This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NRSV)
When I was in Virginia visiting my Dad recently, I looked through my Mom's desk-- and to my delight, I discovered that she had saved every single one of the Christmas letters she had written through the years. As I read through them, I discovered not only a fascinating synopsis of the year's happenings, but also found many touching quotes, poems and sentiments. Through many of them, her exceptional character shone through...especially in the poem below, quoted in her '92 letter.
“Dare to be Happy”, by Helen Lowrie Marshall
Dare to be happy--don't shy away,
Reach out and capture the joy of Today!
Life is for living! Give it a try;
Open your heart to that sun in the sky.
Dare to be loving, and trusting, and true;
Treasure the hours with those dear to you.
Dare to be kind--it's more fun than you know;
Give joy to others, and watch your own grow.
Dare to admit all your blessings, and then
Every day count them all over again.
Dare to be happy--don't be afraid--
This is the day which the Lord hath made!
This was the way Mom lived her life. She was often smiling or laughing (and oh, how I loved her laugh!)--even when she was facing challenging times. And, she always had a friendly or encouraging word for everyone she met. Through my Mom's example, and this poem, I'm reminded to be thankful for every day that God gives me-- and to make the most of every moment!
Prayer: Creator of this Day, forgive us for those days when we're apathetic and unappreciative of our blessings...especially the blessing of Today, full of opportunities. Please give us the courage we need to seize those opportunities and “dare to be happy”...no matter what challenges we face. And thank you for the dear people you place in our lives to remind us of how to live this way. Amen.