“Wish we could bottle up that HAPPY!” My mother said as my toddler bounced atop of her lap. We chatted for a brief moment about the absence of stress and cares when you are all but two years old and I caught myself longing to be like him for a moment…just a moment until I realized his need of a diaper change-ha!
I thought about bottling up HAPPY again today when I sprayed on my perfume which just happens to be called….HAPPY! I realized how this feeling of happy could stick for a while, but it is often a disappearing mist in our minds, and like this perfume, it will eventually wear off.
Are you happy? I mean really happy – happy – happy!
Happy in your own skin-happy with where God has you, and just happy with who you are?
I just get a kick out of Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty whose saying, “Happy-happy-happy!” has gone viral with both the television show and his new book. You’ve seen it right? You can listen to this video and hear a little more about Phil and his family and how they are inspiring others to infuse their culture with a little more happy - specifically happy that comes from the hope we have in Jesus.
But, how do we handle it when others and various life situations bump into our happy?
Do you find yourself pre-occupied with believing someone else has a better life than you, or maybe that they are more gifted than you? (You know the comparison game we all have fallen trap to?)
Recently, while wearing my “parenting hat”, I have realized more and more the importance of choosing happy...no matter what!
Happiness is a choice and God reminded me this week of His truth: “Happy are we, O Israel!” (Deut 33:29)
I just had to write it down, “Happy are you, O Julie!” And I hope you do too – (insert your name for Israel)
I remind my boys constantly…whether it is my toddler or the older two who are quickly approaching their teenage years; they must choose to have a happy heart. When they lose their happy heart, they have to take a time out to find it.
My toddler can flip his switch usually within two minutes – depending on how motivated he is; and my older boys and myself – well we may need a few more minutes.
The older we get and the more experiences we’ve had with life, the more thoughts we have to sift through in our minds. And, quite frankly, the enemy has had more time to taint our reservoirs with lies hasn’t he?
If we are not careful we can sink into a depression from this reservoir leaking into our hearts. May we not let those lies sink from our head to our heart but take the time to clean out the lies and fill our minds with truth. So how do you do this?
I know I have to do three things:
#1 Slow down, create time in my day to be still (Life gets busy fast!)
#2 Be aware of what I am thinking and often my feelings keep me in tune to the thoughts I am having. (Think happy thoughts, feel happy)
#3 Pray and ask God to help me take captive every thought and make it obedient to Him (2 Cor 10:5).
For more insight on controlling this debilitating self-talk, check out this Girlfriendit Radio podcast and also Jennifer Rothschild has a great book titled Self-Talk, Soul Talk: What to say when you talk to yourself.
I don’t do these three things perfectly; but I have found that the more I do these three things, the more content I am.
If I find myself thinking ill thoughts about a conversation I will be having later with my spouse...I think, "Lord I know you want me to think of only what is good, true, noble and right. Help me!"
If I find myself dwelling on a conversation I had with a girlfriend who hurt my feelings….I think, "Lord help me not to think about this any more and help me forgive her."
If I find myself thinking about my faults and wishing I was more like (_________)... "Lord, please help me to stop comparing my life with hers and help me to focus on who you have made me to be-someone wonderful!" (Yes, God made you wonderfully!)
We can re-think, over analyze, and beat ourselves up in our own minds and in a way imprison ourselves. The result is just plain - UNHAPPY! Nothing else steals my joy more quickly and because I like to be…well, happy, I am becoming more and more aware that God desires for me to pursue this happiness with Him.
Our happiness is really all in our choosing and we like Paul can learn the secret to being content in any and every situation. (Phil 4:12)
Simple Things to Pray and Ponder
This next week I want to challenge us to do three things:
1 – Be aware of your thoughts and align them with God’s thoughts about you (2 Cor 10:5) Maybe search the scriptures with a trusted girlfriend and discover what He has to say about you. These girlfriends encourage me on my path every week. *Remember God is never going to say, “You need to be more like __________.” Put an end to the comparison game! If you want to aspire to be more like anyone…may it be more like Christ!
2- At the end of each day this week, tell God thank you for three things that you did well today. Happy we are in giving Him credit and acknowledging the good He brings!
3 – Use God’s Word to practice your HAPPY! 1 Thes 5:11 says to encourage and build others up…happy people do this! Point out to someone a quality you appreciate and admire in someone else. Happy are we when we give.
I treasure the verses in 1 Thes 5:11-23 (I think I might just meditate on them this week). Have FUN this week, and don’t forget….Happy are we!
Julie Lane is a writer, a speaker, Bible Study leader, life coach, and with her Bachelors degree in Psychology she is embarking on a new adventure with God to earn her Masters in Professional Counseling in the near future. Julie leads women in several capacities at her home church, as well as participates with other global ministries such as Mending the Soul Ministries and Girlfriendit. She has a passion for helping women live healthy lives, and utilize their God-given gifts. She lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband and three sons. You can connect with Julie via her blog here.