Your Happy Place
Are you sitting near a stream? Maybe you are in the stands, watching your child perform on the field or the stage? Are you in front of a blank canvas with a brush in hand? You could be sitting on the porch, on a cool morning drinking a cup of coffee? Instead, you may consider a time when there were really no words to describe the proud or peaceful moment you just experienced? Where is that happy place?
Where do you go to rejuvenate? What kind of setting are you in when you can finally “catch your breath?” What time of the day do you find yourself most peaceful?
Take a few quiet minutes to name 2 places where you were most happy.
Honest, Truthful, and Genuine
I recently reflected on this question, and found myself drawn to 4 “happy places”. Today, I’ll mention two. I’m the mother of 2 teenage boys, and while this might lead you to think that our house is filled with the common “teenage boy” stereotype of behavior, I’m grateful that it’s really not. My husband and I are living examples of flawed parents who find intentional ways of being honest, truthful and genuine with our sons, sharing with them that our goal is really getting them to heaven! Their teenage years are filled with critical teaching and learning moments which, if wasted, become detrimental to their growth and guidance. Our communication and collaborative efforts as their parents are shared between them and us.
My Happy Places
But moving on, I found that some of my happiest places are when I’m sitting in a crowd of people watching my sons share their talents. Our oldest son is a member of the Catholic high school choir and musical theater company. A few times a year, he is on the stage sharing his musical talent and voice with those who gather to watch. He puts forth so much effort and sacrifice into the rehearsals. He practices and studies his delivery of the material. And I am there. He doesn’t see me in the crowd, but I gaze upon him with such love and “proud mama” fervor that I can hardly stand it. Seeing our son on the stage, one of his “happy places,” makes me happy. It brings me to tears. My heart is joyful and the others in the audience generously share their admiration. Sometimes, I’m even in disbelief of what he can do; I am pleasantly surprised and incredibly proud.
This year, our younger son played football and golf. He enjoys being outside and playing really anything, and he has some musical interests that are on the horizon but for now I’ll focus on watching him play football. We are the type of parents who let our kids explore and try new things. This discovery approach, we have found, helps to shape who they are and who they will be. As I sit in the bleachers close to the 50 yard line on the football field, I pray for the angels to protect him and keep him safe. He looks for me before the game and I give him a strong fist and an affirmative nod of my head, assuring my support for him from afar. He puts forth so much effort and sacrifice into practicing, conditioning, and training. I’m there…. watching, cheering, gazing upon him with so much love and again, that “proud mama” fervor.
He gives us places where we can catch our breath, find peace in our days and rejuvenate.
These two similar happy places, while in different environments, lead me to contemplate the gaze of our loving Father. We know He is there, sometimes close, sometimes far, sometimes visible, and sometimes not. He looks upon us, His children, with love and admiration, and with “proud papa” fervor. All of our shortcomings are laid bare, and He loves us anyway. He gives us places where we can catch our breath, find peace in our days and rejuvenate.
So take a few moment to go back, explore your happy places that you named at the beginning and be strengthened by God who gazes upon us with His everlasting love.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” —John 15:11-12
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit.” —Romans 15:13