Wednesday, October 15, 2008

You Can't Buy Happiness

I just returned from running errands. Let me tell you about my purchases.

1) I found a pair of darling "reading" glasses for a dollar at Target--for those of you over 40, you know where I'm coming from! They really do make me happy because, not only are they cute, I can see the small print as I type on this computer!! I enjoy, like, and need to see!

2) I used my 30% coupon at New York and Co. to purchase a great little fall outfit. (It looks like a fall ensemble because of the colors, but I can still wear it comfortably when the temps are in the 80's--like TODAY!) I was happy to have the coupon, but the clothes are just clothes. I have way too many in my closet now.

3)I bought some cool gel pens to write my notes for my Bible study. They are fun, but they don't make me happy.

4)I bought an I -Tunes Gift card as a thank you for a stranger who found my youngest son's cell phone. Child#2 dropped it in a huge field on Saturday at a Cross Country meet at a nearby college. This stranger chose to take the time to call the emergency number--my husband--and to locate him in a sea of thousands of people. That brought me joy...his honesty and integrity...what a lesson for my children.

5) I bought an icy cold Coca-Cola--temporary happiness!

6)I witnessed a precious sight while leaving the mall. I feel like it was a little gift from God. It brought me pure joy. I am trying not to cry as I write about it. As I exited the mall into the parking garage, an elderly man was getting out of his car. He looked to be in his eighties. He was parked as close to the entrance as possible. It was in the handicapped section. I smiled and walked onto my car thinking he looks about the same age as my Daddy. (I'll post about him next week!). I saw his bride in the front of the car. Her hair was lovely and white as snow. He was opening the trunk when I walked by. I kept walking to my mama mini van--a woman on a mission before school let out! As I pulled out of my parking space and drove by the couple, I was so blessed! Y'all, he hadn't pulled out a package out of the trunk to return in a store as I thought he might. He had pulled out his bride's wheelchair from the trunk of the car. He was wheeling his lovely bride--with her pocketbook in tow!!--up to the doors for an afternoon of shopping. It so reminded me of my Daddy and Mama.

Mama suffered from a stroke 9 years ago. Daddy went through the wheelchairs and shopping and hair day and going out to eat as part of her therapy. It was time of stress and not being sure about things in our family. It was not a happy time at all; it was a scary time. But, God is SO good. Mama recovered almost 100%. It was and still is such a blessing from Him. Seeing this gentleman and his bride brought me that same joy that it brought watching how tenderly and lovingly Daddy was (and still is) with Mama. Joy...pure joy that ONLY can come from our Heavenly Father.

Please join me at Lelia's blog for the continued discussion of a chapter called "Ms. Happiness." In her book, Behind Those Eyes, author Lisa Whittle talks about how you cannot tell if a person is happy or not by the smile that they wear. Sometimes smiles are masks hiding the truth that is underneath. True joy comes from within when we are operating in our life in the way that pleases God. That's what I want! Joy...pure joy from the Holy Spirit. Happiness is but for a short time, but joy is forever. It doesn't change even though our circumstances might. Call on Him. He will fill you with joy.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. (1 Peter 1:8)

Many Blessings,


Chatty Kelly said...

Thanks for letting me run errands with you today. I had fun! (via your blog of course).

What a sweet sight that was. I saw an elder couple in the Post Office the other day, and they were having a hard time filling out papers for certified mail. Honestly my first thought was "huff, I'm in a hurry - hurry up." But my SECOND thougth was "Can I help you fill out your forms." And I helped them and got them on their way, and they were so thankful and it blessed me much more than them. They were in their 80s or so, and really just needed a little assistance. So glad God put me there AND put my priorities in order.

On Purpose said...

As I read your blog today this is what I came away with...thank you!

That even when I am not happy and people ask me how I am doing...I NEED to say I am see I am great because I have the JOY of JESUS right inside no matter what is going on in my life...that JOY is always there...I just have to acknowledge its presence.

Thanks for this blessing today Susan...I love to read your blog and walk away changed!!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is pressshhhh-uuuussss...just like you. Precious.

