552 Bags of JOY

b2c in each bag

b2c in each bag

Pure Joy! This was our biggest year ever and we have Y O U to thank! 

552 Bags of Joy, love and hope were given out just because Y O U R heart cared! 

You Gave 552 bags of supplies that were also overflowing with great love! Your tweets day in and day out brought donations from people that I have never even heard of and because of that Y O U were able to help 552 children have a bag of supplies full of HOPE!


Y O U shared, you prayed, you gave and because of that these kids were hugging their bag as though they were hugging YOU back and in a way they were!

Do you see what you were able to give to them? These bags were loaded this year!

Check this out!

  • FIVE Spiral notebooks!
  • Bottle of Glue
  • Entire Pack of TEN pens
  • Pack of Colored Pencils
  • 24 Pack of Crayons
  • FIVE pencils
  • 2 Cute Erasers (gotta have some fun in there!)
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • TWO Glue Sticks
  • A Ruler
  • TWO Pocket Folders
  • A Highlighter
  • A Pack of Gummies
  • A pack of Reese Cups or some Non Peanut Butter Candy Bar (you know, peanut allergies)
  • and the absolutely cute, colorful Draw-String Bag with our logo on it reminding them that there is No Joy like Spreading Joy!

Your love, your gifts, your donations, your tweets, your work, your emails did all of this and because of you 552 children were able to go back to school with all of these basic school supplies this year and I cannot thank you enough! 


I read the heartfelt notes of “I wish I could do more” and thought if 100 more did just what you did, we could double our numbers, so thank you! 



I read the tweets of those that couldn’t donate saying they would do all they could to spread the word and thanked them because of their generosity, others would hear about our work and you never know who will give because of that!




Every voice is important! Every gift is huge and every person that worked to make this happen thank you! We couldn’t have done it without you! 

Thank you for impacting these children with Joy and Hope! Thank you for showing these families that people care in a time when anger and hatred are front and center on the news and Social Media! 

Thank you for showing others that no gift is too small and when we put our resources together that an amazing 552 children can be forever impacted for good! 



Thank you for caring! Thank you for Spreading Joy with us each and every day! Thank you for caring for others and for making a difference! 

Thank you! 


Please share this page on all of your Social Media pages so that others can see just how easy it is to make a difference!

With great love, hugs, adoration and JOY!


no joy like spreading joy

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What IS God to you

God is

I love hearing people take time to just praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy.  I love listening to people talk about where they were and where God has brought them to.  I think that time of praise and worship in this fashion is very encouraging and contagious in that it will inspire others to think about all that God has blessed them with.


God is


I KNOW that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and am so thankful for that.

The thing that I love the most about people giving praises to the Lord is when they keep God in the present tense! When they say God IS….

I’m not taking anything away from us when we say God has been, because I do it too, but sometimes I think in the midst of our tears, our heartache and heart break we forgot that God still IS.

Today I want to take a moment just to remind our hearts that God IS…. 

God IS:

God IS good

God IS faithful

God IS merciful

God IS gracious

God IS just

God IS loving

God IS kind

God IS giving

God IS all knowing

God IS dependable

God IS orderly

God IS forgiving

God IS infinite

God IS Holy

God IS sovereign

God IS wise

God IS comfort

God IS our Father

God IS….


Your turn. Right here, right now in your present circumstances – What IS God to you?

Will you take a moment to encourage everyone who is hurting, who is missing a prodigal, who is grieving over a loved one that has moved on, who is discouraged from being beat up by the world by telling us who God IS to you?

Are you the artsy type? Journal something and take a photo and tweet it to me and I’ll embed it here so that others can be encouraged by it.

Christian is your heart hurting? Remember GOD IS

Is the stress of a financial burden weighing you down? Remember GOD IS

Do you wonder if your prodigal will ever return? Remember GOD IS


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No Excuse

all the good you can


all the good you can



I met Nisha on through Twitter in 2009 or 2010.  She is always uplifting, encouraging and full of great JOY! She has a heart that just oooooozes gratitude and I’m honored to have met her in this fashion.


Nisha is 23 and has Cerebral palsy and her profile speaks the truth as it says she “lives to make a difference and inspire people to do the same.”  She inspires me all the time!


She is always helping others.  Despite her obvious physical handicap, she has the biggest heart for others that I’ve ever encountered!  She has raised funds for several organizations over the years and takes the time to make a difference for those in need!  Truly, she blesses my heart.


