7 Research-Based Ways to Increase Your Joy by Dr. Greg Popcak. “People have a lot of ideas about what it takes to be happy, but these research-based ideas reveal the truth about how we were made to live. As our Christian tradition teaches, happiness doesn’t come merely from the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of conflict. It comes from pursuing a meaningful, intimate, and virtuous life that identified by a generous spirit, and open mind, and a grateful heart.” Dr. Greg is so right!
I think in our culture people think happiness = doing whatever you want. I have not found this to be true. I have experienced the deepest most abiding joy in my life in my mothering, which comes with many duties, sleepless nights, doubts, and fears. Joy, to me, comes from knowing I’m right where I need to be this particular day. Even during struggles, illness, and other stresses that life will bring our way, if I am firm in my resolve to follow Christ and to ascent to his call on my life in whatever circumstance I am in, I will have an inexplicable joy and peace.
Do Your Kids Have Selective Hearing? From Parenting Beyond Punishment: “Do you ever feel like your questions and requests are ignored? You ask your kids if they have homework or to put their shoes away and you get no response. But you’re certain they can hear you because as soon as you even whisper ‘ice cream’ everyone looks up and says, ‘yes’! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!”
Pope Francis: “Where there is no mercy, there is no justice.” In his Monday homily, the Pope noted the hypocrisy of those (even within the Church) “who judge and condemn others . . . With such rigidity one cannot breathe”. The Pope remarked that when we are sorry for our sins, there are those who want to condemn us rather than allow us to have hope. Never punish penitent sinners for the very sins you conceal within yourselves, he says. This applies to the parent-child relationship just as it applies to every human relationship. When our children make a mistake because they lack patience, kindness, or maturity, let’s remember that we too at times lack these same virtues.
I would add to the Pope’s comment that where there is not justice, there is no mercy. Justice without mercy leads to tyranny, but mercy without justice leads to chaos. For children, this chaos is emotional and developmental. Mercy doesn’t require that we overlook our child’s errors, but that we understand situations from our child’s perspective, that we guide them in finding ways to handle similar situations better in the future.
An Angel and a Maiden by Sarah Reinhard. On the Feast of the Annunciation, a mother recognizes that she often says yes too quickly without discerning whether it’s God’s voice she hears calling or her own voice. I can relate! “It is no accident that I tend to approach saying Yes in one of two over-the-top ways: I say Yes without thinking and discerning, thus putting myself in a position to back out later or I don’t say Yes because I’m quite sure I can’t do it.”
A Strong Marriage
Premarital Sex Decreases Marital Satisfaction. Dr. Greg comments on a recent study that found that “couples who partook in hooking up, premarital cohabitation, or even engaging in multiple sexual encounters with different people over the course of their lives would have a less likely chance of remaining in a happy marriage – if they even got married at all.”