Friday, January 25, 2013

It's Friday... time to reflect on happiness

It feels like Monday was a year ago.

Maddox was out of school Monday for MLK Day.
The funeral was Tuesday.
Wednesday I had my first Bible study... took my sister to the airport... had a flat tire... got Maddox to and from school... and went to a cookout at my brother's with my aunt and uncle.
Yesterday we ran errands and then ate lunch at the park and played in the 80 degree weather.
Finally its Friday... which in my exciting world, just means laundry... and because we live in Texas, back to 50 degrees.


Mamaw's funeral was beautiful.  Thanks to the Mary Poppins' purse and enough snacks for a 7 day camping trip, the boys were perfect.  I still haven't broke down, and I think mostly her death has made me reflect.... and I am happy for her to be on the golden streets of Heaven, no walker in site.
I do want to share 2 Maddox'isms from the event.
Pulling up, he got his nervous face like he was a minute away from spilling the tears.
He took a deep breath, and said, "well, let's go find a stone without words, that's where we will put her."
And then he saw Gunner and Ellie, and he was 4 again... not sad... just playful-- not trying to be the funeral director at all.
But as we were leaving, his wheels started turning again.
Just as we reached the car, he looked to Lance and I and said, "so... are we just going to leave her bones here?"
I almost fell over!!  I said, "well we are certainly not taking them with us!"
I know it's a bit dark to tell such funny stories about a funeral-- but if you knew Mamaw....
I can see her tossing her head back and laughing now!
I guarantee she got a kick out of that one!

With her death, I have thought a lot.
First about funerals.
I don't want a funeral.
It is a lot of money for people to get together and be sad.
I want everyone to take a trip and talk about their favorite stories about me.
Turn me to ashes and spread me somewhere beautiful.
It's just a body... and I will already be in Heaven having a celebration beyond anything we can afford.
So write that down.
No funeral.

Then about Lance.

These past few weeks have helped me highlight all of the qualities that make my husband so special.
I pretend to be so independent and in control of this house, but when it falls apart, he's always there.
Quietly ready to take control and lead this boat back to safe waters.
I think I brag on him a lot as a daddy... but I don't know if I make it clear how amazing he is all the way around.
He helps me with housework-- he listens when I need to vent-- and he honestly tries to fix the hole when I tell him what more I need.
He's not perfect...
He's spends way too much time pooping, on Gun Broker, and tuning out most everything in our house.  He still won't compliment me, takes 7 years to get ready, and gets himself into more 'political discussions' than I would care to witness--
but God knows I'm not perfect either...
and my list of down falls laps his by a mile.
Fights with the squishy ball, or him holding me down so that the boys can attack me-- and the nights we are laughing so hard we can't breathe, make up for his down falls.
I didn't tell him that I needed more of those nights this week, but he knew.
I am blessed to have him as my best friend.

Finally I have been thinking about happiness in general.

You all know that I only have about 1/1000 of my life figured out.
And depending on the time of the month, even that is a stretch.
Over this week I have thought about how proud I am of my Mamaw.
She bought her house for $6,000, years ago.  She eventually added on a bedroom and a bathroom, making it a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1 car garage little estate.
She made her own money...
Raised 2 kids by herself...
And was happy.
She had a view on every topic you could throw at her...
A very opinionated and bossy view, I may add.
But she lived this life with joy.
Almost a century of it.

She really had her stuff together.

She told me many tips over the years about happiness--
but I think what I have had ringing through my head for days is, "just make good choices."
Happiness really is that simple.
A choice.

If I were making my own list of advice, I would probably start by telling you not to buy the new Girl Scout Mango cookie; it tastes like hand lotion.
To think of at least 2 meals to make from each type of cooked meat-- so that you throw away less food-- but don't have to have the same meal twice in one week.
And to have a savings account.

