Happy Is The Goal

  


Happy is the goal, right? At least it is for me. 

Relationships are hard. Be it parent/child, sibling, spouse, friend, co-worker, acquaintance we are bound to have conflict. We are going to have misunderstanding, offense, strain, and, sometimes division. But that is never the end of the story.

It is interesting how often it is easier to walk away from our valuable relationships (whether physically or emotionally) than offer forgiveness which might build a bridge across the gap of frustration, anger or hopelessness.

More often than not, we just throw rocks at each other until nothing remains but a banged up, dented in, gnarled vestige of a relationship. Something that was once of great value. Destroyed by our own hands.

I was taught that being a good steward of what is valuable helps to maintain the value. 

My dad will tell you that as soon as you drive a new car off the lot, the monetary value drops immediately. However, regular upkeep and maintenance preserves the amount of pleasure and use you receive from an investment you deemed worthy to make. You certainly do not take a sledge hammer to that investment because it got a flat tire, ran out of gas or worse yet shows signs of wear in the interior. You fix the problem.

Every relationship I have ever entered into held a valuable place in my heart when I entered into it. As I look back, those lost relationships most commonly disintegrated because we hurt each other and instead of repairing the damage, we chose to cripple it by withholding forgiveness.

On the other hand, I’ve seen how forgiveness builds a bridge that afforded the opportunity to reclaim and restore what was lost.

Forgiveness is tricky. It’s often discussed and acknowledged as necessary but rarely operated properly. Basically, I believe, because we do not believe it holds any real power. 

As a young car owner, I used to scoff at the idea that regular oil changes were necessary until I experienced a few break downs. Wisdom and experience have shown me how stupid my thought processes were at the time.

Forgiveness is the oil change of a relationship. 

It is vital to empty the heart on a regular basis of the gunk that is causing the relationship to break down.

Pride will cost us our happiness. Stubbornness will devalue what we once held dear. Maintaining the gap between us imprisons our hope and replaces it with anger, bitterness and contempt.

Sadly, we think walking out is the answer to restoring happiness. Have you ever listened to two people who ended a relationship…there is nothing joyful, or happy resounding from their being (and cut the air with a knife if they are within 2 feet of each other). True happiness is never restored until they reach the place of forgiveness and move on. 

So, why do we withhold forgiveness in the first place?

I’m not sure I have the answer to that one. 

I do know this, in my own life, I am seeing the value that “forgiving quickly” produces in my own heart. I see my relationships maintaining a happier level. And retaining my investment is rewarding (and less painful than parting ways).

We’ve all heard “Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath”. It means apply forgiveness quickly, regularly. The heart can’t function properly without it.

The truth is…A happy relationship is made up of two good forgivers.

  

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Bittersweet

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Finishing a book is bittersweet. You spend days getting to know the characters. Learning their nuances, their faults, their loves, their lives. They become your friends, acquaintances, enemies. And after the story ends, you miss them. Eventually you realise they aren’t a part of your world, you were just briefly visiting theirs.” ~Unknown

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(photo provided by my sister, Evie Hartness)

Memories, even bittersweet ones, are better than nothing. ~Jennifer Armentrout

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It’s kind of bittersweet. The human spirit is not measured by the size of the act, but by the size of the heart. ~Yakov Smirnoff

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Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bittersweet. Alive.” ― Joanne Harris, Chocolat

I adore the word bittersweet. I guess it because it describes so many moments in my life. Some days, I am ambivalent about that fact but even the bitter parts can taste the sweetest eventually.

My chocolate…must never be bittersweet, though. Never!

D

One Word Weekly Photo Challenge: Bittersweet

what happiness means to me

20140704-205738-75458506.jpgfor me, happiness is born out of gratitude.

in my life, gratitude accesses joy.

joy is a gift that produces brilliance from deep within my heart and soul.

as a young woman, my mom used to tell me that i may not always be happy about my circumstances but that i could be content.

contentment nurtures and guards gratitude.

as women, we can find ourselves in a state of wanting…

to be less sad…

to be more beautiful…

to be more alive…

to attain more of the things we want when we are not satiated from within.

when i find myself drifting in this direction, i have learned the importance of getting alone with my heart.

time for a heart to heart.

i’ve even stood in front of my mirror so i could look myself in the eye, as i would a friend.

i direct my thoughts toward gratitude…

for all that i am and was created to be…

And for all that i have divinely been blessed with.

the warmth of the sun on my face makes me happy but unfortunately summer is short lived in NZ. therefore, i am grateful for warm hugs, an electric blanket, and new warm jacket my daughter blessed me with this week.

watermelon and American style pickles make me happy but are difficult to source where i live. therefore, i grateful for every sweet bite i enjoyed on my vacation last month.

getting along with my husband makes me happy but sometimes we disagree and must work together to restore peace between us. therefore, i am grateful that God brought love into my life and that i have someone special with whom i share my life.

gratitude and joy colors our world with real happiness.

happiness paints our world with a brightness that shines from deep within our heart-the core of our being.

this is what happiness means to me.

it is a gift from God

and i am forever grateful.

how about you? how grateful are you for all of who you are and all that you have?

answering this question with require a deeper look into your heart where your emotions dwell. discovering the answer will lead you toward real happiness. happiness that can not be easily stolen.

i’m happy that you stopped by today!

D

what does real happiness look like?

20140703-111654-40614923.jpgtoday, reader, i’m going to ask for a favor.

i would greatly appreciate it if you could give me a few minutes of your day to answer a question.

what does real happiness look like to you?

take a few minutes to look inside your heart…

think about all aspects of your life…

when do you feel the most harmony within…

what brings satisfaction to your life…

real happiness requires less than you think…

what do you think?

what does real happiness look like?

i can’t wait to hear your answers!

thank you for the favor! you are awesome!

