Life is a joy, a challenge, unbearable at times, a blessing, and down right miserable during some seasons! Let’s be honest here, we all have crosses to bear. Many people walk around happy but we can’t assume there life is perfect. Chances are they are hurting too. We need family, friends and sometimes a complete stranger in our daily lives to help us through our good and bad days.
I feel at peace (happy) almost instantaneously when I am alone praying and pouring my little heart out to God. The instant calm and stillness in my body is palpable. I truly can feel God’s presence filling me up, calming me, and focusing me on HIM. And then…….”MOM” comes echoing from a downstairs bedroom. Immediately I’m swept away from that blissful happy place into a “crisis” from one of my teenagers! You know the crisis, “Where’s my phone?” Or “Can bring me my backpack?” Or “My math homework stinks”. We all know that at times life gives us trouble so why would we make decisions that undermine our own happiness?
Today my Thursday group watched the fifth chapter in What Makes you Happy by Andy Stanley http://happyseries.org/shoes Andy does an amazing job at explaining the difference between pleasure and happiness. He begins with John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Then he asks “Who (the thief) in your life has the most potential to take something from you that you want?” “Who in your life can destroy relationships or good decision making especially as it relates to your future?” Guess what the answer is? YOU are the thief in your life! You are you own worst enemy. He says the reason we undermine our own happiness is because “you bought it, you leased it, you ate it, you drank it, you smoked it, you dated it, you slept with it and some of you married it” YIKES this is powerful isn’t it? We are the common denominator and can’t blame others.
He goes on to show that when you put pleasure ahead of happiness that eventually you will be left with neither. And that eventually pleasure loses it pleasure and is a prison, an addiction, or a bad habit. Happiness leads to pleasure but if you choose pleasure over happiness you will have neither.
And finally Stanley explains when we say yes to God it paves the way to peace with God, ourselves and others. Using John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” he parallels that when we decide to follow Jesus as our good shepherd we will have peace which is happiness.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep — John 10: 7-11
Raw Coconut Porridge
I LOVE fresh coconut! Do NOT throw away the coconut water in your coconut! It is so hydrating and great during workouts!
2 cups young coconut meat
1 cup walnuts, soaked and dehydrated (sometimes I don’t dehydrate)
1 t cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6 dates, soaked and pitted (Sometimes I don’t soak)
Seasonal fruits for topping
Process all the ingredients except the fruit in a food processor until chunky. Top with fruit if using.