Author Archives: Grace Church

Week #175 – Spread Happyness: SEND MAIL!

“Send Mail!” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #175 – Spread Happyness: SEND MAIL!

Greetings Happyness Tribe!

I’ve spent a good part of last year trying to declutter — and you know what I’ve found?

Notecards.  Lots of notecards.

I’ve always wanted to be that person who sends timely birthday cards, thank you notes, and letters of encouragement.  I just never get around to it…never have a stamp…the right pen…never know which card would be the best card to send…

You know which card is the best card?  The one that’s on your desk right now!

It reminded me of a post I wrote back in October 2016.  I had a half-dozen notes I wanted to send.  One was to someone in late-stage cancer.

Guess what?  It’s still sitting on my desk.  Unfortunately, she is gone.

This week, I want to propose (once again) something that I have been very bad at — but have resolved to do better this year:

Send mail!

I know, I know…there are SO MANY faster ways to connect with someone.  And forget about phone calls and emails…that is so 90’s!  Now we can text, chat, message, comment, reply, tweet, or post!

And that’s only if you still want to use words!

Otherwise you can like, love, gram, snap, pin, or simply emoji your feelings to someone!  You don’t even need the alphabet anymore!

But there is nothing, NOTHING, like walking to the mailbox, opening it, and expecting the usual pile of bills and circulars…only to find a brightly colored envelope with your name in someone else’s familiar handwriting!

It means: someone really thought of you.

He or she spent time formulating a thought, writing something down, looking up your address, finding a stamp, and dropping that envelope in the mail to reach you at an undetermined date — when they won’t have the satisfaction of an immediate response or emotional feedback.

It is a precious, sneaky, fun surprise.  And like I said, I’ve been really bad at it!  So…

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: SEND MAIL!  Chances are your holiday card list is still within easy reach.  Grab it now and update it with important birthdates/anniversaries/events/etc. — and if you’re a nerd like me and have yours in a spreadsheet, just add a birthdate column and sort by date!  The six to eight weeks after the holidays are a blue-sy and isolated time for a lot of people.  Spread Happyness — send a smile to someone’s mailbox today!

Who do you owe a note or card to?  Don’t tell me…tell them!  😉

Spread Happyness — SEND MAIL!  And share your thoughts in the comments (but only AFTER you put a stamp on it)!

1/19/18 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #174 – Spread Happyness: PLAN AHEAD! (And USE those calendars!)

“2018…at a glance!”

Week #174 – Spread Happyness: PLAN AHEAD! (And USE those calendars!)

Happy Friday, Everyone!

Today is Friday, January 12th — have you unwrapped any one of those cutesy calendars you received over the holidays?

Well here is your annual reminder…because we are almost HALF WAY through the first month of the new year!  

I hope by now you’ve had the chance to process and celebrate the year we just completed — and set some new goals or visions for the new year ahead.  (If not, click back to Week #172 and Week #173 for some ideas about how to do that.)

What next?

What do we do with all those goals, dreams, visions, aspirations, and insight?

Plan them!

There’s a lot of discussion about the virtues of paper calendars versus digital calendars.  Digital calendars have great portability and a low profile — but rarely are they in your face.  A password, and then one, two, maybe three clicks — not to mention competition with all those other apps once you’re unlocked.  They just don’t give you much information at a glance — or much time to really plan ahead.

A paper calendar, hanging on the wall by your bathroom sink or on your refrigerator in the kitchen, may not be all that high tech — but it is certainly high-profile.  It also gives you (and whomever you are sharing it with) time to ponder, compare, contribute, discuss, and yes — even plan ahead!

And many people are boosting their outlook by using FULL-YEAR wall calendars to track all the major events, holidays, appointments, and deadlines that are already set by the time we turn the calendar to January 1st — not to mention their personal goals and commitments.

And that makes sense, because it is well-documented that planning ahead is directly related to happiness.  And not only that — scheduling your goals and commitments increases the chances that you will actually follow through with them.

