"What makes you happy?"
She asked it almost urgently, this dear old friend of mine. "What makes you feel like you did your fourth year in college, when you loved what you were doing so much that you couldn't wait to get out of bed in the morning, that you were so happy during the day it made you sort of sad when it was time to sleep? What fills your day with Happy? I know we talk about joy--that deep down sense of joy that rises above happy and unhappy--but I want to know about happy right now. What makes you smile and sing?"
Shortly after that glorious year--the year I taught in Charlottesville, graduated, got married, found myself expecting a baby--there was the Year of Knowing. I've tried so hard to tell about that year, tried to share the feeling, the knowing that comes with a cancer diagnosis in one's twenties. Things stand in stark relief. You really don't fret the small things. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt what makes you happy and what brings you joy. You understand legacy and you want to shed blessings everywhere. And you don't waste time. At least that's the way I felt.
It's still the way I feel.
Things that make me want to jump out of bed in the morning:
- quiet time with Jesus
- Morning Prayer with Sarah snuggled against me
- a new picture book to share with my girlies
- a good discussion about plots and characters with my big kids
- unhurried time to create in the kitchen
- a well turned phrase
- an excellent photograph
- a long conversation over a good bottle of wine
- the Oxford comma ;-)
- the challenge of understanding and helping to edit college papers
- being there in the stands when they play
- tutus--and the girls who wear them
- knitting, ever so slowly
- sewing, but nothing very complicated
I love these things. They make me happy and they bring me joy. These are things He calls me to do. To nurture. To make a home--in a place and in my heart.
The problem is that my list so often collides with the real world. And the times I try to tell them, to say, please know that isn't worth the breath it took to complain about it and/or that is so very worth your effort in making it happen, they shake their heads. Perhaps they don't understand. Perhaps they simply don't want to stop and think because it can be a bit uncomfortable.
It matters not. I see it all in stark relief. It's a sixth sense. Even if no one else sees it.
That's not exactly true. Mike does.
Otherwise, though, they all cock their heads to one side, look at me quizzically, and wander away.
Crazy lady. Crazy life.
Sort of alone out there with her passion to live intentionally.
But that's the crazy I bring to this space. I bring the Happy. And I bring the Joy. Sometimes, I wrestle aloud with the unhappy. Mostly though, it's that list above that finds its way here. I love those things and I like to share those things. I blog my life, as honestly as I possibly can. I bring vocation here. My vocation. My unique call. I love answering that call. I think that when it is our genuine call, we do love it. That's how He intends it.
What I don't like? I don't like the work of self-promotion. Try as I might, I can't say "Come look at my Happy!" very effectively. I don't like marketing. I don't like networking.
I love conversation!
But I don't like networking. That might be for other people, but He doesn't call me there.
So I'm happy when you find your way here, even when I haven't gone to tell you that I'm waiting. I'm happy to have this place to chronicle my thoughts and illuminate my pictures and share my Joy. And I'm over the moon when you leave comments.
I'm happy to have small ways to capture and create beauty. There is joy in beauty and it makes me happy. Pope Francis writes,
Every form of catechesis would do well to attend to the “way of beauty” (via pulchritudinis). Proclaiming Christ means showing that to believe in and to follow him is not only something right and true, but also something beautiful, capable of filling life with new splendor and profound joy, even in the midst of difficulties. Every expression of true beauty can thus be acknowledged as a path leading to an encounter with the Lord Jesus.
Isn't that what life in a family is: a living, breathing, daily catechesis? Let's let it be beautiful!
I'm very glad I have this place where I can be unabashedly, head-over-heels in love with a life in pursuit of holiness for Jesus. And still. It doesn't have to look at all perfect. It's not a cooking blog, so usually there's a mistake or two for the first hour or so a recipe is posted, until someone gently points it out. It's not a knitting blog, so I'm going to tell you about my latest project for more than a month before I finish it (or not) and move on. It's not a sewing blog. My sewing time is far too short and my skills too new to emulate. It's not an advice blog. I'm not going to tell you how to live; that role will never fit. I can only share how I live: both the good decisions and the ones I regret. It's not a parenting blog, a speaker's blog, a homeschooler's blog, or even an author's blog. It's just a happy blog (mostly). Where every day, I share little of my joy and hope it meets you where you are. There's no platform, no agenda, no grand plan.
There's just me, in joyful pursuit of holy and (mostly) finding happy along the way. There are arms wide open to embrace the beauty and to reflect the Creator. There is the wholehearted endeavor to simply be a good wife and mother. There is the tenderness that comes in the moments of brokenness and sorrow. There are the dark threads of the tapestry, the ones upon which the glittering happy tones dance in joyful contrast.
And there is comfort in knowing that is all quite enough.