But for some reason I have more information spilling from me today-- a bit deeper than these topics-- and I feel compelled to write it down.
So here goes:

If we surround ourselves with friends who hate their husbands... we will too.
If we work beside people who constantly hate our job... it will rub off.
If our close acquaintances get to jet set-- and party-- and throw their responsibilities to the way-side-- and depend on everyone else for their happiness... we will find ourselves wishing we could do the same, and tarnishing all that we have worked to build.
Bitterness and unhappiness and never being satisfied are all as contagious as the flu.
I know.
I have caught the bug many, many times.
Money will not make us happy.
If we put our weight of happiness into material things and cash... we will be stripped of happiness when we are stripped of those things.
And it happens.
That's life.

If we worry constantly about this earthly body... we will drown in that also.
Weight is just a number.  --Easily said from a girl who has to worry more about gaining than losing, I know.  But believe me, those pins about "no one wants a skinny girl"  ...or "this is what a real women is suppose to look like", are just as ugly to a stickly gal, as fat jokes are to a heavy girl.
I am all about making healthy choices, but dieting every day and eating faux dirt isn't a happy life.

Sometimes I worry that my blog has too much good stuff.  That people either think, "she's full of crap.  You know their life is just stressful as ours."  or "who is she to give advice?"  And they're right.
I write these things down to clear my own head.
Or to offer words of encouragement one day-- years from now, when my children are facing the same struggles we do.

I try and write a healthy balance of the stress in my life, as well as the blessings-- but it still probably shows more highlights than reality.
If I spent my time picking at this keyboard to document the longest days-- I would have more of those.

Sure, I've been known to hand out a grade A spanking at the checkout line, and then see someone's status talking about how terrible parents are who spank.
Yes, I sometimes don't "like" peoples pictures when I think they have gone out of their way to not like mine.
Of course, I am mean to my husband sometimes and take my impatience out on my kids.
I also spend WAY too much time cleaning.
We eat out WAY too much and are always more broke than we should be.
I am constantly trying to think of a way to reorganize my life and am convinced that if everything were on a perfect schedule, my life would be smoother.
I am always looking ahead-- and can't wait until...
And I never really feel deserving of anything nice.

I jack it up every single day.

But I have surrounded myself with Godly women... who are amazing mothers... who love their husbands... are know how to be a friend.
and if the saying is true:: you are who you hang with...
then I am doing alright.

I think what is weighing on me-- that I feel compelled to share...
is simply:
If we surround ourselves with happy things... and think happy thoughts... and follow through with happy actions... and focus more on what we are doing right-- rather than what we are doing wrong... even when it feels forced, and we don't try to 'get ahead' or worry about what we are owed or how we have been wronged...
I think we will be happy.

Maybe I am wrong...
But I'll let you take that up with Mamaw one day.

I am pretty sure that these were more her words than mine.


  1. I love the stories you told of Maddox at the funeral. Not dark at all. Funny and sweet I think. I agree with you, and Kevin and I both want big parties when we wakes, no funerals, not in some creepy funeral home with everyone being so solemn and acting like death for anyone is a surprise. It's life, we're going to live it to it's fullest, because we know it's so short.

    I found myself nodding through this entire post. So many of my same thoughts. I can't even go back and detail them all, but just know that we have such the same mindset on life. I think Kevin and Lance are SO much alike. I think you share the good and the bad and people love that about you. I also agree that focusing on the negative just makes us negative. I wish my words flowed like yours do here, because my thoughts are almost identical.

    {and secretly, I laughed at the "liking" people's pictures thing. How immature to say I get my feelings hurt at times on IG, but I do}.

    Love this post. Probably my all time favorite of yours. I might have said that before, but this one is, for sure.

  2. Very good advice! It all boils down to what you put out into the world is what you will get back from the world. Happiness is a choice and it takes effort.It isn't something we are entitled to and it won't be handed to us. It takes most people a lifetime to figure that out, if they ever do. It shows what a great woman you have grown into that you can see that now with a lifetime ahead to enjoy it's rewards.

  3. LOVE LOVE this... Very good words and things that go through my head a lot... I can't express them quite as beautifully as you do, so thanks for the great reminder and a way to see some of the very things that I think put into words! :)