Why not try it?

There is an old proverb: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is the tree of life.”  (Proverbs 13:13)  Don’t allow your daily or weekly schedule to rob you of the joy of planning ahead!  Start plotting your year today!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: PLAN AHEAD!  Perhaps someone gave you a cutesy calendar during the holidays — or you grabbed a freebie at your bank or pizza place without really thinking about where or how you’d use it.  I challenge you this week to HANG IT UP!  If you don’t like the pictures, tear out the calendar pages and arrange them in months, quarters — or the entire year at a glance.  Then open your personal daily planners, pull together all those school and activity calendars, queue up Google to search holiday dates — and start plotting your year!

  • Start with the big holidays and three-day weekends, birthdays, and major events (like weddings, graduations, important anniversaries).
  • I also like to mark the solstices/equinoxes, full moons, and time changes.
  • Then move on to some of your goals.  Are you running a marathon?  Writing a book?  Growing a business?  Saving for a house?  Planning a vacation or next year’s holiday travel?  Start plotting your desires on the calendar by asking: where and when will this take place?

Spread Happyness — PLAN AHEAD!  Share your favorite calendar tips — but most important, share your calendars with the ones you love!

1/12/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #173 – Welcome to 2018!!!  (What tracks do you want to make this year?)

“Fresh Snow in OG” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #173 – Welcome to 2018!!!  (What tracks do you want to make this year?)

Happy New Year, Tribe — and Happy First Friday of 2018!!!

As I mentioned last week, I hope you made some time over the holidays to look back at 2017 and CELEBRATE the things that went right.

And, I hope you have a plan in place to keep track of the good stuff that will come your way in the year ahead.  Because we are on our way!

But if not, don’t despair!  I just returned to LA after a ten-day trip back home to New Jersey — and to a calendar that seems stuck on December 24th!

My apartment is still decorated, there are unsent Christmas cards, and a list of yearly review/planning questions still not answered!

But January is a blank slate…like that fresh blanket of snow on the beach in my photo.  And I intend to take time this week to catch up on my end-of-the-year wrap-up and 2018 prep.

If you’re a little behind — or the holidays left you in the dust (or slush as it is for so many of you right now) — join me this week as I lay the first tracks into 2018!

Here’s a recap of some of my favorite tools:

  • YOUR “ONE WORD” — Three or four years ago I ran across a little red book called The ONE WORD That Will Change Your Life.  The gist is this: while contemplating the year ahead — and working through a few questions (in the PDF on the website: www.getoneword.com) — you come up with ONE WORD that encapsulates what you want the year to mean to you.  Then, you make a plan to keep it front and center to live out daily.  What ONE WORD would you like to make your focus for 2018?
  • David Allen (author of Getting Things Done) offers a series of “Year-End Review” questions on his website that prompt you to “complete and remember” the year behind — and “create” the year ahead.  (The link is from a previous year so just modify the years to 2017/2018.)  You can move through this list quickly with first thoughts — or spend lots of time really unpacking things.  What would you like to create for yourself in 2018?
  • Another favorite is the “Clean Sweep Assessment” — a more mathematical measurement of personal satisfaction in four key areas of our lives: physical environment, personal well-being, money, and relationships.  How do you tally up?
  • And, of course, there is always traditional goal-setting — take a dream and use the “SMART” acronym to break it down into: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound action steps.  Just remember to put a little WHY behind your WHAT — and consider an even SMART-ER approach by adding EMOTION and RESULT to the mix by asking WHY?  (“So that I can FEEL…” and “So that I can achieve/accomplish/acquire/arrive at/accept…etc.”)     
  • And for all you compulsive types trying to build a daily habit — check out Jerry Seinfeld’s excuse-busting “Don’t Break the Chain” method!  It’s not just for writers!

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: What tracks to do you want to make in 2018?  If you haven’t done so already, take some time this week to reflect on the year past — and to think about the year ahead.  What are your goals, dreams, aspirations, and visions?  Where do you want to be next year this time?  What is your WHY?

