Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happiness - How can I find it?

Happiness, something we all seem to be searching for but rarely seem to find. And in those rare instances when we have it in our hands it seems to disappear quite quickly! Today I'm joining Lelia's study of Lisa Whittle's book Behind Those Eyes and this week we are looking at Ms. Happiness.

She is someone we all long to be or at least I know I have tried to play the part. Lisa explains how we look for this happiness in ourselves, others and even the things we have or do. Ultimately it's all for naught!

Yesterday I had an experience that brought this to life and really made Lisa's words true. I already knew that was the case, but this situation solidified that truth. How nothing really will bring lasting happiness and how I'm sorry to say, we (I) can put on the mask and make others think I'm happy, but I will always know the truth and God does too.

Anyway two weeks ago, I signed a book contract - that should make me happy right? Wrong! Sure at times it was and still is exciting, but honestly it is scary and yesterday really brought tears rather than smiles. You see this isn't a book I ever thought I'd publish - it's basically the story of my walk of faith that includes journal entries and personal emails. I'm sharing the real me with the world and for someone who has hid most of my life this is a big step out of my comfort zone.

When I couple this with the fact that I've lived the majority of my life as a people pleaser doubt can creep in. Especially when certain loved ones, the very ones I lived to please, don't understand or approve of my decision to put myself out there. It hurts and the tension it's created in our relationship really caused me to question yesterday.

Sure others have shared the excitement about me being an author and really I wish I could grab a little of that for myself, but do I tell them that? Not often enough - I put on the smile and play the game while internally I'm thinking if they only knew! Last night the buzzer sounded though and the game came to an end as I shared with Leanne, my spiritual mom and c0-author about my worries and doubts.

Lisa's whole book is about being real and ladies that is who God wants us to be. It's living the truth and like He says that will set us free. With that freedom comes peace and real happiness, better known as Joy! Like Lisa says, "True joy comes from within when we are operating in our life in the way that pleases God."

So back to my question, how can I find happiness? Last night I was reminded once again I never will! I've lived long enough to know I can't make myself happy and just yesterday was reminded there comes a time when I can't please others (and the same is true for them pleasing me) and the things that make us happy can change and quickly cause us pain.

My pastor once was talking about marriage and shared from a book how it's intended for holiness not happiness, and I think that relates to life as well because as we live to be holy the happiness takes care of itself. That's not the happiness of the world, but the JOY of the Lord and the best way to find that is by keeping things in order
Jesus
Others
You!
I pray you have a joy-filled day!!

13 comments:

  1. I can so relate! While my book wasn't as intensely personal as it sounds yours will be, there is still something so vulnerable in putting yourself out there for whomever to read.

    When I was working on that first book, the last thing I heard in my head before I drifted off to sleep and my first, barely-conscious waking thought was "You can't write a book. You can't write a book." But I had a contract and a deadline, so day by day I got up and worked on that book. And night by night I'd fall asleep to that voice of doubt.

    But you know what? Once I'd completed it and sent it off, I never heard that voice again! I went on to other books, and while there were other struggles--as there always is any time we're trying to be faithful to do the work God has given us, that voice never came again.

    I'm sorry some of those voices aren't just whispering in your mind, but are speaking in your life. Remember that none of this would have come about without the Lord's hand in it--that's one of the great blessings of being a Christian writer--we can't really manipulate ourselves into publication. It happens when and how He deems appropriate.

    Remember the path he has brought you along to get to this place and stand firm in His blessing and His calling, knowing He intends to use your words to even greater end.

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  2. Congrats,on your book.

    By reading your post,your on the right track in the honesty department.

    Your be fine...God's on your side:)

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  3. "That's not the happiness of the world, but the JOY of the Lord and the best way to find that is by keeping things in order
    Jesus
    Others
    You!"

    That is great. Thank you for sharing that!

    Glad to be on this journey with you, Darlene

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  4. First...Congrat's on your book!!! You truly are a gifted writer...and God's got big plans for you.

    I so love the JOY...Jesus..Others...You...WOW.

    Keep resting in him.

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  5. This was wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing your experience so openly here.
    You are a great writer and your personality comes shining through. It is good to see your priorities, and to have you remind me is just what I needed.
    thank you!
    Heather

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  6. It sounds as if you are really being tested by writing this book. Praying that you will feel his peace as you move forward.

    I love what you wrote:

    I think that relates to life as well because as we live to be holy the happiness takes care of itself.

    Perfectly said!!
    blessings,
    Kim

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  7. This is a great post and one that will help alot of people.

    Congratulations on your book. I'm sure God will use it to minister through your personal story.

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  8. Holiness...not happiness! I like that. Something to truly ponder and pray about. I'll be back to visit!!
    Hugs,
    Susan

    PS--Congratulations on your book! God will use it to glorify Him :)

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  9. Hi Jill, a great post and very true words. I love how you write -
    "My pastor once was talking about marriage and shared from a book how it's intended for holiness not happiness, and I think that relates to life as well because as we live to be holy the happiness takes care of itself. That's not the happiness of the world, but the JOY of the Lord and the best way to find that is by keeping things in order
    Jesus
    Others
    You!"

    The pastor at church last Sunday did a preach on Others and used the same Joy acronym. Our own sinfulness keeps up from findng true joy because we stop being holy, which is what we must be.

    I'm so glad I stopped by your page, as I have spent my life being a people pleaser. I still do things to please some people but not all the people, which is not ideal, but much better than how it used to be.

    I think it pays to put things out on the table so we can cleanse ourselves from them. Keeping things bottled up inside is not good. I heard a lady speak at a women's church meeting last night and she said that with every exhalation we are letting go of our sin and repenting, and with every inhalation we are breathing in more of God and His goodness. Very true words.

    In Him, Paula

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  10. Thank you for answering God's call and taking the leap of faith to write your book. I love to read the stories of people's journey to Faith and how the Lord works in their life. It's so encouraging. God will use it to glorify Him, and I'm sure bless you.

    I love the JOY accronym. It's simple but true. Thanks for that reminder, and sharing your fears so honestly.

    Carol

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  11. Hi Jill,

    I just came back to personally thank you for your encouraging word you left the other day. I am doing much better and have re-entered the land of the living.

    Cindy

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  12. I love that JOY.
    Jesus
    Others
    You
    And in that exact order.

    I can relate to what your pastor said about holiness instead of happiness. In my blog, I related a similar message from my passage who talked about joyfully married instead of happily married and that God is not concerned with our happiness.

    You are right that I do not think pure happiness is ever achieve.

    Someone on her blog pointed out that God does provide little sprinks of happiness to give us a taste of swimming in happiness in Heaven. She went on to say He sends those moments of happiness to remind us of them during the bleak and hard times. I can't remember which blog it was or if it was a comment. But it stuck with me. We can only expect bits and pieces of happiness. I spurt here and there.

    Sweet Blessings,
    Paula

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  13. Congratulations Jill!! I will buy a copy, but it better be autographed! :)

    Loved what you said about how we will never "find" happiness.
    Jesus is all we need isn't He?

    Love,
    Lelia

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