The Glad Game

Being glad doesn’t always come naturally for me.

In fact, I created my Instagram page with the same name (@thegladgame) for the intent of forcing myself to post positive things…during a time of great darkness.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

It didn’t start out as an attempt to directly encourage others, but to challenge and encourage myself.


Later, I realized that I did not have anything on my blog explaining The Glad Game.

It surprised me how often people had never watched or even heard of the movie, Pollyanna.

Last week, I read the book, Unglued, by Lysa TerKeurst. I’m a huge fan and I’ve always connected to anything she writes.

(Unglued was apparently written about me, but she changed the names to protect me.) 😂

Anyway, she mentions a “Pollyanna mentality” in the book, which led to this post. At least one other person knows what I mean.


Being a Pollyanna can be annoying to those who do not understand the background of the story.

It is about trying to look for a positive perspective when things don’t go as expected.

One time, a pair of crutches came in the missionary supplies delivered to Pollyanna and her father. She had been expecting a doll, so she was very disappointed.

Her dad suggested they play The Glad Game.

“What can we be glad about when receiving a pair of crutches?”

“That we didn’t have to use them!”


My Background

I grew up in Bibb County, a rural area of Alabama, next to Tuscaloosa. I was born in the mid-70’s, but in some ways I was decades behind my time.

In fact, when I was a junior or senior cheerleader at my high school, some of the girls called me “Grandma” because I always wore dress pants and flats to school. I had a strange sense of style which came mainly from my grandmother (Mawmaw).

She sewed a lot of my clothes until the 4th or 5th grade. Most of my shirts and shorts were made from the same Simplicity pattern, so they looked the same except for the color.

I specifically remember this shirt. I had about ten just like it from different material.

One day, I walked into my classroom in a new jumper.

My teacher exclaimed, “Keysha, your dress matches my curtains!”

Sure enough, I turn around and the fabric I am wearing was also covering the coat closet.

I was mortified.

Eventually, I was able to started getting some clothes from Bargain Town in Bessemer, AL, and a store called Ups and Downs in the University Mall of Tuscaloosa.

They sold the scandalous stirrup pants that my grandfather did not want me to wear. ❤️

Pollyanna and I were both excited when we got to buy “store-bought clothes.”

What kind of school picture is this?! No, it wasn’t western day. I apparently wore this on purpose. 👒


My grandparents raised me for most of my life and they were born in 1933-1934, so my influences were a little old-fashioned. Maybe that’s why I loved Pollyanna.

Or, maybe it’s because finding something to be glad about…is a pathway to joy. I’ve learned in the last couple of years how joy is not the same as happiness.

1980 +

  • My grandparents’ house was in the middle of about 20 or 30 acres of which much was farmland and almost all of the food they had was grown by my grandfather, and then canned or preserved by my grandmother. #deepfreezer
  • There were several summers my brother and I sat in the hot sun on her front porch and I had to shell peas and shuck corn – and I can’t even talk about the okra that made my hands itch. However, there was also homemade ice cream that churned outside and freshly cut watermelon. 🍉🌽 I LOVE corn. My grandmother had these corn cob holders, shaped like tiny ears of corn, that stuck in each end of the cob. This was totally me:

  • Until I was a teenager, my grandparents had a well for water. There was a hot house and a compost pile. Nothing was ever wasted and anything that could be saved and be reused was kept. 🚜
  • My grandmother and her sisters (there were eight children) grew up making dresses from flour sacks.
  • I later understood they were of the mentality that if you possess something that held any value or could be useful later, then you held onto it.
  • Their original home (it burned when I was in 8th grade) seemed like a castle to me and was filled like museum.
  • A wagon wheel hung from the ceiling in the living room with lanterns circling the top that came from kerosene lanterns.
  • There was a wood-burning stove and on the hearth were heavy irons, the kind you iron clothes with, where they would be heated on the stove and used to press clothing. We didn’t use those, but there were a lot of things on display from another time period, mixed in with my jelly shoes, stirrup pants and big hair.
  • There was also a playhouse outside (built by my grandfather) under the biggest oak tree you can imagine… it also had a rope swing that hung down in front of it. I had taken a mascara wand and written “No Boys Allowed” above the door.
  • This is a painting my grandmother did for me so I could always remember what it looked like.

  • Their yard was beautiful, with all types of flowering plants, mint leaves she would pick right from the ground, and fruit trees. Mawmaw would walk around and name every one of them for me, even the unique sound of each bird that sang from the trees. She seemed to know everything.

I could go on and on exploring their home and leading you through it like a tour guide, but I’ll save that for another day.

To a little girl, it was a very magical place. It was my safe place.

I had a lot of Pollyanna moments there.


When I got home from school each day, most of my afternoon involved me sitting in front of the television doing my homework while I watched shows like the Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island.

On Saturday nights there was always a Wonderful World of Disney movie that came on from one of the ten or so channels we had available to us.

Those movies included my favorites: The Swiss Family Robinson, Summer Magic, Mary Poppins, The Parent Trap and Pollyanna.

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Hopefully, you watched the clips. Each was significant in showing how The Glad Game was introduced and applied.

Then, there came a time when Pollyanna was not glad and she couldn’t find anything to be glad about.

She fell out of a tree and couldn’t walk. Confined to a bed, she rejected any offer of hope.

Before Pollyanna could have surgery, the doctor was very concerned about the depression she had developed.

“No, it was a silly game. I hate it! I’ll never want to play it again. Leave me alone.” – Pollyanna

He said, “What that child needs is a good shot in the arm of hope.”

The whole town showed up with stories of how The Glad Game and Pollyanna’s infectious optimism had changed their lives.

One of the maids gets engaged and wants Pollyanna to be her flower girl.

A young orphan is adopted by the previously grumpy Mr. Pendergast.

The grouchy Mrs. Snow shows up to extend her blessings and well wishes, with a smile.

As Pollyanna boards the train to Baltimore for surgery, the town’s farewell includes a new sign at the train station.

THE GLAD TOWN


I broke my leg last year.

It brought out the best in most everyone I know. I had friends to do things for me that I never would have imagined.

At times, it brought out the worst in me.

There was discouragement, frustration and depression.

This was my verse:

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. -Psalm 51:8

During one of my bad days, I created the @thegladgame Instagram account, to force myself to post “happy texts,” and find something to be glad about.

That led to this blog and the rest is history. ❤️

I am certainly not a Pollyanna everyday, but I want to be.

Really.

What’s so bad about striving to be someone who looks at the bright side of this fallen world?

As a Christian, I think we are commanded to do this, based on scripture all throughout the Bible.

How many times do we see a verse that includes these phrases?

Do not be discouraged…

Do not fear….

Do not be anxious…

Do not worry…

And the Glad verses are below!


🎶Apple Music: Playlist


1 Chronicles 16:31

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”

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Isaiah 25:9

In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

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Psalm 5:11

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

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Psalm 9:2

I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

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Psalm 31:7

I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.

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Psalm 40:16

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!”

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Psalm 90:14

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

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Psalm 92:4

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done.

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Psalm 96:11

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.

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Psalm 97:1

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.

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Isaiah 51:11

Those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

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Acts 2:26

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope,

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2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

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Philippians 2:17-18

But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.

So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

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Revelation 19:7

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

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Isaiah 35:1

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.

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