I love how you shared all the things you bought and yet the enjoyment of them was only temporary...maybe only that coca-cola.
(Just you calling it a coca-cola is precious...most peeps just say coke but c-c is sweet.)

Then you ended it with your vision from God and giving you a moment of pure joy through Him.

You're a keeper, for sure! :-)
Love ya,

Leebird said...

Any act of tenderness is a joy to behold. Kind of like how tender you are with me when you lovingly tell me to get my butt outside to exercise! ;) I love you bunches and bunches.

The Patterson 5 said...

Thank you for sharing your trip with us today. I enjoyed going along with you and "seeing" the tender moment at the end of your trip.

hkudla said...

I just love how you shared your day with us to show the difference between happiness and joy.

God bless,

nothingcanseparateme said...

What a wonderful story of JOY! I have been paying attention to my happiness versus joy meter the past few days. It feels kind of like your new glasses made you feel as if things are coming into focus.

have a blessed day!

Janet Roller said...

Once again, God has placed the fundamentals in my face...this time True Happiness doesn't come from things, coupons or Coke. Only God. Thanks for the reminder -

Kimberly said...

First, this is a great post! I love the tender picture of the gentleman and his bride and of your mom and dad! Just reading it brings me joy!

And thank you for being so sweet towards me in your comment at Lysa's. You are so sincerely kind!

I just wanted to check with you, too. Did you want to link to your "Pass the Jelly, Please" post? Your link just comes straight to your blog, and I wanted to be sure that you weren't trying to go straight to that post for them to read. I know they will love ANY of your posts, though!

K :)

Kimberly said...

No problem! I didn't want to assume and tell you how to do it! :)

Find that post on your blog and click on the title. That should make it where it is the only post on that page. Highlight the address at the top of your page, right click, and chose to "copy". (Or write it down) :) Go to Mr.Linky at Lysa's page and right click again in the link box, this time choosing "paste". (Or just write in the address you wrote down.) This way it will link to only that post.

Here is my personal e-mail if that is clear as mud. :)


Carol said...

What a great post. I love that you shared the story of the elderly couple at Target. It always gives me Joy to see an elderly couple like that. Makes me wish I could sit with them and listen to there stories, and how they have come through life together.

Then to hear that it reminded you of your mamma and daddy, what a blessing.


PS Ah the Target $1 bin, and yes I get the reading glasses thing.

Gotta Run said...

#1 is SO you!! I love it.
#5 sounds good to me RIGHT now :)
#6 now that is just the sweetest story of all!!

Thanks for sweating with your friend in class last night. Fun times! Will miss ya on Saturday morning but be safe on your 24 miler.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A precious portrait of love. You almost had me crying. This is the way my husband loves me, and I have no doubt that should I ever need a wheelchair or otherwise, he'll the be the one washing me feet all along the way. When I read your story, I thought about us.

How I pray for long life with my man. He's the only one I want to care for me.

Thank you for your kind words, today. My email gone's missing, so I can't comment in a more personal way.

Keep running friend, in all the right directions!


Cindy said...

What a sweet story to see and share.

I came by to say thank you for your precious comment and encouragment on my blog the other day. I am so thankful for my bloggy friends.

I am doing much better today and I plan to enjoy my 2 day vacation.

Blessings, Cindy

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

That's how my husband will be. God has blessed us with this thing called love hasn'r He?
I leave your post feeling all warm and fuzzy. Joy? Yes because I know it comes from Him-His blessings. Thansk for sharing this post!

In His Graces~Pamela

"I like to cultivate the spirit of happiness! It retunes my soul and keeps it so perfectly in tune that satan is fraid to touch it. The cords of my soul become so vibrant and full of heavenly electricity that he takes his friendish fingers from me and goes somewhere else! Satan is always weary of interfering with me when my heart is full of the happiness and joy of the Holy Spirit." ~L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert Devotions

Laura said...

what a beautiful story to see unfold before your eyes! I just love to see these little Godspots to remind me how precious staying married for a long time will be. Thanks for the blessing of this image tonight.