If you have a favorite reflection or goal-setting tool that you use, please share it with me in the comments or via email.  And if there is some way that I can help you set a goal that will Spread Happyness to you or someone you love in 2018, please let me know that too!

“The future lies before you, like a field of fallen snow: be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.”  (Author Unknown)

Spread Happyness — share your dreams, goals, aspirations, or favorite tools in the comments!

1/5/18 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #172 – Did you “Love Your Life” in 2017? (How’s the view?)

New Year's Eve 2005 (photo credit: Gina Buongiorno)

NYE’05 (photo credit: Gina Buongiorno)

[Editor’s Note: Re-post Alert — because celebrating is never a bad idea!]

Week #172 – Did you “Love Your Life” in 2017? (How’s the view?)

If you answered “no” or “not great”…I want to assure you, once again, that you aren’t alone.

For many people…2017 was another challenging year.  Health issues, death, divorce, job changes, financial problems, stressful news cycles…the list goes on and on.

Believe me…I know how it feels to want to kick an entire year to the curb.

The end of the calendar year seems to be a natural time to look back and reflect on the highs, the lows, what happened, what went wrong, and how we can fix it in the new year ahead.

This is exactly why on January 1st of this past year, I challenged everyone to look forward into 2017 — and start keeping track of the good stuff.

Because it’s hard to love your life when it’s so easy to look back and come up with all the bad things that happened.  We have to, as Rob’s friend Rob Nicholson said in a Facebook post at the end of 2014:

“Keep moving forward and celebrate and revel in what we have!”

So I challenged you at the beginning of this year to, once again, look ahead…WAY ahead.

To December 31st of 2017.

By the way…that’s this weekend!

And I asked — Where do you want to be next year at this time?

Do you remember your answer?  If not, don’t feel bad.  Because I said at that time that I knew one thing for sure — It would take REMINDERS.

If you were one of the ones that kept track of your achievements, high points, and happy moments — please remember to SHARE and CELEBRATE them with the ones you love!

If you didn’t keep track, don’t worry.  Take some time this week to go back through your calendar, your emails, your phone — whatever it takes to come up with enough reminders of all that you accomplished and did right this year!

Because I promise you…you did!  And there is probably a lot to CELEBRATE!

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: CELEBRATE the completion of another year — and another trip around the sun!  SHARE your successes with others — and ENCOURAGE others to do the same!  There will be plenty of time to look ahead and set new goals, focus on new targets, and dream new dreams for the year ahead.  For this weekend — look back, and find things to LOVE about 2017! 

Bonus Challenge: Don’t count on yourself to remember everything about the new year going forward!  Make a plan to curate the wins just as much as the losses so that you have a complete inventory come December 31st of 2018.  Come up with a system for recording your achievements, successes, highlights, and otherwise happy times THROUGHOUT the year!  The most obvious way is to keep a dated list — in a journal, on your computer, via email, or on your phone — where you take time each day to review your activities and take note of anything special or significant.  I keep a running list by date and habitually recount the day’s activities.  To be honest, most days it’s pretty mundane — but the habit assures that when something notable happens I’m going to capture and remember it.  Here are some other ideas from last year’s post:

  • Gratitude Tree — write what you’re grateful for on little shapes and fill an inside tree or wall mural up throughout the year (works in classrooms, too!).
  • Photo-journal — use cell-phone photos in a specific file or on Instagram to keep track of accomplishments.  Or print them out to create a physical album you can flip through.
  • The Joy Jar or Happyness Jar!  The idea is simple: you start on January 1st with an empty jar in a prominent location in your home — and you start dropping notes in it throughout the year about things that went well, things that make you happy, things you’re grateful for, achieved, or accomplished.  At the end of the year you have a personal collection of happy memories to review — or immediate access throughout the year when you need a lift to face a challenge!  One woman even collaged them on a monthly basis as a type of word-cloud to record as a journal.

