Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Choosing Happily Ever After

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Photo Credit: PeculiarForest

One reason I married my husband was his sense of humor.  It sounds shallow, but I had a three item list of what I was looking for in a husband: 1. Love for God, 2. Desire to serve God, 3. Sense of humor. Somehow I connected a sense of humor and a good laugh with “living happily ever after.”

It’s proved to be true. My husband has a loud, infectious laugh, and one thing that brings joy and happiness to our marriage is lying in bed at night, talking about old times or funny things, and laughing ourselves silly.

After almost 20 years of marriage, living happily ever after can seem elusive as life grows more complicated. We have more responsibilities, health issues, financial concerns, and the desire to adequately equip our teenagers for getting a good start in life. Stress abounds, but paradoxically, I’ve never been happier.

I’m learning that happiness isn’t just about what happens to a person, but it’s something you can cultivate and learn, and it starts with choosing happiness now instead of expecting that a new baby, house, job, pay raise, or retirement will make life better. Happiness starts at home when you realize every day that you can be happy with what you have and where you are now.

Be Grateful

Open your eyes to the beauty of now. Be mindful of small joys in life and savor them as gifts from God.

Smile More

No matter how I feel, the physical act of smiling lifts my spirits. It sounds crazy to smile all by yourself while you’re doing the laundry, but sometimes I do. I smile because it puts me in touch with the fact that that I’m a dearly loved and blessed child of God.  Smiling communicates joy and love to others as well.

Treasure Relationships

Listen and talk to those precious people living right under your nose at home. Encourage them. Treasure them. Go on walks with your husband. Say yes when your daughter asks if you want to play monopoly Call family members and reach out to your friends more often. Studies show that nothing makes us happier than connections.

Spend Time Doing What You Enjoy

I love reading, being outdoors, and creative cooking. When I’m hard-pressed for time, I go for things I can do in fifteen minutes: fifteen minutes with a book before bed, fifteen minutes to walk around the block before I start dinner. A fifteen minute baby step has great paybacks towards helping me avoid a martyr complex and feel like I have time for what I enjoy.

Enjoying What You’re Doing NOW

Years ago when I was bemoaning how I never had time for hobbies and fun, a friend startled me with this question, “Why don’t you just enjoy what you’re doing right now?” Since then my daily prayer is that God would help me to enjoy my work: home schooling, cleaning, and grocery store runs.

I try to be intentional about choosing happily ever after, but some days I whine and complain and my attitude goes down the drain. What do you think? How much of happiness is a choice?

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

4 thoughts on “Choosing Happily Ever After

  1. yes, yes, yes, yes! i love this post! i relate to so much of what you said, and wish i could just sit down with you to chat about it! my dh is so good for me, too, helping me to laugh and not be so very serious. i miss that so much when he travels!

    of all the quotes hanging in my kitchen, one is from Abraham Lincoln, and it says, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” another is from Mary Engelbreit: “To be happy, don’t do whatever you like; like whatever you do!”

    i do agree that happiness is mostly a decision. 🙂 and i need all the reminders i can get to keep making the choice to be happy ever after…

  2. Wow, those are GREAT quotes, Barbara. I wish I could sit down and talk to you about it too! In fact I think your comment could be written up into a great post. You have a lot of good things to say.

  3. I so agree! I tell my teenage son all the time that having fun is a mindset and decision. You put in your mind you will not have a good time and you won’t. You think about what you can do to make a situation more enjoyable, and it will be! It’s all attitude.
    I enjoy all your posts, Betsy, but I especially love your writing about laughing together with your husband. I think it’s wonderful that you value his sense of humor. I believe laughing together strengthens the marriage bond (or any bond really) because you associate those feel-good moments with the person you share them with. When the other person thinks of you, he experiences the positive emotions he feels when he is with you. It sounds like you have a happy and strong marriage, which is very uplifting to read about.

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