Learning Happiness

Evan and Marie - HQ-3987
Daniel Swanson Photography

Three months into marriage, and I’m starting to feel more like myself.

The green outside is making me happy – and so are a lot of other things. We’ve been lighting candles all over the house and watching ridiculous movies. My hours at the coffeeshop are close to full-time, so I’m spending less time alone. The hours I do spend alone I fill with fairy tales and jogs by the pond. My husband and I have even made a few stabs at home improvement, hanging curtains and purchasing second-hand furniture.

Evan and Marie - HQ-8636
Daniel Swanson Photography

It has taken me a while to get used to happiness. I had been so afraid of marriage, and my boyfriend and I had experienced so much conflict beforehand, that my heart entered married life a little raw. Any hint of frustration from my husband felt like rejection. To say that I was sensitive would be an understatement. Many, many times during the first couple of months, he had to hold me until I calmed down enough to talk.

I still have much to learn about steadiness. When my days off do not correspond with his,  when I haven’t gotten enough sleep, or when an eight-hour shift feels particularly long, I still tend to dissolve emotionally. In those moments, my best hope is to pray and hug someone. (It’s amazing what a good, long hug can do.) Slowly, slowly, however, I am learning to accept the joy that surrounds me.

Slowly, slowly, I am learning to accept the joy that surrounds me.

These days, I’m taking delight in small things: a line in a novel, the mood of the sky, the tiny pink flowers on a bush. The Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente gets me giggling during lunch breaks, and the movies Zombieland and Anger Management recently had me in stitches. (Disclaimer: I do not recommend these movies to anyone with taste or morals.) I’m also finding that I have more energy to pray and am itching to catch up on the lives around me. In short, I am becoming the happy version of myself, the one I had almost forgotten. My prayer is that you would do the same.

Lord, may we choose to notice the small blessings and pause to thank You for them. Build us into the free, joyful people You created us to be.

Love,

The Reluctant Bride

Evan and Marie - HQ-7736
Daniel Swanson Photography

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – Jesus, as quoted in John 10:10 (NIV)

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