My life began as a drama: I was born by an abdominal delivery as a 5th child. My mother was so weak that she did not survive the consequences of my birth. My father was left alone with his 5 children. In addition, it turned out that my one year older sister was mentally severely handicapped.
My father developed a chronic manic depression.
I spent the first months in the hospital, where I was only taken out of bed to be fed. The consequences: A severe pneumonia and a huge abscess on my bottom. I was close to death. What went on inside of my little soul, only God knows.
Looking at it psychologically I seemed ruined and the hope of a happy life was very low.
But through all these experiences I have – thank God! – Discovered a different kind of happiness: The independent happiness.
Yes, we all know where this happiness comes from.
Nehemiah 8, 10 And do not be troubled; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
But recently my 14 year old daughter said to me: “Mom, I know that the answer is always Jesus! But tell me something new – something practical that I can actually use “!
I want to give you 5 practical tips today that have made my life a unbelievably happy life – surrounded by many problems:
1. The measure of all things
Which center circle is bigger – the right or the left?
Answer: Both are the same size. The rights appears smaller because it is situated between the circles!
Last winter I was in the Alps at the top of a mountain. I strapped my skis to my feet.
The sky was wearing its sky blue dress and the sun as a Medallion of white gold on its chest. But its real attention was with the mountains! They were his playground. With the wind the sky dusted this infinite beauty with icing sugar.
And me? I was a tiny ant.
Large, small, stupid, smart, thick, thin, heavy, light – that’s all relative! Namely, relative to where you turn it measures.
For me Jesus is the measure of all things. He decides whether I’m good or bad. Whether I’m doing my job good or bad. He decides whether a problem is big or small.
And whenever I’m stressing out about my problems, I measure it in Jesus. Whoops – compared to him all problems are tiny.
Consequence: moments of joy!
Job 42: 1 Then Job answered the Lord and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and nothing you made , can be too difficult for you.
And how can I find happiness in my everyday life?
2. Rice and apples
Your day is like a glass bowl. Inside fit just 24 hours. If you’re not careful, all the hours are filled with tasks and chores.
Plenty of rice grains that trickle into the bowl uncontrollably.
You feel like you’re pushing a huge load of work in front of you and at the end of the day it hasn’t become any smaller. You are stressed because so many things that are important to you, just do not fit in. For example, time for prayer.
You have to change something.
Think about it together with Jesus, what are your 3-5 most important priorities in your life. These are your apples.
Now you FIRST plan all of your main priorities for the week.
I plan appointments with God – they always have a spot in my weekly schedule.
I then schedule appointments with my husband Tom, and with my children.
Then I schedule my work.
I think about it every morning during my quiet time: What are the three most important things today? For those I will definitely take time.
It’s like putting the apples into the bowl FIRST. Everything else can “fall back down” accept for the most important things.
And now something interesting happens: If the apples are in the glass, the rice can simply fall in between and fill the gaps.
Watch and see – tatatataaaa: I can fit much more in my day thenI think and in the end I’m very happy because I took time for the all important things in my life.
Ephesians 5: 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
And there is also room for your daily problems.
3. Fitness instead of burden
During the past few weeks I had problems in my extended family. There were conflicts. Serious conflicts.
Now I have two ways to deal with these conflicts:
Possibility A: I see it as a heavy burden on my back that I need to get rid of.
Now there are two ingenious ways: I am not to blame for the problem! My husband is to blame. It is obvious. I talk to him and tell him to take care of it, or else he will have a
Or I’m guilty. I work even harder, to finally solve all the problems. I grind my thoughts inside of my head like between two millstones. At some point I must have yet solved all the problems!
Conclusion: Someones going to die.
Either my husband or me.
Option b: I see the problem as a fitness program.
Heavy weights become easier if you regularly train. Every day a couple of exercises. But not for long. Just so that I sweat a little. Then I let the problem go again.
And also one of the most effective workouts: Prayer!
You underestimate the power of YOUR prayers. You are a spiritual policeman. You have he power to fight the evil and send it to prison. Just do it.
When a problem is solved, I look for the next thing that I can train. So you stay perfectly fit.
James 1: 2 Dear brothers and sisters! Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And after the training?
4. The lucky box
As a teenager I had a lucky box. There I collected notes with things I enjoyed doing.
Eating waffles with hot cherries and whipped cream.
Going to a café.
Having breakfast beneath blossoming trees .
Salmon and champagne breakfast.
In my break time (a planned apple time!) I draw one of the notes and spend hapy time with Jesus (family or friends are of course also welcome).
Insight: Jesus loves waffles with hot cherries and whipped cream!
Ecclesiastes 3, 12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor– it is the gift of God.…