A few weeks ago I noticed that CNN was doing a big special on happiness. They said that in our country on a happiness scale of 1-10 Americans scored a five. Some countries that were far less afluent than ours scored noticeably higher. How sad that was to me. Is our happiness dependent on our wealth or lack thereof?? Now I'm not talking about not having enough money for food, shelter, etc.. Of course no one would be happy in those circumstances. What I am talking about is thinking that money is the be all, end all of things. People are literally killing themselves to climb up the corporate ladder all the while neglecting the family at home. People are stretching themselves way too thin to be in the fanciest house in the neighborhood. To go with that fancy house you have to have fancy furnishings, have a fancy car out front, and take a fancy vacation. Why?? To keep up with the Jones'? I sure hope not.
My wedding was a very modest one. I didn't have a fancy reception with dancing, etc. We had cake and punch in the church social hall. What I can tell you is this: I DO know that on that day my heart was "bursting" with joy and the church was FILLED with love. I felt HAPPINESS! As a young Mother I can remember pinching pennies and wondering sometimes how I would scrape enough money together to pay for my babies' diapers. Through the good Lord's provision my babies always had enough diapers to keep them dry and enough food to keep them from being hungry. I can also remember those were some of the happiest days of my life.
Yesterday as I was raking the yard with Mr. P I looked over at him and this feeling of complete happiness came over me. Now raking is not something I love, but doing a household chore alongside him is something that I do! I looked over at him while we were raking. I saw a dear man with graying hair and smiling crinkles around his eyes. In my heart I still saw the young man that I fell in love with and still makes my heart sing. I saw a man who has cherished me, loved me, and honored me all these years. I saw my best friend, my life partner, my blessing.
The report also talked about happiness being something that is dependent on the next big "event." Example, "Oh, I can't wait till summer until we go on vacation." "I can't wait until we buy the new SUV." "I will be so happy when we buy that bigger house." You get the picture.
How sad that we have to wait for those "big events" to believe we will be happy. The truth of the matter is we have to learn to be happy in the "little things." It's those "little" everyday things that make up the fabric of our lives and those "little things" that can bring us true happiness if we would only let them. I am pretty sure that at the end of our lives when we look back we will not be remembering the fancy house or the trip to Bermuda, but instead we will remember the PEOPLE in our lives and how we loved them and how they loved us.
The older I get the more I realize these words to be very true. Everyday I strive to: Live each day to it's fullest. Appreciate and love those around me. Not harbor negative feelings and hold onto past hurts and bitterness. Try to help others and do good whenever I can. Most importantly, give praise and thanksgiving to the Lord with a humble and grateful great. I don't know what tomorrow may bring, all I do know is that I have THIS DAY and it is up to me what I make of it! I believe if I live by these principles I will be one of those people who can honestly say I am TRULY HAPPY! What about you??