage you to continue to be a Giant!

Here are some ways we can all be Giants, but Men, please…. Continue to stand up and be HUGE!

Giant of Compassion – Men in particular usually have a hard time comfortably displaying their emotions and showing compassion isn’t always the easiest.  I know that kindness is there, filling your heart…let it flow freely.

Giant of Love – Continue to love and allow yourself to be loved – even when love hurts.

Giant of Giving – Giving of what you have doesn’t always come naturally, but we can condition our hearts to be a giant in this area. Don’t focus on what you are giving, or to whom.  Just give what you can and show others that there is nothing like it.

Giant of Laughter – With the weight of the responsibilities that you bare, sometimes it is just good to sit back and do fun things.  Laugh daily and share freely.

Giant of Family – YOU head up the family, you are responsible, you direct, guide and shelter.  Be there, be part of what goes on, share your heart with those in your family freely.  Be authentic and in doing so, you will raise up giants of your own.

Giant of a Husband – Men if you are married, the best thing you can do is to continue to date and spoil your wife.  Find out, if you’ve forgotten, what little things she adores and spoil her with them.  Yes, we ladies need to do the same thing, but we gals are creatures of response and she will react.  But, honestly…don’t do this just to “get” something in return….do this because you are a giant and are willing to do it because it is the right thing to do.

Giant of a Friend – Men, go and do some men stuff.  Encourage each other and have fun.  Take time to be a friend.

Giant of an Example – There are little eyes watching you and you won’t even realize it.  You will cause someone, somewhere to remember something that you did…something you considered insignificant and yet, in that moment it was larger than life to the onlooker.  You are always inspiring someone and being an influence.  The question is, are you inspiring great things or are you inspiring a lackadaisical attitude?

Giant of Wisdom – You have experiences that no one else around you has.  You can share what you’ve learned and those around you that are truly wise will learn from you.  Share freely.

Lastly guys, remember, you are completely loved and adored by someone.

YOU ARE a giant in their eyes.  Treasure that, protect that and use it. 

Gals – you can be a giant to! I hope you will be.

Your turn!  How can we be giants to those little eyes that are watching everything we say and do? Don’t miss your opportunity to be heard here.

Dear Dad, you are already a HERO, just because you are a dad... be the best influence you can be without guilt

Dear Dad, I know you are busy with work &providing for the family, but provide memories too

Dear Dad, I know we are all special BUT never, ever forget that you are loved & adored

Dear Dad, even when I think I know it ALL, YOU still be the parent. I'm too young to make big decisions.
Dear Dad, laughter is the best medicine, but never forget tears are healing

Dear Dad, Even though guys are macho, we still need to hear "i love you"

Dear Dad, I know you want to give me the best of everything, but make me be responsible for what you give me

Dear Dad, we love big squishy bear hugs

Dear Dad, help me to own my mistakes, don't enable me or excuse my actions

Dear Dad, I love you

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Special Invitation

When we put our little bit together, it grows into something huge and then blossoms into hope and joy for children this back to school season.

On Saturday June 30, 2012 – I invite you to participate in $2.00 day.

With your help, we want are asking that 2,000 individuals come together and give big by giving $2.00 and all of it will go to benefit children in our Back to School efforts. (click to see more)

That’s it.  Easy, right?

Here is what you can do.
  1. Set a reminder in your phone, email or write in your planner – reminding you to give safely via PayPal (button over on the right…over there)
  2. If you don’t want to allow PayPal the fees from your gift, or have to depend on your memory, please mail in your gift to the address below.
  3. Take this free PDF and print it out and present it to your work, church, family and friends.  Use the power of your voice backed up by technology and spread the word.  How would your heart soar if you, single handedly got 100 people to give $2.00
  4. Pastors or Group Leaders – Will you present to your group?  You can do one lump sum donation via our PayPal button or Mail it in at once to save on fees and postage.  Will you use your voice?
  5. Organizations – Will you use this to encourage your employees to participate and then, take it one step further and match their gifts? Have a departmental contest and see who can get the most people involved – either inside or outside the company.  Powerful Voices are huge here!
  6. Will you send an email to everyone in your address box, asking them to participate in the Spreading Joy’s Back to School $2.00 day?  Put it in your newsletter, blog it, tweet it and facebook it.  When you tweet this link, invite specific people by including their @name in it. That is powerful!
  7. Mom’s and Dad’s – will you ask your children if they want to be a hero to another child that doesn’t have it so good? Allow them to mail in $2.00 as well.
Alone, your $2 will get 2 packs of paper but you and 1,999 others pulling together will go towards several hundred backpacks, packs of paper, spiral notebooks, entire packs of pens and pencils.

