Friday, December 6, 2013

A Cheerful Heart {Peace It All Together}

Good Morning! I am so excited to be guest posting for Girls of God's Heart today. My name is Sybil and I blog about my life, faith, and family at Peace it all Together.
At beginning of February, several other bloggers and I began a challenge. A challenge to find a scripture passage each day based on a particular theme or word. The task for one of the days was to choose your all time favorite. Not only is this verse one of my favorites, but I remember having it highlighted in my Student Bible, years ago.
I shared on my own blog in February about the importance of including laughter in our love relationships. What I want to share with you are some of my thoughts on how to maintain a cheerful heart.
I used to think that if you felt happy, you would act happy. Feelings first, then actions. Recently, I have started to realize that our actions can change our thoughts, which can then alter our feelings. Simply put, if you want to feel cheerful, think and act cheerful. 
While this is not always easy for me, I do find that by intentionally focusing on and aligning my actions with what is good, true, honest, etc., those thoughts begin to change my attitude. So, how do I focus on the positive?

WHO'S THERE? I have found that surrounding myself with cheerful people makes my heart happy. It is much more difficult for me to maintain my own joy when I am around others that are not doing the same.
Being a complainer is part of my genes. So, I can get caught up in a complaint fest just as easy as the next person. Therefore, I must stay away from it. Similar to a compulsive gambler staying out of a casino or an alcoholic avoiding a bar, I must separate myself from those who complain without purpose or desire for change. 

HAVE PRAYER? One of my goals this year has been to spend more time in prayer. Instead of reacting negatively to a problem, worrying and allowing it to create stress in my life, I am attempting to choose prayer. Although I have a long way to go in this area, I have found that on the days that I submit to God in prayer, letting Him lead my actions, thoughts and feelings, I experience greater joy. It doesn't mean that bad things don't happen, it just means that God enables me to maintain a cheerful heart, instead of letting those things take my strength.

BLESSING OR CURSE? One of my two words for 2013 is blessing. I wrote a post earlier this year about looking for blessings in unexpected places. 
Are you able to look at your life and see the blessings, even if they might be hidden? I believe that by focusing on blessings in each situation, our attitude about it will change. Remembering that God's thoughts and plans are bigger and better than my own, has helped me with this.
WHERE'S THE LOVE? Showing love to others is another thing that brings me joy. Over the past year, I have been more intentional about listening to God about who He would have me be friends with and how He wants me to treat them. I have responded to His voice and sent my friends texts, emails, cards, etc. This has sometimes felt awkward, but I have done it anyway. Showing love, is sharing God with others. Helping my friends and family feel loved, can often turn my broken spirit into joy.
Do you desire a cheerful heart? Which of these things do you need to focus on? 
I hope and pray that I have brought you joy by being here today. Thanks for reading!

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