The secret to a happy life

My wife has a poster framed and hanging in our dining room. It is a watercolor by artist Mary Engelbreit of two little girls gazing out a window on a beautiful summer day. Just outside that window we see flowers in bloom, the branch of a fruit laden tree and several bees and butterflies flitting about.
The girls are a study in contrast. On girl is very happy as she sports a big smile and her arms enfold two pots of flowers. The other girl is decidedly unhappy as she rests both elbows on the window sill with one hand to her face. She has a frown and her eyes are darting away from the little girl next too her. Underneath their picture is this quote from Abraham Lincoln: “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Like so many things we carefully frame and position throughout our homes, it isn’t long before we fail to notice them. To be honest, if I were pressed, I doubt if I could recall half of what hangs on our walls. But recently I have found the poster of the two little girls staring out at me, repeatedly drawing my attention. And here is the reason. The message is a joyful reminder for me of what God has done in my life.
In years past, all too often I was more prone to frown than smile. Even on sunny summer days I had my share of bouts with depressive views of life. Those like me, who have battled that dark cloud of the soul, know that beautiful surroundings alone do not alleviate unhappiness with its accompanying heaviness and hopelessness. At best, a person copes like the little girl in the poster, by diverting ones focus to other things.

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