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As I reflect back on this past year and the areas of my life that I have tried to improve, one area in particular is at the forefront of my mind this season.
The past several years, I feel like I have been walking around in a fog... finding JOY in life's moments, but not truly feeling cheerful in my heart. The cheerful example of a fellow widow caused me to reflect on my own life and the countenance I was portraying to others. I felt like my countenance had to show the world the sorrow and loneliness that I feel inside... but living this way has not been right. Being sad is not our purpose here; our purpose is to have JOY.
One of my all time favorite scriptures is in John 16:33. The Savior said: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
It wasn't until this year that I interpreted that scripture as more than just friendly advice. Jesus tells us to 'be of good cheer'.
I have been trying my best to do just that... to 'be of good cheer' and feel the peace that we are promised even in our tribulations. As it says in Proverbs 17:22: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine..."
I love this. Feeling merry does make me feel better in so many aspects of my life. I have always felt like our heart is central not only to our physical make up, but also central to our emotional and spiritual make up as well. When I feel true sorrow, I literally feel physical pain in my heart. When I feel true JOY, I feel my heart swell and it feels like my heart is dancing. Aaron Jr brings that kind of JOY to my life.
It is in the heart where we feel JOY, sorrow, courage, regret, pride, humility, purity, LOVE, empathy, understanding, gratitude, etc. Our hearts are where our true desires are and I believe our heart is what connects us to God, our Father.
I have learned that what I am feeling in my heart is what drives me. The state of our heart will determine the path we will walk and the countenance we will portray. When we allow Christ into our heart, we allow Him to guide us and we let His light shine through us. It is because of Christ that I have a merrier heart and my countenance is brighter and full of good cheer.
"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance..." (Proverbs 15:13)
"Rejoice ... and let thy heart cheer thee ... and walk in the ways of thine heart ..." (Ecclesiastes 11:9)
We are so blessed. I am striving to have a merry heart and to be of good cheer even in my tribulations and to let the light of Christ, our Savior, shine through me.
Jesus Christ is the light and life of the world... He is our Savior. He is our Hero.
We celebrate the gift of His birth and the gift of His life. We love Him so.
~ have a Merry Christmas with a Merry Heart ~
Love always, Leslie * Aaron Jr.
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