I think back on my life and remember when my mind wasn't so full of.........stuff and craziness!
I remember when our 1st born, Jacob, was a baby/toddler. At the time, life didn't seem so simple, but when I look back on this time in my life now.....it was SO simple! Even though, I was working outside the home then. And, Joel was still going to college. And, we were struggling financially. And, we were wondering how we were going to raise this little guy, who we had planned on waiting for about another 3 years to even have. And, Joel and I were just married a year and still figuring out how to live with each other and now we had a son to fit into the mix! It was a crazy time! But, yet so simple!
I remember spending one-on-one time with Jacob and thinking that he was the best thing ever created. I remember taking him to the store and looking at decorations and sights through his young eyes. I remember thinking that everything seemed so new and fresh. Life was so simple. Of course, at the time, it didn't feel so simple to me, but it truly was.
Do you ever wish for your simpler times? What is simple to you? Is there even an acurate definition for the word simple? What I may find simple may be very difficult for someone else and vice-versa. Is simple just a way of thinking? Is there even such a thing as simple in this world that we live in today?
I was recently watching the news and they were discussing the level of happiness of people. They said that women, especially, were rating their level of happiness a lot lower than they used to rate it. I forget what the percentage was, but many women were rating their lives as being "not very happy." I find this to be so sad.
So, this got me thinking. "How happy are you?" I began thinking about my self-prescribed "crazy" life. Life today is SO much more stressful than it used to be for me! I have a lot more responsibility. I have a lot less time for myself. I still worry about money, since I'm no longer working outside the home. I have Gavin.....enough said. Our boys are a handful.....and this is putting it nicely. (And, if you see them at church or school and think to yourself, "What nice boys!" You would be right, but trust me, they don't behave as nicely in the comfort of their own home! If you don't believe me, spend a few days with us at our house, especially Caleb!) Plus, I have many more issues that I'm just not willing to discuss on here or with most people actually.
So, how happy am I? Looking at the list above, I would think that I would be less happy than I used to be.
I thought to myself, "What was the happiest time in your life?" I asked the boys this question as well. They said that they couldn't answer this, it was too hard to come up with a time that they were the happiest. Hopefully this is because they have been fairly happy most of their lives, but who knows? I asked Joel, and he said that he would probably rate the happiest time of his life as being the year or so after Caleb was born. I was happy to hear that the happiest time in his life was after the children and I came into his life.....I was a little worried about this! :)
But, what about me? After giving this question lots of consideration, I can honestly say that THIS is the happiest time in my life!
Even after I just said that I long for the good ol' days, when life seemed so much simpler?
This surprised me as well!
How can this be? Why am I happier now, even when I have a lot to not be happy about?
This is why I am thinking that simple can't really be defined.
I have often wished that I could be like Gavin. Another crazy thought, but seriously, he has no worries! His brain cannot possibly comprehend the hardships of this world. He is always happy, unless he is in pain or something like that. So, I've thought that a more simpler life must equal more happiness.....Right?! After lots of thinking and soul searching, I guess that I was wrong! Because I am stressed more than I've ever been, and yet, I'm more happy! :) Who knew?!
Sure, I have lots of bad days and I sometimes feel that I couldn't possibly get any sadder than I am at that point, but when I seriously evaluate my happiness level, I am happier than I've ever been at this time in my life!
Why is this? I am going to attribute this happiness to Aging and God. My Mom always said that "as you get older, you become more content with yourself and you just don't care about as much as you used to." I can definitely see this is my life!
Plus, since having Gavin in my life, God has become more important to me. I may not always make it to church as much as I'd like because of Gavin. I may not have it as easy now, because of Gavin. And, I may feel more extreme saddness since Gavin came along, but God is closer than He has EVER been!
I remember thinking to myself, back when Gavin was in the hospital for months on end and far away from home, "I hope that I can always feel as full as I do now." How in the world could I have felt so uplifted, full and complete when my son was VERY sick, in the hospital for a LONG time and I was separated from the rest of my family??? I still think about this often. I know that, at that time and still today, I was and am filled with God's grace more than I ever was before. There is no other explanation for my happiness.
I may have very bad days and I may feel and act rotten sometimes, but God's love and grace has filled my spirit to overflowing! I am so thankful for this happiness; happiness that only God can provide! This doesn't mean that I am always happy, but overall, I am certainly content and feel very blessed!
How happy would you rate yourself?
I pray that you are able to rate yourself as happy as I am able to, even though life may be tough for you right now! May God Bless You!
"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes...." Psalm 19:7-8