choosing to be happy

Remember how I mentioned that May was an incredibly busy month for us??  And how it was exciting to welcome June, since it would be a little slower??  Wrong.  The last week has proved to be anything but slower.  Busy, crazy, fast, exhausting... but oh so wonderful.  On top of being busy, I have put together a blog schedule to help me focus on the content I write about.  Last Sunday I missed the mark, and decided to take a week off in order to be on top of things, instead of feeling behind.  And here it is, 10:30 pm on Sunday evening and I had to force myself to even think about blogging.  But, today was wonderful.  What a better way to end the day than reflecting on the lessons I learned and thinking about what I can do better?

At church we discussed the gift of agency.  Agency has always been a difficult topic for me because people have a tendency to put their choices off on others.  Essentially when bad things happen, they want to blame others for those things.  I have seen people become victims of their choices because it is too difficult to own up to poor decisions.  

I've always had a long-term mindset, which has caused problems in my day-to-day choices.  It is easy to become discouraged when you think of all your "failures" during the day or week and how is it possible for those many, many failures to add up to anything successful?  Choices become hard because it almost seems pointless.  But, the great and wonderful thing about believing in a merciful God, is that we always have a second chance.  As a mother, I have learned to focus on the small successes in a day.  It is important to take control of our choices and consciously think of the affect those choices can have.  The small, positive choices that we make each hour can add up to a lifetime of good. 

Elder Robert D. Hales, in his talk "To Act for Ourselves" said:
"After you are on the path and are 'free to choose' again, choose to reject feelings of shame for sins you have already repented of, refuse to be discouraged about the past, and rejoice in hope for the future.  Remember, it is Satan who desires that we be 'miserable like until himself.'  Let your desires be stronger than his.  Be happy and confident about your life and about the opportunities and blessings that await you here and throughout eternity."

I'll be the first to admit how difficult this is... to turn away from discouragement, let go of bitterness, and push away pain.  But, I also know what it feels like to have pure happiness and peace fill my life.  It is worth the work.  We should each choose to be happy, especially as we become confused and frustrated in this troubling world.

Happy Sunday!

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