You are too happy.

IMG_7721I’ve been told a few times in my life that I was too happy. Too positive. Maybe they thought I was naive too.

I have disappointments and frustrations. Sometimes I get mad too. Not everything goes the way I wish it would. Life hands us a bad deal some days, some months, some years. Sickness, hurt, pain, layoffs, tragedies and injustice come into our lives or for those we love. I am not naive nor do I ignore the not so pleasant things in life.

So what do I do on the days when I am upset, sad, mad, disappointed, or hurt?

We are called to count it all joy. I choose joy. I think about the great moments and blessings in my life – my family, friends, good health, a home, cars that take us places, the community we live in, our church, our income from a few sources that supports our everyday living and goals and also allows us to help and serve others. I am thankful these past few months post-layoff for the extra time with my family and friends. I have more time to explore a few creative projects. I am thankful our family learned how to budget years ago and we are simply applying that knowledge with more intention during this transition. I am deeply grateful. That perspective changes everything for me.

When I am flustered that traffic is slow, when I wait too long on a customer service call, when a flight is late, when it’s raining on a day I wanted to be outdoors, when best laid plans are changed by external factors… I think on what God has provided for me and for my family and friends. I celebrate with those who are experiencing blessings. I give and serve others with my time and words. I choose not to take these things for granted. Overall, the truth is, my life is better than OK. It’s pretty awesome.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4