Truly, I have an obsession with Cracker Barrel. It's our favorite family style restaurant, but the best part is finding all the cute little gifts in the nooks and crannies of this charming country store. I walk around, looking for that little treasure, inspiring quote or yummy scented candle. Recently, I found this precious wall art quote: 6 Simple Rules For Happiness. The words spoke to my heart and made me remember how blessed life is and happiness is simply around us. If we just take a look.
1. Free Your Heart From Hatred
Although we may not understand why bad things happen in this world, we must restrain our heart from becoming bitter. Hate is a deep root that slowly becomes like a slow drip. Before we know it, our heart can be drowning in it. It's easier to hate those who hurt us, but it's bigger for us to love. Choose love.
2. Set Your Mind Free of Worries
Pray. Release. Repeat. Bring your cares to God. Lay down your burdens. If He carried the weight of the world, then I know He'll carry you. It's so much easier to trust God with everything, so choose to set your mind free of worry and doubt. I take time to read a book and sip on my favorite hot beverage. Quiet prayer time in the morning or through out the day is important to help free yourself from worry. It's the little things that help us remember to trust God with all of our hearts . . . daily.
3. Live Simply
We can learn so much from our children when it comes to living simply. Children breeze through their day with no cares of the future, because they know their parents are taking care of them. Our Father God is taking care of everything in our lives. Sometimes, we can't see it because we have too much chaos in the midst. Clear the clutter in our hearts. Living big is living simple. We serve a BIG God and all he wants from us is our hearts.
4. Give More
The world says take, but God says give. Give and it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom (Luke 6:38). During this season, as a family we like to give and bless whom the Lord directs us. Hadara had so much fun shopping for the Christmas Child shoe box and packing it full of gifts! It's been said that we can't out give God. His heart is immense. If only we can learn to give out loud like Him? It just takes a little bit. We CAN give the gifts of time, treasure and talent to bless others every day.
5. Expect Less
Less is more. Living simply brings more peace and joy to our lives. Right now, the Lord is teaching me how be giving without expecting anything back in return. That can be hard. We are so wired to have a "take" mentality versus a "give" mentality. With Jesus as my example, I'm learning to open my heart and share the LOVE.
6. Always Forgive Others
Men will disappoint us but God never will. Yet, how many times have we disappointed God?
Too many to count. During a homeschool lesson on forgiveness, Hadara drew this precious picture of Jesus above which I shared on Instagram. We talked about how it's hard to forgive and why it's important to forgive. Unforgiveness separates us from God. It destroys our relationship with Jesus and others. I think the tears that Hadara drew flowing from Jesus' eyes, describe forgiveness beautifully. Sometimes in order for us to be happy, we must shed some tears. When we fall on our face before Jesus and seek His forgiveness, tears fall like rain. Blessings come through many tear drops. Jesus was and is our greatest blessing of all!
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30: 5
Even when it's painful, choose to forgive. When we are offended or persecuted choose to forgive. When the tears keep flowing, choose to forgive. When you believe you are right, choose to forgive. Choose to forgive and be right in God's sight.
Happiness is a decision. We must decide to free our hearts from hate, worry, learn to live simply, give more, expect less and always choose to forgive. These are simple truths we can use to live out a blessed and happy life! What are some rules of happiness you live by?
Blessings and Shalom,
Labels: Encouragement, Women in the Word