It started raining here two days ago...and it's still raining. Ah, springtime in the heartland! You've just got to love it! While it's raining here, if you travel two hours west you will drive into a blizzard; a good old, Nebraska blizzard. We'll get snow tonight. That's the great thing about early spring in the plains. You know that you will see a combination of weather, and sometimes you'll see them all in one day. You have to be prepared for anything this time of year. I love it!

We have the advantage today, of nice warm houses in which we can run the air conditioner one day and the furnace the next. Imagine what it would have been like to be the first pioneers to settle here. I live right on the Lewis and Clark trail. Many, many people followed this pathway to the west. They knew they had only a limited number of days to make their trip, after the winter and before the onset of the next winter started in the mountains. They would begin their trip in March or April and move ten miles or so a day. It would have taken twenty days to travel the same distance we can do in a couple of hours.

If we get cold in the car, we turn on the heater. If we get warm, we turn on the air conditioner. Their covered wagons barely kept out the rain, let alone the wind. When it got too warm, they could lift the sides of the wagon cover. Bouncing over the countryside with no springs to ease the travel made it easier to walk than ride. I'd like to believe that I would have been one of the tough ones that would have made it to my destination, but the reality is, I really don't know. I am spoiled. While I haven't turned on my air conditioner yet, I have had my ceiling fans running. I turned the furnace on a while ago to take the chill out of the house and prepare for the really cold air this evening.

I think, sometimes, we take for granted the luxuries that we possess. As difficult as it is for some of us in this country, it is still so much better than others. I remember a few years ago, when a friend of mine was encouraging her sister to join her here from another country. The sister was explaining that she could be poor in her native country just as easily as she could be here, but my friend explained to her that here in this country, even the poor people have more than they had in their home country. In fact, they would have considered a pauper in our country to be one of great wealth in theirs.

How could we not know this? Or do we know and just take it for granted? I lost my job eighteen months ago. Until a couple of weeks ago, I was learning what it was to really have nothing, and yet, I still had a nice, warm home, food on the table, and some gas in the car. It seemed to me that I was about as low as I could possibly be, but even then I had so much more than many, many people in this world. My life lesson from this? To be thankful for what I have and to understand that all those things we think we must have, really are not so necessary.

We live in a culture that tells us the more 'stuff' we have, the better. The more money in the bank, the happier we'll be. If that is the case, then why are so many millionaires so unhappy? Why are they trying to fill their voids with food, drugs, alcohol or things? The fact is happiness is a choice that we make, every day. If you can find the good in everything you do, you will be happy. I discovered that, even when I couldn't afford to eat out or take a trip, I could still be happy right here at home. I could find new friends and new activities that I could do and that through it all, my being happy was my choice. I could wallow in my own muck and be miserable, or I could find the good in each day's activity and be happy.

It really is a choice. Choose today to be happy, to find the good stuff. There will always be plenty of bad no matter what we do. Instead of dwelling on it, choose to find the lesson there or, even better, choose to make something good out of the bad. You can do it! It's your choice!

Blessings to you!

Author's Bio: 

Ereline has served in the educational field for over 35 years. She has worked as a public school teacher, a christian education director, an early childhood professional, and a program director. She has also worked with collaborative teams promoting child abuse awareness and has helped to found child protective programs in association with the NCAC.

Working with people of all ages, Ereline has developed a communication strategy to relate with and to the participants making the lessons she teaches down-to-earth and easily understandable by all.

Ereline's blog, Simply Faith ( provides daily lessons grounded in faith, hope, and love.