Today, Grace on Parade welcomes Kathy Carlton Willis, God’s Grin Gal.
Before we go further, you have to understand who Kathy is and what she’s been through before you read her words. If anyone has the credibility to write encouragement to think glorious victorious thoughts in spite of stinky situations, it’s Kathy.
You see, Kathy and her husband Russ live north of Houston in Beaumont, Texas. Beaumont, the city that got the brunt of the heavy rain incurred from Hurricane Harvey. Kathy and Russ had just contracted to buy a home before the hurricane struck. Most of the houses in that neighborhood were flooded with over five feet of water. Many neighbors had to completely gut their homes. Kathy and Russ had to let their contracted home go due to the irreparable damage.
Instead of despairing over their loss, Kathy solicited the help of friends across the country, collected over $5000 in gift cards, baked over 100 loaves of homemade quick breads, and lavished God’s love on the neighborhood.
Now that’s what I call, grinning with grace.
Here’s Kathy’s secret.
Where Does that Grin Come From?
by Kathy Carlton Willis
I’m often asked, “How can you keep grinning despite the challenges in your life?” It has nothing to do with me. It has to do with the God in whom I put my trust. Knowing “He’s got this” helps me carry on (in hope) rather than to carry on (complain)!
Grinning instead of grimacing comes from the discipline of thinking on glorious victorious thoughts outside the current stinky situation.
First I get my imaginary lariat out and wrangle those negative thoughts that attempt to defeat me.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)
Once I evict those destructive thoughts, I fill the void with healthful and helpful thoughts. Thoughts that line up with the mind of Christ.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. …Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8b-9 NLT)
If I practice this passage in Philippians, it might look something like this. I’m going to fix my thoughts on what is:
- True: I remember the extreme way God answered my prayer to provide for our family.
- Honorable: I’m blown away by the way that writer stays humble when others try to put her on a pedestal.
- Right: I respect the decision this politician made to choose an unpopular but godly path.
- Pure: How precious the gift of life is when I see photos of the much prayed for Lyla.
- Lovely: How beautiful are the wildflowers dressing up that field.
- Admirable: I see integrity in the choice Russ (my husband) made to not malign a wrongdoer.
- Excellent: I respect how she endures through her weight-training routine.
- Worthy of praise: God’s faithfulness is something I can count on.
Are you having a hard time grinning this week? What will your fix list look like?
About the Author:
God’s Grin Gal, Kathy Carlton Willis, shines the light on what holds you back so you can grow. She’s a popular speaker and writer’s coach. Read her book, Grin with Grace, or find more information at: http://www.kathycarltonwillis.com/.