Where’s that pony?

wheres that pony

Seeing—and taking full advantage of—opportunities for gratitude, especially where there don’t seem to be any, will help smooth your journey across the sometimes rocky roads of life.

The trick, though, is to notice those opportunities for what they are.

Lots of times they’ll look like one thing, but when you change your perspective—Voila!—you see them as something else.


Of course, sometimes it’s much easier to recognize someone else’s opportunities.

This happens fairly often to me, and it occurred again this morning when I went out for a short grocery run.

When I got to the register, there was no customer ahead of me, but there was an empty cart and the cashier was ringing up an order.

She looked at me, smiled apologetically, and said that the customer had to go swap out an item.

I smiled in return, and told her I wasn’t in any rush, so it wasn’t a problem.


The harried woman returned very shortly and tossed her last item on the counter.

She proceeded to run her credit card, run into problems, and run out of patience.

I smiled again, and made some comment about it being ok, that I wasn’t in a hurry, and that I hoped things went more smoothly for her the rest of the day.

She gave me a hard stare, and told me it wasn’t ok, that I didn’t understand.


Through clenched teeth and in a single breath, she informed me her master bathroom was torn apart, she needed to be in Charlotte, NC—4 hours away, for you dear readers unfamiliar with this area—to see the new grand baby, and she was sure someone would be mad at her today because she couldn’t do everything and be everywhere at once.



Taken aback by her annoyed response, I wondered if I should say anything else, or if she’d hit me with a bag of groceries if I did.

I responded gently with a soft smile, and joy in my eyes, “A grand baby? Oh, what a delight! Well that’s someone who will certainly love to see you!”

She huffed, jerked her purchases into the cart, and off she went.


Remodeling is no fun.

Been there, done that, bathrooms and kitchens.

But, the end product is always so much nicer than the original.

And a grandbaby?

How much sweeter does it get?

That poor woman was so overwhelmed by the happenings in her day that she neglected to realize the abundance of goodness that was at the root of it all.


I wrote about an epiphany my husband and I had about budgeting:

Change your point of view to see budgeting as freedom. Yes, sweet, sweet freedom! You may believe as we did that budgeting meant we’d never have fun again. EVER. But, like the optical illusion below, what we saw depended completely on our perspective. Duck or bunny? Chains or freedom? Once we realized the budget was our opportunity to choose intentionally where each dollar went, we saw the freedom we could have from guilt, worry, and fear.

duck bunny optical illusion

In a similar farm animal vein, I recently read about a joke that involved manure.

Yes. Manure.

I know that sounds strange, but you take inspiration where you find it. :-)

It has been a tremendously helpful and amusing reminder to change my perspective.

I hope you find it helpful as well.


Come on over to Engaged Marriage to put this perspective to use in your life.

I’ve shut off comments here so we can converse over there.

Perhaps you, too, will join us by taking up our new rallying cry whenever life gets bumpy:

There must be a pony in here somewhere!  <— Click on this link to join me. 


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Just imagine. . .Responding with gratitude rather than grumbling, and enjoying more happiness and contentment. And rest assured I won't share your address!


Showing love is not just for Valentine’s Day

showing love


Did you know Valentine’s Day is right around the corner?


Oh, right, you probably do, given the constant barrage of guilt-inducing, wallet-breaking, comparison making advertisements that are absolutely everywhere you turn.

My hubbie knows too, but he won’t be getting me anything for this red letter holiday.

I know it’s possible when you just read that, the following thought crossed your mind:

Of all the crummy, thoughtless things…the cheapskate can’t even take the time or money to recognize how much his wife—Miss Too Darn Happy—means to him?!


Before you judge my dear hubbie, let me explain.


I agree with him.

I have been blessed with a man who cherishes me all year round, who loves me in spite of my imperfections, when I feel unlovable, and in my selfishness and impatience.

Notice I did not say that he loves my imperfections and all those other not so adorable traits.

I will take that any day over a husband who thoughtlessly wanders through 364 days, then scrambles to show HOW VERY MUCH HE LOVES ME for a few short hours.

I will take that any day over being a wife who waits and plots, ready to pounce on February 15, to JUST LET HIM KNOW HOW MUCH [Continue reading…]

Patterns of Love in Your Marriage

patterns of love

  When colors, shapes, and sounds come together, delightful patterns can be formed. You encounter them everywhere: in the clothes you wear, the furnishings you buy, the music you hear. While some patterns are easy to spot, some are much more subtle. Patterns of love tend to be this less obvious type, since they develop […]

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Laying the groundwork for a stronger family

laying the groundwork

Making the decision to move 1,000 miles away from the deep roots you’ve put down over the course of your life is not an easy one. I speak from experience, as it took my husband and I years to finally decide to move from the cold northeast to the mild climate of Tennessee. Now that […]

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When a God Wink feels more like a Snakebite

God wink

I shook my head in disbelief as I came to grips with the situation: I had somehow landed in a pit of vipers and  needed to dispatch with them before they dispatched with me. No, I wasn’t in the jungle, but in a new job, where I had been brought in for my positive attitude, […]

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There’s hope in front of you

hope in front

How many times have you gotten discouraged reviewing the latest events in your life? You probably cherry-picked the worst moments, blew them up into large and excruciatingly awful detail, and stacked them upon all the other examples you could muster of your incredible ineptitude or the impossibility of your situation until the tower tumbled and crashed […]

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Are you living like you are dying?

living like you are dying

In the past two weeks I’ve heard from a fellow writer who lost one of her dear friends who was a wife and mother of two teens, a co-worker from a previous job whose dad passed away, and a recent acquaintance whose son succumbed to an illness. The grief is deep in those families, and […]

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Leave them better than you found them

leave them better

    I had A Moment yesterday. You know, one those times when someone shares a bit of insight that absolutely rocks you back on your heels. Mine came as I was listening to our pastor preaching on the mystery of marriage. He shared about a bit of advice he received when he introduced his (hopefully) future […]

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When Stubborn Pride is Pulling Your Strings

stubborn pride

I am well acquainted with Stubborn Pride. I have listened to that wheedling, guilt-inducing voice too many times in my life, and it has never ended well. As a matter of fact, I learned some time ago that when I am really struggling with fear of failure, I can find it lurking nearby, working my emotional […]

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You are NOT the target

you are not the target

  Wouldn’t it be great if cranky, grumpy, hot-tempered people took an extended, nay, permanent, vacation far, far, away? Ahhh, such a sweet dream. In the real world, though, there are crabby people who will launch their slings and arrows your way with hardly a thought. You get to choose how to respond, and I […]

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