I've always been a pretty laid-back person, but these days it seems difficult to find something in our daily life that DOESN'T stress us out- Waiting in long lines at a grocery store that's equipped with 24 checkout counters but only has 3 open, sitting in traffic, soaring gas prices, reduced income, endless laundry piles etc. Everywhere we go we are surrounded by rude, grumpy, stressed out people who are trying to drag us down-those "Misery loves company" kind of people, and it's so tempting to join their pity parties....
A few weeks ago my 10 minute drive to work turned into 90 minutes because there was a fatal accident on the highway. All of the other people in the cars around me were obviously stressing out as we tried alternate routes, and still moved no faster than 10mph. I however, had just discovered a neat little Bible app on my phone that gave me free access to hundreds of podcasts of famous sermons. So, while I was stuck in traffic I had the opportunity to listen to 3 sermons on the topic of love and marriage, 2 of which were from Father Al Lauer and the 3rd from Joel Osteen. While everyone around me was huffing and puffing and honking their horns, I was listening to God's word and learning ways to make my marriage better. I felt so blessed in that moment that I was fortunate enough to be DRIVING to my JOB and reflecting on my MARRIAGE, while another person had died on their way into work. I was going to get to live that day, while the other person was not. While so many others on the road had let that one thing ruin their whole day, I was feeling more blessed than ever and made sure that I made the most of every second in that day.
A few days after that happened, I was cooking dinner for my husband and listening to another Joel Osteen podcast. He was talking about how we should "display our joy", put a smile on our face, and be cheerful. No matter what are circumstances are, we should "smile by faith". We need to remember that everyday is a day the Lord has made, and we are so blessed to be a part of it.
All of a sudden that song, "Whistle while you work" popped into my head, and I found myself singing and dancing around the kitchen as I finished preparing dinner and washing the dishes. My husband was wondering why I was so happy- I said, "Why shouldn't I be? I just prepared a lovely meal that I get to share with you in our happy little home". It immediately brought a smile to his face, and the tired, depleted face of a man who just finished a 16 hour shift was completely transformed.
Even when we are feeling overwhelmed and stressed we need to remember to be kind and smile; then the joy will follow. Our husbands, our children, and our friends will all benefit from a home that is full of joy, and that joy starts with us! My husband is often surrounded with sadness and despair at the hospital, & it's my job to remind him of all the reasons we have to be joyful and happy!
People often pray for the difficult things in their life to get better and then wait for good things to come, but that is backwards thinking. We need to first smile and be cheerful, and then God will grant us his Blessings and anoint us with the oil of Joy- Hebrew 1:9
This morning I heard a beautiful song "Blessings" that again made me feel "Too Blessed to be Stressed". One line said, "What if the trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?". I think we are surrounded by stressors on Earth to remind us of all the blessings that come with the life of God. Whether things seem to be going perfect or you feel you're at your wit's end, remember to count your blessings in that moment, because we never know how many more moments in this life God will bless us with.
Listen to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOOFAaUGfRE&feature=related and remember, we are Too Blessed to be Stressed!
Prayers for homes that are full of Joy & Laughter!