Monday, February 21, 2011

The Pursuit of Happiness

So, I'm just sitting here tonight, with the windows open, tv on, going through some sites on StumbleUpon ... one of the pages that came up was titled, "The Pursuit of Happiness: 15 Lessons to Keep in Mind."  Well, this caught my attention so I just had to read through the list, because, really who doesn't want happiness.  Here are just a couple of their "lessons."

1. The only person that can ever truly make you happy is yourself. Stop depending on everyone else.  While I do believe that you shouldn't depend on anyone else to make you happy, to "complete" you (yes, not even your spouse) ... it's a bit self indulgent to believe that you, and you alone can make yourself happy.  And what is happiness?  Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy.

While I do like to be happy (who doesn't?) - I look at it as temporal.  This type of happiness is fleeting like when I buy a new pair of shoes or a new bag ... that makes me happy.  But, does that guarantee me happiness for all eternity?  No.  The only way for that is through God.  I think so many people shy away from that as God does not promise temporary happiness; in fact the Bible assumes problems will come your way. But God does promise lasting joy for all those who believe in him.  I stick by the FACT that [Psalm 62:7] -
My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

5. The world is never just black and white, right or wrong, one way or another. Try and see things from as many points of view as possible.  I'm not really sure when the "everything goes" mentality started, but it seems to be getting more prevalent.  Things are very often black and white, things are right or wrong, things are one way (not another).  While I do agree that we should be kind to all walks of people and be a guiding light to all those around us (not necessarily by preaching to them - but living an example of the true Christian life) - that doesn't mean that we have to agree with everything out there.  So many people seem to be on the "anything but God" track -- they believe in themselves, the universe, idols, etc. (anything but God).  I hear about it more and more each day and it truly saddens me and I know it has to sadden God as well.  
The point to this ... we have to keep fighting the good fight.  Pray for those around us that haven't made the decision to trust Jesus with their lives, join in their lives and try to be an example and a help ... but without letting go of our beliefs and giving into the everything goes mentality. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Waiting Room

So, those that know me know that I have "noise issues" (i.e. most noises bug me).  Really - I mean most:  breathing, eating, smacking, swallowing, any noise related to gum, finger picking - well, you get the idea.  I wonder if there is a name for my "condition?"  I'll have to look that up later.  Well, my poor sweet daughter has inherited the same trait.

Yesterday we were in the waiting room at a doctor's office.  It was mid-afternoon and packed (and that is saying a lot as the room was huge).  There are always interesting people it seems in waiting rooms, and of course since the doctor is almost always late, you have plenty of time to people watch.  Well, yesterday was no exception.  Here's who we had in the room:

The heavy breathing sleeper ... we started hearing this noise as we were waiting in line to sign in.  Addison looks over at me like "you've got to be kidding!"  Of course I read this silent message and gave her the look back stating that we must sit as far away from that noise as possible.  I guess the sleeper had been waiting a long time and fell asleep in her chair (I think it was a she, we never could tell from around the corner we were hiding behind) - or it might have been a child - whatever, it WAS annoying!  It sounded like this person was on an oxygen tank or something - it was awful.  We waited 45 minutes to see the doctor and this person slept the entire time.  I mean come on!  Even if it was a child -- the mom should have woken him/her up.

The marmish smacker ... so as we took our seats around the corner, trying to hide from the sleeper, we found two chairs that faced in other.  Let me describe the woman sitting next to Addison -- school marm complete with ankle length ugly dress, brown tights and tassled loafers.  Beside her in the chair was a huge old timey canister - like the kind a sleeve of crackers would fit into.  While reading her book, she slowly, methodically, one by one, reached in and took out some type of little morsel.  She then took the tiny morsel and placed it on her tongue where she moved it around a bit and slightly sucked on it.  I mean really, who takes a canister of snacks to the doctor's office?  Addison texted me her death threats for this woman - it was a good thing she was called back to see the doctor ... whew.

The PJ mom ... in comes a mom with her son.  She does look ragged and tired ... I guess so tired that she decided to wear her PJs out of the house and to the doctor's office.  Nothing was too wrong with her -- at least she was relatively quiet - maybe I was just jealous about her being in jammies while I was not!

So, I know all of this sounds trite and whiny ... but well, okay I can't argue against that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I was really convicted today about priorities ... here's the back story.

I have been struggling for a while with STRESS and trying to really find my calling ... wow, what a long, hard road that has been for at least the past year.  I have been so stressed lately that it has effected everything in my life - my private time with God, my family, my sleep, my work (even though that's what is causing the stress!), my memory, my organization and as it finally dawned on me Sunday and then again yesterday - my relationships with dear friends.

I have been so caught up with work (and so stressed out due to work) that I have only thought of myself lately.  The stress has led to selfishness!  In my mind it has been ME, ME, ME.  I have not been Holy to the Lord by any means.

On Sunday, between church services, I pulled out my prayer journal and what do I see?  Well, for one, a long lapse from the last time I wrote and my notes from the last meeting with my prayer group ... um, it dawned on me then that I had dropped the ball in two ways with one of my prayer partners.  Not only had I not being praying for what was discussed, but I didn't follow up with her about how the doctor's appointment had gone with her son.  I felt awful!

Then comes yesterday, I'm having my own little crisis and of course Facebooked it and had a great outpouring of support and prayers.  Monday went by as a blur - then when I checked email this morning - there it was.  One from my other prayer partner who had told me that her company was having a big meeting on Monday ... and she shared with me the results of that meeting, which weren't great.  There I was again ... hadn't spent time praying for her and hadn't followed up with her.  UGH.  Bad friend!

I kept thinking about these two things today and realized that my calendar is filled with "stuff" - meetings, appointments, deadlines, etc. ... everything except the really important dates that should read, "Check with XXX regarding her son's doctor's appointment."  and "Check with XXX regarding her meeting."

I have started working through some of my stress (with the help of prayer) and taking new steps - and just by doing that ... I seem to feel better, be able to breathe a bit more.  Now the next step ... keep my priorities in check.

Thank you God for smacking me over the head with this - three days in a row!!!