It has so many synonyms: happiness, contentment, smiliness, upbeat, singing for no special reason, laughing at spilled milk (or in my case, spilled coffee) but whatever you label it, happiness is not a subconscious reflex.
Joyfulness is an option. An option we can pursue or reject as too difficult an objective to grasp.
We need to choose to allow it to mold who we are and how we view the world.
It means reading the ten-day weather forecast and thanking God for whatever He has dressed the sky in.
It means cheerfully (yes, and quietly) making another pot of coffee when you stumble into the kitchen to find that your brothers have already emptied the coffeepot (besides almost draining the half-and-half carton)
It means making boxed brownies with your baby brother and planning a movie afternoon instead of throwing an adult temper tantrum when the day trip you anticipated for weeks is suddenly cancelled.
It means continuing to donate your energy to a cause that insults you with its perpetual refusal to come to fruition.
It means thinking something like, Oh, he didn't mean it, when you step on a Lego in a dark kitchen at two a.m., when you carefully reminded the owner of those Legos to put them where they belonged the afternoon before.
It means singing in the shower when you're washing your hair and the hot water runs out.
And its definition includes other things, too.
It means looking at a foggy future and trusting God to let the sun come out whenever He is ready.
It means remembering blatant failures and thanking Jesus that He holds tomorrow in the palm of His hand.
It means allowing old wounds to finally heal.
It means making the most of every single minute, because you'll never have those sixty seconds again.
And it means not allowing what isn't meant to be to cheat us out of enjoying what is.
And trust me. I have the kind of days when smiling seems like the hardest thing in the world, and everyone who walks around with "good morning" on their lips is blatantly lying about the quality of the day. I trust at least a few will admit to knowing exactly what I'm talking about.
But Jesus is teaching me how to choose joy, how to make every day feel like Saturday.
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
Nothing flatters you quite like your smile.