Happiness is a Choice

Happiness is a Choice

Author Unknown

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”

She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your part in filling my memory bank. I am still depositing.”

And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6

***I would add at the top of the list: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, and soul and love others as you love yourself.

15 thoughts on “Happiness is a Choice

  1. Great story! We all need to be more grateful for what we have then what we don’t! Bitterness has gotten society in much of the mess its in now since everyone is obsessed with what’s better vs. what they have….

  2. Recently I was talking about happiness and ones outlook on life. Success is not guaranteed. But being unhappy or unsuccessful is guaranteed if you approach life with a victim or negative attitude.

  3. Dear Lori , I love this story. I read it some time ago but had forgotten about it; I will print it and read it often.
    I ordered your book and received it from Amazon yesterday( Power of a Transformed Wife); it’s all I can do to not sit and read all day! I am 70 years old and the stories of our marriages are so similar! This is an excellent book. I have read and reread Debi Pearl’s book over the years and was so convicted by it. Yours is so personal and I hear your voice as I read it( have watched your youtube videos). The Lord has already spoken to me about an issue I had not let go and overcome! Keep up the good work, Lori. You are truly an inspiration.

  4. I loved this story! Encouraging just thinking how my mindset she be always! I so enjoy stories of older Women with a genuine heart full of thankfulness and gratitude! It starts in the HEART and mind. It is a Choice .
    Philippians 4:13
    I can do all thing through Christ which strenghtheneth me.

  5. This post is a great reminder what happiness is. I needed this reminder for sure. Thanks.

  6. It’s good sense to put your mind at ease about liking something, often times you worry on weather you’ll like something or not. But it wouldn’t matter if you only put that kind of energy into wholeheartedly bealieving that it is good, a good day, a good look etc.

  7. At my Nans funeral, many people commented on her happiness and joy. It wasn’t because of her circumstances, because she had a very difficult life, right to the end. No, her joy came from within, from her love for God and for being content in what she was in Him. She chose happiness and her joy in serving the Lord was evident every single day.

  8. I’d add…

    But be smart and wise and sharp

    I worked as a waitress and there was an old woman who held her 30-year old grand children in rapture for HOURS as they ate brunch

    She was talking about all the politics going on in the world…I didn’t eavesdrop…and no judgement on what side of the fence she was on. I was impressed by the fact that this over-80 year old woman was so clear eyed and well-spoken.

    You have to have something to say to your family.

    If your 80 years old, you need to have 80 years of knowledge and beyond. You need to have 80 years of experiences and observations to back up your opinions.

    That’s what you’re there for…to help the younger generation with SOLID advice. It’s that advice which will determine whether or not your family is successful or not.

    And you don’t need to have a ‘career’ to get this experience either (as so many career women say) Just keeping your eyes and ears open, putting stuff together, tracking how people ended up after certain decisions etc etc is enough. In fact, career women have very little to say cuz they spent their lives just pouring over spreadsheets or graphs or whatnot.

  9. I really enjoyed this post Lori. I am a firm believer in being intentional about being joyful no matter the season of life. It is not something that one can accomplish by sheer grit or a denial of the sometimes daunting circumstances of life. Rather it is the result of time spent in the presence of God, through reading His Word and prayer. The women that I know, who are slaves to the tyranny of their tumultuous mood swings are also the very ones who are not persuaded of the goodness of God. Their understanding of the sovereignty of God over ALL in existence is incomplete or sometimes non existent. As such, when the winding path of life takes those inevitable sharp bends, they forget who is in control. They panic and clutch at the straws of their understanding rather than leaning on the everlasting rock who has declared that “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD, your God” (Isaiah 43:2,3 NASB) these same women are susceptible to ingratitude to God for all His good gifts to them. Rather than recognizing Him as the holy, benevolent Creator and Redeemer that He is, they view Him as a cosmic butler whose sole purpose is to dispense “good times” as they define them.

    In the early years of our marriage we went through a number of trials that involved both the usual initial adjustments to married life as well as the loss of loved ones to cancer. It was an overwhelming time that threatened to draw me into depression. By God’s providence I was reading the Excellent Wife by Martha Peace and in her bibliography she listed a book called The attributes of God by A. W. Pink. Because my husband loves Pink’s books, I decided to read his book first before finishing Martha’s. I cannot tell you what an impact it has had on my life. I learned that “God is in control” is not a meaningless platitude. He truly is all powerful, all knowing, all wise. He’s also merciful to sinners and even the dark storms that sweep through our lives from time to time are very firmly under His control.
    R. C. Sproul put it beautifully when he said “If there is one maverick molecule in all the universe, then God is not sovereign. And if God is not sovereign, He is not God.”
    It’s now more than a decade since then, and indeed we have weathered many more storms but the difference has been tremendous because I have not wavered or felt sucked into the abyss of despair. All because I know that behind those ominous clouds, my Father smiles on me and lovingly guides all circumstances in my life for His glory and my good.

    Our children are still young and they look to us to form their understanding of how to respond to life. We have to curb moodiness in ourselves or doom our children to surly teenage years and emotionally unstable adulthood. We cannot abide the sullen teenager that wants to be “left alone” we must intervene early and often and speak to our children to help them work through the false thought patterns that fuel mood swings. We must equip them to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” 2 Cor 10:5 this is the only way to maintain a sweet disposition in all the family. A joyful trust in the Lord; that blesses the people who walk into our homes and makes our husbands look forward to coming home after work. I don’t know of any men who dread coming home to a wife and children who are genuinely grateful, and glad to see them.

  10. Thank you for posting the lovely example this elderly lady gives. I have heard similar watchwords about being at peace and happy from other nonagenarians.

    I quote enjoyed this video of Amelia Hobbes, who was just two weeks shy of being 100, when this interview was made. She was the granddaughter of Smith Wigglesworth, the evangelist. Her prayer at the end of the video is beautiful.


    Amelia Hobbes is very much an example, I think, that, as Hannah, we enlarge the borders of our tents, and give God’s love more and more, as we age.

    I agree that the true meaning of growing older is growing in grace.

    Thanks again for posting about this delightful lady and her example.

  11. Happiness for those who struggle with depression can be a real challenge!. I try as hard as I can. Strangely, lovely sunny days ( not to hot though) are good for me

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