Welcome to Focused on the Positive

This is an interactive blog, designed to uplift and inspire, to encourage the idea that it is better to give service than be selfish. Let us celebrate all the good going on in the world, and choose to help those around us even in the smallest ways. Let's make a conscience choice to spread goodness. So, join in, and share anything positive that has happened lately, no matter how small. Whether it's a specific time when you chose to be kind when it was easier to get angry, or something small that made you smile. These experiences will become infectious, and make a difference in our own lives, and the lives of others.
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Friday, May 1, 2015

Store Up The Sunlight

Just a few days ago we celebrated my sons first birthday.  It's been a busy year for us.  Well, to be honest this has been the hardest year - no year and a half, of my life.  Some of the struggles I have shared, but there have been some extremely difficult personal struggles as well.  I've been doing a lot of cleaning lately, which I call therapeutic cleaning.  For some reason purging the house of junk helps me feel ..... better, happier, more optimistic.  It makes the chaos going on in my life feel less chaotic.  Anyways, as I was cleaning I came upon a cute little solar dancing flower. 

This trinket was given to me by my dad.  We were at the hospital with my little baby who had surgery on his skull.  Dad went to the gift shop to look for a toy for the baby and came back with this.  With everything going on at the time I didn't think much of it, (no offense dad).  I packed it up and brought it home and forgot about it.  But as I came upon it the other day, months after it was given to me, and after some super hard things have come my way, I was so happy to see it.  Now it has a message and a purpose.  It is a reminder to me to store up the sunlight for the dark days.  So that when those dark days come I can have a reserve of happiness to get me through. 

Since I found it I put it on the corner of the dresser, where it gets a bit of sunlight.  I love to watch it and hear the tick, tick, tick, as it dances.  I notice the silence on overcast days.  I also notice that even just the tiniest bit of sunlight is all it needs to dance.  Just as this flower stores up the sun to dance its happy dance, we too can store up the good things for the bad days.  Just as people have food and blankets for emergencies we can also have a surplus storage of happiness to keep us afloat during times of stress or anguish.  Because everyone has hard days.  Everyone. 

How can we store up happiness?

Look For The Good
Take in the good that is given to us. If you're wearing sunglasses you can't see the full brightness of the sun, right?  We need to take off our metaphorical sunglasses and see all of the goodness that is around us.  It's in all of the little things.  Someone held the door open - that's a good thing.  Someone smiled at you as they walked by - another good thing.  If we look for them they will not pass us by.  Each positive thing we notice can become a brick that we add to our foundation of happiness.  But we have to look for it, and not ignore it. 

What if there is nothing good happening around me?

I believe that there is always some good happening to everyone.  Sometimes it's abundant, other times we have to look harder to find it, but there is always some good. And if you can't find it, then make it. 

How do we store it up?

Grab On To The Good 
When we find those good things, hold on to them.  Write them down, talk about them, be thankful for them.  Put them on your FB timeline.  Call your girlfriends to talk about them.  Tell your kids about them.  Don't let them be like a feather in the wind.  Etch those good things in the stone of your memories!

Keep a Gratitude Journal 
A gratitude journal is a  book that you use to write down all of the things you are grateful for.  One of the things I've dealt with is insomnia.  I tried everything I could think of to get some sleep but the only thing that helped was thinking about all the things I was grateful for.  I would think about my day and make a long mental list and before I could even finish I would fall asleep, and stay asleep.  A gratitude journal could be the perfect remedy for so many of life's trials.

Do What Makes You Happy
This is self explanatory, but think about what brings you peace and joy and make sure that is happening in your life.  For me that might be playing with my kids, reading my scriptures, doing yard work, helping others, etc.  Do whatever brings a smile to your face. 

Hard times are a part of life.  They are supposed to happen, and they are supposed to happen to everyone. 

