Welcome to Positive Life Principles. I’m Karol Ladd, and I want this website to be a source of inspiration and strength to you as you serve and love the people around you. You will find resources to refresh you and help you use your gifts and talents to reach out and touch the lives of others. Sign up for my blog below in order to stay connected and receive an uplifting weekly message from me.
We all tend to define happiness in different terms. For some, it’s a euphoric feeling when circumstances are ultra-fantastic. For others, happiness may be on the scale somewhere between joy and delight when we are with people we love or in a job for which we are passionate. Still others, may define happiness as a clean bill of health or a pain-free day. Whatever your definition of happiness is, you don’t need to wait for the right set of circumstances to experience it. Here are five positive steps to help you create your own happiness right where you are.
Gratitude Journal – Begin a daily routine of writing down at least five things for which you are grateful. Be specific and think about the people you met or the small joys you experienced over the last 24 hours. Go one step further and consider the blessings you can find in the challenges you are currently facing. Your mindset and perspective will begin to change as you choose to focus on what is good in your life, rather than what is frustrating to you.
Kind Actions – If you want to do a happy dance, do something to make another person happy. When you elevate others through your words or actions, you can’t help but experience a sense of delight. Whether it is a smile, or holding the door open or helping a co-worker or neighbor with a project, when you give kindness it will be returned to you in heaping doses of happiness.
Regular Exercise – Get up and get moving. Whether you go for a walk in the park, grab a short jog on the treadmill or stretch and do Pilates on your bedroom floor, exercise has a proven track record of releasing endorphins (the happy hormone in your brain) and providing a release from stress. As you form a habit of exercising at least five days a week, you will not only feel better physically, but you will experience emotional benefits as well.
Alone Time – In our overconnected culture, we rarely have time alone to relax, think and pray. We must take deliberate measures to disconnect from technology and have some time to communicate with God and listen for His direction. Stillness rejuvenates our soul. Set aside at least ten minutes a day to put away your phone and devices and spend some alone time with the Lord. Praise Him for His greatness, listen for His direction and cast your cares at His feet.
Forgiving Heart – In my opinion, one of the greatest robbers of joy and happiness is a bitter heart, filled with unforgiveness. Every day we have new opportunities to forgive others because every person we encounter has a few flaws or shortcomings. As followers of Christ, we reflect His forgiving nature as we forgive others. Release your resentments into the hands of a just and understanding God. He will heal your wounds and set you on a new path of freedom.
Start this week with a new mindset! Fear, anger, self-doubt or a critical spirit are just a few mental attitudes that diminish our joy in life. Identify the negative attitudes that you are allowing to dominate your thinking and make a deliberate effort to change your focus. Begin to live with a mindset filled with victory and hope, rather than defeat and negativity. Apply these five steps to your daily life. You don’t need to sit around and wait for happiness to happen – you can begin the journey on the road to happiness now.
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When the Robersons moved into a house not too far from ours, we were thrilled. It’s always fun to have dear friends living close by, and especially if they give you their trees. Let me explain. You see, they didn’t like the landscaping around their house and wanted to get rid of a few Savannah holly trees. Being the kind and thoughtful friends that we are, we volunteered to take the trees off their hands and plant them in our own yard. Wow, what a deal! Free trees! We found just the right spot for them. Our house backs up to a pleasant little creek, and so we planted them near the creek to enhance the beauty of the area. Five lovely Savannah hollies lining our creek! We were so proud of ourselves.
The water in our creek tends to rise when we have a rainstorm, and boy did we have a gulley washer one night right after we planted those hollies. On the morning after the storm, we woke up and looked out our window toward the creek. Hmmm, we wondered, what were those large holes in the ground? Wait a minute, and where were our hollies? Three of them were completely gone! Yes, swept away! We had another storm soon after that, and guess what. The other two were swept downstream too. Oh well, easy come, easy go.
Now if the hollies had been given the time to take root in the ground they may have stayed around, but since they were newly planted there was nothing to hold them in the ground as the water rose and the current flowed. If you have ever watched flood waters rise, then you know the strength and power of the water’s current. It will sweep away anything and everything that is not deeply rooted or firmly founded in the ground. In a moment, large objects can be swept away and carried for miles downstream. The same is true with the flow of life and the current of our culture. If we are not deeply rooted in the truth of Christ and the assurance of His love, we can easily be carried away by the latest philosophies or our own whims and feelings.