The possibilities are endless — but the idea is always the same: make it a point to collect the good stuff!  Because we need more of that.  More focus on the wins.  More focus on what’s right.  More focus on loving our lives — so that we can live our lives more fully.

Spread Happyness — love your life, THIS year AND next!  (CELEBRATE and ENCOURAGE others to do the same!)

12/29/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #171 – Two Weeks to Happyness: “Love those to the left and right of you.” (Happyness Re-Revisited – with Sarah Harmeyer and Neighbor’s Table)

Week #171 – Two Weeks to Happyness: “Love those to the left and right of you.”
(Happyness Re-Revisited – with Sarah Harmeyer and Neighbor’s Table)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Holidays to all!

We are closing in on the last two Fridays of 2017…and this week, I am reminded once again of the loneliness of the holiday season.

While Jim and I are looking forward to going “home” next week to visit friends and family on the East Coast — at every turn I’m reminded of people who aren’t, who can’t, who just won’t, or who will never be able to do so again.  Whether it’s through death, divorce, dysfunction, deployment, work demands, or just economic or logistical difficulties with traveling — there are millions of people who don’t get to “go home” for the holidays.

Which reminded me of my post last year and the year before about Sarah Harmeyer of Dallas, Texas — for her creation of Neighbor’s Table .  I thought I’d repost it this week, with a simple challenge in Sarah’s own words:

“Make time for someone in your community. Look for ways to love those to the left and right of you.” (Sarah Harmeyer)

If you’ve been following for a while, you may remember that Sarah is the “Chief People Gatherer” at Neighbor’s Table — a movement that encourages people to step outside their homes and get to know their neighbors, one table at a time!  Sarah took a simple concept and a sweet memory — and turned it into “A Love Mission” that has kept her (and her family) busy for over five years now (including landing her table on HGTV’s “Nashville Flipped!”).

And it all started in her own backyard!

In my interview for Week #66, Sarah shared her story with me.  In 2012, she asked her father to build her a table big enough to seat 20 people.  The concept was simple: she wanted to get to know her neighbors.  That year, she set a goal to serve 500 people in a series of dinner parties.  When I interviewed her last year, that original table had been host to almost 2,000 people!

[Read the full story here: Week #66 – Two Weeks to Happyness: SPREAD THE LOVE! (Happyness in Action – with Sarah Harmeyer).]

Sarah and her father went on to build tables for other people so they could start their own “love mission” in their communities.   At the time of my post in 2015, there were Neighbor’s Tables in 10 states with a goal of having a table in every state by 2020!  By the looks of her Facebook page, they have been busy building and delivering ever since!

I asked Sarah what Happyness meant to her.  She said, “Happiness is gathering friends and strangers alike around the table and figuring out ways the entire time on how to love them.  Happiness is cheering others to love.  Happiness is doing the thing that God has made you to do.”

What about you, Happyness Tribe?  Are you ready to Spread the Love again this year?

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: SPREAD THE LOVE!  Do you have an extra seat or two at your table this holiday season?  If so, “love someone to the left or right of you!”  Bring a NEIGHBOR into the mix (or student, or senior, or new kid on the block)!  Ask if they have plans.  It could be just for dessert or a drink or a quick cookie exchange.  But it might be especially meaningful during the holidays — when one or more of your neighbors are alone or distanced from family (or perhaps it’s you that feels alone this holiday season).  Open your doors!  Spread the Love!

“Make time for someone in your community. Look for ways to love those to the left and right of you.” (Sarah Harmeyer)

Spread Happyness — Spread the Love!  Get to know your neighbors this week — and tell me about it in the comments!

12/22/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

(Thanks once again to Sarah Harmeyer for welcoming me to her virtual table and sharing her story with me in 2015!  To learn more about Sarah and Neighbor’s Table, read inspiring stories, or find out how to get a custom handcrafted table for your own backyard — follow Neighbor’s Table on Instagram and Facebook, or sign up for emails or purchase at http://neighborstable.com.)