Her latest project is helping to raise funds for the Malala Fund = Goal of $2500.     https://www.classy.org/fundraise?fcid=355198  <-click here to donate

Malala Fund is an organization led by Malala Yousafzai that empowers girls through education to achieve their potential and be agents of positive change in their communities– because I believe that when you educate a girl you educate generations. If you share my belief I implore you to donate to this campaign benefiting the Malala Fund.   


Here is a video she has put together.



So now my question becomes, what is your excuse? 

I tell everyone through my site, through my book, through my tweets etc that YOU CAN make a difference, the question is WILL YOU.


Will you use what you have to make a difference for others?

Your voice is powerful – USE it!

Your heart is amazing – USE it! Let people see the compassion you have!

Your choice to make a difference when you have little will affect how much you give when you are blessed with more than you currently have.  It’s absolutely true!

If you give when you don’t have a lot, you’ll be in the habit of giving and will continue to do so when more funds are available.   If you don’t give when things are tough or tight (by using your voice, encouraging others etc) you WILL NOT give when the new job comes, or the blessings start to flow.


Right now get yourself in the habit of Spreading Joy to others!  Get my book Spreading Joy Daily and we’ll help you with ideas for each day!  It’s easy and everyone can do it! Teach your children to be givers and keep them from growing up feeling entitled.


Nisha is making a difference for so many people…. What is your excuse?


Let’s get behind her and help support her cause! Let’s encourage her by visiting her blog and commenting on her encouraging words.  Let’s be the change we want to see in this world.

There is no excuse not to.

Follow Nisha on twitter at http://twitter.com/nisha360

Check out her amazing blog: http://nishav360.com/ about living life with Cerebral Palsy

I LOVE her section on gratitude – Here is Her Gratitude Journal for 2015

Here is her Gratitude Journal for 2014

What are YOU grateful for?  Do you have a Gratitude Journal?

If you can give, please do.  If you have no funds to give then share this with your friends and on all of your Social Media Sites.

You can help in some way, shape or form – There is no excuse not to.


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The 30 Day Marriage Challenge

30 day marraige challenge

The 30 Day Marriage Challenge by Becky Moseley


30 day marraige challenge


This easy to read book is filled with ideas to help strengthen your marriage in a month.  We all want a better marriage, we all want easy and sometimes it just isn’t that way.  Becky takes 30 days to challenge us with one thing a day so that we can break it down into something that each of us can do.

I love this book from the Spreading Joy aspect of it! Becky gives us things that we can do and you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank or even feeling guilty because you feel like you can’t do it.  She takes us on a journey to really think about how we can do little things daily to improve our marriage! Little things truly do matter!

Several days are truly fun and easy, like Kiss, brag a little and snuggle. Then there are other days that may not be as fun but are really necessary to having a great marriage. A few of those would be Be Vulnerable and Let it Go.

She takes the time to explore something each day that  will allow us to slowly but deliberately through the month work on making our marriage the best it can be.

Becky’s book is available from Amazon at the low price of $6.99

You can find more of  Becky’s writing over at her blog Tales of Beauty for Ashes

Follow Becky on Twitter

I’m honored to be giving away a copy of Becky’s book! I will personally be gifting a Kindle copy to someone!   To be entered to win, all you have to do is comment below with how many years you’ve been married! Easy peasy! 

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review and all of the JOYful opinions expressed here are completely my own.

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eight twenty eight




cover-physicalEight Twenty Eight – When Love Didn’t Give Up


Ian and Larissa Murphy’s story starts out like so many love stories do, as friends that end up falling in love.  Placing their trust in God their story quickly goes beyond the typical newlywed love story when Ian is in an accident that turns their world upside down before they are married.

I love how Larissa is completely honest with Ian throughout the book and their relationship.  How she expresses that she wished this was an awful dream that she could wake from and that at times her faith was messy and her confidence was shaky at best.

True love doesn’t give up. True, unconditional love, in it’s purest – rarest form is a gift that we treasure from the Lord and one that Larissa strives to show Ian.

Ian reminds Larissa that she is marrying more than a brain injury, that while she feels unfit to take care of him, he knows she would do anything for him.

In a world where marriage is easily tossed to the side, it’s refreshing to read a book about a love that is being fought for.

Through a brain tumor, through frustrations, learning, inadequate feelings and a whole host of other emotions, Ian and Larissa Murphy are trusting God and fighting for Love.

Ian and Larissa reflect on the blessings in their lives.  They post notes to their “board of gratefulness.” It would be easier for them to choose to see the tragedy and hardships, but instead, they make the choice to find the good and celebrate that, to celebrate the Lord and to focus on Him.

