Talk About a Dirty Word!

I LOVE SWITCHFOOT!!! That is one of my most favorite bands of all time.  With my eclectic music taste, that’s saying quite a bit. I love how Tim and Jon Foreman’s playing reflects their kinship, not just as siblings but as musicians.  I love their very beach sound…it’s still there after all these years. No matter how hard they rock out (and they rock harder than ever), you can still hear the sounds of the ocean and the shore in them. That’s pretty cool. I love their very UN-RELIGIOUS worship. Based on their lyric content, no one could question or judge their faith. And it’s their lyrics that I always come back to.

Which brings me to the topic of today’s post; Switchfoot and I share the same aversion to the word HAPPY.  Jon Foreman sings that happy is a yuppie word.  I say happy is a dirty word. If only in it’s denotation that pleasure is a matter or circumstance, or things “happening,” the word happy implies a sort of shallowness.

Some of my life’s most challenging seasons have brought about some of my most interesting and life changing revelations.  Yet, one revelation keeps confirming itself throughout the seasons; Everyday is filled with highs and lows, but the extremes are usually brought level with awareness that there is always joy to be found, if you’re looking for it.

One of the most difficult seasons of my life was shortly after my sister-in-law passed away.  My husband, two sons and I were living in a two bedroom apartment. My husband was recovering from a surgery to repair an on-the-job injury.  We took two of my sister-in-law’s teen-aged children, a boy and a girl, to live with us. Now, get the picture: I’m a stay at home mom with my husband at home and miserable, two hormone and emotion driven teens whose whole lives had been uprooted…also miserable, two sons who have had their relatively peaceful existence completely turned inside out…equally miserable.  AND THEN, THERE’S ME, just trying to keep everyone’s misery in check.  Looking for a larger place we can afford and ways to make ends meet, I started hanging out with a realtor. I agreed to help her office out in exchange for her helping me find a house.

She was completely aware of everything I was going through and was astonished that we always had a pleasant time together.  We were having a rather comical exchange when she just flat out asked me, “Are you happy?”

I thought for a second.  Then, in a matter of fact tone, I responded, “I have joy all the time, but I’m not always happy.  These days, I don’t have a lot to be happy about.”

She didn’t get it.

At that time and in many times since, I have concluded happiness is a luxury I can scarcely afford.  To be happy leaves too much to external forces; there is too much work involved.

JOY IS EASY! A well made peanut butter and grape jam sandwich can give you as much joy as a quiet sunset or a belly laugh or hug or the memory of a friend.  Happy is a pacifier.  Joy is a satisfier.

This season that I am in right now is FANTASTIC.  I have seen God do miracle after miracle after miracle. I am quite joyous these days.  But, much like, “A Tale of Two Cities,” it’s been the best of times and the worst of times.  My circumstances could easily betray that I don’t have many reasons to be happy all the time, but if you look into my eyes, and look at the people that surround me, you will know that life is good and I’m good with it.

Stop letting your circumstances dictate what people see in you.  Stop making the people that surround you miserable with the state of your situation.  You don’t have to live the life you like to love the life you’re living.  Just start loving the little moments along the way.  Start loving the things in your life that make life worthwhile. So don’t worry about being happy.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sergioglopez
    Nov 09, 2012 @ 15:16:45

    Love this. Ever since I’ve known you, you have always had good, godly wisdom. We’ve traveled the world together seeing amazing things and also seeing many opportunities God has used us to give joy (orphanges). We base on what we have done in the past to determine if we are happy. But happy is living in the now and thanking God for the blessings and favor he has allowed us to have.

    Life always hits us smack in the face and we go through situations that we wonder why does God allow things to happen? But through the good, bad and the ugly, count it all joy.



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