Dare To Be Soul Happy: What Does Happiness Mean To You?

By February 3, 2016 27 Comments

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if anything is excellent or worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Phil.4:8

What is the One Word that speaks to you in today’s verse?

What does happiness mean to you? 

And why am I suspicious of being happy?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been in survival mode so long.

I’m realizing that when you are in survival mode, choosing joy, being the beloved and being happy falls pretty low on the priority list. are just not part of the picture.

For someone like me who has been following Jesus through my obedience for most of my life, being happy feels guilt-inducing. I might even be honest and confess that happiness was something I felt other people who lived other lives experienced everyday. But, not me.

It’s hard to type this next confession — but it’s been easier for me to serve God and love others, rather than let God love me. In ways my heart longs to be happy.

I’m sure it hurts God’s heart to read these words. Because I’m learning this isn’t how He meant it to be for me.

God whispers —

I love you still. I haven’t given up on you.

I love you forever.

God’s changing my way of living.  Of believing.

And I believe His words of love are meant for you too.

Permission To Say Yes

As we’ve been daring to be God’s beloved today, I’ve been asking God, “What exactly does that mean?”

How do you practice being someone’s beloved?

Letting God love us sounds good, but how can we actually experience being God’s beloved in our actual lives — today?

As I’m continuing to do my soul work with Jesus — creating more spiritual whitespace to let Him in the most intimate parts of my heart, one word has emerged.


Like letting someone you’re falling in love with stand close enough for an embrace.

Like letting someone who is falling in love with you slip his hand into yours.

Like letting that same someone into your world whispering our dreams, your sorrows and your story through phone calls that go deep into the night.

And then over time, allowing him to look softly into your eyes and draw close enough to kiss you.

We need to give ourselves permission to choose happiness, the way God intended: free from fear and condemnation.  

Free to be His beloved.


We need to give God permission to plant these beautiful moments of beauty, love, tenderness, and sweetness in our souls.

We need to give ourselves permission to DWELL — to make a home — in all that is beautiful, lovely, sweet, tender, kind, gentle, peaceful, joyful and restful.

We need to give ourselves permission to say yes.

I began to create a Happy Soul List: ideas to experience God’s goodness as the His beloved. For me. Today.

What would your Happy Soul List look like? What are the ideas you’ve put to the side- because you’ve put yourself to the side?


(i did a short hike early this week and brainstormed ideas for my Happy Soul List)

How Do I Treat Myself?

We are called to DWELL in God’s kingdom —

where the weak are made strong by God’s love.

where those who mourn and shed tears are valued and treasured.

where those who are imperfect are beautiful and perfect in God’s eyes.

where those who are poor in spirit are sweetly cared for and loved on.

But do I treat myself the way Jesus would treat me?

Do my choices for my well-being reflect someone who is well loved?

As I asked myself these questions, God quietly brought brought this verse to me:

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

Reflect. What Am I Meditating On?

I realize the meditation of my heart was actually quite opposite to the voice of love. There are a lot of critical words I speak to myself.

“Just get it done.”

“Why are you worried about this again?”

“Get it together!  What is your problem?”

“You — happy?  You’re being selfish.”

I realize the meditation of my heart doesn’t line up with someone who is loved by God.

Those words don’t come from Jesus. They come from others and even ourselves. We can’t eradicate these words, because we are human and imperfect people may not have loved us the way we needed.

But, we can choose whose words we listen to.

What words are on your heart? Whose words are those?

I want to listen to God’s words. Today.

Listen. God’s One Word

God wants us to make a home in all that is true, right, pure, lovely and good.

Listen to God’s One Word to you and me today —

Close your eyes now and think of me.

Think of all that is beautiful and good.

I know they make your soul happy. I planted them there. Just for you.

Those who would truly love you the way I do would never condemn you.

Go in peace. Be happy with me.

Be my beloved. Today.

Take The Challenge With Me: #Be Soul Happy

What makes your soul happy today? I got inspired to create a Happy Soul List to encourage myself to be God’s beloved each day & improve my well-being.

It takes courage to choose joy, doesn’t it? At least for me! But, I’m taking God’s dare to dwell on what makes my soul happy this month. To take notice and be more present as I enjoy them.

I started on Monday, sharing daily moments my soul was happy on Instagram and Facebook and asking questions for us to explore. 

Come join me! I’d love some company. ☕ I hope it will inspire you to plant seeds of goodness and be soul happy in your today too!

Let’s see what happens. Brainstorm your Happy Soul List & share your moments using hashtag #besoulhappy .  Link up your Ideas to Be Soul Happy on our #OneWordCoffee Link Up below today or in the coming week.

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if anything is excellent or worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Phil.4:8


What does happiness mean to you? 

What can you do to prioritize your well-being and “dwell” in what is good for your soul — today?

What One Word God is speaking to you today?

Pull a chair. Click to comment. Let’s enjoy #OneWordCoffee together. I can’t wait to hear what you have to share!

FindingSpiritualWhitespace_BookDaySpring* Who can you share today’s encouragement with?

For more encouragement, get a copy of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest.


 #OneWordCoffee Link Up
Soul Writing With Jesus —  Together


This new #OneWordCoffee Wednesday series inspires us to create space in a simple way, to be present, hear God’s whispers, to be refreshed & renewed. 🍃

Every Wednesday, I’ll invite you to stop, pause, & reflect on a One Word prompt.

Then, you share how One Word speaks to you: 1. simply post a comment (or) 2. write a blog post, link up on Wednesdays and visit the post before yours to comment and encourage. Please Place the #OneWordCoffee badge in your post(click here) & link back (or) 3. tag photos #OneWordCoffee on Facebook or Instagram inspired by your one word.

#OneWordCoffee ☕️ A simple invitation to create a new rhythm for your soul. To stop and hear God’s whispers. And swap some stories together.

Today’s  2/3/16 #OneWordCoffee Prompt: happy. Create & brainstorm ideas for your “My Happy Soul List”. feel free to let your One Word for 2016 inspire you.

 ** Lent Begins Next Week! ** Special #OneWordCoffee Prompt Next Week 2/10/16 for Lent: Remember 

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photo credit: kelly ishmael


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