Monday, September 30, 2013

What Makes a Moment Happy?

This week I had an opportunity to reminisce about happy moments with friends. We were trying to discern what makes us happy and everyone was sharing about times with family and children in particular. (Children truly are our joy, aren't they?) We also shared about how the beauty of nature has the ability to swell a quiet peace within us. We were looking at Philippians 4:10-13 where Paul writes that he had learned to be content whatever his circumstances. He had found the secret to happiness whatever he had, wherever he was.

As I tried to look back on happy moments in my life, I had a hard time envisioning one. It's not that I haven't had happy moments in my life, but so many of my happy memories can also make me cry with sadness. For instance -- playing tag with Bryan while I was still pregnant with him. Sometimes, when he positioned himself just right, I could make out the impression of his foot or hand against my belly. I would push on that spot and he would move and the impression would push out against my belly somewhere else. We played this game often in the last couple of months. That is a very happy and fun memory, but when I'm in a time of really missing him, the memory of it breaks my heart.

Some memories of sad events sometimes make me laugh now. For example, I have a friend who hurt me deeply years ago by telling me the truth in love about my borderline personality behaviors within our friendship. We have a really great friendship now, one that will last our lifetimes and as I look back on that moment, I laugh at how silly it all seems now. With our boundaries firmly in place we have grown closer as friends. I look back on that moment now in gratitude, as a stepping stone to the joy of our relationship now.  

So the question remains--What makes a moment happy? As I examined that question, I came up with this answer: When love is being shared, joy is being sought and worry and concern are being put down, left behind and forgotten. As our group shared, we also discovered that happy moments also contain a connection or intimacy of some kind as we completely immerse ourselves in the moment. As I considered the question further, I realized that I am at my happiest when I am living into the vision of me that God had when he created me. When I am in the center of God's will for me, there is no happier, more fulfilling place no matter my circumstances. 

Want to be happy? Love wholeheartedly! Look for the joy and leave your pain and worry behind at God's feet and above all, be the person God created you to be.


Green Grandma said...

You inspire so many with your honesty and vulnerability, Maureen. And your photos are breathtaking.

Audrey said...

Wonderfully moving Maureen. I'm a firm believer that we must accept the fact that happy moments are often intertwined with sad moments. When we embrace this understanding, we free ourselves to enjoy the happy moments while still respecting the sadness that lies within those moments. When my three sisters and I get together, we love to tell about and laugh at funny times we had with our parents. When the laughter dies down and we catch our breath, we always find ourselves wiping away some tears or sighing heavily. There is no way to separate the happiness of past memories with the realities of today. But He has blessed us with those happy moments and we are forever grateful. I both smiled and teared up while reading your account of playing tag with Bryan while you were pregnant with him. You were doing exactly what God wanted you to be doing at that moment. God bless you for sharing yourself with us every Monday! You always make me stop and ponder.