by Linda Vapreszan
Pastor’s Wife
Belleville, MI

My husband preached recently on choices and how many choices we make in a day. Think about it, you choose to get out of bed or be lazy. You choose to eat breakfast or not. You choose hundreds of little things a day. Therefore, you have the choice to be happy or grumpy!!

Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

Knowing that choosing Happiness was my topic this week, it seemed like God kept putting little phrases in front of me to remind me of happiness. The scripture that I chose above, my daughter-in-law Jennifer wrote a chorus to which I taught to our summer Kids Club.

A little “Pollyanna” thinking does help with this matter of happiness. If you ever saw the movie she was always finding things to be GLAD about. There is always something to rejoice about during a hard time. It may not seem like it at the moment, but when you reflect on the situation you can see God’s hand in everything.

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“Decorating Your Home Creatively and Inexpensively” by Frieda Cowling (Click on the image for more information.)

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” We just have to be “happy” talkers. A lady I once knew was a master at pulling a rejoicing matter out during a hard time and then talking about it for a week. She chose to be happy.

True story: Yesterday a pastors wife friend of mine in Florida who has about five or six small children posted that they were in a wreck and her van was totaled so they were going to have to get a new one. Someone asked her what happened and she said this lady turned right into them on the passenger side and destroyed their van. She said after making sure everybody was OK her husband got out of the van and asked the lady who hit them were they in her blind spot and she said oh no my GPS just told me to turn left. She said after we got over the shock and knew everybody was OK then we started laughing. They chose to be happy and showed their children that they could laugh at a bad situation.

Try to think and talk about anything good that is going on amidst a trial. Possibly an embarrassing moment will bring you laughter. Laughing at myself helps me alleviate the bad, “woe-is-me” thoughts. The older I get the more “dumb” things I do!!! Preacher and I find ourselves laughing at the most unusual things that would probably upset many others.

This past Spring I was preparing for a Mother/Daughter banquet I was speaking at and due to the topic it was making me sad and I was having a hard time. My granddaughter, Micaela Reddick, took me to an eye doctor appointment since I could not drive due to drops in my eyes. Afterwards she went with me to pick out new glasses. In the process I misplaced my old glasses. So we went through each rack seeing if we could find my glasses. Of course we were looking for the pair without a price tag. In my hand, hanging on my fingers were three pair we had chosen that I was deciding between. When I looked at my hand I realized one of the pairs of glasses we were dating over was my own pair!!! We chose to stand there and laugh and it made me realize I can be happy no matter what the situation.

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“Pause” Devotional by Sharon Rabon (Click on the image for more information.)

***It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy. Have you ever noticed when you are thankful for something whether good or bad, you are happier? We need to teach our children to be happy when things don’t go their way.

My mother always taught me that when I was feeling sorry for myself or unhappy then to get busy and do something for others. She encouraged my brother, sister and I to always look on the positive side and try to be encouraging to others.

When our daughter-in-law Jennifer died, right before Christmas a year ago, that was a difficult time for our family. But we decided to go ahead and enjoy our Christmas celebration with our grandchildren that lived in the area. We spent much of the evening reminiscing about Aunt Jennifer and the many funny things she did or would say when we were all together. We made it a happy time for the family in spite of our sorrow.

***Happiness keeps you sweet. Trials keep you strong. Sorrow keeps you human. Failures keep you humble. Success keeps you glowing. But only God keeps you going.

Everyone loves a happy person. Many like to commiserate with those in sorrow. But the person who can put each of those in its own place is a happy person

The following was given to me by our missionary Heather Kokubun whose husband died a tragic death nearly two years ago. She is a person whom I admire for keeping her joy and happiness through her sorrow and rising above it and being grateful for the joy she enjoys today.

***Happiness can help in the work place. I have been blessed to be my husband’s secretary and office manager for 40 out of the 45 years in the ministry. Our office is a happy place. Our staff meetings contain lots of laughter. Yes, there are difficult days and yes there are tough times, but we choose to try to make it a happy place.

Our goal as women, mothers, grandmothers, teachers, etc., is to choose to be Happy. Anyone can be sorrowful or always discouraged. It takes work to choose to be happy but it can be done with God’s help you can be a happy person.