See the difference?

Let’s harness the power of our voices!

Let’s harness the power of technology!

Let’s harness the power of teamwork!

Let’s all come together to see something remarkable happen, right before our very eyes.

Will you JOYn us?

Will you be a giant and use your voice?

Will you spread the word and try and round up others to do the same?

Will you be a spreading joy hero to an awesome little boy or girl?

Thank you!

You matter, you can make a huge difference and I can’t wait to share with you the impact you’ll make!

Our Mailing Address is:
Spreading JOY Corporation
PO Box 1771
Denver NC 28037

Please, extend this special invitation to do something HUGE with just a tiny bit of effort!!

Thank you much for how YOU are spreading JOY and making a difference!


My Mom
I'm under the influence. I hope this influence never, ever - EVER ceases to...well, influence.

Who has influenced you to become more than you think, that reminds you of the strength you posses and encourages you to take the next step, regardless of how dark it is.

For me, there are several, but my Mom stands out more.

There are a million or more things about my mom that I love, adore, cherish and makes me smile!

She turned 71 on May 20th of this year and this is my attempt to just honor her in a way that she will know how much she has meant to me, although I’m doubtful that I could ever express the love that fills my heart.

I’m a random gal, so these are done randomly…..of course.
  • My mom expecting the best from us, no matter what
  • Listening to my mom remember yester year
  • Being able to take her to Daytona Beach & Disney, knowing that she would do it for me
  • Growing up to “be” my mom, she is a hero in my eyes
  • An afternoon just sitting with her on the porch swing
  • My mom, just being herself
  • Being only a phone call away
  • My mom’s heart for others
  • My mom’s determination to do right by us kids even though she’s never had much herself
  • My Mom’s strength in the middle of the most difficult times
  • That “look” from my mom
  • My mom’s smile
  • How she influences me….always, even when she isn’t around
  • Teaching me that hugs can sometimes be more powerful than words
  • Showing me I could trust & value the decisions I make because she gave me a solid foundation
  • Allowing me to Make my decisions & then teaching me to “own” them
  • Reminding me that it’s ok to stand alone, as long as I’m standing on what is right
  • Not accepting my excuses, no matter how “good” they were
  • Putting up with my antics
  • Teaching me that kindness means more than getting ahead
  • Things and times may change but the truly important things….never change
  • Knowing she is an angel here on earth
  • Always knowing that no matter what, someone cares for and BELIEVES in me
  • Knowing my mom would give me the world on a platter if she could
  • For loving me through thick and thin…literally
  • For her helping hand or gentle shove, which ever was needed the most
  • And even though Angie was adopted, for loving us all equally.

I could share so many more and sometime may.

What are some things that you love and adore about your mom or someone that has greatly influenced your life?

WHO has influenced you and what is the most important thing you’ve taken away from that?

Encourage others and share your story in the comments below.

photo: my mom at the daytona racetrack finish line 5/16/2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Helping Others Through Grief

Father’s Day is such a difficult time for me…even still.
My Dad died July 20th 2003 and sometimes, it’s still so very painful.  Even though we had 5 months to prepare for his death and we knew he was/is much better off, being without him was far more painful than anything I had ever experienced.

I’ve always been compassionate with people during this time as we all grieve differently.  

There is no right or wrong way to deal with it.
Death, in general, is hard for us to deal with.  

Even as a Christian and knowing that my loved one is in Heaven and there will be a grand reunion day someday, the journey of separation is still a tough one.

Many people feel awkward and have no clue what to say or do for someone who is grieving deeply.  They fear that they will say or do the wrong thing and cause more pain.  I can say with complete assurance that NOT saying or doing anything WILL cause more pain.

