Are You Happy?

We live in a beautiful world that God created.  

But not everything is beautiful.

Our world is inundated with ugly things. 

I fear for my children  all while trusting God.  

I don't think He intended those two things to be done simultaneously.

Some days, I do better than others.

After watching the news and reading about crime, sometimes I feel like our home, our cocoon, is being watched by a hungry predator.

And yet, I feel like we are overcoming the enemy of ungodliness.  

Because we are happy.

Sure, we have bad days.  Just read my blog awhile.  We aren't perfect.  We argue, disagree, and make plenty of mistakes.  We crave material possessions and don't seek God enough.

We don't laugh all the time or smile constantly.  We're just a pretty average family. But our happiness runs deeply because it comes from joy.  Joy grows from a deep contentment for the good and the bad because God is good.  All the time.

I ran across this article by The American Chronicle, titled, "Secrets of Happier Families."

According to research that crosses socioeconomic lines, there are seven similarities happy families have in common:
  1. Priority is placed on the primary relationship
  2. Respect for children
  3. Time spent together
  4. Regular family meetings
  5. Open and honest communication
  6. Showing appreciation
  7. A spiritual focus

I don't think this article was written from a Christian perspective and I would put them in a different order.  But aren't these the reasons Christians should be happy?

The author ends with this, "What these findings do tell us is what most of us on some level already know but do not consistently practice. Namely, that a cohesive family unit that is willing to work daily at creating a loving, respect-filled, secure, and mutually supportive environment for one another in spite of external pressures can thrive… even in today´s uncertain world."

Many times, our happiness depends upon our situation.  Good day, things going our way? Happy face.  Crummy day? Happiness is out the window.  

I think perspective keeps our happiness level.

Are you happy? 

Food for the Soul:
James 5:13, "Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise."


Kat said...

OK so not sure if it's that we're both in Texas or what but I almost wrote this exact same post today. Happiness vs. Joy. I posted my interview with Villainous Company instead cause I wanted to tweak it some more. But now when I post it everyone will think I am copying you! Grumble grumble. You RAWK as usual!

Joy said...

This has been on my mind lately, too. God must be trying to tell us all something.

Anyway, this post really spoke to me becuase while we are happy, I don't feel we're as "together" and respectful of all family members as we could be. I feel like I'm doing this all on my own some days and want to give hubby a quick kick to his boys. Lovely, huh? Yeah, I'm a pastor's wife...

Seriously though I hope to take something away from this article and start building a HAPPIER home!

Cathy |Mommy Motivation said...

Kristen. You hit the nail on the head with this one, in a way that I can relate to. I feel hungry for more of this type of information. A little information, and a little inspiration to keep trying, you know? If you ever wrote a book, I'd be all over that.

thanks for this great post tonight!

Loraine said...

Live Life Joyfully... that's our family motto. I truly am happy. I am a stay at home mommy with great kids and a very funny hard working husband.

Sure, we have crappy days, months and not long ago, we had a really bad year. But we always try to keep our heads down and keep moving forward.

Counting our blessings and remembering those in need helps so much.

Faith helps too.

Thank you one again for your amazing ~ inspiring blog.

marky said...

I work on it daily! I think that I would add to that list Contentment.. And Paul found it important enough to write about it too. ;-)
Thanks for this reminder today

Cassandra Stafford said...

Trying to chose joy everyday. I feel happy and love those days when I close my eyes....even with a twinge of mommy guilt most days....but still able to fall asleep with asense of "life is precious, life is sweet, the the ground beneath my feet" oh wait...thats a song! lol

Karen said...

I agree that those may not be in the right order, but they are essential to family happiness.

P.S. He loves you... said...

I'm singing praises today..."my GOD is so BIG so STRONG and so MIGHTY there NOTHING MY GOD CAN NOT DO!"

This is because I believe..."in everything give THANKS"'s scriptural!

Here's hoping you hum this little ditty to!

QuiteContrary said...

Thank you...right message at the right time. I needed to hear (read) that.

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

I am chronically happy. I look on the bright side, find the silver lining to the annoyance of my mom- who will often say 'stop being so positive'.....however, I can and have sunk into deep depression once or twice since I had my kids. So it seems I go to extremes...

But I really can find joy in everything. And if it is a bad day- well sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying!

Lisa J said...

Happiness. How come it is so hard for many of us to "accept" it. We need to learn to be happy with what we have and what we DON'T have. I love your posting, your thoughts and especailly your spirit. You are an example to many but what matters most is to be an example to your children. Mission accomplished. Keep it up!

Joanna said...

Yea, not that right order, I would change them around a bit, but they are what makes a family happy!

Lu said...

great one!

Mrs. Querido said...

Thanks for the reminder :)

Oh and P.S. He Love;ll be humming it all today even if no one else does! That's one of my kids' favorites!