There is a constant flow of ideas that “sound right,” and “seem good” in our culture today. But we must know The truth – God’s truth. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:31,32).” As we hold to God’s teaching and are rooted and built up in Him, then we will be free from the pull and drag of man-made rules and fine sounding philosophies. Here is Paul’s encouragement to the Colossians:
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
No more shallow Christianity! Let’s be intentional about letting our roots grow down deep into Christ as we study His word and get to know Him. We don’t want to be guided by the latest fads or our finicky feelings. When we get to know what the Bible has to say about Christ, our faith is made strong to weather the storms of life and discern the philosophies of our culture. Take some time to read God’s Word for yourself each day.
A portion of this blog is an excerpt from Karol’s book A Woman’s Secret to Confident Living.
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Holy Week brings our focus in to who Jesus is and why He came to this earth. God doesn’t want us to be confused about Christ. Jesus Christ’s deity is central to our Christian foundation and beliefs. If you believe that Jesus was just a nice man or a wise prophet or a good angel, then you are missing the very essence of Christianity. Paul, in His letter to the Colossians, made it clear that Jesus was all man and all God. There is no one else who fits that description. Christ is the one and only God in human form. Immanuel, God with us, sent to this world to offer His life for us.
In Colossians 1, we see one of the strongest statements in all of scripture as to the divine nature of Christ. He is supreme over all creation and over all spiritual beings. He is the one who created us and sustains us. As this passage paints a true picture of Jesus in vibrant color, I see the power and the beauty of the One in whom I have placed my trust. I know I can safely and confidently place my life and my future in Him. Here’s what Paul wrote about Jesus:
- He is the visible image of the invisible God.
- He is the firstborn (supreme) over all creation.
- By Him all things were created.
- He existed before everything else began.
- He holds all creation together.
- He is the Head of the church.
- He is the firstborn of all who will rise from the dead.
- In everything He has the supremacy – He is supreme over all, the first in everything.
- All God’s fullness dwells in Him and through Him.
- God reconciled all things through Christ, by making peace through His blood shed on the cross.
Take a moment to ponder each of these descriptions of Jesus throughout the week this week, and praise Him for who He is.
Praise you Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God three in One. There is no other. You are the God of all creation, the beginning and the end. Loving, Merciful, all-wise God, all glory and honor belong to You. You are before all things, and by You all things exist. Thank you God for caring about me. I am honored to be called your daughter. Glorious God, thank you for letting me know you through your son Jesus. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty, You are the One Who was and is and is to come.
A portion of this blog is an excerpt from Karol’s book A Woman’s Secret to Confident Living.
Confident? That’s not exactly how I would have described myself for much of my life. Words like “insecure” and “self-doubt” were much more accurate terms. For many years, even as a Christian, I battled self-defeating thoughts and guilt feelings in my mind. Perhaps you can relate to what I’m talking about in your own life. Most women struggle with some form of insecurity. Even women who appear confident on the outside, often struggle internally with a lack of self- assurance. It’s one thing to look confident; it’s another to be confident.
In all honesty, true and lasting confidence is found not in focusing on ourselves, but focusing on the one who created us and discovering our confidence in Him. He is the one who gives us the strength and power to walk boldly in this world.
The word confidence means to have a firm belief or trust. The root word, fidere, means faithful or faith and is the same root you see in words like fidelity or confidant. To have confidence means you have faith or trust in someone or something. Now we can try to live our lives by placing our confidence in our appearance or in a relationship or having the right job or enough money, or being a good parent, but none of these can offer lasting security or inner strength. A God-confidence is different. When we place our hope and security in Him, no one can take it away. It is a rock-solid confidence from the well-spring of our soul. How do we get to a place where we live with a God-confidence?
The apostle Paul said, “Let your roots grow down deep into Christ.” He penned these words to the early believers living in Colossae as he expressed the importance of knowing Christ and finding satisfaction and security in Him. Confidence begins in our thinking and what we believe, and it plays out through the way we live our life in relationship to God and to others. Our confidence spreads its wings and soars when we realize God has a purpose for our lives, and we use our gifts and talents for His glory.
This is an excerpt from Karol’s book A Woman’s Secret to Confident Living.
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