"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." Psalm 40:2

5 Things That Make Me Happy {30 Chances to Get to Know Me Series}

{Note: This is a slightly updated version of a post originally published in February 2014 on another blog I had formerly.}

Here is post #5 in the 30 Chances list. The assignment is: What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

1.) Long, uninterrupted time with God.

Of course, little bits of time with God and devotions that are interrupted here and there make me happy, too. It’s just that those less frequent times of prayer and Bible study in which I lose all track of time make me really, really happy! Sometimes I’ll stay up late just to try and steal an hour or two with Him…which can easily turn into three or four…

Also, one of the things my husband and I prioritize is to each have an annual time away alone with the Lord. One of my friends calls hers a “personal retreat”. I’ve heard of people going out into the woods, renting a cabin (my husband’s preference), or staying at the beach or a retreat center or resort. So far, my once-a-year retreat has been much less “romantic”. I simply get a decent hotel room – usually across town. I ask for early check-in (which usually isn’t any earlier than noon), and leave early one morning, spend the first part of the day either in a coffee shop reading or going on a drive or a walk. Then I check into the hotel, hang up the “do not disturb” sign, and spend the rest of that day and the following day praying, studying Scripture deeply, reading meaty Christian books, and writing. No TV. No social media, phone calls, or email. (I do text my husband a few times to check in, though. 🙂 ) I check out as late as possible, and usually stay away until dinner (which is always ready when I get home!). This recharges my batteries, fuels and directs my Bible study for the year, and is just downright wonderful! I highly recommend it!

2.) Coffee with my husband.

Oh, my! This is another occasion during which I am apt to lose track of time! (We try hard to be disciplined about that…most days…)

This is one of the times when my husband and I can just be best friends & lovers, allowing the stressful stuff of life to fade for a little while. The kids know to make themselves scarce, and Hubbie and I just sip and talk. I love how much we can talk! I love that he listens to me talk on and on and on…and that he’s not bashful to do so himself. A single 20 minute coffee break with my husband can turn a rotten day on its head and turn a good day into a great day!

3.) Reaching goals – even little ones

I get so tickled by accomplishments! I beam every time I admire a new skirt I finished. I do a happy dance every day I accomplish my new morning routine. I have literally jumped for joy after reaching physical therapy milestones. (I just did so in the middle of Food Lion a few weeks ago!)

Getting up on time, keeping my temper, remembering to speak the Gospel into a son’s life during discipline, finally discovering a cinnamon roll recipe that Hubbie loves (after 6 years of trying!), making a new brochure using Illustrator, finishing a book, passing a test, wiping the kitchen sink until it gleams…every little accomplishment just makes me happy!

4.) Watching my sons grow.

As happy as my own accomplishments make me, my sons’ accomplishments make me twice that happy, at least. Especially in areas that they struggle – whether it’s math, speech therapy, physical fitness, or a sin habit – my heart yearns for them to overcome, and it is downright thrilled every time they do!

I also thoroughly enjoy their developing character and personalities. You might think that three boys would be pretty much the same, but oh how different they are! There’s the dutiful, responsible, literalist who is a Civil War history and fiddle-playing Old Tyme Music enthusiast. Then there’s the fun-loving, outgoing extrovert who devours study of biology and physiology, enjoys gardening and working outdoors (especially in a team or with other people), yet ironically spends just about every spare moment with his nose in a book. Finally, there’s the deeply emotional musician who wanders into the woods to read poetry and draw or photograph plants and wildlife, and has a beautiful grasp on sarcasm and cracks the funniest jokes in the house.

Each boy is multifaceted, and it moves me beyond words to witness their growth in the Lord and their growth as young men.

5.) Lovin’ on babies.

I get so much joy from interacting with, holding, and snuggling little ones! My babies aren’t babies anymore, and unless the Lord surprises us it seems we won’t have any more of our own, but I thoroughly enjoy each and every opportunity to be “Ms. Jenni” and “Aunt Jenni”!

My brother and his wife had their first child almost 2 years ago, and I was in hog heaven when I finally got to meet her in a few months after! Babies (and toddlers and preschoolers) have such a spark of new life that is almost intoxicating. Their wonder and joy is breathtaking. Their needs are so simple, yet so critical. I wish I understood when my guys were little what I understand now. I think I would have treasured that season more.

Local friends – yes, you know who to call if you need a sitter! 😉 (I winkey-faced…but really…it would be my joy to do so.)

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