Updated: Feb 2
Happiness is a tricky word for me. How about you? Are you happy? Seriously... are you happy?
This picture was taken at Jade's gender reveal party in May when my father-in-law announced that she was a girl. Covid had stolen a lot of joy from us but Jade made us so very happy! We were elated! Everyone was thrilled, but Lily was ecstatic! She prayed so hard for over four years for a little sister and her prayers had finally been answered. We were so HAPPY!!! This is one of my favorite pictures EVER because seeing it takes me back to a perfect moment in my life... in Jade's life and our very short journey together!
My husband, Lucas bought me this cool sign for Christmas in 2016. I was struggling with depression more than I ever had in my whole life. It is a charcoal grey canvas print and it reads, “HAPPINESS IS NOT A DESTINATION. IT IS A JOURNEY.” I love it! It hangs in our living room, and I read it every day. I need that reminder. My guess is I am not the only one who needed the reminder because it was sold at Target, and my friend Sarah has one, as well.
Happiness means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some people understand happiness to mean content. Some people think happiness means pure joy all of the time with huge smiles and giggles! I asked one of my friends and she said, "Contentment. No anxiety. Joy in His care. Relief. Satisfaction." I think what she said really dives into the many forms of happiness, and to be honest it sounds blissful.
I try to focus on the journey and not the destination of happiness. I truly do, and over the years it has gotten easier. My former co-worker, Katie told me when I got back from maternity leave in December that she missed my joy. It just wasn't the same without me. Her words meant so much to me. I seriously strive for joy. I hunger and crave for fun, happy, joyful days. Anyone else?
You see? I do not always feel happy when I wake up, I feel the things... the sad overwhelming grief... the longing for my girl... the pain... the doubt... the anger... the jealousy... the annoyance that my body still is not 'back to normal'. I do not ignore my pain, I embrace it... but then, I set the intent. I check in with myself, and with the Lord. I ask Him to give me the strength to shine His light... to make me a vessel... to use me to further the kingdom. I ask Him to remind me that "this is the day the Lord has made", and that it is a gift! Aren't you always happy when you get a gift?
The Bible says, "He fills my life with good things, so that I stay young and strong like an eagle." (Psalms 103:5) He fills my life with so many good things that help me stay young and strong! I am so blessed with little giggles, snuggles, and hugs. I experience adventures and travel. I eat yummy food, love using my oils, and truly enjoy music. Plants have also become my favorite things. I received a lot of plants when Jade Cannon passed in September. I water them every Monday and talk to them. Recently, I had to repot a few because they had become too large for the pots. I added fresh soil and plant food. They are sprouting all kinds of new growth, and I am enjoying the growth of my new plants. I love them.
Last week, I watched a video of a teacher who had three pots. Every day as his students passed the pots, they would say something nice to the first one, something mean to the second one, and ignore the third one. The first one grew exponentially. The second one turned black, and the third one did not grow at all. If we say happy things to plants to help them grow, and they are living organisms just like us, then I think we need to also speak happy/positive things to ourselves and over our lives, as well. It is kind of like that Toby Mac song, "Speak Life". It says, "Speak life! Speak life to the deadest darkest night! Speak life! Speak life when the sun won't shine and you don't know why. Look into the eyes of the broken hearted. Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope, you speak love, you speak life."
This week I challenge you to do these things:
1) Remind yourself that happiness is a journey not a destination.
2) Set your intent for the day and pray (if that is your thing)!
3) Focus on the good things in your life that make you smile... even the tiniest things.
4) Speak happy, positive, life giving things over yourself and the people around you!