Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happiness is.....

I got to hear the first part of the lesson today in Relief Society before Lea started crying.

I think she got hurt and she was really loud so I got out as quickly as I could!

The teacher asked us what made us happy today.....

Of course I mentioned that I would get to hold my 2-day old nephew this evening and I was really excited about it. (Something about babies always makes me happy!)

Many other things were mentioned, but it got me thinking about happiness.

A lot of things make me feel happy -

feeling the sunshine

hearing my kids giggle

holding hands with my Mr.

reading hearing inspiring music or talks.......etc. etc. etc.

2 Nephi 2:24-25 says "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy."

I love the idea that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy!!

But life isn't always in a dream-like cloud of happiness right?

I've read that there are 2 things that keep us from happiness......sin and adversity.

Sin is a choice, but there's also the choice to look to the Savior and make changes that will bring back happiness.

Adversity isn't always something we can control, but something I am trying to teach my children is.....we can control how we react to trials and struggles in this life.

Wouldn't it be great if, instead of complaining about the weather (snow in April!) we were grateful we aren't in Japan suffering the effects of a huge earthquake and devastating Tsunami!!

One of my favorite books of all time is The Hiding Place.

2 sisters are put in a concentration camp for hiding Jews in their home.

They are treated terribly.

They sleep in horrible conditions where the lice torture them all night long.

The older sister tells her younger sister she is grateful for the lice because then the guards won't come down and take away their bible.

I'm a perfectly normal person who gets frustrated and yells at my kids at times.

I say mean things to my husband sometimes.

I am selfish with my time and don't do enough for others.

I get upset when my house is messy or everytime I walk in the laundry room and it feels like I never make a dent in the piles of laundry that need to be done!

So how does a perfectly normal person find that joy all the time?

Love this quote by poet Robert Browning............“There is an answer to the passionate longings of the heart for fullness, and the answer is this: Live in all things outside yourself by love, and you will have joy. That is the life of God; it ought to be our life. In him it is accomplished and perfect; but in all created things it is a lesson learned slowly and through difficulty.”

Eternal joy is achieved by overcoming sin through repentance and self-mastery, and taking the edge off adversity through selfless service. Self-mastery and service are keys to our Father’s plan. Christ told his disciples: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love. … “These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:10–11.)


good things:

pumpkin chocolate chip bread made by the oldest daughter

helping daughter #2 conquer a fear

seeing my son hold his new baby cousin

daughter #3 organizing the storage room on her own

daughter #4 cuddling up to me and falling asleep

daughter #5 writing sweet letters to grandparents on her own

daughter #6 traumatized by an overflowing toilet but happily helped me clean it up

daughter #7 wanting more than anything to hold the real baby but quietly holding her baby doll and patting its back


Marley Family said...

What an awesome post! Thank you so much for the reminder!

Aceneth Warner said...

I love it! I love the simple things mentioned..simple!!
When I think of the time Kent and I have had when things were tough, I also think of it as a happy time. We had to find happy all over. I love being Happy, sometimes I get teased about it too, and I am okay with it.

Heidi said...

I love all of your inspirational thoughts on this post! The Hiding Place is one of my favorite books too. It's so gratifying to read about the examples of people whose strengths are my weaknesses. It inspires me to try harder.

Erika said...

I have been thinking a lot about happiness lately. I've prayed about it and I think this post of yours was an answer to my prayers. We definately have a lot to be thankful for.

Jamie said...

Wonderful post, Angela. Thank you for your insights! I especially loved your comment about choosing to not complain about the bad weather and be grateful we are not in Japan! Very touching! Also, thank you so much for always reading and commenting on my Quest for Happiness blog. It really means a lot to me!!!

disillusioned said...

I don't like to dwell on thoughts like "I'm grateful I'm not there"--because honestly--instead I think "I wonder what I can do to help". I try to avoid being grateful for what I'm not experiencing--and instead be grateful for what I am experiencing. Finding thankfulness when my life is less hard than someone else's just seems backwards to me. All of our lives are hard in their own ways--and I'm not opposed to being open and honest about what is "hard" either. So--I try to focus on being grateful for the opportunity I have to help, even in some small way, rather than being grateful cause I'm not experiencing some trial someone else is (earthquakes can happen anywhere).

That's my 2 cents :)