Devotional preview: 4 ways to live a happier life

Kristin Ballou will give her devotional BYU-Idaho devotional address on happiness. Image is from BYU-Idaho, however, photoshop was used to create the blurred background. Photo credit: BYU-Idaho

Kristin Ballou, a faculty member of the Academic Support Centers, will give her BYU-Idaho devotional address, “In Pursuit of Happiness,” on June 22.

According to her BYU-I biography, Ballou has 30 years of experience within various educational settings. She has run a preschool program, taught science and math to both junior high and high school students, and been employed at BYU-I since 2002.

Ballou and her husband Rich have three children, a grandson and another grandson on the way. They will soon celebrate 20 years of marriage.

In her address, Ballou will share four suggestions for a happier life and discuss the importance of trusting in God and His plan of happiness.

On BYU-I’s online discussion board, Ballou asked students the following questions.

1. “What are some commonplace, everyday experiences that have made you happy in a lasting way?”

2. “When you face challenges that threaten your happiness, what do you do?”

Briar Rose Fogleman, a student on the discussion board, responded to those questions and described how motherhood has been a source of happiness in her life.

“I find great joy and happiness in my children,” Fogleman said. “I am a mother of two beautiful daughters, a two year old who plays hard and loves hard and an eight week old who really loves mama and has recently began to smile. It is through small moments with them, amongst the craziness of our days, that I am reminded of the plan of happiness through their hugs, smiles and laughs.”

Fogleman also discussed the difficulties she has faced as a mother and the help she has received along the way.

“Motherhood is in no way easy,” Fogleman said. “It is very difficult. It stretches you in every way; spiritually, emotionally and physically. It is a journey of figuring out how to manage life once again, and you must again figure out who you are. This has recently brought me to some dark places and has made happiness more challenging. So, I surrounded myself with people who can help, beginning with my spouse. I have shared my feelings with him and let him know that I am struggling at times. And just letting someone know helps lift some of this burden. I also bring it to the Lord in prayer. I know He listens, and I know He has been answering me through tender kisses from my eldest, smiles from my infant and unexpected visits from neighbors, friends and church members.”

Sara Bates, another student on the discussion board, emphasized the power that gratitude has had on her happiness.

“The most powerful way for me to keep or bring happiness to my heart when facing a trial is to focus on gratitude and counting my blessings,” Bates said. “Pure joy and humility come when I ponder the many gifts from Heavenly Father and take the time to thank Him. I also feel peace and happiness when I know I am on the path and doing what He desires of me.”

Ballou’s talk will become available to watch on BYU-I’s website between 11:15 and 11:30 a.m.