Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Permission to be Happy

"...we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen ... that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" ... James 5:11


One thing which changed my life? Giving myself permission to be happy.

For too many years I only allowed myself to be happy if I'd been "a good girl". If I'd--

Cleaned my house.
been a sweet wife, a great mother, a good friend.
Hadn't watched too much tv.
Read enough of the Bible for the day.
Or if the front page news wasn't too disastrous, the weather was nice and I felt well.

You know, if all those tiny gold stars shone proudly on the big To Do Chart inside my head. Oh, and if the world ran smoothly, too.

As you can guess, I wasn't happy real often.  ツ

But now I've found a better way. I consciously give myself permission to be happy each day, each imperfect day, because God is good--not because I am. Or other people or the weather or the world is, either. 

You see, God is always good.

Something happens when you base how you feel upon what God does and not upon what you do. You start to feel free and in your freedom? You cease bashing yourself over the head when you make mistakes. 

Love that.

In your freedom, you crawl back up on the horse right after you've fallen and you let God brush you off and whisper encouragement in your ear. You realize God is your biggest fan--not the harsh critic you once thought He was, that's He's in your corner, even when you mess up. Loving you. Anyway.

So today I'm giving myself permission to be happy. Tomorrow I will, too. And that happiness will help me endure anything along the journey's road.


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