Happiness is having a safe, secure, affordable place to live.
Happiness is fresh baked bread... delicious soup... experimental (and misshapen!) bagels.
Happiness is a roommate who puts up with you, even when you're making disgusting sounds because you have a sinus infection.
Happiness is the glorious weather that comes after a break in the summer heat.
Happiness is sitting in a comfortable armchair, surrounded by books and music, with a cool breeze from the window that occasionally blows your papers all over the room.
Happiness is meeting new people with whom, after spending only three hours in their company, you feel comfortable, relaxed, and welcomed, and with whom you have laughed inordinately for the entire time.
Happiness is waking up early to go to the farmers' market.
Happiness is the straw hat full of new potatoes, yellow squash, and green tomatoes that's sitting on your counter because you didn't have a basket to put them in!
It's already been a long semester and I know I've complained a lot. But isn't it more fun to go through life being positive? Optimistic? Cheerful? I could complain about the wind that throws my papers into disarray... moan about the sinus infection... feel poor and underprivileged because I can't afford to buy a cute basket to put my fresh produce in. But it's so much more fulfilling - and interesting! - to think about the fact that the hot summer wind has given way to the fresh breeze of autumn... to appreciate and love on a roommate who's sweet enough to make dinner when you feel miserable... to improvise and put your produce in a hat.
They say that "God is in the details" - and he is. Every little feather on the wren outside my window was individually designed and made by him. Talk about details! But I think he's also in the details of how you live your life - how you react to situations. Moaning and complaining, feeling ill-used, is not showing God in our details. And I think this is something we often forget - that we can announce that we're Christians, and go to church, and wave our Bibles around, all we want; but if we don't live in a way that's different from the world, no one will believe us. No one will look at us and say "I like the way he lives. I like the way he reacts to difficult situations. What is it that makes him different?"
I'm not trying to say I'm in anyway a model of perfection in this area. I most certainly am NOT. I whine and complain about little petty things as much as the next girl. But I know people who are consistently cheerful, patient, and God-honouring, even in the face of truly horrifically bad times in their lives. I admire them, and I want to be like them. I also know people who, while claiming to be Christians, act as though the world revolves around them; who seem to think that any minor setback is a personal affront and a cause for a loud and public airing of grievances. I shudder to think that anyone would view me in this light! So I've made - not a resolution, exactly, but at least a conscious effort - to look for the good - and for God - in difficult situations, or times when I'm tempted to be grouchy because things aren't going my way.
I hope it makes me more pleasant to be around. I know it keeps me sane! And I pray, above all, that people would begin to see God in the details of my life.
(This was originally going to be just a list of "happys". But then I thought about this application and got sidetracked! So it's another long post.)