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Happiness is . . .

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

I was recently at a birthday party. One of the partygoers brought out an aging notebook and opened it to a fresh page. “What are the things that make you happy?” she asked the birthday guy.

She wrote each “happiness spark” on a list, and then she read over some of the lists from others over the years. Apparently, she’s been tracking things that make people happy for over a decade, and has a book chock full of joy.

Isn’t that awesome?

This got me thinking about what are the things that bring me joy. Here’s a list in random order as they came to me.

  • Babies—chubby fingers and tiny toes
  • Sunsets
  • Fresh apple pie
  • Laughter
  • Reading
  • Soft blankets
  • Candlelight
  • Fall colours
  • Islands
  • New ideas—I love to dream
  • Trying something new
  • Playing games with my kids
  • Dinner dates with Kevin
  • Seeing a mama hen with her chicks
  • Having a job that is meaningful
  • Getting to homeschool my kids for 12 years
  • Getting a break from homeschooling
  • Extended family get-togethers
  • Time with friends
  • Making new friends
  • Evenings while my husband plays guitar
  • Making memories with my family
  • Lattes
  • Learning—I never, never want to stop learning
  • Fireflies—I’ve never actually seen one before but the idea of them makes me happy
  • Phosphorescence in the ocean at night
  • Loon calls
  • Mountains
  • Rivers
  • The northern night sky
  • Adventures
  • Refusing to act my age

I’d love to know the things that bring you joy! Please share your happiness list in the comment section. 🙂

I wish you laughter, soft blankets, and sunsets! ❤

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Into the Quiet Place

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Photo credit: Debbie Pan

Some of us go to others for support when we’re hurting, others fade out of the crowd and find a quiet place to soul search when suffering.

I think I’ve always been the type to seek solitude when in pain or when experiencing anything intensely. (When in labour, I always had this powerful urge to find a place completely alone, dark, and quiet to birth my babies.) I’m very open about trials and pain that I’ve experienced, but not when I’m in the midst of it.

Two years ago our family went down a very difficult path. Marriage problems overwhelmed us. And three people who were close to us passed away in a relatively short time: my beloved grandpa, one of my closest friends,  and my children’s grandfather. Most painful though was that one of my daughters was in a place of such terrible darkness that we could hardly reach her. She’d be hospitalized three times before things very gradually began to improve.

My greatest desire was to be a good wife, mother and child of God, and it felt like I was a complete failure in all three areas.

I was devastated and exhausted, but I couldn’t break down because my family needed me. In the midst of the storm, I pulled back from many of my normal interactions and from social media. I retreated and focused on healing for my family and for myself.

You don’t come through a trial like that unchanged. I’m still a little wild and eccentric, and I’ll frequently be the loudest in the room. But I’m also more fragile—needing to be more aware of how much sleep I’m getting and monitor the stress, and we realized I needed a break from homeschooling. Another difference is I’m far more reluctant to offer advice when another is hurting, but I’ll offer support with a listening ear.

All this to say that after a year-and-a-half of almost complete silence on my blog and social media, I’m back. I’m enjoying the interaction, and I missed you guys. 🙂

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