We need to make this very same choice. We need to focus on the good, to celebrate the positive and focus on the Lord and all that He does for us.

If you haven’t heard of Ian and Larissa’s story yet, please take some time to get to know them and be encouraged.

Visit their website at http://ianandlarissa.com/the-book/

Follow them on Twitter at @PrayforIan

Share what you are grateful for and tag them in it using #IanandLarissa to show up on the board of Gratefulness.

Thank you B&H Publishing for this opportunity to review this book.  Please take a moment to check out their site, their deals and be encouraged by their books. You can also follow them on twitter @BHPub and like them on Facebook at https://facebook.com/bhpublishing  “Every Word Matters” 

*Disclaimer – I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.


On October 18th, I’ll be giving away a copy eight twenty eight.  To be entered to win, simply leave a comment about what you are grateful for.

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Honestly Speaking

God is my strength and power


God is my strength and power




A recent conversation with my daughter went something like this:

“Seriously Mom, thank you for not thinking awful things of me when I express how I’m really feeling and it’s not good.”

She also thanked me for allowing her just to “vent” about everything and the emotions she was going through, especially since some pain in her heart was front and center – rearing it’s ugly head and taking over much of the day.

I assured her that no matter what she ever said or even did that I would always love her.

I then took the time to remind her that isn’t it wonderful that we can come to God and pour out the hurts that are killing us, pour out the anger that is eating at us and pour out the many other emotions that can seem to be so overwhelming that we can’t think, see or even feel anything but what is running through our heart at that very moment.

Often when we pray we “clean up” our prayers and “nicely” come to God asking for help through our situations.  May I remind you that God knows what you are screaming in your heart?

God KNOWS and even better than that – HE CARES and loves us anyway!

Be real with the Lord.

July and August 2013 were the beginning of some awful months in my world.  After a wonderful event – an answer to a lifelong prayer, several horrid & unexpected events took place.  The tears were streaming daily, deep awful sobs of pain escaped from my heart daily and then, in a weekend of a moment of peace, I called a friend (friend of over 25 years) after seeing her on Facebook.  We chatted, caught up and had a great time laughing. I needed that more than she knew.  Did we discuss my problems? No.  We laughed.  We discussed what she was doing and how our kids were and how crazy it was that we were parents of adults.  We made plans for dinner for the following week and hung up.

My heart was refreshed during a difficult time of pain.

Then it happened.  A few days later, I get the message that my friend had just had a massive stroke and died.  Did I hear that right? That was it.  Even though I never mask my feelings with God and we have some “very frank” conversations I was in shock kept thinking/praying “Seriously Lord???” This on top of everything else?  I was devastated even further.  The only thing I could keep praying is:

God, I don’t understand – but I trust you

Over and over I prayed.  and then I reached out.  Nothing specific, just reached out and was comforted by the prayers that I knew was being poured out on my behalf.


life hurts right now


We don’t always understand and that is ok.

We don’t always come to God with poetic prayers and that is ok.

Sometimes we come to God with “Where are YOU?? I NEED YOU” and that is ok.

Satan would have us fear that God gets angry with this kind of prayer but He doesn’t.  David, in the Psalms, over and over cried out “How LONG Lord?”

It’s ok to come to God and just pour out all of your hurts that have you broken at your very core.  He knows and He cares.

It’s ok to be completely honest with God.  He knows in your heart you are screaming and the pain is killing you physically and emotionally.

It’s ok to do nothing and say nothing more than “God I need you” and then rest in Him.  Let him refresh you just like Elijah had to do.

Don’t let guilt move you from the Lords presence. 

Be honest with the Lord and watch how he refreshes you. Your trials and situation may not change in an instant, but God’s grace will be sufficient and carry you through.

Things WILL get better.  Seasons DO Change.  The tears will slow down and stop. God IS Faithful!


Your turn.  Who or what has God used to refresh you during a difficult time in your life?

What verses do you turn to for comfort?


Thank you for leaving your comments below! Thank you for encouraging others in their walk of faith! 



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He Knows


Ps. 139:1  Oh, Lord, thou hast searched me and known me….


I’m often amazed at the thought that even though the Lord knows me, that HE still chooses to love me.   Me….. a little ole nobody with fearful tendencies and so far from child like faith, it’s scary.   


He knows when I’m discouraged, when I feel alone, defeated and depressed.


He knows when I’m at a loss of words to pray and when I can’t even cry out to Him.


He knows when confusion has darkened the path and I can’t even begin to see a flicker of light.


He knows when I can’t lift my head and even utter, help me Lord.


