A couple of weeks ago, Charlee came to the dinner table grumpy. Annoyed. I think perhaps she'd been watching Max and Ruby and it was time for supper.
It wasn't the type of grumpy where you sit and silently pout.
It was full-blown "whine-a-lot-hit-your-brother-on-the-arm-tell-your-mom-the-supper-she-slaved-over-is-yucky" type of grumpy.
Worse case I've seen in a while around these parts.
I asked her: "Why are you grumpy, Char?"
She responded: "I just want to be sad right now."
So, she got pulled into her room for a talk with her dad.
She came back to the table, looked at me, crossed her arms, and with the most sour expression on her face, declared:
"Are you sure about that Charlee?" I replied. Gary gave me a look and said "she's choosing it, Kaleen". Their talk in her room had everything to do with choosing a good attitude, choosing to be positive, choosing joy.
And so, just a few seconds after Charlee stated her choice, a radical change came over her. She released the arms, the corners of her mouth started to turn up into a smile, and her giggle came out. She ate her dinner, was kind to her brother, thanked her mom for her supper, and even cleared our plates...because she chose to.
I've had one of those weeks where I've had to choose joy.
Many things came bubbling to the surface...and it was easier to "just want to be sad" than to do the hard work of choosing something better.
But here's the thing.
When I hold on to sadness, it doesn't just stay there.
It becomes infectious and grows into bitterness, anger, resentment and apathy.
That's a deadly combo.
When I choose joy, I decrease and Christ increases in my life.
And we all win.