The Sunshine of My Life


You are the sunshine of my life
That’s why I’ll always be around
You are the apple of my eye
Forever you’ll stay in my heart

I feel like this is the beginning
Though I’ve loved you for a million years
And if I thought our love was ending
I’d find myself drowning in my own tears

You are the sunshine of my life
That’s why I’ll always stay around
You are the apple of my eye
Forever you’ll stay in my heart

You must have known that I was lonely
Because you came to my rescue
And I know that this must be Heaven
How could so much love be inside of you?

You are the sunshine of my life, yeah
That’s why I’ll always stay around
You are the apple of my eye
Forever you’ll stay in my soul

You are the sunshine of my life, baby
That’s why I’ll always stay around
Can’t stop living You are the apple of my eye

Stevie Wonder

The things that bring us joy in life are many and varied. What makes one person happy is as unique as that person is themselves. It is February, just after Valentine’s Day, and yet in my neck of the woods (I am surrounded by Plumas National Forest), folks are starting the first of their flower and vegetable seeds indoors, airing out their houses, wearing shirt sleeves while the weather holds, and taking full advantage of the unseasonably warm weather until the next storm hits. (We are expecting snow on Tuesday.) Gardening, listening to birds sing, cooking, puppy breath, the smell of Fall, the faces of my children, the love of my husband…these are some of the things that make my heart sing, and wrap around me like a warm security blanket. My list is unique to me, although many people would say similar things also make them happy. The love of my particular husband named Adam, the faces of my exact children, and the reasons and memories which are the basis for my list of favorite things are even more specific to me. These things inspire and encourage me when I am feeling discouraged or depressed. When I feel like giving up, they help me go on, and on, and on…

Many studies, such as published on the website of the University of Kansas (Happiness = Health), have shown a strong link between health and happiness. It follows that the happier we are throughout our lives, the healthier we will be as well. A positive attitude and well-developed sense of humor cannot stave of any and all effects of living, naturally; but the road we follow can have a lot less bumps and a lot more scenic vistas. It all depends on our method of travel and our point of view. In other words, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 NIV

We all of us need our “heart song” lists. Life is often hard and full of challenges in all shapes, sizes, and durations. If we do not have things to buoy us up, we will surely sink. Perhaps, therefore, it would be wise to focus on not just a happy place, but happy people, place(s), and things. Carry the loves of your life in your heart. Take them with you wherever you go; and never leave home without them. Better than any credit card you might carry, the joy of your heart will help you up like a kind hand extended. With a happy heart, it is much more likely that we will be able to rise again after crushing disappointment. Happiness comes out of us. It is not dependent on our situations. Therefore we must carry it inside of us. What do you carry inside of you day after day? Is it a burden that drags you down, or a boon to uplift your spirit and the spirits of those around you? The greatest source of joy which I have found is the truth of Christ, and Him crucified. After discovering something so rare and excellent, what reason do I have to stay downcast?

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. – Psalm 42:5

More Than You Know


“The conqueror is regarded with awe; the wise man commands our respect; but it is only the benevolent man that wins our affection” William Dean Howells

A lot is made of Valentine’s Day, good and bad. Some say it is just another day. Others, out of pessimism, declare it to be a waste of time. Like Mother’s Day and Father’s day, Valentine’s Day can point to unhappy memories, or a lack of a particular kind of relationship. We are all different, naturally. Our lives and hopes and hurts and dreams and cares are unique to ourselves. One day cannot be everything to everyone.

There is one constant, however: love. As it has been said, “Love never fails”. There is a simple fact that, no matter who you are, where you are, what you think, how you feel, or even who you love, there is a love that is pointed in your direction which is so deep, so pure, so absolute, you will never be able to fully grasp it. More than you know, there is an incredible BIGNESS to this Love that is life-changing. Such a soul-filling, heart-warming, glad-making, shout-it-from-the-rooftops love can only come from someone big enough to hold it in their heart. Although it it has been said and abused many, many times, the simple phrase “God loves you” is the first and last true thing.

Not based on your talent or beauty or intellect or even your goodness, this love is for you. The funny thing is how much we can overlook the importance of this love. A person who says they love us has our full attention, even if we pretend to ignore them, not so with our Creator. He loves you, and you don’t need to pull the petals off a daisy to figure it out. Your next breath, the sunrise, the sunset, winter, spring, summer, and fall, on and on read the letters of love, from God to you. Never mind the death of Jesus on the cross. Never mind the rising from the dead on the third day. Those things give us hope. They are the basis of faith for countless people all over the world. They also have their basis in love. All God wants from you in return is for you to love him back, and to remember that love as you interact with others throughout the day.

 When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”

 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” Matthew 22:35-40 (The Message)