Saturday, January 10, 2015

Choose To Be Happy

The kids were in the living room watching a learning video.

Me? I was sitting in the darkness of my room, cuddling a tiny boy. Enjoying his warmth. Listening to his breathing. Feeling his love.

The truth is that he had fallen asleep after eating and I couldn't bear to put him to bed and head back out to the rest of the family.

It had been a rough afternoon.

Fighting. Whining. Messes. Stress. I could feel my irritation rising as my patience grew thin. I was on the verge of losing my temper.

I needed a mommy timeout.

It was there in the stillness of that room that perspective was restored. I needed to calm down. The kids feed off my negative energy. If I was crabby, chances are they were going to be crabby too. If I was short-fused, they were going to be irritable as well. It did not excuse their wrongdoings, but it helped me choose to have a good attitude. I needed to stop focusing on the hardships of the day, and instead, choose to be happy.

Yes, it's a choice.

You cannot control your circumstances, but you can control your response to them.

I needed to choose to respond with patience and grace. Crabbiness multiplies, but so does happiness. It's my responsibility to keep the happiness level high in our household. Even when there's fighting and whining and mommy gets stressed, I realize this is just a season, a fleeting moment of time. These 5 little blessings of mine will be grown in just a few short years. There will come a day when they will no longer need me to make them a pb&j sandwich or allow me to wash the stickiness off their face. They will stop asking to sit on my lap or listen to me read a story. As time goes on, their independence will grow and their reliance on me will be nearly nonexistent. I want to savor these moments now, even on the craziest of days. The Lord has blessed us greatly. Instead of dwelling on the stressful moments, I choose to praise the Lord for all that He's done.

Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. ~ Psalm 150

I laid my tiniest blessing in bed and walked back in the living room, this time with a renewed spirit. Yes, I was still exhausted while the children had copious amounts of energy. Yes, I was still reminding them to be nice to each other. Yes, I was still reprimanding their wrong actions. But it didn't take long for my happiness to overflow to them. Within time, they too changed their attitudes. And once we all chose to be happy, the whole day was changed for the better.

There are always going to be hours or even days that are stressful, but we must focus on the blessings of God and His grace to help us through. And we must choose to be happy.

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

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