July 25, 2011

Are You Happy With Your Life?

I asked my daughters this question yesterday.
I was walking hand in hand with my 11 year old Naomi when I asked her this question. It wasn't a quick response but she replied positively, but then she had a hard time answering my next WHY question. 
My 9 year old Zoe was sitting beside me when I asked her the same question. How quickly she gave her big YES and her reason was "because I had ice cream today!" 
The ice cream that  made my Zoe happy.

I know of many adults who carry heavy baggage of the past. They grow up with bitterness and wounds that never seem to heal in years. For some people, it's because of neglect and abuse and others because of parents' choices and decisions. The former is obviously not in my family. It's the latter that bothers me that's why I needed to ask my daughters. As a parent, I don't want to assume that my children are "okay". Parents make decisions and choices that affect the whole family. And I need to know how my children are affected inwardly. 
This question is simple yet I find it hard to answer. I could easily say YES but then I would not be honest to myself because I do have many trials, big and small. I face challenges almost everyday, and honestly, I'm not happy everyday. I understood my Naomi very well. I also don't want her to answer like her little sister. She's old enough to understand that life is hard and a scoop of ice cream cannot make one happy all the time..When I asked my daughters this question, it was because I wanted to probe what's in their hearts. I later explained to them that although we care much about them being happy but life is not all about our own happiness. Then I talked more to them about what I've read in my prayer time that morning.

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” – John 12:23-26 (NIV)

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We don't seek for happiness but it comes when we find contentment in whatever situation we are in.

Naomi in her artist mode.

Zoe's visit to a cat show.

I pray to be grateful in whatever state I am.

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Chic Homeschool Mama said...

Fantastic post! I love her outlook on life- I think if we all could be happy with our lives because of things like having ice cream- then we all would be doing a lot better. Being grateful for the things we can so often take for granted is always good.

Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website said...

This is such an eloquent post.
Oh dear Ruth, what a beautiful mother you are.
I'd like to mention, as well, that I think you are touching upon an unspoken point here...and that is that there is a difference between JOY/PEACE of MIND...and "happiness". When we ask, "Are you happy?" we tend to mean, "Are you in a good mood, generally speaking?" But, we must remember that, as Christians, the JOY and the SUFFERING are so closely intertwined that they are sometimes ONE....we can not have the fullness of one without the other. Therefore, we DO have "happy" moments in life (like ICE CREAM!) and yet...we are not always in a good mood but that does not mean we do not have inner-JOY. Our JOY and INNER PEACE comes in knowing that CHRIST is KING and His promises are TRUE. Therefore, whether a "good day" or "bad day" a "happy mood" or "sad mood"...we still have JOY within.
I have been sharing in your family's life for a couple of years now via our blogs and emails...and I am CERTAIN that were I a child in YOURS and Mr. M's family...I would have JOY AND be HAPPY. Yours is a beautiful family and I am blessed to know you! Thank you for giving us these worthy things to ponder in our day.

Anonymous said...

Dear R!
Long time no see! Where are you now? B city?
I strongly agreed and touched with your sharing! I really hope I can be little Zoe who can be satisfied just because of the enjoyment of Ice-cream! But we know that life is not easy and Jesus didn't promise this... anyway, I trust HE is here in every trial and hardship we face. Take care! Blessing,

Canadagirl said...

I was just contemplating this yesterday. I had a friend who would ask me if I was happy. That was not a easy thing to answer. I have been called to a place that I wish was different but I am content 99% of the time. The verse you shared ...John 12:23-26 I really needed to read today. I really needed to hear the part where it says "... Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." That was a good attitude adjustment I needed. Thank you for letting the Lord speak through you.

Blessings In Him<><