He knows when I want to spend a day saying thank you for my many blessings, but I end up crying through the tears, thank you for being there Lord.


He knows when my heart is screaming I need wisdom, direction and peace and I wonder when it will come.


He knows when I can’t take “it” anymore and He waits for me to leave it at HIS feet.


He knows….


So, I wonder, why do I not leave “it” there?  Why do I carry these burdens, doubts and fears?  Why, when I know that HE will carry the burdens and ME too.

When I can’t do this, when I can’t take another step, when I can’t stop the tears or see the light – HE KNOWS and he chooses to love me anyway, wait for me anyway and pour mercy and grace out on me so that the JOY of the LORD can be my strength.  (Neh. 8:10)

He has created me to be exactly who I am.  He has worked all things together for good for me in the past and will continue to do so.


I will continue to be in awe that even though he KNOWS me, He LOVES me.

How about you?

HE knows you and chooses to love you.


That is awesome! Don’t you think?



Spreading Joy is as simple as posting on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In or Google + as well as pinning on Pinterest.

Do you have an article on this topic? I invite you to leave it below in the comment sections so others can easily find MORE encouragement and thank you for doing so!

Thank you for your efforts in Spreading JOY


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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

learned from walter

learned from walter


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

After a few long weeks of chaos, busyness and not enough time with the Mr, we decided to have a date “day.”

This consisted of using some gift cards, lunch, movie, more shopping, coffee, dinner and a trip to the bookstore.  Side note: No date is complete without a trip to the book store.

Not knowing what was playing, I briefly viewed the comments about The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and thought it looked like a good movie, and besides, who doesn’t like a little day dreaming? Ok – another side note – that small statement just cause a brief moment of song “I like dreaming….dreaming can make you mine…”  (Does anyone else have that issue where random words and phrases will just cause them to break out in song? Surely I can’t be the only one.)


Without ever seeing previews or anything about the movie, we start out on our date.  Movie time rolls around and Ben Stiller – I must tell you young man, I was completely impressed.  Not to many movies resonate with me like this one did….but then again, you might be surprised to know that I’m a horror flick chick, so we are ALL thankful that horror, shoot-‘em up movies DON’T resonate with me….mostly….usually.

Again… ANYWAY…. (sorry…sorry back on track)

This is an awesome movie that simply encourages you to LIVE.

Many people have the bucket lists, but what are you doing to work on it? Are you saving some for that big trip? Are you exploring some states around you so that you can enjoy adventures in all 50 of the United States?  What are you doing to reach those goals?

Here are 10 things that I took from the movie:

  • Live.  Simple hmm? Do something that you love doing today.
  • Love.  Gosh – simple too? Let those that you love know it!
  • Explore – You don’t have to travel to Greenland or Iceland like Walter did, unless you want to – but explore! Every one of us have “historical” areas near us – Go…explore…have fun!
  • See.  Seriously – do we really see the beauty that is right around us?  Walter was completely surprised by the photo on the negative.  Open your Eyes!
  • Think of Others – Yep, that was there too! Walter brought back a skateboard for a friend from his journey.  Talk about Spreading Joy! He was thinking of others while he was on the mission to find the negative
  • Inspire. You never know who you will inspire.  Walter would have never been able to get into the helicopter with a drunken pilot if it weren’t for some kind words. A simple thank you inspired me to give a name to what I love doing – Spreading Joy.  Inspire Others!
  • About Courage. Courage comes when you need it, if you just take the first step.  Step out. go ahead… you’ll be just fine.
  • About Fear. If you think you are the only one that battles this beast – you’d be dead wrong.  We are all fearful. Be Bold!
  • About Assumptions. Don’t assume.  What you think you know or just saw, might not be what the actual truth of the situation is. Don’t assume.
  • About The Moment. Sometimes we need to just “enjoy” the moment. Don’t capture it with a photo, don’t record it – just ENJOY it.


Those were just a few things.  You may have seen different things and if you did, I hope you’ll share. Go see the movie or rent it when it comes out.



“Beautiful things don’t seek attention”

(My memory is horrible, I need to watch it again and add some of my favorite quotes to this page. Will likely do that – what were yours?)



Disclaimer: this is in NO way a Movie review.  Ben Stiller didn’t ask that I do this, and I haven’t received any kind of compensation for this article on his movie.  This is just a summary of a movie I saw with the Mr. on a random date and the things that I took from the movie.  You are free to leave your comments about the movie – good or bad, just keep it nice.  Everyone sees things differently.  I’d like to see how YOU see things.  Did I miss something?

