Monday, March 21, 2011

A Cheerful Heart

 Written on December 17, 2007

            "I could be happy only if ...".
            We posted this question in our Bible study last Saturday. Most of the attendees were not Christians and most of them said they would be happy and content just to be with their family.  What can really make us happy? Proverbs 15:13 says 'A Happy heart makes the face cheerful'.   We can smile yet not be happy inside.  But when our heart smiles, I call it joy and from it comes an inner glow, a cheerful face.
           Based on Wayne Cordeiro's Dead Running Leaders, we, in our DGroup, were asked to think of the things that fill and drain our tank.  The moment we feel anxiety and stress, our tanks are draining faster than we are filling them.  The trick is to do things that replenish our tank.  These things make us happy and will help us identify warning signals of burnout.
 These are the things that drain my tank:
1.  Fights or arguments especially with my hubby
2.  Scolding my kids, seeing them cry, losing patience over petty things
3.  Being misunderstood
4.  Sin
5.  Trials
6.  Sickness in the family

 These are the things that make me happy.  These are the things that fill my tank:
(in no particular order)
1. I am recharged whenever I am able to wake up early for my quiet time with the Lord.   One of my goals this coming 2008 is to be consistent in this aspect. I want to be able to read the entire bible next year.  This I failed to do this year. 
2. I am happy whenever I spend quantity and quality time with my family. Long talks and long walks with my hubby (time alone with him), story time and play time with our kids, pillow fights and tickle time
3. I am excited to wake up every Sunday to hear God's message from our pastors and I am doubly blessed to hear God's word through Pastor Peter who speaks with so much authority and humility.  Every after the 8 am service, I love to see the delight in my children's eyes whenever we visit Toy Kingdom and Powerbooks.
4.  Our DGroup fellowship every Tuesday
5.  Sharing God's word through our couples Bible study…to see couples working hard to improve and save their marriage, to see them opening up their lives to our group and seeing them grow in the knowledge of our Lord.  I praise God for bringing new people every Saturday...making our number grow.
6.  Playing table tennis and hopefully, tennis again.
7.  Fellowship with old friends
8.  Words of encouragement
9.  Watching 24 and Prison Break
10. Watching a movie with my hubby.  I miss doing this.  We used to watch a movie at least once a week but now that we have kids, we would call ourselves "lucky" to watch 4 movies in a year.
11. Out of town trips especially to places I have never been
12. Christmas and New Year celebration, birthdays, dining out with family and friends
13. A Scrabble game
14. Digital scrap booking
15. Reading books, inspirational articles
16. M&Ms, Fried chicken, Tagalog Batchoy, pizza and Rocky Road ice cream
17. Friendster, My Multiply and blogging, letters and emails from friends, 24/7 DSL connection, just browsing the net
18.  Listening to my babies talk and seeing them play with each other - praying that they will be best friends and that they both will serve the Lord in the ministry
19.  Overcoming trials
20. Listening to Christian Music.
21. Writing
22. Staying up late with Alvin just talking about our dreams and plans for the future, reminiscing about the past
            I give my Lord my utmost thanks for the people and things that fill my tank.  For some, the list may be mundane but it is only because like Paul, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am" (Phil 4:11). I have learned to be thankful in everything and anything.  Discontent is a big factor that can drain anyone's tank and it keeps us from enjoying God's blessings completely. We can never stop our tank from draining but it is up to us to fill them up. We may suffer one trial after another but let us not forget that we have a God who is mindful of us.  Hebrews 13:5 says (and I'll quote the Tagalog translation which fully captures my sentiments), "Sapagkat Siya rin ang nagsabi, sa anumang paraan ay hindi kita pagkukulangin at anumang paraan ni hindi kita pababayaan".  That promise, for me, is enough to bring me joy and fill my tank.

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