Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Happiness IS...

The past few months I have been thinking a lot.
About various, pains-of-the-heart and other stress-givers.
About recognizing blessings amidst struggle.
I've asked why.
I've felt blessed.
I've fallen into the trap of comparing.

Why is it that it can be so easy to look at your situation, and then look at another's, and stack things up?  See how things measure up, or don't.
What once was bringing you joy suddenly can seem to pale in comparison to something else.
Suddenly, you go from thinking "my happiness is..." to "my happiness isn't...".

It's a muddy business.

When my perspective is clear, I feel so much love.
So much joy.
So much peace.
And actually, it is almost always accompanied with feeling as though my cup is literally overflowing.
I feel warm and gentle inside, easily moved, easily grateful.
Not calloused.

I want to be that way all the time.
I want that feeling in my heart to be constant, my reaching to others always sincere, always heartfelt, always with genuine happiness.
You can always find something that you don't have (and I'm not referring to just monetary things) or that you feel you should have or that you wish was different, but I'm convinced that happiness isn't motivated by these things.

It comes from recognition.
From sharing, and recognizing, the love of God.
From recognizing the value in experience, and learning for yourself that He's there.
It doesn't happen when the lens is "my happiness isn't...".

My goal is to focus on MY HAPPINESS IS...

Like the simple joy in reading books with my children.
In running in the late afternoon fall chill, just before evening sets on.  We are running, reciting the ABCs and their sounds, or talking about the Christmas decorations popping up in our hood.
It comes from seeing their industriousness (and simple delight) in some paper plates, paper cups, plastic spoons, and being let loose and at liberty to dig in the yard and make fall soup with leaves and mud and water.  Or whatever else they want to do.
With having a furnace that works.
Children snuggled into their beds.
A library close by.
A husband who works hard and loves his family.
Good food on our table and in our bellies.
It comes from what we know.
From friendships that grace our lives.
Morning sunlight and warm covers.
Running -- exercise feels SO good.
Holding a child close in the night.
Beautiful music.
Gentle and powerful reminders of who we really are and what the focus really is -- or needs to be.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

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