Stealing Happy

Are you an early bird or a night owl? In my family, we have both. Brad and Cameron tend to be the early birds, while Logan and I are definitely the night owls. To Brad, staying up late means making it all the way through the 10 o’clock news, but he’s often up before 6am. To me, going to bed early means I’m in bed before midnight, but if I had my choice my day wouldn’t really get started until about 10am.

Even though I’m a night owl, I still wake up happy regardless of the number of hours of sleep I might get. I just don’t have time for grumpy in my morning. When Logan was in high school, my perky morning attitude and bubbly voice sweetly requesting that he rise and shine often put him over the edge. He told me one morning as I teased him for being so grouchy, “Mom, you get up in the morning and steal all the happiness out of the house. There isn’t any left for me even if I wanted to be happy.”

Doesn’t life sometimes feel a lot like that? There are plenty of things just waiting to steal our happiness… the car in the fast lane with no clue 45 mph isn’t fast and you’re running late… that person at work who manages to get on your last nerve and it isn’t even 8:15am yet… the unexpected expense for car repair in a budget that has no fluff… the phone call from a family member who never has anything positive to say… the precious friend who is suffering from terminal cancer… the lasting loneliness from losing someone you love. I bet you can add even more to the list. The sad thing is, we all could.

So how do we not get stuck there? I think Ecclesiastes 3:12 MSG gives us some great advice:
“On a good day, enjoy yourself.
On a bad day, examine your conscience.
God arranges for both kinds of days,
So that we won’t take anything for granted.”
When something or someone tries to steal my joy, I try quickly to reflect on just how wildly blessed I am. I learned recently that the word “blessed” comes from the Greek word “makarios,” meaning extreme happiness; being in a state of bliss; being completely fulfilled, in need of nothing. And, let’s face it. We aren’t blessed because there are no slow drivers, an abundance of money in our budgets, and no irritating co-workers. We are blessed because of God’s abundant love and grace. There is absolutely nothing in this world that will ever, EVER completely fulfill us. Only God can.
True happiness comes from Him! You don’t have to worry about me waking up and stealing it all.

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