I have so many friends who are hurting in some way right now...broken marriages, family issues, money issues, health problems...the list is longer than Santa's gift list. How hard it is to be happy with holiday cheer when your life has been turned upside down for one reason or another!
I try to keep joy in my heart each day (I wear a JOY pin to remind myself) not so much for myself, but for others. It makes me happy to give someone else a smile and I feel it makes getting through the day easier seeing others smile. That sounds pretty simplistic...I am not delusional enough to think my smile and a kind word can change someone's life situation, but...it can't hurt!
My problem comes when I forget that many others don't share my need to smile and make others happy. There are many who would rather revel in their own misery. I seriously think there are some people who are happiest being unhappy...and making everyone else around them as unhappy as they are. I feel sorry for those people, and give them my very best, practiced and perfected Pollyanna! It is good therapy for me, (and fun too!!!) to drive the habitually grumpy crazy with my cheeriness!
Oh, I know people get aggravated with this cheery "sun porch" attitude...but I believe God gave me this personality for a reason...perhaps it's my job to try to make people feel better and bring a little positivity into their lives. I get frustrated with grumpy complainers...I hope I can remember that they have had hurts in their lives that have helped to make them that way...and love them all the more!
In my fretful impatience
I am so often inclined to ask"Why can't she change?"
"Why is he so slow?"
"Will they ever learn come past mistakes?"
"Why is she so mean?"
And then God begins to impress me
With my own slow process and growth
I see His stretched-out patience with me
I remember how long He has waited on me
And I am sad at how often my attitude
Is so intolerant
O God, keep fresh the imprint
Of my own need to grow
And make me more flexible
And alway more loving.
Put on your own JOY pin and remind yourself that even in the hardest situations, we have reasons to be thankful and happy when we rely on God!