Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Rules of Positivity

 by Seeker Ruth Logan Herne

We interrupt this program to do a wonderful and quite shameless promotion, friends! 
ON SHELVES NOW!!!  This is my 27th Love Inspired book and I'm so excited to see it released! Available at Walmarts, Krogers, Winn Dixie and pretty much anywhere that stocks mass market books. The Walmart price rocks! And I've got a copy to give away today, so leave a comment below... let's talk the powers of positive thinking!



We now return you to our regularly scheduled program:

Another January!

Before you ask yourself how we got here, let me say two things: Happy New Year, Peeps!

And... What's your plan, Stan?

I was working on a project the other day and one of the questions was this: How Do You Stay Positive?

Now I'm an optimist with a realist's mindset, so for me, the stinkin' glass is half full because if it isn't, I'm going to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to fill that stupid glass. So there's that. :)

But, everyone gets smacked down. Everyone takes direct hits. Every single one of us is surrounded by a divisiveness in our land the likes of which I've never seen before, and every one of us has a personal life that may be filled with problems, worries, angst, aggravation and woe.

How does one rally around that?

Start with the one thing you can control. You.

You are the only controllable variable in your power. You control what you see, think, do, say, and how you react to given situations. So how do you change you?

By forming new habits.

1. Make being kind a habit. Push yourself to do it. Go out of your comfort zone to do it. Make it a priority.

2. Smile. It costs you nothing and your smile might be someone else's ticket to a better day. Smile bright and smile often. Our face is a direct reflection of our inner selves. If you think it's cute to be grumpy and gruff, well, go for it.

It's not, by the way, and pretty soon folks will steer clear of you or shy away. If that's your goal, well... mission accomplished! But if you want to adopt the rules of positive thinking, turn that frown upside down. Everyone loves the Grinch once he turns nice.... and everyone cheers for Scrooge once he has a change of heart. There are reasons for that, darlings. No one wants to hang with a Grumposaurus, the newest species of First World Countries dinosaur. They are draining and taxing and are best to be avoided.



3. Think good thoughts! We are reminded to do this in Philippians 4:8, a beautiful verse that is our power against negative social media or news media, and this reminder is better than having money in the bank:

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."


This is a powerful message, friends. Clear your heads of the chaos and the clutter. Find the quiet center of existence in a crowd-craze run amok and focus on the good. The gentle. The kindliness.


4. Adopt the poem "My Symphony" as your guide:










This beautiful edition is on my shelf:

5. Avoid conflict.
This is not always easy. That's why it's a directive. This doesn't mean you need to become a shrinking Violet, it simply means don't argue.
Why?
Well, first of all, (and this should have a SHOCKER!!!! alert) you're not always right.
I know. I know.
I'm going to give you a minute to digest that.
Every now and again you are wrong or dead wrong or simply a pain in the neck, so give the rhetoric a rest and do this:

REVERT TO RULE 2.
SMILE.

Allow others their say because if your argument is going to produce nothing, then why argue?

Why are there so many books written about successful people and positive thinking?

I absolutely refuse to answer that question because the answer is so amazingly obvious, darlings.

:)

The stronger we make ourselves with all the gifts God gave us, the more positive impact we have on the world around us. The little world within and the bigger world outside our door.

It's up to us. To me. To you. To make a difference. So why not start that difference today?

I promise you, you have absolutely nothing to lose and a world of smiles to gain!

USA TODAY Bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne writes beautiful stories of faith, hope and love for multiple publishers and is absolutely thrilled that her midlife career change landed her in the realm of the publishing industry where she could use a lifetime of nametag and hairnet jobs to create absolutely unforgettable characters and settings. She loves talking with readers and writers! Hang out with her on Facebook, visit her website ruthloganherne.com, send her an email at loganherne@gmail.com or jive with her at the Yankee Belle Cafe on Thursdays, a fun, low-key blog where she and a bunch of other wonderful ladies talk about life, food, kids, homes and all the little things that make a day a day!

54 comments:

  1. This is really a great stuff. Completely agree with you Ruth. Smiling and laughing more often is the best cure to anything. Accepting things makes life easier.

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    1. Braddie, thank you so much! Is this your first time here? If so, welcome! Good to see you!

      And I could have mentioned the Serenity Prayer in this post, but I'll save that for another day because I talk too much. :) I agree, learning what to accept and what we can change is a wonderful thing.

