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 know that laughter is good medicine emotionally speaking, but evidence reveals that there are physical benefits as well. A number of years ago, Norman Cousins, famous editor of Saturday Review, was told he had a severe case of an incurable, progressive, connective tissue disease. He decided instead of sitting around allowing the pain to take over, he would become proactive in his health care management and especially his attitude. One of the things he decided to do was to obtain copies of old shows and movies he had always enjoyed like “Candid Camera” and Marx Brothers films. He also decided to read humorous books. He reported that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter would relieve his intense pain for hours.
While Norman was in the hospital he started a routine of watching movies, laughing, sleeping, watch movies, laughing sleeping and so on. After a while he was moved out of the hospital because his laughter was disturbing other patients, but he continued his treatment with astounding results. Using massive doses of vitamin C and a tremendous amount of laughter every day, he experienced a gradual withdrawal of his symptoms and eventually regained most of his freedom of movement. You can read his entire story in his book, Anatomy of an Illness (Bantam Books, 1981).
What are some ways you can be intentional about laughter in your own life? Sometimes it comes down to a choice. When you make a mistake or something frustrating happens, find a way to laugh rather than despair. When someone says a discouraging remark, respond with a little chuckle and a positive comment. Opportunities to laugh are all around us, we just need to be looking for them. And always remember, never laugh at people, just laugh with them.
Finally, remember to smile often. Studies show that smiling elevates our mood. I like to think of smiles as gifts we give to other people to uplift their day. It’s not about how you feel as much as it is about making someone else feel better. Be honest with your emotions and grieve when you need to, but don’t miss the many invitations to smile that show up on a regular basis. As Valentines Day approaches, may your days be filled love and laughter, as you enjoy life and lift up the people around you.
Every January I choose a word on which to focus throughout the year. I actually take time to ponder, pray, listen and consider the direction the Lord is leading me. This year I kept coming back to the word flow. Now that may seem peculiar at first glance, but let me explain. Often when I am writing or speaking, I ask God to allow His love to flow through me and touch the lives of others in a powerful and personal way. I want to be a vessel used by Him, inviting the flow of His Spirit to work through me. That’s why flow makes sense.
Funny thing, but every year as I choose my word, I instantly start noticing the word everywhere. As I’m in conversations with friends or reading a book or listening to a podcast, my mind is more attentive to the word, and I tend to perk up and pay attention when I run across it. Just in the first few weeks of January, I’ve discovered stories, quotes and Bible verses all referring to flow in various ways.
One important aspect of flow, is that it implies movement. It’s not stagnant, but dynamic. It reminds me to never grow stagnant in my faith or my relationships. Flow stimulates me to be thankful for the blessings I have received and to look for ways to be a blessing to others. Certainly there is a time to rest. To be clear, flowing doesn’t necessarily mean we are busy all the time. It simply means we are a conduit of God’s love and grace no matter where He places us. As we lay down our lives we invite God to flow through us. This week, let’s be intentional about allowing God’s Spirit to flow through us bringing rivers of blessings to others.
John 7:37-39 New International Version (NIV)
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
If you haven’t already done so, take some time to consider and choose a word to ponder this year.
Over the next few days, I’ll share on my facebook author page, some of the ways the word “Flow” has been showing up in my daily conversations and study.
Research now shows the benefits of experiencing a sense of awe as we observe nature, listen to music, appreciate artwork or even practice religion. A feeling of wonder tends to remind us that we are not the center of the universe, rather there is a much bigger picture of which we are a part. People who are awestruck tend to feel humbled and thankful and often are inspired to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
The older we get, the less we seem to take note of those beautiful moments of wonder in our everyday lives. Wouldn’t it be great to have the eyes of a child once again? Children see spectacular moments in the simple things – a yellow butterfly, a sand castle, a funny-looking bug or a genuine smile. Is it possible to regain that sense of wonder? Certainly it is, but we must be observant and intentional.
One of the ways to increase our awestruck moments is by turning your heart and mind toward the God of all wonders. Start each day by praising Him for His amazing hand in creation. Observe the life around you, whether you are looking out the window or paying attention to the people He puts in your path. Stop and consider the intricate details of all He created both great and small.
The psalmist praised God for the wonders of His creation, but he also acknowledged the wonders of God’s love. In Psalm 31:21 we read, “Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of His love.” Perhaps the beauty of His unfailing love toward us is the greatest wonder of them all. Oh that we would stand amazed at His grace and mercy each day, for truly this would give us a sense of humility and thankfulness, as well as a desire to show love and grace toward others.
This week, let’s be deliberate about experiencing wonder, especially as we consider the love and goodness of our wonderful Heavenly Father. May we never lose our sense of awe and delight in who He is and what He has done for us!
This month’s $5 book special is Karol’s devotional, Pursuing God in the Quiet Places. Each devotional points to attributes of God and opens our hearts to the wonder of who He is. Click Here for more info.
What are some of the things you treasure most in life? For me, it’s time with family and friends. I treasure times of laughter and shared life experiences. I treasure the relationship I have with the Lord – His presence, His grace, His salvation and His Truth. I treasure wisdom, realizing it is one of the most valuable pursuits in life. I treasure taking long walks with my husband, savoring a good book and enjoying a little bit of alone time to write.
What about you? What would be on your “Most Treasured” list?
All too often we rush through our days, without really considering what it is that makes our heart feel rich and full. I believe It’s important to consider what we treasure, because it helps us think through our priorities and what we want to pursue in life. Sometimes it is difficult to identify what we value most in life. It takes contemplation, thoughtfulness and prayer.
This week, take some time to create your list. Perhaps it will make you want to readjust some priorities or re-look at some of the reasons why you treasure what you do. Let’s not assume that everything we treasure is necessarily best for our life. Maybe there’s a few things we shouldn’t treasure so much – areas that may have gotten our lives a little out of balance.
I also want to encourage you to start a discussion this week with those who are close to you, and ask them what they treasure in life. It will allow you to enter their world and open your understanding of their heart’s desires.
Finally, let’s reflect on what Jesus said about treasures.
Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:19-21
What does Jesus mean by treasures in heaven? Ponder and reflect on His words this week, and ask Him to guide you as you consider what it means to lay up true and lasting treasures.
As the new year begins, having a positive focus and direction can help us journey through each day with hope and strength. One idea that helps me is to choose a word for the week and contemplate what the Bible has to say about that word all week long. As I ponder my positive word for the week, I think about how the word can have an effect on both my life and my actions, and especially how I interact with others and the Lord. This week’s word is “Wisdom.” The book of Proverbs has quite a bit to say about wisdom: Consider the following passages:
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:7,8
Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed. Proverbs 3:13-18
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you. Proverbs 4:5,6
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
Each of these verses motivates me to pursue wisdom – and not my own wisdom, but God’s wisdom. In pursuing wisdom I am ultimately pursuing God. Wisdom begins with Him. I want to know Him in a fresh and deeper way by studying His Word and spending time with him in prayer. How will you pursue wisdom this week?
Check out my devotional, Pursuing God in the Quiet Places, which looks at the different attributes of God and what they mean to us. It’s on sale this month for $5. Click here for more info. https://positivewomanconnection.com/books/#monthlyspecial
Join me each week as we consider a positive word and apply it to our daily living.