The Secret to Happiness


Get ready – I have found the secret to happiness. Andy Stanley confirmed it.

God has been stirring this in me for some time and I have been beating this drum for some time and I even wrote a book about. Then, my mentor passes away.

And, I sit here and process her life. What she spent time doing and how it impacted generations of family.

Naturally – I analyze my own life and what I want my life to be. A friend texted me and said, “you know she’s passing the baton to each of you. You’re carrying faith and her legacy on.”

What a challenge. I want to live just like her.

Yet she was just a woman. She was flawed and sinful like me. But so happy. So content. I sit here in awe of what one woman spent her life doing the lives and families impacted for generations because of her service. 

The secret? She was focused on others.

She served. She certainly spent time taking care of herself – she was healthy (exercised and ate well) and she humbly worked on her projects – but the CORE of Regina was giving her life away. To her husband. To her kids. To her friends. She gave and gave and gave. Not in a doormat way.

She gave it away in such a way – that people met God. In a way that people craved Jesus. In a way that marriages were mended.

One of her mentees said, “She believed in me, more than I believed in myself.”

I just listened to the final part in Andy’s HAPPY series and I HIGHLY recommend it. It is AWESOME. Put it on as you do the dishes or file away things in your office. So worth your time.


I am my happiest when I am loving on other people – it’s why I want often hang up this online stuff every other week – because it’s the local stuff I love the most. It’s the real life face-to-face ministry around me that I love the most. I am honored to have done this blog world – book stuff. But I love bringing a meal. Sitting at the hospital. Showing up at the funeral. I love the real deal local life of serving with my friends. And I don’t want the online ministry world to EVER take place of me in the lives of my local friends.

My kids are the happiest when they get off of themselves and they do something for another person. I just told Larson she had a date with me to get Ella’s bday gifts. She lit up. We just found out there is a World Relief Center in Ft. Worth – they have a list of needs. I can’t wait to show my girls the list and invite them into the process of serving refugees right here in Texas. (Other ways to serve with your kids right here.)

Guys – I want to lose 20-30 pounds – it keeps creeping up. It’s making me cranky. I found out I haven’t sold many books at all (I have high expectations of myself) and I cried. But if I’m honest, I actually don’t care. I want to be healthy and I want my books to reach the families God designed. But these trivial things cannot consume my happinenss. At my funeral – like Regina’s this Thursday – I want men and women there who knew my heart. That saw a piece of God’s heart because I loved them face-to-face. I want them to know they mattered more than my errands.

“Selfishness is natural, but it’s not by design.” – Andy Stanley

This life is short. Do what matters with the time you have. Invest in people, not things. If you find yourself so empty and unhappy – start giving of yourself. I’m remind myself too. Find a way to serve and volunteer and just give of yourself and you’ll find the secret. It’s contagious. And DOUBLE happy – I would define it as JOY… when you match up serving with your gifts – it’s just the sweet spot.

It’s the way God designed it. Your story is how He meant it to happen. To use you to love on His people using your gifts – as you are! You don’t have to move, lose weight or be someone you’re not.

Thank you Andy for reminding me the secret of life.

The value of a life is always measured by how much of it was given away.”

Regina gave her life away and she was so content. She had all of her mentees memorize this verse.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

“You were created to give your life away.” – Andy Stanley

“HAPPY is the man/woman who decides to give their life away.” – Andy Stanley

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  1. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your friend and pray all those who are grieving her would feel God’s tender embrace.

    This is such wisdom I really feel encouraged. Sometimes I feel like I flounder – I meet college friends who ask “what am I doing these days?” – I know they expect to hear a description of a job or at least a sideline while I raise the kids. It’s not that I’m not busy but it’s all local and volunteer and hard to quantify in an answer off the cuff. And then I think – should there be more? More formulated, more organised, more directioned, more impact… but you’re right. It IS about giving ourselves away to those near us in need whatever that looks like. So for me I think it’s praying I will stop and hear the still small voice that guides me to do that. Thank you.

    And thank you for the book – whatever the figures are. I just know that for those of us using it our kids are experiencing discipleship in a natural, fun way that nothing can take away the memories of Jesus working in their hearts. You are never going to know the impact these kids are have on the world in the future but I think it is going to be awesome.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll listen tomorrow – Andy Stanley is a favorite. Your book has impacted many families in a BIG way! I refer to it several times a month to help me with my kiddos. Are you on My Fitness Pal? It helps me a lot to stay on track with my healthy habits but this is just hard the older we get. At least you have amazing genes working for you. That is a big part of the battle! Texas is going to be thrilled to have you and your servants heart in that big ole state!

  3. thank you for sharing your heart as always and sending hugs and love your way – i know the loss of your dear friend brings great sadness but what an amazing blessing to have had her in your life. i so needed to read this today – it confirmed for me what i already know to be true – doing things for others is when i am happiest. people, including my family, think i give to much of myself sometimes and that others do not appreciate it but it doesn’t matter – it brings me joy. and sometimes it’s just the little things. i am printing this out to remind myself of the true meaning of happiness and the scriptures that supports it – again, more confirmation. i am commiting this scripture to memory too so that i can feel like she was my mentor too! 🙂

  4. Oh, Courtney, thank you for sharing this today. You are so completely right. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend and mentor and warrior for Christ. I know she is having a blast in heaven with her rich rewards and time with Jesus starting, but its tough on the ones left behind. I had a similar revelation losing a Christian mentor and then my grandmother this past December. My grandmother never did anything the world would call an accomplishment. She never held a job, never taught a Bible study, never led a formal ministry. But she affected so many people who came in and out of her life. Because of her choice to follow Jesus, all of her children and grandchildren will go to heaven. She changed the course of her family’s lives. What a legacy. Her husband was finally saved in his 70’s and is now in heaven with her because of her faithfulness and prayer. She could “read” the Bible even after losing her eyesight and the ability to hold her Bible. She would sit on her porch with it sliding off her lap due to Parkinsons and just quote scripture. She is a prayer warrior and a huge hole is left on earth because she is with Jesus. Her life makes me stop striving to do something “big” and look at who I’m touching in my life each day. God has me in my little corner of the world touching and bringing light to people every single day. How can I show His love to others? Thank you so much, Courtney. You brought all these things back up and reminded me of the feelings I had right after my Mama Stone passed away. Engrave them in your heart and revisit often as I am today. Jesus, help me accept my place and serve you well today regardless of MY weight struggles and health issues. I can still be your hands and feet with my limitations.

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