Happy in your Heart

“If You’re Happy and You Know It….”

Ever gotten a song stuck in your head, rattling around incessantly in your brain, causing you to randomly sing its verses in your car, at your desk, or maybe even as you drift off to dreamland? It’s usually high on the annoying spectrum, has lyrics you’re embarrassed to know by heart, and one with an undeniably “catchy” tune, hence camping out in your brain for a few days.

What if, instead, we had wonderfully pleasant, upbeat songs serving as constant reminders throughout our day to “keep up the good work, stay positive among trials, and praise God from whom all blessings flow?” I recently got the old childhood song “If You’re Happy and You Know It” stuck in my head after reflecting on happiness being a choice, and more importantly, an infectious emotion that we can motivate others with. Don’t know it the song? Allow me to remind you!

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap, clap!)
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap, clap!)
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it If you’re happy and you know, clap your hands!

What was that that third verse? The most important one about our face being a direct indication of what’s in our heart? You guessed it! If we’re happy, and we know it, our FACE will surely show it. Not only that, our attitude, our speech, our demeanor, even the company we keep, will surely reveal what lies in our heart.

It’s like a domino effect: what lies in our heart will be evident on our face, in our lives, and will ultimately affect those around us. The company we keep, our attitude, and outlook will saturate our hearts. Which leads me to another point…

Remember the old adage, y ou are the company you keep? It’s as if you can be polluted, or positively transformed by those around you. You can also be a pollutant or have a positive impact in someone else’s life. As a child, I remember my mother saying to me, “You’re acting like so­and­so, let’s take a little break from spending time with them.” I am sure I questioned her at the time, but as an adult, I am thankful for her wise counsel!

Make an effort to surround yourself with positive influences, and don’t be a “Poisonous Patsy” or “Bad Mood Betty” in someone’s life. Be that positive friend with an infectious smile and overwhelming positive outlook on life, surround yourself with like­minded people, and fill your head ( oh, and your heart!) with a happy tune. You’ll be surprised at how much y our face will surely show it!

Words to live by….

Psalm 100: 1­2

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the Earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” ESV

Psalm 118: 24

“This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” ESV

Proverbs 4: 14­15

“Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.” ESV

Jumpstart Your Joy….

Turn that frown upside down! Start a joy journal and record one short entry each day about what you have to be joyful about. Hint, read James 1: 2­4 first for some insightful perspective on JOY.

7/8/12

“Grumble Your Way to Grateful”

I don’t know about you, but I have sure complained and grumbled my way into an absolutely horrible mood more times than I can count. I would be willing to bet that my company is the worst imaginable when I propel myself into these “pity party” states. In fact, I’ll paint a picture for you of one my most recent “grumble stumbles,” which delightfully turned into something beautiful in the end.

I was recently on a family beach trip with my in­laws in beautiful, sunny Seagrove Beach, Florida. Ordinarily, this is one of my favorite places on earth, and a trip I look forward to for months in advance. This tranquil setting often equals fun in the sun, relaxation, good food, beautiful scenery, and a carefree approach to life, if only for a few days. Well, imagine being seven months pregnant in 95 degree temps and suffocating humidity, suffering from swollen ankles, feeling like Humpty Dumpty in a swimsuit, and a permanent bad mood inevitably ensues. I can laugh about it now, but boy was I miserable to be around at the time!

My husband flat out called me on the carpet many times throughout the trip and basically conveyed his “no tolerance” approach to my whiny, complaint-­filled bad attitude. My misery was starting to want some company, but he wanted no part of it. Fast forward a week after returning home, and my bad mood had turned into a full blown FUNK. My thirtieth birthday was approaching, and I couldn’t be less excited about celebrating. Once again, my attempt to recruit

my husband into the pity party club was unsuccessful and he gave me a dose a tough love, telling me to suck it up and be grateful for this pregnancy and a new baby girl on the way.

I had no choice but to turn my grumbling heart into a grateful heart and vowed to make this a wonderful birthday, no matter what. I decided to make a “happy list,” filled with 30 things I am grateful for. Slowly but surely, my complaining turned into cheerfulness as I realized how MUCH I had to be celebrate in my life. I started feeling ashamed for my recent miserable state of mind and ended up celebrating how wonderful it was to be ME! I gave all the glory to God, praising Him, thanking Him, and asking for His grace and forgiveness regarding my pitiful attitude. I was humbled by His provision in my life!

I felt transformed, renewed, and GRATEFUL for a life worth living! Scriptures tells us to “rejoice in all circumstances…give thanks always” so stop contemplating these words and take them as a direct command from your Heavenly father on how to tackle your daily struggles. What are you waiting for? Start today!

Words to Live By…

1 Thessalonians 5: 16­18

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Hebrews 12: 28

“ T h e r e f o r e l e t u s b e g r a t e f u l f o r r e c e i v i n g l

r a k i n g d o m t h a t c a n n o t b e s h a k e n , a n d t h u s s e t u s offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”

Turn grumbling into grateful….

Here’s a little spiritual challenge for you: spend an entire day resisting any and all complaints and find a way to give thanks in all circumstances. In other words, you are basically turning a negative into a positive every chance you get. For example, “it is SO hot outside! It’s miserable!!” Instead, praise God for clean drinking water, a working air conditioner, and the ability to escape the overwhelming heat.

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