30-Day Writing Challenge · Blog 365 · Life Chronicles

10 Happy Things

My little Blog 365 project got a little thrown off track with the start of the school year, but I’m determined to get back to it – and one way is by doing this little 30-day writing challenge [found on Pinterest]. They are short, easy prompts which will [hopefully] make it easier to be committed to writing daily again. So here we go … starting with Day 1.

Day 1: List 10 Things that Make You Really Happy

Happy Thing #1: The feeling when you see a best friend you haven’t seen for a long time.
I am accustomed to long-distance friendships. They have been a part of my life since I was 12 years old. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a fan of them, but the distance does make our reunions all the sweeter when they happen. And with pieces of my heart strewn about in Houston, Washington, D.C., Nampa, Renton, Abbotsford, Vancouver, Sandpoint, Phoenix, California, and Russia – I definitely know what it’s like to be thrilled to see the most kindred of spirits after months or years of separation.

Happy Thing #2: CYT Expo. My happy place.
You see my posts about it every year. And unless you’re in CYT, you probably don’t know what it’s really all about. That’s okay. I’ll sum it up like this: family reunion + theater + Jesus + leadership + hilarity + some of the raddest people in the world. Oh, in a gorgeous hotel on the San Diego beach. Yes, it fills me with great joy.

Happy Thing #3: Students who get excited about what we’re learning – and who show growth.
Being a teacher is one of the most draining careers in my opinion. But what makes it all worth it? When the light bulb goes on in a student’s eye, and they get it. Or when they’re so engaged with their learning that they don’t realize that they’re learning. Or when we get to the end of the year, and we compare their work from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. It’s those moments when you realize: teaching makes such a difference.

Happy Thing #4: Chai with my fuzzy warm blanket.
I’m pretty sure that you think I exaggerate my love for cozy things. I do not exaggerate. My chai and fuzzy blanket calm my busy mind so very much. I think everyone needs comfort items like that – it brings such happiness. Warmth on the inside and out. It’s delightful.

Happy Thing #5: Snuggling with Theodore.
I love cuddling … and I’m so glad I got a nephew who’s such a cuddle-bug who lives close by. It will be a sad day when he’s too old for it – but he’ll never be too old to give his auntie hugs, and for that I’m grateful. That sweet little head that I’ve kissed since he was born will continue to be kissed till I’m old and gray. Auntie rights.

Happy Thing #6: A book so good I can’t put it down.
A book that rich is a transport to another realm – a discovery of other worlds – a flight of imagination so intense it’s hard to remember where you actually are when you close the covers. Stories that detailed and complex and compelling – those kinds of stories grip my heart and I never forget them. They become a part of me, and I delight in their narratives.

Happy Thing #7: When someone surprises me with a gift.
Hence the picture with this post – the day I discovered that my love language is gifts. I had never felt so overwhelmed with love as I did that day. The day before I had gotten a bouquet of sunflowers from Annie for no reason, and then that day [which happened to be Fedora Friday, also a stimulus of happiness], Miah bought me a new chair, and Katie and Havalah brought me a milkshake. I was actually crying with happiness – I couldn’t believe they would shower me with gifts like that. I still cherish every moment that someone thinks of me with a gift, and I forever associate them with that gift after that.

Happy Thing #8: Being onstage.
I can’t think about this one for too long, because it hurts my heart to be away from it … but telling stories onstage is one of the most joyous things I’ve ever done. I’ve been so blessed to get to do it many times, and I know that my theater days are far from over. The stage is my second home, and I get a thrill simply stepping onto its floorboards again.

Happy Thing #9: When someone gets me – true conversations with kindred spirits.
There are probably few things that I enjoy as much as rich conversations. The richest kind come from someone who understands my soul and understands the thoughts I love to ponder and mull over. When time flies so quickly you don’t realize it’s passed – you know it’s the best kind of conversation.

Happy Thing #10: Seeing dreams coming true.
It’s such a delight to discover dreams you didn’t know you had, but that God so graciously gave to you. It’s even more of a delight when He graciously allows them to come true. I have had some incredibly sweet dreams come true in my life, and the memory of each of those days happening still brings a smile to my face. The way God works through His children is miraculous, and I am daily in awe that He would choose to work through me. And the thrill that I feel when I know I’m doing what He’s called me to do – well, all I can say is, to God be the glory for giving His children such joy and fulfillment on this earth.

Life certainly isn’t happy all the time [sorry, Buddy the Elf] … but there are things about life that do make the heart delighted to be alive. And I’m so grateful to God for these gifts – small foretastes of eternity. How good He is to us.

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