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Robin Gudal: Choose joy, and maybe chocolate, too

EN(dur)ANCE by Robin Gudal

Robin Gudal


I got the crabby lady. Have you ever had this happen? I have!

Have you ever been the crabby lady (or man)? I have.

Many years ago, as a young mom on a field trip, sitting toward the front of the bus, chatting, us moms, some of the teachers and aids somehow had a conversation about chocolate. Likely I had some tucked in my sack lunch, mentioning I’m sure that I love dark chocolate. She, unnamed to protect the innocent, mentioned she hadn’t eaten chocolate in over 15 years.


“Fifteen years?”

“Don’t you know there is ‘happy’ endorphins in chocolate?”

Then, there was that awkward silence.

This was followed by one commenting under their breath, “That’s explains a lot.”


According to a Google search, eating chocolate increases the levels of endorphins released into the brain, giving credence to the claim that chocolate is a comfort food. The endorphins work to lessen pain and decrease stress. Another common neurotransmitter affected by chocolate is serotonin. Serotonin is known as an anti-depressant.

Chocolate makes you happy, happier.

All wives, I am sure, are aware of the verse about the dripping faucet. You are an amazing woman if you have never been quoted this by your mate or never had someone breath it under their breath, or quoted it to yourself. That is, unfortunately, me. I likely don’t need to print it, however, I will.

Proverbs 27:15 NIV: “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm.”


I called a business years ago and the lady on the other end was not content or happy, it appeared, to be at work that day.

I responded to her by saying, “I am sorry you are having such a hard day.”

Her response toward me changed radically. She was validated. Her disposition changed. I heard her.

I would rather have Proverbs 31:10-12 NIV quoted — the wife of noble character verse.

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

My goal.

I got the crabby lady.

I am not going to be the crabby lady.

From the group Sidewalk Prophets, SMILE lyrics (in part): “Life is gonna pull you down, make it hard to see. But a little change in your point of view could be just what you need. There’s always a reason to always choose joy. Smile, when you think you can’t. Happiness is wonderful, then here come the clouds. … You can laugh, or you can cry when it all falls apart, but I believe the more you laugh, the more you heal the heart. There’s always a reason to always choose joy.

And eat chocolate!

Robin (Beckman) Gudal, intentional in life, is a wife, momma, nana, friend, and a flawed and imperfect follower of Jesus.