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  2. COFFEE AND TEA ARE HERE! AND SOME FRESH CHOCOLATE CHIP and M&M COOKIES. JUST BECAUSE.

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  4. Well said, Ruthy! And your new book is absolutely delightful! :)

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  5. I'll toast a cup of coffee to that! The only way to change the world is to change ourselves first. Thanks for the encouragement today--and no need to put me in the drawing. It's on top of my TBR pile right now! :) Have a beautiful day, everyone!!

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    1. Glynis, I hope you love it! And yes... fist bump.... I agree wholeheartedly. We change us, we affect the ripples around us.

      Thanks for coming by!

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  6. Love this! That poem should be standard memory work for all. But that would be tyrannical so...
    But I agree with it, so I’ll keep it in my little apple-picking corner of the world.
    I’m going to have to get this book as well. I live in Apple Country, smack dab in the middle of orchards.

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    1. Dalyn, I'm in WNY apple country, and that gave me some interesting views on the apple industry, but of course it's vastly different in Washington state. Even the varieties are different, the spacing, everything. But I've been out there and love it and it just made sense to pair the two!

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  7. There's nothing like sipping my morning tea and "listening" to Ruthy. *sigh* You give me my boost for the day. :-)

    I've always been a positive thinker, too. Even when the world seems to be falling down around us, I can always cling to one positive thought - God knows what He's doing.

    So it's Philippians 4:8, "My Symphony" (I love that poem, BTW,) the Serenity Prayer, and many hymns and Bible verses that are tucked away in my mind to pop out when needed. That's how I roll.

    And now Steve Green's "Hide 'Em in Your Heart" version of Philippians 4:8 will be going through my head all day! If you don't know it, you'll have to find it on YouTube. It always sets my thinking in the right place. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj4a5p-YhaA

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    1. Jan, we are so much alike that it makes me smile except I'm snarkier... hence the one word of "restraint" this year. :)

      Some of my favorites. So I'm not surprised they're yours, too.

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  8. I totally agree. I choose joy each day and try to spread it to others. Smile 😀 Blessings!

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    1. Lucy, that choosing joy is a great way of saying it. And I know it's an easier concept for us optimists to grasp, but it's also a habit that can be learned.... practice helps everything!

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  9. Just what I needed today, dear Ruthy! I’m imprinting that verse on my heart. Thank you!

    BTW, I LOVED A Hopeful Harvest! I’m thrilled with your new Golden Grove series. Yay, Ruthy!

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    1. Oh, Sherida, I'm so glad! I loved that story, too, and I fell in love with the hero and the heroine and old Cleve.... And CeeCee! I love that kid!

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  10. Beautiful post. I need to print this out and hang it on my wall! I love Ruthy-isms!!!!

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    1. Oh, LeAnne, thank you. What a lovely thing to say. Bless you!

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  11. Ruthy, what a great post! I so appreciate your practical suggestions and mindset are so spot-on! My 15- year-old is a master at picking an argument. The thing is, when I engage, they never end well . . . for either of us. I've begun telling him I don't want to argue. He's gotten to where he responds, "You never want to argue." Mission accomplished. Then, when he's calmer, we are usually able to talk through the issue.

    In other situations, I've found smiling is a great way to shine the light of jesus to those around me. AT Target, the grocery store, the post office. If I'm pleaseant, usually others are too. :)

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    1. Jeanne, I agree. Absolutely. And kids are the prime example of testing the waters sometimes.

      But your words about smiling touch me. We tend to be more distant these days, less outward in our warmth and joy and extensions. People are so surprised when I say Good morning, or Hello, or Great scarf! :) But they seem happy to reply once they pick themselves up off the floor, LOL!

      We need to be each other's best cheerleaders.

      Thank you for coming over today!

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  12. Oh, I'm so happy, happy I had time this morning to tune in to Seekerville and be encouraged by you, Ruthy! I've missed being able to comment...I have been following this wonderful blog but since my sweet 91 year old Momma moved in with me my time is more limited. She is completely independent and I believe her positive attitude plays a part in her long life. She has a ready smile each morning and rarely has a complaint. Thank you, Ruthy, for blessing us with verses and poems to uplift our day! Staying joyful in the midst of the craziness of life takes FAITH. Faith that our God does know what He's doing! One of my fav verses is "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1-NIV) I love the title and the cover of your new book!! Wishing you all a tea-lightful week!

