September 15, 2010

What happiness looks like today…

I've been bit by the blogging bug recently. It's probably a direct result of too many hours spent digesting dry textbooks and taking lecture notes, and too few hours socializing. There's been way too much input and no output. So after resisting the urge for a couple weeks, I've given in, and here I am– writing a blog for the first time in who-knows-when…

Not that I have anything particularly newsworthy to share. There's only that stream of consciousness that flows somewhere behind the constant receiving, sorting, packaging and business transactions of my brain lobes during the day. I love that place in my mind. It's my secret garden bench–quiet, peaceful, and all mine. I can leave the "office" (forgive my analogies, the stream of consciousness is all about analogies..follow at your own risk), I can ignore the red-faced office manager ranting about the piles of work not getting done, and I can slip out to my little secret place and soak in all the happiness and joy in life. (No, I'm not a psycho living in "my other world", so stop thinking that! It's not like that ok?) It's that place where the really important things in life mingle with the random and nonsensical and nobody cares. It's where the deep abiding peace is, and the quiet inner courage that makes life bearable. It's where God reminds me that His promises are true and nothing can separate me from His love. He tells me about more effective ways to live, and tips for ways I can make other people's lives brighter and smoother. But I love it best of all when He just smiles that understanding smile that tells me He cares, He knows what people are saying about me, and He whispers, "It bothers you a lot doesn't it? How about you let me take care of that one? You go enjoy the sunshine." Or when I'm all frustrated at myself and the stupid mistake I'm making for the 50,000th time and He says, "I never asked you to be perfect, just let go and let Me live out My perfection in you. I gotcha babe." And I love how He doesn't just stay in the secret garden, He goes back to the "office" with me and everything runs so smoothly when He's there...

It's like this morning, when I succumbed to the lure of the Arkansas fall sunshine and left the ever-growing homework stack in a dusty corner while I went out to enjoy the vineyard.

I love that vineyard. The straight lines do something for my sense of order and organization. It's so easy to access the stream of consciousness when you're in nature. I think that must have been why Jesus liked it so much when He was here on earth.

When I got out of class at 11 AM, I could have gone back to my corner in the Auditorium. I chose not to this morning for some reason. Instead I came home for some long-neglected Daddo time. It was well worth the time I lost driving.

He wanted to cook something together, and that always means he wants to make chapattis (you know, Indian tortillas). He's a pro at making them, and they're pretty amazing I gotta admit. He grinds the flour fresh right before he makes them, and he grills them just perfect.

While he was grinding, mixing, and rolling, I attempted Indian Daal for the first time. I think the final outcome was something more like Americanized Daal, but hey, it was good. I didn't have the right seasoning so I sautéed a couple fresh Jalapeno peppers and threw them in. Not terribly authentic, but who cares? Haha.

Dad accidently rolled a heart shaped chapatti. How cool is that?

Happiness. They say you can search your whole life and never find it. I think maybe it's simply overlooked. Maybe we don't know that happiness doesn't have to look like a perfect boyfriend, or a hammock on a tropical beach. Some days it just looks like spending time with someone you care about, or curly grape vines, or a cooking accident that turns out to be heart-shaped. Some days it looks like this rose with freckles on it that I found on the way back from the vineyard. Sorry my phone camera couldn't focus on it right. Maybe happiness is like that too. It's there, we just can't focus on it right.

Happiness was everywhere today. It looked like a much-needed massage from a professional massage therapist who asked nothing in return just because she's a friend. It looked like an authentic Nepali meal prepared by another friend who just returned from there and knows the right way to make it. It looked like laughing at an entire room of friends learning how to eat rice and daal with their fingers.

And tomorrow only promises to hold more…


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