Week #170 – Three Weeks to Happyness: Thank You, First Responders!

Spread Happyness…Share Freely!

Week #170 – Three Weeks to Happyness: Thank You, First Responders!

Greetings Happyness Tribe!

You know who will be working on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and all throughout the holiday season?

First responders.

Your police department, firehouse, or ambulance squad doesn’t close because it’s a holiday.  They don’t get to lock the door and call it quits for the day.

They are ready and waiting — away from their families and friends — to serve you in case of an emergency.

The wildfires in California have all of us thanking our first responders.  Just this Sunday, my church used the hour in between morning services to write thank you notes to firehouses all across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

I thought that was a great idea!

So…

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: Thank your first responders!  Last week, we were challenged to thank our mail carriers, delivery drivers, and package handlers.  As you are running your holiday errands this week — be sure to stop by your local firehouse, police station, or ambulance squad and Spread Happyness their way with a goodie bag, some cookies, or a thank you note letting them know you appreciate their being at the ready while you celebrate with your family.  Also, feel free to share the photo above with anyone that you want to say thank you to this week!

(And if you are a first responder — I would love to hear your perspective!)

Spread Happyness — thank your first responders this week!

(And if you or someone you know has a fun way to Spread Happyness this holiday season — please let me know!  I’d love to feature their story of Happyness in Action on the blog!)

12/15/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #169 – Four Weeks to Happyness: Make your house a Special Delivery! (Happyness in Action — with Jessica Suto)

Special Delivery! (used with permission: Jessica Suto)

Week #169 – Four Weeks to Happyness: Make your house a Special Delivery! (Happyness in Action — with Jessica Suto)

Greetings Happyness Tribe!

You might remember back in Week #95 a challenge to leave something cool to drink for our mail carriers and other workers who were sweating it out during a summer heat wave.

Well, the holiday shopping season is here — and we are headed into the two heaviest delivery weeks for our mail carriers, delivery drivers, and package handlers.

Which is why  I am so excited to share this story of Happyness in Action with you!

Rob’s classmate — Jessica Suto — posted an idea to her Facebook page that caught my attention this week.  It was a forward from another site with a basket of snacks/water on the doorstep as a thank-you to those who are handling the added volume.  

(You can see the original post here.)

Knowing Jessica and her heart of gold — I reached out to her to see if this was something she actually does.  Indeed it was!

“I saw a friend share it (the original post), then thought how great my delivery guys have been, especially my UPS driver, he actually brings heavy things to the back door and if I’m home, he will bring them in for me.”

Jessica is a Navy Veteran with some health complications.  Online shopping for food and supplies is easy enough…but a little help with the heavy lifting is a big plus!

“At that time, I wasn’t able to tip, and when my friend shared this it was just an instant thing.”

An instant way to Spread Happyness!  How about that?!  🙂

As I was chatting with Jessica over messenger, she told me that just today she came home to a porch full of deliveries…and an empty basket!

“That, as well, put a smile on my face!”

I checked around social media to see if others were implementing this idea.  One woman in Georgia replied instantly that she loved it and was going to see what she could scrounge up.  Within minutes, she posted a photo of her front porch with a basket of goodies and a thank you note to her delivery people!

It was interesting to hear from drivers/delivery people as well.  Jeffery Linden, a UPS team member from Windsor, Connecticut, chimed in:

“I remember being out on the road this time of year. People either smiled or grimaced at you. A grab and go snack will make them happy!”

I asked Jeffery, what other simple things people can do to acknowledge drivers/delivery people?

“Just understand their stops are measured by the seconds, and understand if they are polite but never stop moving.”

(That’s good to know!)

As for Jessica, I asked her what Happyness means to her this holiday season as she gets ready to pack up and move across the country.

“Norm (just like in Cheers) is my mailman.  He is always super happy-go-lucky with a big smile on his face. I want to pack him and my UPS driver and take them with me!!!”

