weekly gratitude | why I do this

thank you sneakers for still going strong after all these years

There have been times in my life where I've been labeled a cockeyed
optimist. Even so far as to call me a Pollyanna.

One friend whom I've known since we were six declared one day that I seemed
to have been raised in a Disney movie.

There have been times in my life when this has not been meant as a
compliment, either to my own character or to the way my parents raised me.

Isn't it terrible to sit back and realize one day that optimism and
hope (plain old happiness in general) have become another catalyst for
judgment in an already horrifically negative world?

It's as though walking around with a smile on your face is a sudden signal
to the rest of the world that you're some little dolt with no concept of what's really going on in the world.

"Isn't that cute - but she has no idea what REAL life is like."


How delightfully assuming and judgmental.

Well I'm here to say not so. Not so at all.

I make the choice.

I choose happiness over sadness. I choose gratitude over grumbling. When others focus soley on the bad, I choose to look for the good.

If it pleases you to think the smile on my face is an act, or the result of sticking my head in the sand, be my guest. But it is far from an act.

I am genuinely thankful and genuinely happy. I want to be kind, as often as possible. I want to smile at everyone I see and I want to mean it.

I want to think about how irritatingly small my refrigerator is when I can't fit a full gallon of milk in it, but speak of the blessing at having an apartment to live in at all. I want to feel my heart as it wrenches in my chest when I think on the past too much, but speak only of the pure joy of those memories hold. I want to worry about how I feel insignificant because I'm not off doing missionary work in some foreign land, but speak about the job I love and the experiences I've had here and the particular mission God has entrusted to me (
me!) alone.

All my life I have made choices (
as so many often do) - whether it was to make mistakes for myself, or to have the wherewithall to observe the lives of others and learn from them so as not to repeat those things (or, alternately, to see soemone do something incredible and choose to give it a try myself!).

But really, you don't have to drop a bowling ball on your foot to know it will hurt. And just because I've never stuck my hand in a flame doesn't show a lack of life experience, but rather the good sense not to do it in the first place.

It is a constant battle, this choosing happiness. But in this Kingdom, I am both a worker and a warrior.

And my weapon of choice is a grateful heart.


  1. Just one more reason to love you!!!

  2. We need more LaurenJeanAllece's in this world. Lots more.

  3. "My weapon of choice is a grateful heart." Amen. I'm the same way. People often laugh at me as I bounce along or try so hard sometimes to just be happy when everyone else is very content being just ok. Happiness is a choice and sometimes that choice is much harder than it should be but always worth it.

  4. Allie: I love that last line of your comment. So, so much.

  5. I read this earlier on my phone and loved it but also noticed your new layout. It looks great, I love the header. But moreso, I everything you said here is so important and so true. Thanks for sharing your heart, my friend!

  6. ...and I want to be like you. Sometimes I feel like I'd be the person building a bomb shelter in her yard if I wasn't so lazy and procrastinating-like.
    My husband is the optimist in the family . I'm trying. I really am. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. This is a beautiful post!
    Good on you!! I wish there were more people who had optimism like you!!
    (visiting from Kate @ Daffodils)

  8. Outstanding!