Monday, February 20, 2012

Happiness Is Overrated....or is it?

Happiness is overrated.

I found myself not only uttering these words to one of our spiritual children two years ago, but fully convincing myself of their merit in my soul.

I guess I should explain.

I was ALWAYS a happy child. In fact, my grandmother even called me her "joy" because she said it radiated from me. It was like that for years and years. Honestly, in spite of the minor tragedies that every child faces as well as the constant goodbyes of the life of a missionary kid, happiness pretty much defined my life.

That is until I turned 30.

I was not worried about turning 30 like a lot of people I knew who had hated it. I felt like Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30....Thirty, Flirty {with my husband anyway}, and Thriving. I enjoyed my birthday bash and stepped into the new decade with a full vigor and passionate embrace of the future, leaving stupidity behind, according to Bill Wilson, ready for all that "adulthood" would now bring me.

Little could I know that in the three and a half years since that day, my life would hold more sorrow than the 30 years before combined -- sickness, longings, heart break, loss, and even death.

And while I have never believed that happiness and joy were synonymous....happiness depends on what is "happening" around you and joy is from peace with the Father and His plans for you....I had taken for granted how easy happiness had come before.

Before adulthood came full force.
Before I embraced being a grown up.

And so....happiness is overrated....became my motto.

I figured. God never promised us that we would be happy, just that He would be with us. And He was always with me. Of that, I am sure.

But lately, as life has calmed, as His healing balm has moved into the deeper recesses of my soul, I have been pondering this happiness thing, what makes me happy, and what His role is in all of it.

I find myself understanding Paul's words a bit more....

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content...
Philippians 4:12

There thumps restless longings in my heart.
There thrashes unfulfilled desires in my soul.

I am learning, yet, to be content
in the gifts He gives to me
in the grace He showers upon my life
in the happiness that He breathes into my spirit.

And so maybe happiness is a bit pompous and pretentious.
But maybe, just maybe, in spite of that, BECAUSE OF THAT....
she might just be one of my best friends after all.

"Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway." ~Emory Austin


The Joy Dare
1000 gifts in 2012

133) His love through friends who do not have to love me, but do anyway
134) His love through His daily grace
135) His love through the man He gave me who kisses me with passion still
136) In losing some of my independence, I am finding art.
137) How my heart can break over children I have yet to meet
138) Turkey burgers
139) The look on Morris' face as he snuggles close for some love
140) A job with the ability to come and go at my own pace
141) The satisfaction of organized office space

142) Pretty Art Show
143) Enjoying photo shoot with my sister

144) Taking pics at Jake Ray's party
145) Time with my love -- just being together

146) The Vow -- OH! What a beautiful story!
147) My pretty Joy Dare book
148) Getting to pack a little at a time because of the short sale wait

149) Health stuff that brought forced changes in my life as well as the artist in me
150) Lots of free time for myself and with my love because of the infertility wait
151) My favorite NEW show this season, Once Upon a Time
152) Tweeting thoughts and loves about another favorite show, Downton Abbey
153) TWO job opportunities to use my love of photography -- coming soon!

Won't you join me? Take The Joy Dare!
Here is a list of ideas to daily help you to SEE in the midst of the busy days...


Katie @simply[his] said... Best Blogger Tips

"as His healing balm has moved into the deeper recesses of my soul"  Beautiful words, Lindsey.  It's true... No matter the hurt, He always heals.  Blessings to you, friend!

Corine said... Best Blogger Tips

Dear Lindsy,
I am so sorry... My heart ached for you as I read the start of this. It reminds me of a child who says he hates the world - because he feels hated but doesn't want to admit it; it is easier to reject than to be rejected. ...easier to say joy is overrated, than to say you don't feel it but long to.

I was so happy to read that the calmness and joy replaced the emptiness of denial. You are such a beautiful person; I KNOW God loves you and desires for you to be HAPPY! That is why he allows sorrow - so we can know true joy. And the deeper we feel sorrow, the more deeply we are capable of feeling joy... He LOVES us! He MUST ache and cry for us when we ache and cry. I know He does. And he rejoices with us when we feel JOY.

PS. I love your joy dare! Thanks! :D

Corine :D

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Katie....sometimes I think I take for granted his healing power...

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Corine...thank you for your Oh-so-kind words! means so much. It has been and sometimes STILL is a hard road...but He IS faithful...

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