Covering my angst with the soothing wisdom from my mother's prayer journals



With the advent of Google, there is no excuse for ignorance because almost anything can be learned in ten steps.  Just Google in Ten steps for – and fill in the blank.

Admittedly my aspirations maybe low, but I’ve learned several things using this approach and today after recalling a sweet story a friend shared with me this week-end, I Googled “Ten steps for happiness” because she is almost always happy and I wanted to know how she does it.

The general consensus from that search was that happiness is a choice and even though you may have less than happy genes, your mind can intentionally override them.

The story she shared was about a baby boy who, during WWII, was born to a mother not married to the father. The mother had the child in Italy, but when he was six months old she sent him by train to Germany to live with his grandmother.

The grandmother thought the child was making the trip in the care of a Red Cross nurse, but when she retrieved him at the station he was barely clothed and there was no nurse in sight.

She raised the little boy until his mother married an American soldier who adopted him and brought him to the United States.

They settled in a small community in rural Tennessee. When my friend met him, they were in their teens and soon fell in love. Last July they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

At an evening church service a few months before their anniversary, the congregation was asked to bring with them something they treasured.

There were many items brought and shared.  My friend stood and said, “Well I did bring my treasure, but it isn’t a thing.  It is this man right here.” She pointed to her husband and proceeded to tell the story of his early years.

She ended by saying, “He is my treasure and I know that when his mother put him on the train in Italy he was already on his way to me.”

In her journal Mother wrote, “God has help where we least expect it.  He provides for us in ways that go beyond our narrow definition or expectations.  No matter how bitter our trials or how seemingly hopeless our situation we should look for His caring touch.  We may find his providence in strange places.”

In my Google search of ten steps for happiness another step often cited was optimism.  A synonym for optimism is hopefulness.  If you have hope you will likely be happy.  My friend has intentionally put her faith in Jesus and so she has hope which helps her find His providence in strange places. That makes her happy.

Author: marymcleary

Grateful for so many things, especially the peace He gives and the opportunity to tell it to my kids, grandkids and anyone else who wants to listen. Many read my first book In My Mother's Words, and I have recently published my second book, Heart Whispers from the Old Testament. Both are the result of the prayer journals my mother gifted me her last Christmas. Those journals were full of the wisdom of a Faith Walker and had to be shared.

4 thoughts on “Happiness

  1. “We may find His providence in strange places.” How true. I just did a study of Luke 18: 7and 8, which points to this very fact. We may not know it, but God doesn’t need anything specific to bring about His perfect will. The cosmos and all that’s in it belong to Him. Great post.


    • Wow,that takes the pressure off. It took a while for me to realize He allows me to help Him, but He will get it done with or without me. Without me, I lose the blessing of serving the creator of the cosmos.


  2. Google has so much good information and your suggestion to do 10 steps to ______ fill in the blank is a great thought. We do need to guard our thoughts and not allow negativity to remain. We can only think on one thing at a time, so if we are anxious, it is a good thing to sing and get out mind on the Lord. Thank you for sharing at Tell me a Story.


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