What did you see? What was your favorite quote/quotes?

JOYn the conversation.  Do you have an actual review to this movie? You can feel free to leave the link in the comments below.





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Taking Hope and Joy Back to School

photo 1

 Always do a little more than the BasicsI love that there are people out there who will do a little more, sacrifice for others and truly love making a difference.

We were able to provide some basic school supplies for these kids, but even greater than that – we were able to give them some of what they LOVE!

Reese’s Cups, Gummies & Snack Crackers!

So simple – yet so amazing!

Going back to school is usually filled with so many emotions for children as well as parents.  Thanks to YOU, being the hero that you are, there are 250 kids going back to school that will not have to face ridicule, teasing and laughter because they were using left over or hand-me-down school supplies.

Many parents are breathing a sigh of relief because they can purchase a few more articles of clothing or other things the school deems necessary because YOU, being the hero that you are, gave their children the basic but necessary items to waltz back to school with a little pride and joy in their step.

Take a look at what YOU provided this year:

  • 250 Brand NEW backpacks were given out
  • 220 of them were filled with the following item:
    • 1 pack of notebook filler paper
    • 1 package of pens
    • 1 package of pencils
    • 1 box of crayons
    • 1 box of colored pencils
    • 3 spiral notebooks
    • Glue
    • Package of snack crackers
    • Package of gummy snacks
    • Package of Reese’s Cups
    • Many of them had composition notebooks in them
    • Many of them had highlighters
    • Some of them had pocket folders

Even though we didn’t have enough “items” to completely fill all 250 backpacks, we still gave away each and everything we collected!  Some of the backpacks were only lacking the paper.

LOVE spreading joy by providing Backpacks for kids!

It was an amazing event and thanks to YOU – being the hero that you are, you also provided the following:

  • LOVE – their backpacks were just oozing with great love! Children are smarter than we give them credit for and they KNOW that someone loved them enough to help provide this for them! Yes – YOU Gave LOVE!
  • HOPE – Sometimes when “thing” after “thing” goes wrong, all hope seems to be lost.  YOU helped to restore hope in their hearts and minds.
  • JOY – While many kids dread going back to school just because summer is over, there is NOTHING like the smell of a new box of crayons, or the brand new pencil that was just sharpened or putting your name in the front of that notebook.  Not to mention the goodies that we were able to provide, all because YOU CARED, that brought JOY! Kids love crackers, gummies and Reese’s Cups so this was great joy all by itself!
  • KINDNESS – Spreading JOY is contagious and I believe that when a classmate has lost their pencil, that because these kids received an entire pack, they WILL SHARE!
  • POWER – Your gift empowered these children to face their dreams head on and take the next step towards doing amazing things!
  • PEACE – The peace from knowing they at least have much of the basics is such a priceless gift!  Yeah, YOU did this!

spreading joy with some school supplies


Your gifts, voice, love and prayers will fill this new School Year full of these things and so many more things!

Thank you for having a heart for others!

Thank you for spreading JOY to these kids!

Thank you for your monthly gifts that enable us to keep spreading JOY!

it's the little things that are so JOYful!

Thank you…..

YOU are a hero!





Because of YOU

photo (2)



What I’ve learned from you cannot be expressed in mear words and my heart can’t adequately describe for you the gift you’ve been.


I’ve grown, changed and will never be the same because of you.


You’ve changed the way I think, the way I see things, and the way I love.

You’ve changed how I pray, how I teach and how I learn.

You’ve changed how I trust, how I commit and how I act.

You’ve changed the way I approach each and every day.


Thank you.


You’ve shared tears of joy, agony of pain and laughter of love.

You’ve shared new adventures, new problems and new solutions.

You’ve shared milestones, memories and a peek into the heart of tomorrow.


Thank you.



You’ve brought new treasures, secured old treasures and allowed painful memories to turn into smiles.

You’ve brought great questions as well as answers that I would have never even imagined.

You’ve brought great joy and hope as well as the reminder of a brighter tomorrow.


Thank you.


You’ve made me adaptable, determined and curious for what awaits me.

You’ve made me enthusiastic, optimistic and anxiously anticipating more!

You’ve made me resourceful, realistic and practical!


Thank you.


You’ve showed me just how great life can be and at the same time, made me realize just how quickly pain, sorrow and tears can flood my heart.

I’ll forever treasure you 2012 as you have been the most wonderful gift ever.

And somehow I know the same awaits me next year!


How has 2012 forever changed you?  

Please feel free to share your comments and/or a link about a similar article in the comment section below.

Have fun Spreading JOY!