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33 

If we can successfully store up the sunlight on those good days, we will have the energy to dance, even in the dark. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Update time!  So, in the last few months a lot has been going on.  Here's the short version.  Remember my sweet little baby boy, and what a struggle it was to get him?  Well, the trials didn't end when he was born.  When he was 2 months old I took him in for a routine doctors appointment.  While we were there the doctor noticed something unusual and sent us to the hospital for x-rays of his head.  Turns out the plates in his skull had already fused together leaving no soft spot, his head was not able to grow.  Yikes!  So, at barely 4 months old we went to Primary Children's Hospital for Skull Surgery.  They had to remove a strip of his skull. It was stressful! 
But while we were there we stayed at the most AMAZING place, the Ronald McDonald House.   Talk about helping out in every way possible to get us through a hard time!  They pretty much removed all of the normal daily stresses so we could focus on our baby.  They have a kitchen open 24/7 stocked with food, lots of activities and toys for the siblings, and so much more.  My kids LOVED staying there.  They made such a difference to our family at an extremely stressful time.  Because of this experience I have become a huge fan and supporter of the Ronald McDonald House and wanted to let you know how you can help the RMHC help other families in their time of need.  After all, it is the season of giving, and if you're looking for a charity to help this is definitely the one! 

If you are interested there are so many different ways to help out this wonderful organization.  You can help out personally by providing service (doing activities with the children, cooking food for the families, even the cleaning staff are volunteers), or you can donate money or items.  You can also donate your change with their Coinstar Collection, at any of the green coin machines near you, or save your pop tops and donate them.  I also highly recommend visiting a Ronald McDonald House if there is one near you.  Just walk around and take a look at everything they do and see some of the families.  I promise you, it will touch your heart.  Here's a link about all the different ways you can get involved. 

As someone who has benefitted from this charity I can tell you that the RMH help real people in their times of need.  If you decide to help them you will be doing a worthwhile service!  I hope you will consider this during this holiday season. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Righteous VS Self-Righteous Living

This subject is something I struggle with every time I sit down to write a post.  I want to write to inspire, without coming off as self-righteous.  It's a difficult thing to do.  But lately it's been a difficult thing for me in life as well.  Others are often trying to "help" me with suggestions of what I or my family should be doing, but all they end of doing is "help" me feel bad about myself.  I'm all for doing good things, but I'd rather do it in a way that doesn't make someone feel bad about themselves.

Here's a for instance. I don't drink. (Alcohol)  Never have.  Never will.  That's my choice.  But that doesn't mean that I am going to walk up to you and tell you that you shouldn't drink.  If you ask me,  I will tell you my opinion, and I'll tell you why, but I'm not going to tell you what I think you need to do.  See the difference?

Here are some of my thoughts about how we can keep our morals and standards without hurting others in the process.

First of all, be yourself.  Don't live based on what others might think of you, and don't judge others based on what you see.  Live your life the way you want to, but let those around you have the same freedom.
Don't judge.  Be aware of others and their needs but don't judge them.  Offering advice when you see a need can often come off as judgmental instead of helpful.  Sometimes it's best not to offer advice when you observe something that you think needs help.  It might be best to wait and offer your advice at a different time, or not at all.  Also keep in mind that everyone is in a different place.  What works for you might not work for them, or interest them, or even be important to them.  Again, don't judge!

Be an Example.  Let your light shine, as they say.  Let your actions speak instead of your mouth.  People are more easily inspired by observation rather than instruction. 

Be a friend.  Sometimes we think we shouldn't be friends with people that have different beliefs/standards, etc.  I disagree.  We should be friends with anyone that we get a long with.  Did you hear that?  Not everyone.  Some people just don't get a long.  But we should be friends with anyone that we get a long with.  It would be pretty boring if we only hung out with people that were exactly like us.  Some of the most beautiful friendships are ones in which our differences are accepted and loved.

It is good to have moral and standards.  It's good to share those thoughts and beliefs.  Just try not to do it in a harmful or hurtful way.  Most importantly love those around you, even if they are different than you.