Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Headaches and Happiness

headacheI thought I was supposed to have this post up last week, but I spent most of Tuesday trying not throw up. I get migraines when it storms. I take medication to prevent that, but it doesn’t always work. I also have medicine for the pain, but it only dulls it. I woke up Wednesday in a panic thinking I'd missed my day, so I wrote this post and was ready to publish it when I noticed it was actually Jennifer's week. I guess my foggy brain mixed things up.

Pain is a complicated thing. It can be anywhere from a mere annoyance to life-threatening. And while I'm in the middle of a migraine, and to me it's all-consuming, I know that really it’s more toward the inconvenience side of the scale compared to what some people live with. Or worse, decide they can't live with.

We want a pain-free life. Just look at the pain reliever aisle of any grocery or drug store. We desire comfort. We crave happiness. I know one person who left a marriage barely a year old because he “wasn't happy.” I know two others who destroyed nearly everything—family, friends, marriages, careers—not to mention many people around them, in attempts to find personal happiness.

What I'm realizing is this quest for happiness is very much a first-world problem. Only here do we have such a luxury. Only here so we labor under such a delusion.

While we are busy rearranging our lives to avoid pain and seek happiness, girls in other countries are being kidnapped or forced to marry Muslims in order to produce more Muslim babies. Pastors are thrown in jail. Yes, I know people suffer for many reasons, but more and more often but it happens simply because one names the name of Christ.

bottle of spilled pillsGod never promised happiness. In fact, He guaranteed exactly the opposite: “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world." (John 16:33 HCSB)

Jesus promised suffering, but He also promised joy. "I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)

Joy and happiness are not the same thing. As long as we have Jesus, we can have a joyous life, even in the midst of suffering. And even when we have a horrid headache! The next time you have one, think on all these things, and rejoice.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tapping into Your Creative Self

LittleAshWatch a preschooler for any length of time and you're sure to see fanciful worlds displayed. They can fly! And fight off stones turned into dragons, their limitless creativity forms entire worlds from tissue paper, leaving your bathrooms rather bare.

But somewhere along the way, many of us learn to stifle our creative side as we journey along the road of must-dos.

And yet, I believe there's great value in leaving reality on occasion. However, if it's been a while since we've run through the grass barefoot, rolled down a hill, or created flower veils from daisies, we might need a little help getting started.

Maybe that's why God gave us children. ;) Well, that and the whole procreation thing.

When was the last time you did something goofy-silly?

When was the last time you created some--anything--for the pure pleasure of it?

When was the last time you played?

When was the last time you had a belly laugh, the kind that sent mascara-streaked tears running down your face and had you snorting like a pig?giggle1_zps1784140f

When was the last time you set your to-do list aside and just enjoyed the day?

When was the last time you enjoyed the day with someone who you love?

If it's been a while, perhaps it's time to do some schedule shuffling. ;)

Share your thoughts, giggles, and random bursts of creativity with us in the comments below. :)