Monday, February 23, 2015

If You're Happy and You Know It

Fake it til you make it.  Put on a happy face.  This too shall pass.  All of these are common sayings we hear when things are not going our way.  And while they can seem a bit trite in the moment, there is some truth behind believing in these words.

I'd like to add another saying to this list.  And while I can't claim it as my own, I can tell you that we have adopted it as our own and that it has put many a smile on my family's faces.   And we just heard it yesterday.

If you're happy and you know it, tell your face.

At church yesterday, Pastor Furtick asked us to look at the emoticons he had displayed behind him on the stage, and to pick the one that most accurately described our spouse.  I turned to Justin and said, "I don't even want to know."  And sure enough, he picked the mad and frustrated face.  He did add that lately he would choose that face, implying that I don't always look mad and frustrated, just lately. But I would actually prefer to never look mad and frustrated.  So in my journal, I drew a picture of what I would like my face to look like.

I believe that images are powerful things.  Maybe because I am such a visual learner, or maybe because our world is just so filled with images with the inundation of screens and media.  I do know that when I look at something pretty or happy, it can lift my mood dramatically.

Yesterday I had a perfect opportunity to exercise this newfound expression, coined by Pastor Furtick, when I had to tell my face to be happy after a very frustrating experience.  I was exhausted after a long weekend, my big boys were arguing with me about practicing the piano, my little boy sat in mud in his church clothes, and it was raining.  Again.  Justin called and I said to him on the phone, "I just want to run away."  Luckily, I muttered these words behind the closed door of our laundry room.  Then I flung the door open, and told my face to be happy.  We turned on Happy by Pharrell Williams, and watched Camden dance all our cares away.  I put dinner together (thank goodness for crock pot meals), and I faked it til I made it.  I remembered this too shall pass.  I looked on my boys with hearts in my eyes and a smile on my face.

Proverbs 15:13 says "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance."  I didn't feel too cheerful at the beginning of the night, but I am a pretty good pretender.  And once I had pretended for long enough, my heart caught up, and I felt cheerful.  Pastor Furtick said, "The world's definition of joy is what flows to you, but God's definition of joy is what flows from you."  And sometimes we have to "give the thing that we need to get the thing that we want."  Well, last night, all I wanted was some peace and harmony.  And I set the tone for that to happen.  Simply by telling my face to smile.

I am sure many of you have had nights like these.  And I know I'll have more.  Last night could have ended in tears and frustration, but the message I heard Sunday morning turned the evening around.  I know that each time I squash the gut instinct to kick and scream and want to run away with a cheerful countenance, I smooth the road for the next time trials come my way.  I also know that each time I look upon my boys with hearts in my eyes and a smile on my face, they see me as a mommy they can look up to, trust, and come to.  And that is one of my most important jobs in this life.  To be a mommy who is available to them, who has a happy heart open for them at all times.

I'm still learning.  And it's still hard to smile sometimes.  To put on a happy face when all I want to do is run away.  But it's getting easier.  And life is good.  God is good.

I used packing tape to secure my happy face on to the front of my journal, as a reminder to my face to reflect my heart.

Here is a link to Pastor Furtick's sermon, Cheer Up Check Up.

1 comment:

  1. oh wow, this is so encouraging as a mom too! i love listening to Pastor Steven Furtick, was looking through Holly's blog when i came across the likn to your blog, thanks for sharing. time i wore a happy face too back Home. God bless you dear