Suzie said...

No Im not happy today...not happy at all

Caution said...

Sometimes my eyes get to wandering and my ears get to listening to my fears and I get all upside down. At that point I'm miserable. It is a constant exercise in getting my eyes fixed on Jesus and my ears to focus again on His word. When I do that, I am amazed at how wonderfully content I am.

Kendrawolf said...

Happiness is based on happenings. Joy comes from faith and hope. I'm not always happy, but I am always joyful. This was a great post!

D... said...

What a great post! No, I would place the similarities in a different order, but I agree with the list.

I am happy, my family is happy. Sure, like you, there are bad days, bad moments. In the grand scheme of things, we live in our happy cocoon. Which I help foster in myself by not watching the news. ;)

Peanut said...

"I fear for my children all while trusting God.
I don't think He intended those two things to be done simultaneously."

That's a really good point.

Thanks for the reminder :)

Marni's Organized Mess said...

Great post.... and you know what? I am happy. Thanks for asking. :)

Amy said...

Even in my trials I am happy because I know and have full assurance that I can rest in the mighty hand of God because He holds my future and knows what's best for me!

I love this quote:

There is nothing--no circumstance, no trouble, no testing--that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment. But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is--that is the rest of victory!

How great is that to know that God chose me? Wow!

Thanks for this question today!

Sara Parkinson said...

I don't normally leave comments, just enjoy your writing really, but today I feel led to leave a thought. Your topic today "Happiness" hits a nerve. I just turned my computer on and read that Randy Pausch died today. He was the infamous professor dying of pancreatic cancer who gave the "Last Lecture" speech. The news of his death actually brought me to tears. I found him to be so inspiring because in all his pain, physical and emotional, he still found the strength to be happy and have fun. I love this quote from him, "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." We should all remember that. Let it sink in. In times that we feel down because someone forgot our birthday, or the baby just puked in the backseat, or the dog chewed your favorite pair of flip flops, remember..... We should celebrate life no matter how crazy it seems because it is a gift and there is no guarantee how long God will let us stay here and play. - :)

Sara Parkinson said...

Oops, I meant famous not infamous. :)

Heidi said...

I love saying that, yes I am happy. Very happy. I know where and what God wants me to be and to do. I feel his purpose in my life and I accept it wholeheartedly. That makes me happy. Selfishly, I have a terrific husband who respects, loves, understands, and supports me. I have two healthy kids who are having a blast growing up in a stable home. And I have sisters, parents, inlaws, friends, that are wonderful people. That all makes me happy. And I have great friends through my blog that I would have never imagined. That also makes me happy.

Gotta GROW with it said...

after grappling with the difference btw "joy" and "happiness" i can honestly say sometimes i'm happy, sometimes i'm not but there is always joy in my heart because i know jesus!!!

Misty said...

Inspirational blog today. Mom of two kids sometimes lets the world stifle her happiness. How can we not be happy when we have Jesus and people who love us?

World's Greatest Mommy said...

Very happy. Life is better than I could have ever imagined it.

And although there are days, I feel an enemy is watching, waiting for us to slip up in our faith or knowledge of our ultimate goal on this earth...I know that he won't win.

Memarie Lane said...

I remember once when I was very young, my mom asked my what I wanted to thank God for. I thought about it and said I wanted to thank Him for creating such a beautiful world for us to live in. She said "but it's not beautiful, there are things like spiders and snakes and disease and earthquakes and hurricanes." I didn't understand why those couldn't be beautiful too. I still feel that way.

ann said...

Thanks for those words of instruction and encouragement.

iPost said...

Happy as a clam. And I honestly think my family does all the things on the list! Thanks for reminding me!

myra said...

I don't think the order is important. It's having all the elements that counts. I am so fortunate that we have these in our little family. And for the most part, I am grateful that I am a very happy person.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Yes, we are happy in our souls because of the Lord! And that is true whether or not our circumstances are happy on the outside.

Leanne said...

I think sometimes we get too caught up in using our misery as a yardstick to measure our lives by. It's unfortunate that we think we are only truely happy when nothing awful has happened in a while.

Now that you have forced me to think about it, yes , I am very happy at the minute. I'm not quite out of a really bad year yet.

Everything has went wrong here lately culminating in us trying "fruitlessly" to sell our house in an effort to dig ourselves out.

But when I really think about it, we are all healthy, it could be a hell of a lot worse.

My daughter smiles and laughs every single day and she is completely content.

For me that is the most inportant thing. As long as my family are happy and enjoy at least a part of each day then life is good.

Thank you for reminding me not to focus on the bad quite so often and sorry about the really long comment.

matt and joelle said...

aamen sister!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope to share this week as well. Looks like everyone enjoyed family camp! Wanted to catch up and read this post...worth printing!

Thx again, Ginger