Tag Archive | happiness

a new year. another year.

A new year. Fresh start. New beginning. Clean slate. Hope. Optimistic. Plans.

For others- another year. Rocky start. Same old same old. Cluttered slate. Hopeless. Pessimistic. No plan.

Where do you fit?

Why do you fit there?

The cheery words of “Happy New Year” carries with it a misnomer for many, but really, for all of us.

When things are going great or as planned, we are happy.

When things are going wrong and unplanned, we are not.

Because we have emotions, we kind of blame God when we’re not happy.  Even though we know life is full of ups and downs, good and bad, we still expect God to come through for us and not let things make us too unhappy.

I mean, isn’t that part of “God loves you” and “has a wonderful plan for your life”?

When a building or bridge is constructed it has to be built on bedrock. We understand what will happen if the time is not taken to dig deep or the building will not be strong and sustain the elements.

When we are busy building our lives, there will be times to dig deep in order to stay strong and sustain the elements of unpredictability.

The bedrock of both happiness and unhappiness is this: joy.

 Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

I could research joy and relay everyone else’s experiences and opinions, but instead, I will give you my first hand experience of joy.

Joy is knowing God. Not knowing about him. Even Satan knows about God.

I know God in a way that connects with me. He knows how we tick and precisely how he needs to connect with us because we are all unique. When he does that, you find yourself loving God for doing this in such a caring, personal way.

We know God just like we know anyone in our lives – by spending time with them.

I’ve learned a lot about God through the Bible, but mostly, through the world around me.

Do we ever get tired of looking up into the deep, night sky, wrapping the earth in comfort at the end of a busy day? Stars so far away we can’t grasp the distance but when one “shoots” across the sky with a trail of glitter we make a wish.

Whether it’s giant snowflakes falling in a slow-motion hush, a caterpillar enclosing itself in a jeweled home – forming brightly patterned wings in secret, or how flowers seem to smile and make us smile back, the earth weaves a story of beauty and ugliness, good and evil.

Joy is part of the beauty. It is light and buoyant. It pushes back the heavy darkness and reveals enough light to show there is a way through pain. We push it away at times but it still rests lightly near us, waiting for our invitation.

Joy is a steady light. Not too bright. Not too dim. Not too hot. Not too cold.

Happiness is bright and then it dims.

Happiness is hot and then leaves us cold.

Happiness plays with our emotions if we don’t have joy holding it up.

Joy accepts. Not necessarily without questions or happy feelings, but safely moored during a storm, safe inside, with steady, peaceful, contentment.

No matter what, let this be a “Joyful New Year”!


Photo by Gunn Shots (Mark Gunn) on Foter.com / CC BY





There are many wonderful things in life that make us happy.

We should relish those things and keep them close.

But life is not always happy.

When we face  situations that make us unhappy, we feel empty. We don’t like our happiness taken away.

I believe with all my heart that God knows the next step and something good can come out of our unhappiness.

Your unhappiness has the ability to drive you to find happiness somewhere. This is why so many turn to “other” things to cope.

True and permanent happiness comes from God. I mean, he created happiness in the first place.

What does this mean? It means when you are alone in your sadness, reach out to God. Talk to him. When you draw near to him, he draws near to you. He will not force himself on you. But he gives you plenty of clues that he is around.

We all know we are happiest when all is well. This means that something in our lives is secure. We don’t have to worry. When things are out of our control, we look for something to make us happy again. Even if it’s temporary.

I read this today and this popped out to me:

Laments (deep grieving or sadness) lead to a deeper resting in Him for our happiness.


The happiness from God is deeper than any happiness found on earth. It’s not that we don’t enjoy the happy things that life gives us. It means when those happy things are not there we can still maintain a deeper, steady happiness that is like a slow burning candle deep within us.

The roots of a tree dig deeper into the earth when there is a drought.

We have to dig deeper, too.


photo from The Songs of Jesus by Timothy Keller

scripture friday.


Photo credit: JH Images.co.uk / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA


friday quote.



what can you change?

Sometimes we stay in situations that we can change.

I’m not talking about giving up on your commitments when it is a selfish move that will hurt or affect others adversely.

But there are times when we don’t think of ourselves – don’t take care of ourselves.

There are certainly times of enduring situations which require us to either stop whining and grow up or stand strong and be brave.

Then there are the times when we can make changes to make things easier for us. If no one else is giving us permission we have to give ourselves permission. We can get so stuck in a rut that we don’t even consider a change.

No one is responsible for your happiness but you.

What can you do today to thrust yourself out of the suffering slump you are in?

Our choices have to override our emotions.  This isn’t easy to do but once you realize how you’re feeling isn’t always an honest assessment of your situation, you get in a routine of thinking differently.

I remember one time feeling like everything was closing in – irritable, cabin-fever, bored. So I decided to go for a walk. I discovered how much better I felt. My whole perspective changed.

This is the beginning of a new week. Do one thing each day despite how you are feeling, especially if you’re in a slump.


Photo credit: Thomas Leuthard / Foter / CC BY

friday’s quote.



Photo credit: JH Images.co.uk / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA



5. Happiness and Satisfaction Are Different

We can want more than we currently have and still be happy with what we’ve got.

Wanting more does not have to get in the way of enjoying what we already have.

If it does, we will never have enough.

–Rabbi Brad Hirschfield