Saturday, October 20, 2012

be(come) happy

Life has been overwhelming the last couple of days, and I'm not sure why.

My ability to handle situations seems to flow and ebb, with no more reason than the passage of time. I'm sure that's normal, but it never ceases to catch me off guard and leave me wondering what on earth I did wrong. Discouragement mounts as I realize that the problems I'm facing are not ones I currently have the tools to fix, and that I doubt that I have the character strengths to acquire those tools.

In short, I don't always know how to be happy.

I sure try, though. Generally, step one is admitting that something is amiss in my thinking if my thoughts are along the lines of "this is impossible." After all, "there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). I will never confront a challenge that I cannot overcome through Christ. He doesn't often make things easy -- when would I ever learn, if He did? -- but He does make things possible, and offers the perspective I need to joyfully make sacrifices.

So I talk things over with my sweet husband. Chris gives me a hug and reminds me it's going to be okay, that he's proud of me and he knows I'll get things figured out, that it's perfectly okay to stop and just breathe. When I take that first real inhale, it seems to knock things loose, and the exhale is a prayer, still full of questions, but also newly full of faith.

And things always start to come together from there.

Instead of feeling discouraged, I begin to recognize that I don't have to fix everything all at once. Instead of feeling worried, I start to acknowledge that there are a lot of solutions we haven't tried yet, and they're all within our control. Instead of getting depressed, I remember that God is good, and it's okay to connect deeply to what's going on in my life. It may not be fun, but I will always make it through because He is at my side.

So no, I'm not quite certain why I'm in a slump lately. (It could be any number of things, including side effects from my new birth control.) Regardless, I have the privilege of seeking out joy in whatever way works best for me, and I don't have to feel guilty about it. Today that means getting taking a hot bath, listening to fun arrangements of hymns. I might get a haircut, and I will almost certainly ignore the large sinkful of dishes since I gave the apartment a thorough cleaning yesterday anyway.

And that's perfectly okay. I have a responsibility to be joyful, even if that means not getting a million things marked off my to-do list. My goal at the end of the day is to greet Chris with a smile and a kiss and an idea of what's going on for dinner. That's it. And if I manage that, well then, today has been a great day.


  1. Birth control sucks. I had a similar experience while I took it (and infertility meds, actually). Hormone pills made my mind a mess!

  2. Ugh yeah, it was way way worse when I was on the pill -- mostly because it's picky about you taking them the same time every day, and I'm just not that put-together. I felt like I was PMSing for like 6 weeks straight. NOT PRETTY.