Monday, 8 March 2010

Being happy

I've been a bit philisophical this past week......

If you would have asked me two weeks ago how I was doing I would have answered, "Life is great! There's hardly anything to complain about. I am content." 

If you would have asked me the same question last week then the answer would have been different. I would have said, "I'm angry, tired and I would like to strangle a few people!" 
I guess it's partially my own fault. I was the one that said "everything is great"! I should know by now that as soon as I put those words into my mouth, something always goes wrong! :) I asked myself why it's not possible to have a half a year of trial free life so I can re-charge my batteries for the next trial!?

This past week I've been thinking if it is possible to be happy and content regardless of whatever trials I or my family are facing. I asked myself what changed last week from the week before to make me unhappy? Are the things that made me happy and content the week before still there in my life? I came to the conclusion that I am still happy and content with my life but that external factors caused me to forget that for a while as I concentrated on the bad things that were going on. I let them take over. 
Don't get me wrong, the things we went through last week were (in my opinion) only found in movies directed by Hollywood, and our feelings were justified but I was swallowed up in them and it robbed me of my sleep and made my head hurt!
My feelings of gratitude for my life, my family, Roland's job, our lovely home, the gospel, good health, safe country etc. are ever present and I realise that regardless of whatever goes on in life we shouldn't forget the good things.

Of course there are things that I would like to be different, but I've noticed that nearly all of these things go against somebody else's free will. I know that I can't change anybody; I can only change myself and my attitude towards that problem. For example, I can't make my child get good grades. I can motivate and help where I can but the child himself has to be the one to make the effort. If I were to do his homework he wouldn't know what to do in class or in a test. We have to let our children "suffer" (sacrifice play time to learn for a test) for them to be able to grow and make the progress they need but it doesn't have to be a miserable time.  It can also be fun if we help them see the benefits.

Use me as an example: I hate ironing. I push it away from me as much as I can but it is inevitable that the day will come when child "x" has no more clothes to wear or my darling husband "kindly" informs me that he hasn't got any more shirts in his wardrobe! So I moan and grumble and I do the ironing and funnily enough I don't mind ironing while I'm actually doing it. It's more the thought of doing it that sends me into a tizzy! And I do feel a sense of achievement when all the baskets are empty - I just wish that feeling would last longer than half a day!

Question to self: Does the fact that doing something I don't like to do make me unhappy?
No! Of course it doesn't! My base feeling of happiness and contentment isn't at risk. But I do acknowldge that for me ironing is a "trial" and although I would rather be doing something else, I am aware that it is a necessary part of my duties as a mother and housewife.  Can I learn to love it? I'm not sure about that but I do know that it is in my power how I act and react to it.

So my challenge to myself: Next time a trial comes knocking on my door,  I try to remember what my blessings are and put the trial into the correct perspective. And most important: Remember that the Lord won't give me more than I can handle.

When did I become so wise?!

Hugs all,

p.s. if we have to iron in heaven, then I'm not going!!

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