Here are some things that I’ve done and have had done for me.  Nothing is a sure thing, but, trust me, it all helps.
  1.  Acknowledge the pain – It’s ok to say “I’m sorry.”  And nothing more.  Many feel that those few words is simply not enough, but it truly is.  You don’t have to go into a long dissertation about why you are sorry.  A gentle smile, hug and I’m sorry is more valuable than you’ll ever know.
  2. Send a card – Send a card when the death occurs AND then, depending on the relationship, send throughout the year.  Going with them on the journey of “1st” is especially helpful.  A card on their first Christmas without them.  Their first birthday without them and then the person that died…their birthday.  If it was a child, I encourage you to do something monthly.  I can’t imagine this type of loss, but a year of letting them know you thought of them and the loss they are dealing with is priceless.  In 2000, both my children’s best friends died.  Megan was 5 ½ and Todd had just turned 9.  I knew and deeply loved both those children.  Saw them weekly and spent a lot of time with them.  I didn’t know what to do, but felt that I had to do something.  I sent both mothers a poem, card, verses – something – anonymously each month for a while. If you don’t know certain dates… then send something on the date that the loved one passed away.
  3. Hug them and often – When the dust settles and time has passed, gently hug them and tell them they are in your thoughts.  Don’t think that by remembering you’ll bring more pain.  You won’t.  You’ll bring more joy because of the fact you remembered.
  4. Use the name of the loved one that died – Their name is being said less and heard less now.  Use it.  A while back I was in the neighborhood that I grew up in and stopped in for a hot dog at the little hole in the wall place that has been there since I was a little girl.  I have no clue who it was, but while I was waiting, someone came in and placed an order and then turned to me and said “You are John Horne’s daughter aren’t you?”  I smiled and said yes, I was.  He smiled, shook his head and said “I sure do miss Big John.  He was a good ole boy with a huge heart.”  I smiled and thanked him for those kind words…and yes, my eyes filled with tears, but I was so thankful for that moment.
  5. Take Action– Don’t just ask the family members, “do you need anything?”  Don’t do it.  In all honesty, they don’t know.  So, if you’ll permit me to, I’ll give you a few things that are ALWAYS needed.
    • Disposable plates, cups, forks, spoons and napkins
    • Drinks and ice
    • Food, other than chicken.  J seriously… a sweet saint that is now in Heaven herself, brought chinese to our dads house during his last few days.  I told her later on that she made our day as we were all chickened out.
    • Breakfast – Stop by and get a dozen biscuits, drop them off on your way to work. Believe me when I say… someone is NOT sleeping.
    • Trash bags
    • Candy and snack basket.  Many people are dropping in and out and they always have children.  This is a huge help for the mom that wants to visit with her friend during this time of sorrow.
    • Fold up chairs – even soccer chairs that we carry in our trunks.  Put your name on it and let them borrow it.
    • Pizza – sometimes there is no warning of death, but other times…there is, like with my dad.  One night, while sitting up with him – it was 2am and we all wanted pizza.  Thankfully we ordered and got one.
  6. Continue to be a source of light and encouragement for the one’s left behind - This is huge.  Encourage them to do things for others, take them out to a dinner or even just window shopping.  Allow them to cry without making them feel guilty.  And never, ever say… “it’s been “x” amount of time, you should be over it.”  Encourage them to do something for someone else. Little things.   I spent 2 years in a dark depression after my dad died.  To this day, I don’t remember much about those 2 years and even just in the past year or so, found out things I didn’t even know.  For instance, even though I was trying to prepare everyone for his death and though I was prepared myself - when they compassionately took my father away, as if he were asleep and not in a body bag – all I could do was hug him and cry out I’m sorry…over and over.  I’m sorry.  “Someone” grabbed me and just held me while I sobbed.  For seven years, I had no idea who that was.  Discussing it sometime later, I found out.  And, I couldn’t remember what brought me out of my deep depression.  My sister told me not long ago that it was the ladies that wanted to “be a secret sister” in church but their limited finances kept them from it.  I literally poured myself into getting things donated so that they could do something for someone else.  Does this always work? I don’t know, but I do know that there is always more joy in giving of ourselves to others than we ever imagine.
  7. Go over and volunteer your services – Don’t just say, “I can come over and help.”  Just show up.  Chat with them and throw away cups that have been left out, napkins lying on the counter and take out the trash.  Load the dishwasher and do the “obvious” stuff.  THEN ask, “While I’m here, let me be a blessing to you, what is next?”

Be a friend during this most difficult time.  That is the main thing.