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: Make your house a SPECIAL DELIVERY!  Assemble a basket of goodies, water, gum, etc. and leave it on your porch with a note to your mail carrier, delivery people, or package handlers.  (A Giving Tree would be a lot of fun, too — with the goodies/snacks attached to branches!)  In Jessica’s words, “this time of year they are super busy, so make sure to thank them.  Also, the next time something is late, damaged or lost, don’t take it out on the carrier.  They didn’t necessarily do that.”  For Jessica, the fulfillment of knowing that these little gestures make their day — also makes hers!

Jessica’s note on her porch reads (in the photo above), “To the greatest deliverymen in town, thanks for all you do, and everything you have done for me.”

She’s going to miss them…and I think they’re going to miss her, too!

Spread Happyness — leave a Special Delivery for your delivery people this week!

(And if you or someone you know has a fun way to Spread Happyness this holiday season — please let me know!  I’d love to feature their story of Happyness in Action on the blog!)

12/8/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

(PS: A very special thanks to Jessica Suto for her service to this country — and for taking extra time out of her day to trade messages with me!  And thanks to Jeffery Linden for sharing his perspective, as well!)

Week #168 – Five Weeks to Happyness: MONSTER TRUCKS for TOYS! (Happyness Re-Revisited — with Amy Wood-Oblen)

Week #168 – Five Weeks to Happyness: MONSTER TRUCKS for TOYS!
(Happyness Re-Revisited — with Amy Wood-Oblen)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy December!

The holiday season is officially upon us — and nothing pleases me more than to revisit the story of a young mother paying it forward as part of our Year-End Countdown to Happyness!

Rob’s classmate — Amy Wood-Oblen and her family — are ONCE AGAIN (and one last time at the Chatterbox) headlining the Monster Trucks for Toys Event at the Chatterbox Drive-In in Augusta, NJ.  

AND IT’S THIS WEEKEND!

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, December 2nd from 11-3p  — and will continue to benefit children in Sussex County this holiday season.  Each new, unwrapped toy gets you a ride on the Monster Truck for free!  (See poster for details.)

Amy told me in 2014 that she and her family are happy to give back to Project Self-Sufficiency’s Season of Hope Program.  “It means a lot to us because years before I met my husband I lived in Sussex County with my son and for a few years they helped me to put presents under my tree, so I owe them a lot.”

This all started years ago while Amy’s husband Shawn (owner of NJ Monster Trucks) was eating at the Chatterbox Drive-In — and talking with owner.  During that conversation, they came up with the idea of doing rides for toys.

Five or six years later now, it’s a tradition!  

Each year, they collected a dining room full of toys!  (See photo below.)  Toys that will go to children right in Amy and Sean’s — and The Chatterbox’s — own backyard.  Amy added, “it’s a plus to know it will be local children receiving the gifts.”

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2015 Monster Truck Toy Drive (photo credit: Amy Wood-Oblen)

And while the suggested donation value is $5 per ride, Amy says:  “The great thing about this event is how much people give…they give much much more!”

Weather has been an issue in the past because if it rains or snows they have to cancel.  This year they are once again starting early — with a rain/snow date of Sunday, December 3rd.

It’s been years now since Amy has needed to apply for help at Christmas.  “I still can feel the anxious feeling waiting to see if I would qualify to receive gifts. It’s been 11 years and it’s still so fresh to me.”  Doing the toy drive allows her to take that feeling away from other parents.

“Seeing and living the magic through my children and knowing we can give other children that same magic is what Happyness means to us.”

Last year, Amy shared a photo of her two youngest (Shane and Sammy) helping out at the 2016 event.  Anyone who knows Amy or her family knows that the kids are very involved with the Monster Truck events.  “I love that my kids enjoy helping other children. It makes them feel good.”

Amy’s children help with last year’s gifts. (Photo used with permission: Amy Wood-Oblen)

As many people know, The Chatterbox has been sold and will be closing in 2018 — making this the last year to attend the event at this unique location.  But that won’t stop Amy.  She told me she hopes to partner with another nearby business to keep this yearly tradition going in the future.