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    1. Kathryn, so good to see you! I'm glad Mom is doing all right, and she sounds like my kind of gal. And a positive attitude at an elderly age is a marvelous thing because sometimes the effects of aging are downright taxing on folks.

      I tend to compare hardships to Mary, watching her son walk toward that hill of Calvary...

      And how strong she must have been to walk along.

      My problems fade exponentially when compared to Jesus and Mary.

      :)

      Helps me keep things in perspective.

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  13. Oh, boy, a Ruthy post that slaps me upside the head! ;-) I am by nature NOT a positive person (got that from my mom), but I am trying to change, even at age almost-61. Eek! Have you heard of Chewbacca Mom, the Christian lady who bought the roaring Chewbacca mask a few years ago? Her in-car video went viral. Well, for Christmas I received from my hubby her DVD "Defiant Joy" with study guide, and I am bound and determined to get through it and find joy in my life. I NEED that!

    So thank you for your wonderful post, Ruthy--as always! It's a printable one, that's for sure!

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    1. Melanie, I'm so glad you liked it!

      And the Chewbacca mask was so funny. There is joy hiding in so many things, big and little. Inside and out. And if we rejoice in the little things, the big things seem even brighter.

      My realist side refuses to be snuffed out by pessimism. I think that helps the optimist side not sound like a ninny. :)

      Because life is downright tough sometimes, but not compared to what so many have suffered. And that's a great perspective to keep at my side, dear Melanie!

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  14. Happy New Year!

    What a great way to start the year. Life is way too short and nobody can change yesterday so make each day positive. The more full our glasses are, the more smiling faces we will have around us to enjoy the day. We have the power to bring someone a smile. Thank you for such a lovely start to my day!

    Blessings

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    1. Lisa, I'm so glad you stopped by. And I agree, don't look back. Gaze forward, kick the dirt off your shoes, and keep on walkin'!

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  15. This is such wonderful advice, Ruthy. Life can be a downer, but that doesn't me we have to be down. Smiles truly are contagious. And God's word gives us hope. There's always hope. So when those difficult times arise, grab hold Jesus' hand and hang on for dear life.

    And about this new release. I'm reading it now. Loving it, too. There's a reason it's called A Hopeful Harvest. So far, it's a wonderful story and I know you won't let me down between Chapter Four and The End. ;)

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    1. Mindy, I'm so glad you're enjoying it. When you guys are happy with it, I know it must be all right! Thank you so much.

      And that hope is such a blessing. A promise. A ray of light. I love the image of hanging onto Christ's hand. Powerful and poignant.

      So we keep smiling (even if there are days when it's hard because it might be even harder for the next guy)...

      And striding forward.

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  16. Ruthy, this is why I absolutely adore you. Thank you for this message and for your continued encouragement. You are such a blessing to me!

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    1. And I feel the same way about you, Cynthia. Your hope shines through your words and your deeds. And that's a beautiful thing!

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  17. Stunning cover on your new release, BTW. Congratulations!

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  18. What a powerful post to help us start of 2020! thank you, Ruth, because while I do try to stay as positive as possible, sometimes when the glass feels empty I have to force myself to fill it up again. :) My husband bought us tickets for Christmas to see the Christian group "For King and Country" in concert, and one of my favourite songs of theirs is "Burn the Ships". It talks about leaving the past behind because you can't do anything about it, and burning the ships of what's holding you back so you can go forward. The main singer wrote it for his wife who was battling a pill addiction. It's a positive and uplifting song. I love it when you give us your trademark Ruthie spirit!

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    1. Oh, Laurie, I love that song.... Burn The Ships


      "You've got to burn the ships, cut the ties, send a flare into the night, say a prayer, turn the tide, dry your tears and wave goodbye..."

      Powerful stuff, that whole song, and over 11,000,000 views on YouTube.

      It touches hearts and souls.

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  19. Great post as always, Ruthy. Definitely a message needed in today's world. Please put me in the drawing!

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    1. Glad to add your name, Sandy! And thank you so much. It's always nice to see you here!

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  20. Sending you oodles of SMILES!!!
    Thanks for sharing this post Ruthy. I appreciate your directness doused in humour. :) A timely message for sure!
    :) :) :) :)

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    1. Hey, Lee-Ann!!! Smiles heading back your way. If we can't laugh at ourselves, well, then... how can we laugh at each other? :) Good to see you!

