Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happiness Is a Choice

Happiness really has been knocking on my door lately. I had a marvelous birthday and Mother's Day. I have so enjoyed enlarging my vision, recognizing my royalty as a child of the Most High, realizing the power of my words and thoughts, letting go of the past, finding strength in adversity, living to give, and choosing happiness. We are finishing the book in the next three weeks, but I want to continue to blog and enjoy my best life. Joel says, "Your best life starts today! God wants you to enjoy your life right now." I think that we need to realize that happiness is a choice. It is not dependent on a particular set of circumstances, our relationships, or some wonderful event taking place in our lives. It is dependent instead on living life as an adventure with an open heart and tuning into the joy of this very minute. Happiness is available, but we must choose it every moment. Even though I'm tired tonight from my trip, I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to travel. Happiness is all about gratitude. We have such an abundant life. "Bless the Lord, O my soul who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like an eagle's." (Psalms 103:1, 5)


Mutterguse said...

Patty! I love the post! I googled "rise up on wings of eagles" and got 89 hits! Here is one: Do you not know?
Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. WOW! What a choice! We listened to "Waking the Dead" - John Eldridge, on the way to Alaska, and just loved it! CJ has been asked to lead the men's group at Church that meets on Thursday mornings, and we just ordered the book, and the study guide from Amazon. It is along the same lines as Joel's "Best Life" and I love it. It IS a choice, as you say, Patty. I have to consciously MAKE the decision in some cases, however, to search for the good in the circumstances!

Patty said...

You hit the nail on the head, Rozan, when you said you have to consciously make the choice to search for the good and be happy. Thanks for blogging. I always enjoy your comments.

Patty said...

Joel says, "Choose to be happy today! You don't have to wait for everything to be perfectly straightened out in your family or with your business, or for all your problems to be solved. You don't have to forgo happiness until you lose weight, break an unhealthy habit, or accomplish all your goals. No, God wants you to be happy right where you are, right now. Happiness is a choice." I need to remember that. I need to quit resisting the present moment and accept "what is" so that I can truly be at peace. I am convinced that peace of mind is the key to happiness.

Patty said...

Joel says, "If you make the mistake of allowing your circumstances to dictate your happiness, then you risk missing out on God's abundant life.....being unhappy won't change anything for the better. Being negative and sour isn't going to improve anything either. You might as well choose to be happy and enjoy your life!" This brings me to the subject of our sermon this morning.

Why We don't receive God's blessings for us:

1. We don't recognize our blessings. Sometimes we actually don't want to look for our blessings. Dr. Phil has done whole shows on this. Sometimes we like being a "pain body" so we can get attention and people can feel sorry for us. Sometimes we use our "unblessed" state as an excuse for not bettering our lives. Whatever reason we use, we are in actuality not recognizing our blessings b/c of some pay off we receive from staying in a "poor me" mentality. However, if we can shake that, we would realize that our greatest blessings come from our greatest challenges. Our pastor said, "No matter what life brings, it is a blessing."

2. The second reason for not receiving our blessings is that we stay frozen in the past. Like Lot's wife, we keep looking back. We might as well become a pillar of salt if we stay stuck in the past b/c we are paralyzed by our past experiences and can't get out of them.

3. The third reason we don't receive our blessings is that we tend to focus on what is missing and allow our hearts to break because of what we don't have. We might not have something we really want, or worse yet, we might not have someone we want in our lives because of divorce or even death. We spend our time thinking "what" or "who" is missing instead "what" or "who" is still in our lives.

She summarized the sermon by exhorting each of us to be open to every life experience.

If we get stuck, we should ask ourselves this questions:

a) Am I willing to change?
b) What is it that I fear?

After we have pondered these questions, choose life and blessing. Choose to feel. We can't bless anyone else until we can receive our own blessings.

We need to say to ourselves, "How filled with awe is this place!" We can bring peace to every place we inhabit. We can even be amazed by being in the company of our virtual friends. I feel in awe today b/c I am in God's presence as well as your presence, and I am grateful.

Patty said...

This sermon was given by Eileen Stulak.

Patty said...

"God knows that we have difficulties, struggles, and challenges", says Joel in chapter 30. Yet we know that God would never let us go through something too difficult for us to handle (I Corinthians 10:13). That is a verse I find very reassuring. I know that God wants us to enjoy every single minute of our lives, but I also know that in order to do that we have to stay in the moment. It's not easy, but it's worth it.

Patty said...

"Then Jesus told a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart." (Luke 18:1) As I consider the experiences in life, I have a choice: I can focus on the happy experiences and the successes, or I can focus on the sad and disappointing ones. A better choice, however, might be to embrace all experiences for whatever value I have learned from them.

Patty said...

Another thing we might want to remember about happiness is that we can experience it NOW. We can be happy by choosing peace of mind as our only goal and by giving our unconditional love. "You have made known to me the ways of life. You will make me full of gladness with Your presence." (Acts 2:28)