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"...Joy cometh in the morning" (Ps. 30:5 KJV).

I have a tendency to be a very serious, straight-faced individual. But I've learned I also need to become very serious about smiling!

I was brought up in a bad situation and had a heaviness on my life. I didn't have a childhood - I was robbed of the joy of my youth. For as long as I can remember, I lived as if I were an adult because everything in my life was serious. I thought if I stayed serious, maybe I could stay alive.

With this type of a background, you don't develop a bubbly, giggly kind of personality. I developed a serious attitude about me, which can be misunderstood by people at times.

Once I told one of my assistants I needed to talk to her before she went home. She thought I was going to reprimand her for something. All I wanted was to talk to her about making preparations for an upcoming meeting. I had approached her so seriously, she felt she was in serious trouble!

You can't always feel joy until you activate it by purposely operating in it. Often the decision comes first, then feelings follow.
- Joyce Meyer
I began seeking the Lord to find out how to be free from having such a seriousness about me. The Lord ministered to me that I need to express more of the joy that's in my heart. He knows it's there, but He wants it outside of us so that everyone can see it and benefit from it.

He ministered this to me while I was taking a shower one morning. I started to talk to Him, as I always do, when He spoke to my heart and said, "I wish you'd smile when you talk to Me."

My face didn't want to smile. At 6:00 a.m. it was stiff with sleep. But I started smiling! I felt kind of stupid smiling in my shower. I thought, "I'm glad no one can see me do this!"

Psalm 30:5 (KJV) tells us, " cometh in the morning." When you open your eyes in the morning, joy is right there with you. You can't always feel joy until you activate it by purposely operating in it. Often the decision comes first, then feelings follow.

When the joy is obvious in your life, it rubs off on people. But when it's only inside you without being evident to others, you can create an atmosphere around you that is so serious, it brings a heaviness.

One night when Dave and I were talking, he said, "I feel there's almost too much seriousness in our home."

I started thinking about that. I asked the Lord, "God, there's nothing that I know of wrong in my life. I'm spending all my time praying, studying, loving You and taking care of my family. What is this Dave is sensing?"

The Lord ministered to me that we can have a serious commitment in our heart without being so serious on the outside about it that everybody else doesn't know how to react to us.

I began to realize that as a homemaker I could set the climate in our home. Joy is of light, and sorrow is of darkness. The two cannot dwell together. If I wanted my home full of light, I needed to "lighten up."

I realized I needed to smile more at the people in my own home - not just give the children orders about their homework and chores, but smile or have a pleasant look on my face while giving those instructions. I needed to take the time to laugh with them and with Dave.

I believe our homes should be happy places. We should operate in the joy of the Lord. If a woman is joyful, her husband will be glad to come home. Everyone wants to go to a happy place. If he has a grouchy boss and complaining co-workers, he doesn't want to come home to more of the same.

Of course, the husband and children should also do their part to make the home a happy place. Joy is infectious. One person gets it, then another, and another and before you know it, everybody is happy!

Source: Help Me, I'm Depressed! by Joyce Meyer
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Joyce Meyer
Web site: Joyce Meyer Ministries
Joyce Meyer is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A New York Times bestselling author, her books have helped millions of people find hope and restoration through Jesus Christ. Through Joyce Meyer Ministries, she teaches on a number of topics with a particular focus on the mind, mouth, moods and attitudes. Her candid communication style allows her to share openly and practically about her experiences so others can apply what she has learned to their lives.

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