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  21. I'm a greeter at my church on Sunday Mornings, so I watch people people walking in long before they get to me. It positively breaks my heart to see people have to struggle so hard just to give a smile back to me. People are hurting and I know for a fact, my smile makes a difference to many on that one day. That sounds egotistical and that's not the way I mean to sound, but it's so simple to lift someone up with a simple, free heart-felt smile no matter where we're at. Ruthy, your posts ALWAYS make me smile. Thank you!

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    1. Aw, Pat, thank you. What kind words. And I know exactly what you mean.

      Sometimes we forget that taking two or three or even five (gasp!!!) minutes with a person makes a difference. I saw that twice in the past two weeks, and I realized that in my hurry to get things done, I wasn't pausing often enough to put an arm around a struggling person, or to empathize with a mother walking a really tough walk with a sick adult child.

      Five minutes... those smiles... those fleeting moments... gosh, they make the world a better place, don't they?

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  22. Hi Ruth:

    Positivity positively possesses power. Negativity nestles entropy and inertia. When the indicator is at the half-way point, it's time to add more fuel to the tank. Self-starters do best when they have the power.

    Meanwhile:

    Sour grapes can sooth the sting of loss while encouraging the search for lower hanging fruit. It's like indie publishing, only better. There is more than one tree in the forest. Move on. Finish that next book. Even a melon grown in the shade will ripen one day. :)

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    1. Hahahahahahahahahaha!

      I love you so much.

      And I will smile about this all day. And I love the self-starter line!

      And never be afraid to beat the bushes looking for the last fruits. First fruits may be the biggest and shiniest, but sometimes the last fruits make the best jam! :)

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    2. "First fruits may be the biggest and shiniest, but sometimes the last fruits make the best jam." Oh, Ruthy. I LOVE that.

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    3. Hi Ruth:

      I really liked your comment:

      "First fruits may be the biggest and shiniest, but sometimes the last fruits make the best jam! :)"

      I was immediately struck and visualized the covers of "The Old Man and the Sea", "The Great Gatsby" and "The Christmas Carol." I thought of how many great authors of big books are best loved for their little fruits. This is also true of composers and poets and, if you are old enough to remember, Bobby Thompson's one home run, "the shot heard 'round the world," which over-shadows his whole career.

      Indeed, there is so much truth packed into that one line about the first fruits, it's no wonder you are such a fine writer. It's like there is love in every line. It's like a never ending romance.

      Bravissima!

      Vince

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  23. Hi Ruthy
    I like your practical list. I always make it a point to thank the janitorial staff in our building because they do a great job picking up after absent minded engineers. I figure they should hear a thank you to counter the complaints from the grumpy guy whose algorithm didn't work so he's going to Trump about.
    Happy New Year. I'm off to apply the list...

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    1. Deb, so nice to see you! Thank you for your kind words. And those thank yous and words of appreciation are a wonderful thing. I find the more kindly things I do for others, the happier person I am inside.

      Not self-proud happy.

      Just happy.

      Sometimes the simplest things light our paths.

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  24. Thanks, Ruthy. I'd never read My Symphony before, but I love it. Congratulations on the new release!

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    1. Isn't it lovely? I first saw it when someone gave Lena the book as a baby... and it's so perfect. I love it. And Engelbreit's pictures are just heartwarming!

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  25. Always encouraging words, Ruthy.

    A smile or encouraging really does only take only a second of our time.

    But wait. I don't understand.
    I'm not always right? But how can this be?
    You know in today's times Google has put a end to some silly arguments. Gone are the good ole days when we could argue forever about a date or who did something. Now, in a matter of seconds we can look things up, and I hate to admit, but on rare occasion even Google is wrong! LOL. No, seriously, it's good to remember how to stay positive. Thanks!

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    1. Hahahahahahaha!

      I know. I hear you. Of course we're right!

      So glad you stopped by, Connie!

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  26. I'm 2 days late, but had to say I LOVED this post, Ruthy!!
    Definitely going into my Keeper File - - to be reread often!
    Thank you, and Happy New Year, my friend!!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

    p.s. I do smile often---sometimes to hide the "dazed and confused" look I'd be wearing otherwise, LOL. ;)

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