I didn’t think I was going to have a new blog post to put up today. Our family took a mini vacation this weekend and I didn’t have as much time to write as I had hoped. Life is like that sometimes. Actually life is like that a lot of times.
Things often don’t go as we have planned. Maybe your day didn’t go as you had hoped. Maybe the baby didn’t sleep last night or a kid woke up sick this morning. Maybe your family just got orders to a place you weren’t expecting or a deployment got extended.
These things happen. And when they happen it’s easy to get frustrated and upset. Believe me, I know.
But when I get into one of these moods, my sweet girl always says to me “Smile mama, show me a happy face”.
She has such a tender heart and is very sensitive to those around her so she doesn’t like to see me upset. I think she just needs to know that everything is still okay
Often when she says that, the last thing I want to do is smile. And sometimes I can’t. At least not at first.
But then I’ll try to force a really terrible, almost painful smile. Sometime she’ll say “No, try again”. Other times she’ll “There, that’s better”. And do you know what happens next? I laugh. An authentic, genuine laugh.
And just like that my mood changes. My attitude and perspective shift.
There’s something about that simple act of smiling that changes things. It actually is a scientific thing that really works (check out this article to read more about the science behind it). I’m pretty sure my four-year old doesn’t know this information, but nonetheless, she is definitely on to something
Now, don’t misunderstand- I’m not saying we should stuff our emotions, never get upset, or walk around with fake smiles plastered onto our faces. This is something I think too many of us have already mastered and done for too long now, especially in the church (but that’s another topic for another day).
But sometimes, SOMETIMES, we just need to accept it and move on. Move on without a terrible attitude for the rest of the day, move on without snapping at our kids over every little thing, move on without making everyone else around us feel miserable too.
I’m no expert here, this is actually something I struggle with quite often. But as Christians, we should have a joy in our lives that is not dependent on our circumstances. In fact, the Bible tells us over and over again to have joy (check out Galatians 5:22, James 1:2, and Proverbs 17:22 for just a few examples).
There may be no better example than Paul, who while writing the book of Philippians from prison, said that he had learned to be content in “every circumstance”(4:12). Our happiness depends on our happenings, but our joy depends on Christ’s strength!