Are you willing to fight for your smile? In Confessions of a Caregiver Episode 7, I offered four tips to help caregivers through the tough days. One of those tips is to smile until the rest of you catches up with your face. Sometimes that’s hard, but I found that the more you do it, the easier it gets.
My sister doesn’t have any trouble smiling. She is sweet and joyful in the simple things. Keep reading to find a few new tips to help you keep smiling.
Change your perspective
Start practicing gratitude. When your life starts looking like a joyless, black and white task list, its time to shift your perspective away from yourself and your problems. Turn your focus toward God. Try listing five things He’s already done for you and then thank Him for each one. Rinse and repeat every morning, and you’ll soon wake up smiling.
Choose not to be miserable. I could have said choose to be happy, but the other way sounds more dramatic and, for me, is more doable. You can’t just flip a switch to be happy. It doesn’t work that way. But you can say, “I’m not going to be miserable today.” Then you can lean on God’s Word and encourage yourself with it. Speak scripture over your life to remind yourself of who you are in Christ.
Encourage yourself. Try saying something like this:
- Lord, you promised never to leave me or forsake me, (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- I am loved (John 3:16)
- I am a daughter of the King, (Galatians 3:26)
- I am a child of God, (1 John 3:1)
- I am chosen, (John 15:16)
- Lord, you told me not to be anxious about anything, (Phil 4:6-7)
Hide God’s word in your heart. The bible is full of God’s promises and declarations of love for you. Ask God to help you find them, then use them to encourage yourself. I encourage you to try memorizing you favorites, so you have them when you need them. (Matthew 4:4)
Focus on God, and watch your problems get smaller. Another way to say this is circumstances become more manageable with a fresh outlook on life. Either way, you come out smiling.
Change is hard, friends, but it’s worth fighting for. God will do His part, but you must do your part. Choose to take action and God will be right there with you.
- Practice smiling until it sticks.
- Practice gratitude until it becomes a habit.
- Encourage yourself in Christ.
- Memorize your favorite verses.
- Focus on God, not your problems.
Do you think these tips can help you change your perspective? Or maybe you have something new to add to our list.
How will you take action to start smiling again?
Today I’m posting on the Five Minute Fridays Link Up, a writing community that meets once a week to write for the sake of writing. A five-minute writing exercise prompted by one word provided by our host, Kate Motaung. The writing prompt this week is SMILE.
You can also find me here this week:
Faith on Fire, Lyli Dunbars link-up.
Grace and Truth Link-Up
Ceramic heart on twine Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com
Bible photo credit by unsplash.com
Yes great thoughts! Gratitude changes everything. And I appreciate the verses to reflect on as well!
Thanks, Wendy. I’m glad listing the verses was helpful to you. Thanks for visiting!
I think i read the same verses as you when I need to encourage myself. What a lovely post. God bless end #14
Loretta, Thanks for stopping by again and for your encouraging comment. God’s Word is full of encouragement, aren’t we blessed to have it!
You are totally right: sometimes not being miserable is a choice. I know too many people who are fully content in their sorrow and unwilling to do any work to improve their situation. Sometimes I have those moments too, but I am not willing to let one bad thing steal away the next good thing.
FMF #16, Amie
Amie, I like the way you put that, “I am not willing to let one bad thing steal away the next good thing.” I wish I would have thought of that. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.
5 great ideas I have used. Sometimes we need to keep smiling until our body catches up. Caregiving is hard work. I have done it several times for periods of time. I would also add, get help and take time off from Caregiving when you can.
Theresa, thank you for the excellent additions. As a matter of fact, we just engaged a helper, who is starting on Monday. I’ll introduce her in the next Confessions of Caregiver post.
God directed me to your post today from our Grace and Truth Link Up. As the caregiver to a special needs child, I have been letting our covid limitations really get to me. Thank you for the perspective shift. I am choosing your post for the feature this Friday.
Lauren, I’m glad you were encouraged, that’s the reason I write about caregiving. it is hard enough without a pandemic. We want to keep our people safe and that weight is heavy and challenging, now more than ever. I’m happy to be featured on Grace and Truth! Thank you! Keep smiling, God is walking with us.
I love your sister’s smile! She makes me smile too. Your action steps are within all of our grasp if we’ll just attempt them!
“I am not going to be miserable today.” I pray the Holy Spirit reminds me of this the next time I’m tempted to throw a pity party. Thank you so much for your wise words of encouragement!
Hi Alyson, Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you were encouraged. Sometimes deciding not to be miserable is the first step to a real smile.
Good thoughts. I especially like “Choose not to be miserable.” I’ve never been a chipper, effervescent person, so “Be happy” doesn’t sit with me very well–even though I’d say I am generally happy. But choosing not to be miserable–that seems more within reach. 🙂 We cared for my m-i-l the last five years of her life in our home. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But it did cast me on Him all the more.
Hi Barbara, As you know from your own experience, sometimes we just have to start where we are, but starting is the important part. Deciding not to be miserable today may be all we can do on some days, but that gets us to the next day. God is with us even on the tough days. Thanks for visiting again.
These are such great tips. I especially appreciate the encouragement to practice gratitude and to memorize scripture so we always have them with us. Sometimes when we’re down, it’s hard to get motivated to do these types of things. But when we trust that they will help and we just start doing it, it gets easier. Thank you for sharing! I’m visiting today from the Inspire Me Monday linkup. Have a great week!
Hi Marielle, I’m glad you were encouraged. I guess we could look at it as preparing for winter. Caregiving is hard but having supplies handy (memorized scripture) makes getting through it a easier. Thanks for visiting.
Thank you for featuring this post on the Grace & Truth link-up. I’m glad you were encouraged; that is my prayer for the Confessions Episodes. Take care, we are not in this alone.