Recognize the Good

My family has been sick over the last seven days. Bleh.
Last week Grace and Ruby got pink eye. Once they healed up, I got sick, which quickly passed to Ruby since she is nursing. Then Simon got pink eye. Thank goodness for medicine eye drops! When the pink eye was finally over, my sore throat was at its worst; therefore Ruby was a miserable baby too. Especially in regards to sleeping. And yesterday Johnny started to get a sore throat, just as my throat was finally feeling better.
Woop-dee-do for our household!

But some great events also took place over the last seven days.
Simon and Grace learned to sing the "ABCs" together. I had lots of snuggle time with my kiddos. Johnny's company earned their largest monthly profit ever. I won an Instagram challenge for a Latchy-Catchy! Simon and Grace began saying their own prayers. Johnny gave me a few neck rubs to ease my tired, sick body aches. Life was good. I love my family!

Tonight I thought about the phrase "you must know the bitter to appreciate the sweet." As I wrapped up a counseling session with a wonderful client who has come so far and overcome so much in order to reach her counseling goals, I realized that the happiness she feels now is "sweet" because she has known sadness in her past. She was excited to be on a path towards a happier future, away from past habits of negativity and fear. As her counselor, I was joyful and hopeful to know that she has benefited from our work together in counseling.

As I ponder about that phrase, I wonder if knowing bitter to appreciate sweet is enough. . . and I suspect one more sentence fulfills the message. We will all experience pain and struggle in this life (knowing the bitter), but we find joy and fulfillment when we recognize the sweet (acknowledging blessings and positive moments). But more is gained when we seek out more positive moments. Action is required to reach that next step. It is healthy and helpful to recognize sweet moments in our daily lives, but it is more effective and longer-lasting to seek out more positivism. Look for the good. Go out and search for things that bring true joy. These can be things that help us to smile, income gains, service opportunities, answers to prayer, kind words we hear, receiving good grades, etc. Go for a walk and look for the beauty in this world. There is so much to be thankful for in this life! I've touched on that topic here and here.

When we focus on recognizing and seeking out sweet moments, we will feel a sense of joy and peace, despite the trials we endure. Love the "sweet," hold onto the "sweet," and "let the good times roll."

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