Happy goes a long way

Gentle, wonderful, Joel

Happy Birthday on Saturday. I adore you and who God has made you!

Mail was piled high in stacks on the dining room table. Suitcases were in various stages of being unpacked in every room. Dirty clothes were in several piles, and a general mess all around. I called all the kids in for a pow-wow and with tears in my eyes, said, "We have so much work to do and we all need to pitch in to get the house cleaned up. I am feeling so overwhelmed. (a few more tears).

My 6'5" son, threw his arm around my shoulders as we sat on the couch,"Mom, please don't fret and be sad. When  you are sad, we feel guilty and sad, like we've done something wrong. When you're happy, we feel all is right with the world. We can all clean this up pretty quickly--and then it will just get messed up again and then we will clean it up again. But, Mom, lighten up. Be happy and then all will be ok with our world."

And so, my last thoughts on the subject, if you love your children post, practice happiness, put on music, create a joyful environment. What you practice you will become.

"Happy" is not a feeling depending on circumstances, but a choice I make and practice. In my years as a mother, I was often alone, lacked help, resources, had dark areas within the circumstances of my life most years, but I knew that in Christ I could be an overcomer. I determined not to be a victim, but to cultivate in the garden of my soul what I wanted to be, by his grace. I lit candles because I needed beauty to remind me of what I wanted my soul to be. I invested in joy because I wanted to move in the direction of joy.

Joy and mercy and happiness and giving this to others is a commitment of faith saying, "I believe, God, that you are good, and so I will practice the kind of attitudes I am always telling my children that they can choose to have.

But, really, truly,  a happy mother makes everyone feel like they are on top of the world. Children long for a happy mom and parents who love each other in front of them, and a house full of mirth and laughter and grace. It makes them feel secure, hopeful, glad to be a part of the group, and just plain happy.

Thanks, Joel, for all the wisdom you have imparted over my years, :),  and the grace you always give me. I simply can't wait to see you and hug your neck and talk and talk and have fun and watch movies--you know how much fun we will have.


And PS, Joel is a fantastic composer. If you want to give him an early birthday present, you can buy some of his music here, as well as becoming a fan by "liking" his Facebook page, where he's going to start giving updates and news. You can also listen to a short clip of a piano piece below, a traditional carol he is arranging for a new, short Christmas album, coming out soon! (place your curser on Sussex Carol!)

Sussex Carol  by joelclarkson