Monday, February 23, 2015

♪♫ If You're Happy and You Know It ♪♫

 It's happened to me more than once.

More than twice.

Actually, to be totally honest, it has happened to me more times than I can count on both hands, (and probably feet!)

Has it ever happened to you?

Maybe you were at a shopping mall, the grocery store, a sporting event or a restaurant when someone you didn't know casually made a comment that left you asking yourself, "How did they know?"

Several years ago, my husband and I were at a sandwich shop. As we stood in line, waiting for our turn to order, an older woman my husband knew from a previous job, joined us in line. As we waited, we found our self sharing in a casual conversation with this woman. My husband inquired as to whether or not she was still working at the same job where he met her. She was and informed us she was starting her 22nd year with this particular company. Then, we talked about the weather and how big our town was growing. Just normal chit-chat between hungry customers.

When it was finally our turn to order, my husband invited this elderly lady to go ahead of us. She graciously took him up on the offer and soon was paying for her meal and heading out the door. Before she left, however, she came over to where my husband and I were standing and gave us each a hug.

As she was embracing me, in a voice that sounded as though she was pleading with me, she said, "Please, dear. Have a good time. Be happy. Enjoy your life." Then she squeezed me tight, patted my back, smiled and walked out the door.

I guess it's a good thing I'm not a poker player, because I definitely must not have the face for it. What did she see in my face that made her assume I wasn't enjoying my life?

Her words haunted me for months.

Then, there was the time we were assembling all of the students in our school for a special program. As we were arranging little ones in front, and older ones in the back, one of the adults helping came over to where I was standing, gently rubbed my back, and said "relax". Then, she squeezed my arm, and walked away.

Again, I was caught totally off guard, completely baffled by their reaction to (or at least what I thought to be) my calm, pleasant and happy demeanor.

Lord, what's the deal?
Why do people look at me and assume I'm stressed out?
Why do they feel the need to tell me to enjoy my life?

Enter Proverbs 15:
13A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance.

There is was in black and white!
I didn't have a cheerful countenance because I didn't have a glad heart.

30The light in the eyes [of him whose heart is joyful] rejoices the hearts of others.

There was no light in my eyes because there was no joy in my heart, and others could tell.

The problem, I soon discovered, had absolutely nothing to do with my face,
and everything to do with my heart.
And my heart, for all accounts, was sad.
Sad about who I was.

You see,
I have always, always, always compared myself to others.
I have always, always, always tried to be who I thought others thought I should be.
I have always, always, always judged and scrutinized myself under the most powerful lens of self-criticism I could find.
I have always, always, always felt the pressure of being me.

And this pressure, this trying to be everyone else but me, was stealing the life and the joy right out of me.

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away. ~Raymond Hull

Joy
{Photo Credit}
Lord, I. want. joy.

I want a true, genuine joy,
a joy that bubbles incessantly from the bottom of my heart.

I want joy,
real joy,
never-ending,
face-radiating joy!

Enter the Holy Spirit

As I read the pages of God's Word, I saw truth I had never seen before.

I discovered a me I had never known before.

I was created by the Lord of all creation. He molded me and made me in HIS own image, and in the way that was perfectly suited for me. He created me with a plan and a purpose. I was HIS daughter and He rejoiced over me with singing. As this truth began to settle into my heart, I, too, began to sing. I found myself feeling lighter and more care-free. The pressure of being me melted into the delight of being who God created me to be.

JOY

My eyes were no longer fixed on me, but on my Saviour. He became the joy of my heart.


I hate to pry, but what is your face saying about you?

And, since I'm already stepping on your toes,
let me go one step further and ask,
is your heart happy?

I pray it is. If is isn't, I know the source of true happiness. His name is Jesus and He will fill your heart to overflowing with a deep, down, joy.

He loves you more than you can possibly imagine.

It is He who knit you together in your mother's womb.
It is He who chose your eye color,
defined the shape of your nose,
and placed within you your unique personality.
It is HE who has gifted you with talents and abilities and everything that makes YOU you!
He loves you and you make His heart smile.

Remember the song we sang as children?
♪♫ If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands,
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands,
If you're happy and you know it,
Then your face will surely show it,
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. ♪♫

I've always, always, always been clapping,
but now,
now my face is showing it!

How can it not?
When you have the joy of the Lord, it can't help but show on your face.

Yes, it has happened to me more than once, but praise God, it hasn't happened to me since....
not since God turned my life (and my view of me!) completely around and put a new song in my heart!

Care to sing along?...........

♪♫ I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,
down in my heart,
down in my heart,♪♫
♪♫ I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,
DOWN. IN. MY. HEART. TO. STAY~ ♪♫







 
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