50 THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

I know that being happy can sometimes feel quite temporary and the little joys can easily get lost when you’ve had a bad day at work or been sat in traffic for two hours, so it’s great to remind ourselves of those little quirks that make us happy every now and again.

Without further ado, here are fifty of the things that make me happy (in no particular order).

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XOXO –

April

The Fight Goes On …

The Way We’re Told It Goes:
Meet The One…

1. Fall In BUTTERFLY Love
2. Have all the Feelings
3. Date
4. Move Into Together: AKA YOU’VE CROSSED THE FINISH LINE! You’re done! Congrats, Cinderella! All that’s left now is: Happily Ever After!!!!!

The Way It Has Worked For Me:
Meet A Special One…

1. Fall in Butterfly Love
2. Have all the feelings
3. Date
4. Move In Together  – AKA Cross the STARTING LINE.

5. You’ve begun. Shit gets real.  Grocery shopping and children and assembling furniture and navigating each other’s families and demons and other confusing, terrifying things keep happening.

6. Slowly understand that relationships are not what you thought it would be and your signicant other is not who you thought he’d be and additionally you are not who you thought you’d be.

7. Notice there are no more butterflies. Panic like bloody hell. Understand with mounting dread that LIFE has killed the butterflies and this must mean you have “fallen out of love.”

8. Look into separation.

9. Start to learn how horribly difficult it will be to separate for you and everyone you love and also – HOLY CRAP IT COSTS A LOT. Try to locate a path of less resistance. Search for some solution that is less emotionally and physically and mentally and financially expensive. It’s often not LOVE that makes us stay – but the expense of leaving. AND THAT’S OKAY.

10. Ask for help. Suggest meeting with experts, talk to wise people, read good books. Mostly, Be still and listen for The Next Right Thing in the quiet.Wait. Keep waiting. Make no decisions except what to do EXACTLY RIGHT NOW. Sit with the pain. Sit with the struggle. Sit with the uncertainty. Resist the relentless urge to deflect the pain, run from the pain, numb the pain with food- booze -work –future tripping- unkindness- false certainty -busyness or any other Wisdom Killer.  Just Be Still and Wait.

11. SLOWLY embrace the truth that a million warriors have discovered before you  – You have not FALLEN OUT OF LOVE. You have fallen out of infatuation AND INTO LOVE.  Like it or NOT- THIS IS IT, SISTER. This is Love. It ain’t the Disney version- it’s the REAL version. The Disney version is easy and shiny and struggle free and happily ever after but the Real Version is about allowing struggle to morph you into a bigger, more spiritual being. Real love is about METAMORPHOSIS, and metamorphosis IS FIFTY SHADES OF PAIN – just ask the butterfly.

12. Start over every freaking morning.

13. Go to sleep every night feeling exhausted and blessed as hell.

Much Love,

April

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Feelings Might Be Overrated

This afternoon I find myself in a very depressed mood. Don’t get me wrong — I am very thankful for my life.    I have every reason to be happy. Thankfulness is essential if you’re ever going to take hold of rest and contentment.  But thankfulness and contentment don’t always mean you’re happy.

We have this stupid belief in America that if we’re not happy, we must not be “doing it right.”   Life, I mean.  Sometimes we really aren’t doing it right, and we are never doing anything completely right. But happiness is not a consistent measure of this.  Oftentimes we do very good things that make us sad, or do very wrong things that make us happy.

I think that, more often than not, our feelings are overrated.  That is not to say that they are useless or bad.  They are important.  But what I am saying is that we give them too much credit to dictate our lives.  When we’re happy, it’s harder to challenge ourselves to love God and serve others more.  And when we’re sad, it’s easy to become a little vacuum to try to suck life from any old source we can find.

And more often than not, moods don’t direct us to satisfying things.  They are more related to how much sleep we got last night, or how many vegetables we had, or our genetic composition, than whether we are making upright choices in life.  Moods are self-preserving mechanisms that try to persuade us to meet our own needs.  If we let emotions control us, it can be dangerous and unhelpful, not only for the people around us, but ourselves as well.

Emotions are confusing,  some say God is our lamp to navigate through our chaotic or dissatisfying lives.

I’m reminding myself today that I have everything I need already therefore i am fully equipped to fight the good fight.

When we’re unhappy, it’s easy to think, “Maybe I just need ____.”   But when we run after anything in this world, it will always disappoint us.

When I considered all that I have accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I find I’m quite strong.

When I used to put puzzles together as a kid, I would get frustrated when pieces wouldn’t fit.  To relieve my frustration, I would try using a hammer.  Although this would force the pieces into place, these pieces were not made for each other, and I would find at the end that the picture was neither beautiful nor satisfying.  I knew I would have to submit to the reality of the puzzle instead of merely relieving my frustration.

Yet I still find myself wanting it both ways.  I want the puzzle to be complete and I want it done now.  I want Jesus to be the head of my life and I want to be in control and have everything go my way.  And I want to be happy all the time.  I want Jesus to get the glory He deserves, and I want to steal a little for myself.

I am glad that the choices I make in my life are not the fatalistic result of my feelings at any given moment. I am free to make choices because of my consistent resolve to live to the fullest purposes.

Much Love Always,

April