Susan said...

Hey Susan,

This was such a aweome post. Thanks for sharing what a great trip you had and seeing that precious couple.

Your joy touched my heart!

Keep blessing the Lord♥

Tammy R said...

I lost my breath just reading about your errands:)

My heart is always blessed when I see an elderly couple.It reminds me of my parents,they were married for 52 years before Dad died.

Thank you for stopping by,

Wendy said...

Hey ladybug!

I've got errands to run, why don't you swing by and we'll go together? :)

I love your description of this couple. I can only pray that Will and I get to enjoy those years with each other (whatever they bring). My grandparents are in their 90s and only recently started to not be able to care for themselves full time. My grandfather, too, has spent many hours shuttling "Mother" around to her nail appointments, the mall and all stops in between. His devotion and tenderness is touching, but to see them flirt makes me laugh and brings a tear to my eye. She'll touch his arm and he'll holler "woo woo". Too cute.

Miss ya girlie!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hi Susan,
What a beautiful "site" to behold.
Your memories of your Dad being such a good husband to your Momma will be with you forever. He sure imprinted LOVE on you by his actions!
You... are an amazing grace fan as well? LOL I haven't tried the falling in love yet have you? The first day I got my shipment of amazing grace I sprayed it on and walked out to our mechanics shop. Talked for awhile the the guys and then turned to leave and my Beloved said, "Hey Momma,"... by the way.... YOU SMMMMMELLL MARRRRRVELOUS" - In his Billy Crystal way. LOL I've worn it ever since! ;)
Have a beautiful day Susan!

Naomi said...

Hi Susan! Thanks for stopping by my blog. It was good to read your post and I love the picture you painted of the elderly couple and their sweetness towards each other. Enjoy the fast-approaching weekend... Naomi

Lelia Chealey said...

Okay, I'm teary eyed so the computer looks blurry. I wish I had your glasses so I could see what I'm typing. :)
That was so sweet what you shared & Praise God for your Mom's recovery. I've taken care of alot of stroke victims & that is tough.
Susan...thank you so much for the birthday card!!! You made me joyful! :)
Love you much,

Edie said...

What a beautiful story Susan. I'm all teary-eyed now. Real love shining as it should. I love when God causes us to stop and notice those little moments that we are all too often so busy that we don't notice.

sailorcross said...

Hi Susan!!

I wanted to thank you for stopping by "The Power of Your Love" and leaving such an encouraging comment.

As I said, I'm still in the learning process. But, isn't that one of the most miraculous things about God? No matter how much we learn or THINK we know, there is always something new and exciting to learn about God's power and wisdom.

I loved your post--sharing your day with us. So many "things" in our lives only bring temporary happiness, as you pointed out.

Your story of the man and woman reminded me of my dad. After my mom passed away, he was lost for a while. He went to Mickey D's every day for lunch, just to get out of the house.

He was having his lunch one day, and in pulled a van with several handicapped children--all in wheelchairs, leg braces, various disabilities. And, he sat and contemplated on this, thanking God that his own grandchildren were healthy and whole.

He went home and knew he just had to do something about this. Being a little older himself, he was in somewhat of a dilemma as to what he could physically do. He finally decided that he physically could do nothing. But, he could do something financially.

So, he sat down, wrote a check, and sent it off to the Shriners' Hospital in Boston with a note thanking them for their efforts in helping children.

I just love how God works, don't you?


Lysa TerKeurst said...

Thanks for this sweet reminder about the truth of real joy.

I also used a coupon at New York and Co. today. Made me smile but you're right... today's happy new outfit is a future donation to Good Will.

Great post.

much2ponder said...

I stopped over here from another blog and was pleasantly surprised. I will stop back again if you don't mind.

Joyful said...

Beautiful post Susan.

"In Your presence is fulness of joy" Psalm 16:11


Yolanda said...

absolute, pure, joy!

AnooCre8ion said...

What a charming post this was.

Very uplifting.