Saturday, January 22, 2011

Question of the week.

Lately, I've been so caught up in life....that I haven't been reading my favorite blogs, nor have I been writing from my journal or my wee thoughts.
Life seems to be flashing past me like the traffic on route 28. without a traffic jam that is
A conversation I had recently with an acquaintance triggered this post.

Three questions..... one answer? I couldn't do it. I'm not good at giving short answers and I certainly can not tell you a story without every single detail. I set the the point where you may even be able to smell, taste, see and hear! so I've been told

1. What makes you happy?

*Happiness {happy - adjective} having a sense of satisfaction/standard of: Happy with his performance.
Well, I could rattle off plenty of things that make me happy. {loving husband, healthy children,loving family members, warm home to live in, food, car, job!, my friends, my.......}
But what she was asking is what truly makes me happy.
My life. The life I was given. Would I and could I be happy without the above? If something should happen to my husband, my children, my family, my job, could I continue to live happily? Well, loaded question. Am I able to answer truthfully I ask myself. We only have 55 minutes left on the clock and I so want to finish my peanut butter sandwich! The Jeopardy tune plays in my mind....... Yes. Would I be heartbroken, would I be torn and confused, would I be angry at God and feel the selfishness of loss? YES. Would my life continue? YES.
I'm learning. I'm maturing in His Word. I find myself not thinking of a tragic moment in my life. Yet I know it's at the tip of our fingers. He can place us in the most tragic of situations -or not. I'm not in control which took me years to learn. Am I saying that I can handle anything thrown my way? Never ever- ever would I say this. I can't. I'll look for the nearest exit sign or take the alleyway just to escape the thought of loss. The {un}happy place we humans never place ourselves. The black zone we dare not visit. I've been there and blamed everyone including God. I refused to return.
Now...back to the question. The word happiness to me is overused. Way too much thought goes into What Makes Us Happy and not enough goes into what can we do to make someone else happy. What action can I do today to create happiness in the physical act. Why not a smile? Why not opening the door for the mother of 4? Why not allowing someone to step in line ahead of you?
Those small acts can and will put a smile on YOUR face. If the other person does not thank you, or shouldn't matter. It made me feel good to do it. Especially when my children are with me. They see their parents positive role in our not so positive society.

#2. So, what you are saying is that no material thing would make you happier? allowing me to eat and enjoy my brown bag lunch!!

Happier? MMmm....... maybe more door holding?! She laughed, but it was forced.
I stressed that heading out to purchase a car and not having a car payment would be great- but wouldn't make my life happier. I stressed to this young {much younger than I} woman that having a new pair of those cute Prada sneakers for work would be cool- but would not make me happier. I stressed having all 3 of my kids receive full college scholarships would be awesome- but not make my life happier. Higher pay wouldn't hurt- but certainly will not make me super duper happy and my life complete.

#3. Are you making this up?

Perhaps there is a learning experience in this question. At one time in my life, I too wanted to ride on the Happy Train. Travel, cool apartment in NYC, handsome prince, awesome sports car, $$$.....if all else fails eat chocolate. Well, I did get my handsome prince...... but it took years to get where I am today. Mountains to climb and wild roller coaster rides to endure.
My early post talk about that. As I listen to others speak of what makes them happy- what they need in their lives- what they could not endure.....I think back to my past. Before I had regret. And even though I would remove a few years from my life's journey to tweak them.....I certainly can say with all honesty that I have remained happy. Sadness crept into my life, pain and heart ache. Death and loneliness.
In pursuit of happiness.....we, our society takes large chunks of stuff to create happiness in our lives. We forget what is important. We lose perspective. We just don't bother thinking of anything outside of our own box.
Football Superstar has an Egyptian barber. He is a Christian. His stories are so awesome to hear and his life's journey is an amazing one. Hanni is young. He is married with 2 children.
He works hard and works long hours in this metropolitan shop. He always has a smile on his face. As my husband puts it- Hanni is one happy guy!

Life Lesson: Question #4. Why is Hanni so happy?



  1. Thanks for this post, Lis. I've been wanting to hear from you. Thought about you these past days...

    Your openness is refreshing. And I know, you're not making it up. We all go through experiences that bring us to the point of saying - it's not the material things.

    I can't quantify happiness...that's the point. Like you I don't want to ride the Happy Train.

    Happiness is not really my goal, though it is not hard to make me happy. I'd choose joy anytime.

    See, happiness depends on goes much much deeper, and lasts much longer, too...

    Love you Lis. Thanks for sharing. (By the way, I'd love a pair of Prada sneakers too. You know what, sometimes, I indulge myself... not on something I cannot afford, but on something really expensive that I can afford and just would feel guilty buying... but I ask my Father in heaven for permission to get it, and guess what, He says, "Yes, by all means, why not?"


  2. Love this post!!! Every book I seem to pick up lately is the world telling you how to be happy...and it is so navel gazing! Turning to someone else and seeing how to make life easier for them is a true sign that you are happy. When we are not happy we just turn inward...and the world doesn't need any more of that.
    I wrote a post one time on just the simple things...the lady that makes my chia tea at Starbucks and always does with a smile...she works two jobs and with such a cheerful convicting.
    Happy shouldn't be a matter of circumstances or possessions, even though we make it that way. Being part of the Body of Christ, getting to breathe should be enough.

    I am not there yet, as I woke up this morning with tears over an adult child of ours choices that are hurtful to me...then I read this, and know that even in the hurt there is joy!

  3. I loved this post! It reminds me of a children's book - The Three Questions, a children's version of Tolstoy. I appreciate your honesty in being challenged by her challenging questions. I find the younger generation is searching for authenticity in reality, the world they are raised in is driven by indulgence...all to make us happy.

    Thanks for a great post - and the challenge we each can have. I can honestly say, an old Victorian farm house would make me happy. But then, I would need furniture, the right window treatments......... (thanks!)

  4. Hi Ladies..... perhaps there will be a continuation of this post......seems this young gal and I have lunch scheduled at the same time for the next few weeks!
    Yes, Lidj Prada sneakers are truly tempting! Way too cute, but for now, I'll settle for a new pair of comfy clogs.
    Yes, Brenda....the Victorian farmhouse is yet another drooling temptation!
    I can see it now on a snowy day, candles in the window....a fat farm cat sitting curled up watching the snow flakes...... ooops...what am I doing?! is a hug from me to you- I hope things are getting better at home.
    xoxo to you all!