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: GIVE GENEROUSLY!!! As I wrote in Week #11 when this blog first started, one of my brother’s greatest joys was donating to Toys for Tots each year.  Spread the Wealth again this year!  If you’re a Sussex County local, Amy’s event on Saturday is a great place to start.  Otherwise — find a church, local food bank (don’t forget the coffee!), Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, or other organization that will benefit people in need right in your own backyard!

Spread Happyness — GIVE GENEROUSLY!  Spread the Wealth and donate a game or toy (or food, coffee, pajamas, etc.) to those in need this year!

(And if you or someone you know is hosting their own local charity event or fundraiser that Spreads Happyness directly to those who need it — please let me know!  I’d love to feature them on the blog!)

12/1/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

(PS: Special thanks to Amy Wood-Oblen for taking the time to share and update her story with me again this year!  To learn more about NJ Monster Trucks, visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/NJMonsters)

Week #167 – Six Weeks to Happyness: Count Your Blessings!  (30 Days of Gratitude Starts Now!)

Count Your Blessings (www.spreadhappyness.com)

Week #167 – Six Weeks to Happyness: Count Your Blessings!  (30 Days of Gratitude Starts Now!)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Holidays!

Isn’t it strange that after our single biggest day of giving thanks — we turn and face the most commercial season of the year?

It’s no secret that retailers thrive on lack to drive their profits.  And as many Americans are trying desperately to simplify the holidays — retailers seem to scream even louder to get our attention.

It turns what many desire to be a season of happiness and contentment into a season of lack and comparison.

And so, I wanted to repeat my challenge from last year…to continue giving thanks into December and give ourselves the gift of gratitude this holiday season!

(This idea was born out of my own lack of gratitude last year.  You can read about it on Week #115.)

So here it is!  A very simple, one-page calendar that you (or your kids) can hang on your wall or refrigerator and fill in each day — and a challenge to Count Your Blessings for 30 days straight!  Think you can do it?!

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!  Give yourself the gift of gratitude this holiday season!  Download the 30 Days of Gratitude printable PDF and start counting your blessings today!  Come December 24th — you’ll have 30 reminders of everything that is going right and well in your life!  (And I will too!)

Spread Happyness — Share Freely!  And start counting your blessings today!

11/24/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

Week #166 – Seven Weeks to Happyness: “It feels like you have forever…you don’t.” (JoCheryl Holcombe)

(JoCheryl Holcombe via Facebook on 11/15/17)

Week #166 – Seven Weeks to Happyness: “It feels like you have forever…you don’t.” (JoCheryl Holcombe)

I’m counting down the last ten Fridays of 2017 — and today, as we head into Thanksgiving Week, I’m simply going to quote JoCheryl Holcombe, who lost EIGHT family members (TEN if you include an unborn child and a close family friend) in the Sutherland Springs, Texas shooting earlier this month on November 5th.

An acquaintance of mine is friends with her and shared her Facebook post from this past Wednesday, November 15th — the day her town gathered together to celebrate the lives of the Holcombe and Hill families that were killed en masse just ten days before.

You can see JoCheryl’s public message on FB here.

I couldn’t possibly add anything to that — except to agree and share it with you.  As you gather together with family this week — if you get along or you don’t get along — remember, it may feel like you have forever.

You don’t.  

(But then again, you do!)

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead is this quote from JoCheryl Holcombe:
“So, when you think of those you love and it feels like you have forever, just remember you don’t, but then again, YOU DO! make this life matter, our soul is the only thing we take with us when we are done…it’s worth tending, it’s worth making meaningful deep connections and living each moment in the fullest most meaningful way. BECAUSE everything can change in a holy instant 
(JoCheryl Holcombe via Facebook — 11/15/17)

Spread Happyness — make your moments matter!  

And Have a Happy Thanksgiving Week!

11/17/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com