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Choosing joy is an essential part of growing a healthy family, and an attitude of gratitude is vital in the cultivation of marriage. But it wasn’t until recent years that I realized just how important our happiness is to my husband and why. He delights in the joy of his family because he sees our gratitude as a reflection of his gift to us. If we’re on vacation and everyone is having a great time, as our provider, he gains a sense of accomplishment. If we’re at the beach and the kids are laughing and splashing away in the water I can tell that my husband is exactly where he wants to be. One look at his smile confirms I am right.

I also know that he loves watching our children open birthday and Christmas gifts, just to see the excitement rise in their face. He delights in their joy.

There’s a saying that goes, “When momma is happy, everyone is happy.” I’ve found that to be true in my own home as my mood sets the tempo in our house.

I love the sounds of a happy home: music playing sewing machine humming, treadmill tapping, clocks ticking, pages turning, noses sniffling, dishes clattering in a sink of soapy water, the gentle pitter patter of slippered feet… Few things in this life are orchestrated as beautifully as the concerto of family life. And we as mothers hold the power to direct the rhythm it holds.

Grade 10 was my favorite school year by far. It was the first year I had my own locker—a corner of the world carved out just for me. Two things hung on the door of that locker (three if you’re counting Scott Baio!).

The first was a verse taken from the Living translation of the Bible:

When a man is gloomy, everything seems to go wrong; when he is cheerful, everything seems right! ~ Proverbs 15:15, Living Bible

The second was a poem I had scribbled onto a sheet of loose-leaf paper that was a constant reminder that being joyful came easier to those who set their minds to it.

Much has changed since those days spent in the hallways at Glenlawn Collegiate, but some things never change. I might not have the gray locker third down from the hall anymore, but I do have the God-given ability to choose joy for both myself and my family. And I do!

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