Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Families.

It's Super Bowl Sunday. This day last year I was with my family, dressed in blue, and cheering on our boys in Miami for the second time. This year, I'll be babysitting during the game I have zero interest or investment in. If I had to pick I guess I'd rather the Packers win but really only as the lesser of two evils in my mind.

This entry is not about football so let's get back on track...

This entry is about family. I was reading an article the other day about the 5 Habits of Happy Families and I decided to give my family a little quiz...

Give Thanks - No Matter What was #1 on the list. As I think back on this I'm not sure we always do the best job of thanking each other for what we do but my family has always made thanking the Lord a priority. I credit my Dad with his as he's in the habit of saying, 'no one's life is more blessed than mine'. He's constantly calling a timeout to thank God in prayer with our whole family. We did it the morning after we won the Super Bowl against the Chicago Bears and we did it again the morning after we lost to the New Orleans Saints. Thanking the one who deserves the credit for all good things earns my family an A+ for this one - so thanks Dad.

Seeking Out Satisfaction in your Choices - this one confused me a bit but as I read on I think I catch the overall idea behind this. Contentment. Not questions your decisions and being able to be content with what you decide and the results of that decision. Another life lesson I learned from my parents was living simple. As I've grown up and become more observant I appreciate more than ever that my parents raised me to be content and now to pursue an extravagant lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, I have been blessed. But I've learned the value of hard work and earning what you want in life, no expecting that it will be given to you. As I watch friends of mine who were raised differently struggle now that we're on our own I remain grateful for my upbringing.

Lose Yourself in the Moment - the article is quick to say not EVERY moment but the ones that matter. Be present. Be wholly in the joy of the important moments. I think we've got this one down as well. My family loves to be together. I think of our vacation every summer when we spend all day on the beach, chow down on an amazing dinner, and A. play games or B. do bible study or C. share what God's been doing in our lives. Sure, we return a few too many text messages or take calls when we're together sometimes - but I think overall we're on the right track.

Spread Out the Joy - Well, this ones easy. Now that we Christensen girls are all spread out in distance we have no choice but to spread out the joy our family shares. So this one was done for us, does that still count?

Focus on Your Circle - I want to share a quote from the article before I touch on this one:

In an economic time when so many are struggling to get by, it's easy to fantasize that a little more wealth or success is the key to greater joy. So perhaps there is no better time for this reminder: All the studies on the subject show that the key and consistent element in the lives of very happy people is close personal relationships. Period.

I think those are wise words though I would add that a relationship with the Lord is the key in life. The past year brought it's share of challenges for each member of my family. I felt like more than ever, we drew together and conquered each of them with prayer, love, and togetherness. I was really proud of my family as we weathered some storms this year. God has been so faithful to us and what a blessing that each of my family members has a love for and a relationship with the Savior.


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