My sun porch

My sun porch

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happiness project lesson - less ME

"Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining." (1 John 2:8 NIV)

My happiness project is veering a little bit away from the book of that name, and is becoming more about a much-needed attitude adjustment. Yes, i do need to get more sleep, eat healthier and get more exercise so I have more energy to do the things that make me happy. But i also think my happiness has a lot to do with the attitude i have about what is going on in my life at any given moment.

We like to think about a new year as a chance to begin again...a clean slate regarding the mistakes we have made in the past year. Since most New Year's resolutions are broken before the end of January, I prefer to look at each day as a clean slate....I can't wait a year to start over again. I messed up I want to think about how I messed up yesterday and seriously try to do better today. 

I also want to look at today as a gift...the present is a present, if you will. I have been given a new day... It is mine to do with as I wish. Whether that day has me going to work or staying home, what I do with that day is my choice. How I face the choices and issues that will come to me in this new day is my choice.

2011 was a trying year for me and my family. We had money issues, a life-threatening car accident and the results of that accident, back problems, weight problems, job frustrations, furnace issues, mid-life issues, teenage issues...oh, and did I mention money issues? My husband and I went to bed Saturday night after we had watched the ball drop, and as we wished each other a Happy New Year, we both said we hoped 2012 is better than 2011 for our family.

But what if it isn't? What if more "issues" come our way? Will we be so frustrated and depressed that we will curl up in a little ball and give up? I certainly hope not!

Yesterday, a very wise friend saw that I was struggling with the "why me" issues and told me of a book that helped him better understand why bad things happen and how God's will is involved in those bad things. Being the book lover that I am, I instantly downloaded that book onto my new Nook and I have read the first 2 chapters. My wise friend has no idea how much his advice and that book have helped me already!

I want the first few days of this new year to be a time of contemplation for me...a "come to Jesus" moment when I get OVER myself and realize how all of my "issues" are not failures, but chances to allow God to work in my life and chances for me to begin again! I can't be "Oh woe is me!" all the time. I want to use this "starting over" time to plan how I will use each day as a new beginning. Life is not all darkness...the light is in me already! 

May this day bring me many chances to let God's light shine in my dark, issue-filled life and in the dark, issue-filled lives of others who cross my path today! Thinking less about me and more about others may just be the key to my happiness project!

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