October 30, 2012 | My Jottings
Sometimes the most surprising things make me happy.
Recently Michael and I had lunch at a favorite Vietnamese restaurant of ours, and when we were finished we strolled through the kitchen/cookware store in the same building. I don’t usually buy anything because I’ve spent the last several months getting rid of so many unneeded things in our home. But I love to behold beauty, and I always appreciate an innovative invention, and you’ll find both of those in most well-stocked kitchen shops.
After browsing, we were almost ready to walk out the door when I glanced at a pile of hand-woven table runners and dishtowels. I rarely find anything with both red and blue in it, but on this day I found a wonderful plaid table runner with the colors that make up my kitchen and dining room, and I bought it. It was inexpensive too. Before I even took my shoes off when we returned home, I put it on the table, and felt very happy about it. Plaid has always pleased me, and this plaid makes me downright chipper. I think that is proof enough that Scottish blood runs through my veins.
From a distance it looks like it has purple in it but it doesn’t. There’s cardinal red, deep blue, a little forest green, and some black, yellow and white. I know there’s probably a name to this plaid. I checked online to see what some of the most common Scottish and Irish tartans are, and it looks similar to a few I found. It reminds me of a MacLachlan or a MacDonald tartan, but it’s a bit less symmetrical than both of those.
I think I’ll call it the MacMerry tartan, until someone lets me know what its true clan name is.
There are a few other things that make me feel happy these days. Like the taste of hot chai tea on an afternoon when it’s close to freezing out and the wind is howling. Like the sound of the furnace going on at 5:00 in the morning, so that when I’m making breakfast and setting out meds, the chill is gone. Like waking from a deep sleep at 4:45 a.m. and the first conscious thought being of Jesus. Speaking of Jesus, His mercy makes me happy. I have needed His mercy every single day, and I’m old enough now to accept it gratefully, instead of wondering if it will run out, as I used to fret about when I was young.
My daughters’ voices make me happy. Seeing the whitecaps on Lake Superior today gave me a little thrill, and then I smiled to myself as I remembered that Michael always says they’re “sheep on the Lake!” It makes me happy to write down the things I’m grateful for, and to know that soon my gratitude journal will be completely full and I’ll be over the 2000 gift mark. It fills me with awe how transformative saying thank you to the Lord is when a dark mood is brooding.
It makes me happy to attend Community Bible Study and to sit with women young and old, plump and slight, poor and well-off, seekers and believers, Catholic and Baptist, Pentecostal and Lutheran, and let God’s Word speak to our thirsty souls. It makes me happy that almost every time I open the Bible for my own devotional time, the tears stream down my face.
Fresh flowers in the house make me happy. Here’s a closer shot of the white stocks on the table.
I am also sad about some things. Yes, I feel all this happiness in the midst of sadness, and it doesn’t feel crazy at all. It feels like life. I carry deep sorrows in my heart that I take to the Lord and try to leave at His feet. I know I’m not meant to carry them, but sometimes I just do. Don’t you relate? Aren’t all of our lives woven with many strands of grief, joy, hope, dreams, peace, disappointment, contentment, and sometimes plain happiness?
Maybe that’s why I like plaid. Maybe it reminds me on some deep level that the dark days and bright days of our lives can be woven together by God into something lovely. (I don’t really think that’s why I like plaid, though. I think I like it because I’m Irish/Scottish and my teeny, tiny, invisible DNA bagpipes are ever calling out to anything that comes from that part of the world.) 🙂
Lord, how thankful I am that you have preserved my life, given me a family, made yourself known to me. I give you praise for teaching me how to live with sorrow and happiness, how to trust you with one and exult in the other.
It makes me happy that God is not a quitter. I have told Him many times “Thank you for not giving up on me!” It makes me happy that He hears my prayers and knows the deepest wails of my heart, and can be trusted to answer in His way and in His time.
It makes me happy to think that a handful of people, friends, family, read this humble little blog. It surprises me that anyone cares about my thoughts and ramblings, and it delights me that I have found new friends here. Beloved friends.
What kinds of things make you happy? Thick socks? Werther’s Originals? Poetry? Falling leaves? Perry Como? Babies? Blogs? Books?
Or does plaid make you happy too?
I look forward to reading any comments, dear ones….