just keep smiling

 Image captured hand-held 6/21/11, 12:03pm • Canon 5D, Canon EF24-70mm 
f/2.8L USM • 51mm, f/2.8, 1/100sec, ISO 1250 • minor adjustments in 
Adobe Lightroom 2

Image captured hand-held 6/21/11, 12:03pm • Canon 5D, Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM • 51mm, f/2.8, 1/100sec, ISO 1250 • minor adjustments in Adobe Lightroom 2

This is Bella. She is a very happy weimaraner I met in Georgia over the summer. I love this picture because it looks like she is smiling—and because when you look at her, you can't help but smile a little, too.

As the summer winds down and routines settle into place again, we often find ourselves in busy, stressful times. It's easy to get caught up in the go-go-go lifestyle, the check-it-off-the-list mentality, and the don't-interrupt-me attitude. REMINDER: don't.

It's all about perspective...if you think about your circumstances, surroundings or task list in the woe-is-me, no-end-in-sight manner, you will quickly turn into Debbie Downer, Overwhelmed Oliver or Crabby Cathy (and the people around you will notice).

Keep your emotions at ease by daily checking where your priorities are. What is most important to you? Or what should be most important to you? Then rearrange your task list (or make a task list!) accordingly, taking things on one at a time instead of focusing on the whole list.

I think it was James E. Faust who said, "It's not so much what happens to us but how we deal with what happens to us." It was Jesus who said, "That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?" (Matthew 6:25-27)

So take a chill pill! God loves us each very much, knows our needs (better than we do), and wants us to let go & relax. Focus on what's most important, rest in His love, and keep smiling.