Turtle Power

Yesterday was a bit of a rough day for me.

I am trying to juggle working at two jobs while working around my hubby’s schedule and also taking care of him as he has been ill a lot lately.

My jobs require hours of standing and walking which has aggravated the pain in the damaged nerve in my foot and the arthritis in my hip. The almost constant physical activity is a heavy drain on my limited energy resources. My house is a mess because I am too tired and in too much pain to clean it.

I am in pain, exhausted and stressed.

And then to top it off, yesterday I had an appointment with a lawyer (at his request) to discuss how to protect my interest in my lawful share of my ex-husband’s pension payments (25 years of supporting him and his career should be worth something). My ex has not been honourable in his dealings with me and this has forced me into seeking legal counsel.

After sitting in the lawyer’s office for an hour, re-hashing information that he has had for some time now, he decides that, in fact, he doesn’t think that he can help me after all – and then he tells me that I owe him $400!!!

I left the office feeling completely drained and defeated and fed up with dealing with people and the wickedness in this world.

I envied the turtle’s ability to pull in it’s head and feet and hide inside it’s protective shell. I felt like I just wanted to withdraw from the world and it’s many problems, curl up into a little ball and hibernate until Jesus comes again.

But the reality is that I can’t do that. Life, and all it’s challenges, won’t come to a standstill just because I am feeling over-whelmed.

Since I am not a turtle and I can’t withdraw into a physical protective shell, I sought out my Heavenly Father and covered myself in a spiritual shell of His grace, love and protection – I crawled into the arms of the One who loves me most. I gave Him my stress, my pain and my fatigue.

And I am feeling “lighter” today.

Thank you Abba.

Psa 59:16 But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my strong tower and hiding-place in the day of my trouble. 

 

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Oh Happy Day (?)

According to the trending news feed on my Facebook page, today is supposed to be “International Day of Happiness”.

Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world.

It is somewhat ironic for me that it falls on a day when I am NOT feeling happy.

My hubby is home sick – AGAIN. He has used up all his sick days and he is now quickly running out of vacation days. I am stressed because our finances are really being stretched at this point. The situation will become worse if my hubby runs out of vacation days and has to start losing paid days. The stress is making me anxious and the anxiety is making me grumpy and definitely UNhappy!

Now I am feeling self-condemnation because, as a Christian, am I not supposed to be “happy” at all times – despite my circumstances?

So I have decided to do a bit of research on the concept of “happiness”.

The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the following simple definitions of “happy” and “happiness”:

: feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.

: a state of well-being and contentment

Well, according to the dictionary, I may have some right to my current state of unhappiness as my “situation” is stressful which is not enabling me to live in a state of “well-being and contentment”.

But is that an accurate “truth”? The fact is that my current situation is stressful, but the whole truth is that, according to the Word of God, because I am a child of God, I should still be living in peace and contentment, regardless of circumstances.

Pro 16:20 … and whoever trusts in Jehovah, happy is he. 

It is interesting to note that the 1828 edition of Webster’s Dictionary includes the following statement as part of the definition of “happy”:

The pleasurable sensations derived from the gratification of sensual appetites render a person temporarily happy; but he only can be esteemed really and permanently happy, who enjoys peace of mind in the favor of God. 

Notice that the first part of the above statement says that happiness derived from gratifying “sensual appetites” (not meaning just sex but anything that pleases all of our five physical senses) only gives temporary happiness. True and permanent happiness comes from knowing God as a faithful, trustworthy, loving, merciful, gracious, compassionate, understanding and forgiving Heavenly Father.

I am a very emotional person and for me, happiness is an emotion based on circumstance rather than on a conscious state of being based on faith. I definitely need to work on that!

Having said that, I do believe that there are times when it is okay to be unhappy. Even the Bible says so!

Ecc 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens: …
Ecc 3:4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

But I am going to try to work harder at feeling, if not “happy” in certain circumstances, then at least feeling more peaceful knowing that God is in control.

And I am going to review my previous post If You’re Happy and You Know It .

Wishing you much happiness on this International Day of Happiness. 🙂