We all grieve differently.  We all walk on the journey of separation in our own way.  It doesn’t mean we have to go it alone.  Get counseling, seek medical help and/or wrap yourself with the love of those that are left behind with you.

May I add one more thing?  NOW is the time to say I love you.  Now is the time to forgive.  Now is the time to spend time with those you love.  Now!  We are not guaranteed tomorrow.

[whispering] Happy Father’s Day Dad.  This journey has been harder than any, but my prayer is that through my pain, voice and time apart from you that someone else receives a blessing.  I love you and miss you dearly.

If you’ve been here, on this journey of separation, please help us help others by sharing in the comment section below what made a difference for you during the time your heart was grieving. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Take Action

In this day and age of passing the buck, hearts focused on the bright, shiny things of life and what about me mentality; I wanted to give you some extraordinary ways of using the ordinary to make a huge impact for others.

I hope you’ll take action and impact others with the ordinary!
  1. Smile brightly
  2. Hug daily
  3. Laugh lots
  4. Give guiltlessly
  5. Love deeply
  6. Sing Loudly
  7. Return unexpectedly
  8. Walk calmly
  9. Honor Him
  10. Explore eagerly
  11. Move confidently
  12. Be authentic
  13. Answer attentively
  14. Invite joyously
  15. Forgive completely
  16. Encourage passionately
  17. Serve compassionately
  18. Play enthusiastically
  19. Celebrate gratitude
  20. Guide quickly
  21. Share always
  22. Inspire vibrantly
  23. Joyfully Delight
  24. Lead boldly
  25. Initiate efficiency
  26. Appreciate swiftly
  27. Reinforce lovingly
  28. Speak Kindly
  29. Rejoice always
  30. Act swiftly

I could go on for days, but would love to hear your extraordinary thoughts on ordinary actions.

Leave them below to encourage all who read!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sweet Little Things

mmmm mmm mmmmm complete GREATNESS!
I’ve always loved the little things in life.  Just to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming this, I verified it with my mother and she says, yes….it’s true.  If you don’t believe me, just take it up with her, but I wouldn’t recommend it as she is a feisty little booger and I completely adore her.


Sometime ago, I sent off a package to a self professed Reese’s Cup lover.  It was pretty sizeable package of peanut butter and chocolate goodness.  I will often mail off a Reese’s Cup or 3 for no reason at all and expect that it is received with the joy that it is intended….  Just a friend thinking of another and spreading joy to them.

Side note: I will "give" you your own package...but if MY package is open...don't EVEN think I'm gonna share.  That is just not going to happen. :) 

This friend gets the box and is wowed by all the Reese’s Cup in one box.  I smile and am thankful that I could brighten the day.

About ten days later, I get a box in the mail with flaming duct tape.  I giggle with delight because the tape is a dead giveaway.  I don’t even need to see the return address as I KNOW who it was from.  I’m thinking “yuuuuuuum…. Chocolate chip muffins!!!!”

I rip into the box (huge box) and my heart nearly stops!  I’m blown away by the amount of Reese’s Cup, reesepieces and other peanut butter, chocolaty greatness that is in my box!  It had to be 4 times the amount that I had just shipped off a week or so prior! My heart was in awe at the amount!

I immediately tore into one (ok….3, but still) and started looking for where to hide the rest.  Some would go into the freezer for Megan but most of them were being stored away for when I needed a fix…errr, ummm  a treat.

I’ve said all of THAT to say this:

When you give what you can to make a difference for someone, your heart will be flooded with great joy! There is literally no escaping it.  Just do it.  Give.  Don’t worry about what, how much or things of that nature.


 Here is what I’m hoping you’ll do.

1st – if you’ve ever given little things like this tell us about it, what you did and how you felt afterwards.
2nd – if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of little things like this – tell us about it and what was the situation surround it.  How did it impact your heart?

Hearing these stories from you is important as they will give others courage to give what they can, regardless of what it is.

If you’ve ever received just ONE Reese’s Cup from someone, let us know what happened.  (or ONE thing out of nowhere.)

All too often we discount these things because we’ve forgotten how delightful it is to receive even the smallest gift for no reason whatsoever. 

It’s huge and my hope is that you’ll always remember just how wonderful it is.

So… tell me…. What’s your story about spreading JOY and about doing what you can, where you are, with what you have? Hmmm? 

Others need to hear it and your heart will enJOY thinking about it do tell in the comment section below!

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