Tender mercies . . . I have seen a lot of these in my life recently. Whether it has been in a book I have read, and Ensign article, or something someone has said, I have had the answer, reassurance or comfort I needed when I needed it.
Recently, I attended the funeral of a family friend. The feeling at the funeral was a mix of sadness and . . . I wouldn't say joy, because I don't think anyone feels joy at the death of a loved one, but there was something of relief because he had been fighting ALS for the last three years and was deteriorating rapidly. There were wonderful things said about him but the thing that really hit me was something that his wife said during her remarks. She was talking about their early life together and how difficult it was for her with young children at home. She spoke about feeling restless and agitated with her life, thinking that this was not the direction that she envisioned for her life. Then she talked about how she woke up one morning and made a conscious choice to choose joy. Those words really stood out to me, "CHOOSE JOY". I can sit aaround waiting for the stars to align and everything to work out like a Disney movie, or I can look at the life I have (which is pretty dang good when I sit down and think about it) and find the joy already there.
I have been making an effort to "choose joy" lately and it really has made a difference. I feel happier, more able to tackle the difficulties that inevitably come, and I feel like my relationship with my kids and husband is going so much more smoothly. I am making a cute crafty sign for my bathroom to remind me every day that joy is a choice and one I am going to make!