Small happys

Happiness comes in odd packages.

Tonight I feel surprised by happiness.

I feel happy about choosing my own Christmas. Maybe I could like it after all…? I feel happy about the room I decorated—just one room, at the suggestion of my friend Amy. I feel happy about real evergreen and hemlock, real pine cones and leaves, real twigs and berries. I feel happy about homemade snowflakes on the window panes, the way they take the chill off the early darkness because of how it makes them pop.

I feel happy about Wednesday, the day my friend Cynthia is going to teach me how to make coconut candy.

I feel happy about pumpkin pie, made with pumpkins from our garden—used as décor all autumn, now baked, pureed, and frozen for good things this winter. I feel happy to share a pie with a friend, and get a huge plate of Christmas cookies in return.

I feel happy because this year we are finally hosting a Christmas hymn sing—a bunch of friends who love to sing too, coming over for food and carols on a Sunday night.

I feel happy about December 19—the night some close friends offered to take us out for dinner as a Christmas gift, with babysitting and kids’ supper provided. Shrieks of delight. And you ought to hear the kids…

I feel happy about our plans to celebrate the birthday of The Boss* this week.

*(Yes. That’s right. I confess I do not feel especially happy that he is The Boss again. I suspect that he really wanted to save face here on my blog, to reappear in power. That is why he was so careful to remember the date. But I could be wrong.)

I feel happy when I water my 25 houseplants, and think how I moved here a year ago with just two.

I feel happy when I check my email, and find kind words from my sis-in-law, and others…

I feel happy that my friend Ada shared her amazing fruitcake recipe with me. I’ve been craving it for three or four Christmases now, since the first time she gave me one. Someone mentioned fruitcake on this blog (Alvin S, I think) and suddenly I was possessed of the need to bake some. At once.

I feel happy after Communion at church last night. I love Communion. I hope I don’t talk too much about my church. Not everyone experiences church life with joy; not everyone experiences our church life with joy. But I can’t help myself. I love the way the ladies chatter while we wash feet (we cannot be quiet; we just can’t)—the way we laugh at the sock patterns on each other’s bare feet, and warn about foot odor (not that there is any), the way we threaten to bring scrubbing brushes and foot lotion next time and do it right. The men do not understand our prattle when we compare notes later, but they have their own diversion from tradition: they wash their little sons’ feet once in a while. I love this. I love that last night my friend Carla brought dried fruit and bottled water to hand to the children when they began to cry for the bread and wine. I love the songs, and the silence, and the way people talk and cry and laugh and tell the hard things the Lord is teaching them. I leave full.

Maybe the little Happys mean more to me this week, in the midst of the big Unhappy about my sister. Tomorrow I think I can finally share words for it. I had to say the Happys first.

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10 years ago

I would be happy to be a taste tester for the coconut candy!

Mama Zook
10 years ago

and I experienced lots of happys today too, a bedroom set sold and picked up by the new owners, altho they were 3 hrs later than they said they’d be here. They also want the other bedroom set, but will come get it after the first of January, when we are back from vacation! I sold goodies to Monroe Oak (small mill here in Sheridan) for their employees Christmas gifts, and to a friend who bought for far away family in Texas. I got to go back to church after 5:00 p.m. to help Teacher/Husband freshen up two of the basement walls, so it looks nice for School Christmas program (less than two weeks away). We enjoyed waffles and fried eggs for supper at 9:30 p.m. And the appraisal on our house was approved for the buyers loan. All in one day!! Happys! We prayed for Jean and Josh before our supper again tonight! Hugs!

10 years ago

Ah, but as you suspected, there you are wrong. Either one is boss or not. It is not about saving the face.

Happy with you. “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” – Tolkien

10 years ago

This post makes me smile, very happily! Love you!

10 years ago

You don’t know how you made me cry, Shari–tears of joy AND sorrow! I’m soooo happy for your happys! May your joys be richer, when the griefs are deeper.

10 years ago

I LOVE your happys.

Joanna Yoder
10 years ago

I thought of you on December 1, and wondered if you had retained your title. I love that little ritual, especially because you’re keeping it now (when it could seem so easy to give up on fun “little” things like that).
As I read your list of happys, these words from an old song came to my mind: “He gives me joy like I never knew. He’s been my Friend, He is always true. And He’s been my strength, He helps me make it through; and He gives me joy!”
Even in the midst of tears and heartache, He gives joy. Amazing God.

LaDonna Nice
10 years ago

This verse from my favorite hymn comes to mind as I read this…
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

10 years ago

I was on a date late Nov 30. I thought about you. 🙂

I must tell you about the most incredible Foot Washing I have attended. My best friend S and I were struggling. Little misunderstandings, too busy, too little sleep, lots of stress. And Communion was that evening. We decided to do pedicures at my cottage instead of more glorious sounding adventures.
That heated foot bath, scrubs and stuff never saw such brokenness. Confessions and joy. Healing and tears. God was there.
Eventually we needed to go to church. It felt absolutely ridiculous. We had been at the Feet of Jesus and were washed in a new way. In a way I have never seen in customary foot washing.
Customary people’s loss.

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