Life is an ebb and flow of ever-changing events. You can’t, with any certainty, predict how it will unfold. Have you ever taken one of those tests where you answer questions to determine what your “love language” or “personality type” is? I always laugh at myself when I take such tests, as my friends will respond by saying things like, “Oh! I am a definite seven!” Meanwhile, I’m over here saying, “Hmmmm — I appear to be sort of a seven/nine/15/with a smidgen of 21.”
The reality, of course, is that it is highly unlikely that a meme or Facebook quiz can pinpoint your personality, intelligence or likelihood of business success with any sort of accuracy. Such games are meant in fun and while you might recognize yourself in a few answers here or there, in your real life, you might find that your personality, business style or even intelligence, fluctuates according to your circumstances.
There is one thing, however, over which you have complete control although you may not realize it – your happiness. Now, hold on! Don’t go slammin’ your laptop shut or turning off your phone on me just yet. Hear me out. Ponder this for a moment: You can’t control another person’s actions but you have complete control over your reaction to those actions.
Let that sink in.
You control of your own happiness. I recently read a beautiful story about a 92-year-old woman. She was recently widowed and because she is legally blind, her husband’s passing prompted her need to move into a nursing home. I smiled as I read the author’s description of this wonderful lady and wished I could meet her in person. Although legally blind, she is said to be up, fully dressed with on-point makeup on and any accessories she has chosen by 8 a.m. every single day – at age 92.
Let that sink in, as well.
As the story goes, when this amazing woman was led into her new residence, her guide began describing her surroundings so that she could get a feel for the place and imagine what it looks like in her mind. The guide stated that there were eyelet sheets hung as window treatments and the woman joyfully exclaimed how much she loved the room! When her guide asked how she could know if she loved it when she had only heard one thing, the woman explained that happiness does not lie in what we see or how a room is arranged or what our current circumstances happen to be. She said happiness lies in our mind and in our hearts and that she had decided to love her new home even before she had arrived there.
The author of the article described the woman‘s joy as childlike, as though she were a gleeful 8-year-old. This reminded that Jesus taught that we must “become like little children” to enter His kingdom. The woman told her guide that we could all be happier in life if we removed hatred from our hearts, stopped worrying, lived simply, served others and expected less from them. I’d add an additional recommendation to that list: Place all your trust in God and seek to do His will in your life, with a grateful heart.
A grateful heart is a joyful heart and you have the power to be happy. There’s no guarantee that you will not encounter tremendous trials, sorrows, failures or great suffering; however, you hold great power in your mind to rise above, to overcome and to choose happiness.
Good news: It’s a new year, which means each of us has been given a new opportunity to decide how we choose to live. In the check-out lines of life, will we stand in the “complaint desk” line or the “gratitude“ line? Will we allow marriage problems, family issues, job-related stress, the extra pounds we put on over the holidays or money and health issues to drag us down and develop a cynical, pessimistic, angry, resentful, jealous spirit, or will we make up our minds before we see the final outcome that we are going to be happy and grateful for the journey and trust in God’s promise that He is with us through it all?
I vote for the latter in my own life; how about you?
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.