In Target a few weeks ago, a book called "Happiness Project" caught my eye. I did not buy it and I have not read it. I've just read the cover which would obviously not be enough information for a good critique. But what I gathered from the cover was this author spent a year doing things like singing in the morning, reading Aristotle, cleaning closets, and having more fun in order to being happy.
If I have some time, I may read it out of curiosity. I'm sure I'd learn something from it.
But the thing is that I've tried some of these things, and what I've found is that in the effort to "be happy" comes more work and more opportunity for disappointment. I have, at times, been inspired to plant more flowers, which results in half of them dying. You see, more flowers equals more work and I already don't have the time to maintain what I do have so why would I be able to handle one more bed of flowers?
On the other hand, the ones that do manage to live I enjoy thoroughly.
How about having more fun? If I make it a goal to have more fun, it becomes work for me. Then it really isn't fun and if I do not have more fun after making the goal to have more fun, I am very frustrated.
..............And don't even get me started on cleaning.
I don't know if this is realistic to everyone or if it's just because I am a discouraged perfectionist. My conclusion is that working at being happy does not make me happy. And although one of my biggest pet peeves is when a christian takes a popular secular item and makes a more "spiritual" version, I am pleading not guilty since I'm not selling anything. I'm just a mom writing down what my thoughts were in Target.
For over a year now, I have had my own "Faith Project" (which I started before learning about this book by the way). And only now do I feel as though my heart is ready for phase one, which is: forgetting what I see or feel and to make God's promises which are in His word a reality. This also includes refraining from manipulating my circumstances but simply listening to what God tells me through my spirit and doing it.
I can't tell you a whole lot about this now since I've only begun. I'm only depending on the promise that God is truth whether I see my prayers answered physically or not. So no big wonderful testimony yet. Except that if one were to look at my current circumstances they may not see anything to praise God for, but that is what I have in my heart. Anticipation, joy, peace, more love, more grace, more confidence, and....more happiness. Not to say fear does not try to creep in. But God's word says, "I do not have the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind." So I repeat it often. Praise God.