The holiday parties have come to an end. Christmas vacation is over. We’re back at work and school. There are long hours of darkness. And it is cold outside. January and February can feel daunting.
Clouds linger a lot longer this time of year than they do in the summer months. There are a couple of scientific reasons for this, but that doesn’t comfort me much or make me feel any happier about it.
As I reflected on the past couple of weeks I realized the phrase I found myself repeating to my children and myself over and over again, was “Choose Happiness.” Not really much of a phrase at all, just a couple of quick words, but I have found myself applying it to a myriad of situations.
My youngest daughter, stressing out about another standardized test at school . . . “Choose happiness,” I said, “go build legos, go for a run, or check if a friend wants to play. It doesn’t matter what you pick, just choose something that will make you happy.”
The older girls with back to back doctor’s appointments. One of them ending with no real answers. . . “Choose happiness,” I told myself “put your trust in God,” and then I dove into a great book.
Hours spent on next year’s course selection with my oldest daughter only to be told. “Nope, that won’t work when she met with her guidance counselor. “Choose happiness.” I told her, “things have a way of working out the way they are meant to.”
In Romans chapter 15 verse 13 it says
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have been lucky lately, yeah there is stress around many corners, but really my problems are small. Overall my family is healthy and happy and cared for, but even so January and February can still hit me as long, cold, daunting months. That’s why I am determined to “choose happiness,” and to remind those around me they have a choice too.
Let us pray together for happiness.
Be with each of us in the coming weeks.
Bring us all the happiness that comes with placing our trust in you.
Help us to see the joy in the hustle and bustle,
As well as the joy in the cozy and quiet.
Reminds us that our true joy doesn’t come from ourselves,
But from You and Your eternal love.
Help us to spread happiness to others in the love and kindness that we share.
In Your name we pray
Kristin Heller, CtK Council Member