D

i’m doing a happy dance today

one of my favorite pass times is to be home alone (I’ve said this before).

today IS one of those times!

i’m so excited!!

no commitments.

no expectations.

no cooking.

no rules…ok, there are rules…but not many:

relax

chill

refresh

have fun

(Happy dance commence)

want to join me? (wait, then i wouldn’t be home alone…sorry, next time -maybe!)
D

Time Enjoyed is Not Wasted

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my body needs good nutrition. a healthier diet keeps my body strong enough to fight off disease like breast cancer. i love sweets but following my breast cancer treatments my doctor warned against a diet high in sugar. the cancer cells thrive on sugar. who’da thunk it? i definately do not want to fight that battle again.

i’ve learned that in hardship and difficulties i become stronger in spirit. i imagine it’s like drinking one if those cleansing-green-smoothie drinks that i have to hold my nose to get it down. yeah, we know- “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. some of us should be the Incredible Hulk by now, right? however, after the fact, i’m grateful for what i’ve learned in those times because the benefit is a nourished, healthy spirit. difficult days no longer turn my world completely upside down.

then there’s the soul-the emotional part of who we are. nourishing the soul, in comparison, is much more delightful. encouragement, gratitude, relaxation and doing something enjoyable nourishes the soul.

seems too easy.

feels like we should feel guilty.

it feels like wasted time.

good nutrition can feel like deprivation. hardship is, well, hard! how refreshing to know that nourishing the soul occurs by taking some time-out to just enjoy yourself.

resist the temptation to put it off…

it’s not lazy, wasted effort or time, nor is it selfish…

what it is…is necessary…

so, don’t procrastinate…make it a priority to nourish your soul everyday.

you will build well-balanced emotions.

D

How to be an amazing woman

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how to be a woman of excellence according to Proverbs 31:

1. do not accept mediocracy. apply excellence in all that you are and all that you do.
2. understand your value is priceless.
3. inspire trust.
4. every day do what is best for your husband. never do anything harmful or hurtful. his heart should be safe with you.
5. allow a delightful attitude to govern your work.
6. select the best quality for your available resources.
7. provide for your household’s needs.
8. have a plan.
9. be resourceful.
10. wrap yourself in strength, carry yourself with confidence,and work hard, strengthen yourself for the task at hand. take care of yourself body, soul and spirit.
11. taste success and knows it is good.
12. apply and develop skill to all you do.
13. be benevolent and merciful.
14. be prepared and do not worry.
15. be supportive to your husband’s purpose.
16. use your gifts to produce a quality, marketable product.
17. be strong and dignified.
18. be fearless and smile when you think about the future.
18. conduct your conversations with wisdom.
19. allow kindness to always be your concern.
20. be organized.
21. do not be indulgent and lazy. be selfless with out fear.
22. earn the blessing and respect of your husband and children.
23. understand the limits of charm and physical beauty.
24. be reverent to God
25. celebrate all you have achieved and others will as well.
26. allow your accomplishments speak for themselves.

women have the ability within their design to be strong, independent, capable, and to care for their husband, family, and the poor. i know women who run a household with joy and make it appear effortless. in fact, my mother is this type of woman. as a child, i had no idea what was required to run a household. my mother never seemed to stop, she never seemed cross about the day to day expectations and she seemed to enjoy (and still does) what she did for us. she was kind to strangers and visitors. she seemed to have time for anyone who needed the attention of her heart. she was resourceful to the point that when there was lack, my siblings and i were clueless. i never recall complaints or grumbling. she is the most selfless person i have ever known.

i have many friends like this as well. i have been one who has admired their accomplishments and the lovely, homey atmosphere that they provide day in and day out.

as women, we are challenged to be discontent, to feel dissatisfied, selfish and complaining…and it’s a shame.

nothing worthwhile comes without appropriate effort. we don’t get something for nothing. we must be willing to apply ourselves to achieve the dreams we dream.

the potential within a woman is vast, amazing and valuable. it is a servant role…i did not say subservient…i said servant- a role of service. however, the role of men is a role of service to family and others as well. there are unbelievable benefits to serving one another. it is a rewarding way to approach life.

there is a custom called covenant among the Jewish culture. the purpose of covenant was an exchange -an offering of one’s strengths in exchange for help for their weakness. it is an agreement that what i am, what i have, what i am able to do, i agree to share with you in exchange for all that you are, all that you have, and all that you are. this agreement allowed the two to work together to become a stronger, healthier, better whole unit. each working with their supply and talents to make life better for the other; fully committed, fully trusting, and fully giving.

doesn’t that sound like a desirable goal for your heart? it is for mine…and it is completely attainable!

the requirement for attaining this goal, achieving success and excellence is a good attitude, recognition of our value, applying good work ethic and not complaining about it, resourcefulness, and never being mediocre.

it seems easier to say,”that’s impossible…no one can be that type of woman” and accept that as an excuse. i believe differently…

apply yourself…begin where you are with what you have and you will discover what an fabulous creature you are. you are a woman! you are amazing!

if you know a woman who lives with the goal of excellence, who gives the best she has to offer…encourage her today…sing her praises…let her know that you admire her accomplishments! encourage her to continue to be inspiring and striving for excellence…and allow her to encourage you (this truly is a special benefit of girlfriends).

today, I celebrate excellent women everywhere,

D

getting from one happy snapshot to the next

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hard days will come
hold on
never run
you’ll make it through
you always do
head hung low in dark of night
but tomorrow brings a shining light
the sun returns
perspectives new
you’ll smile again
with hope renewed