When I was a little girl, we had a pond behind our house. There was a picturesque meadow on the other side of that pond filled with beautiful flowering weeds each summer. There were those tiny purple flowering weeds, dandelions galore, and it seems like yellow, I recall, maybe a few daffodils here and there. I would gaze out my bedroom window thinking through my upcoming day's plan to schedule a time in my mind to go run through that little patch of heaven in our pasture. On occasion, I would bring an old quilt that my grandmother made and just lay in the middle of it, look up in the clouds, pick out shapes and animals, think, and dream. I guess it was my happy place—well, one of them. Growing up in the country, I had several.
I also loved going just a little farther through that meadow into a cluster of woods that sort of wrapped around the east side of the pond and connected to a levy of another pond that wasn't on our property. In those woods was my treehouse that we kids built out of scrap wood. I would go back there and climb up, sit, pray, think, and dream for hours. It was so cool back there, as opposed to the meadow of flowers.
If I wasn't feeling the warm meadow with the sun beaming down or the breezy treehouse, I could always escape to the barn loft and lay on the hay to read a book. That was my favorite place to read.
As a teenager, I went snow skiing for the first time, and WOW! Those majestic mountains just went through me to the depths of my soul. I would ski to the top, lose my friends, and just stand there staring at God's creation in awe of Him, taking it all in. That is one of my favorite things about skiing - just looking out and seeing the BIGNESS of God. Skiing any mountain is still to this day, a very happy place for me.
Fast forward a few more years, as a young mom living in India, I would pick out a spot that would become my happy place there. It was the Oberoi Hotel. I would go there once a month when we had guests come and speak at our school, lay by the pool, splash in it with Gavin, and eat fish & chips like the British had taught them to prepare sooo well. Those are such sweet memories.
Something happened in a span of about a decade. I no longer had a happy place. Well, correction - there were happy places all around me, but I did not take advantage of them or make them mine. Everyone but me became a priority. Sound familiar? Perhaps not having a happy place was part of what sent me spiraling down. Happy environments are essential in our emotional well being.
Where is your happy place?
Maybe it's a room decorated beautifully that inspires you to enjoy and empowers you to think your best...eventually be your best. Maybe it's a space outside, even if at a nearby park. At my lowest of lows, I would escape away to a local park and sit on a swing by a pond to watch the ducks. It became my happy place, and honestly, that is where I began to heal. The Bible tells us that times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord. I would go there and cry out to God (yell like a crazy person when I was sure no one was around), and sometimes, just lie down on that swing in silence seeking God for peace and wisdom. He met me there. He brought just that to me - peace and wisdom. Little did I expect (or even know possible), I eventually found happiness beyond my dreams.
So today, my back patio is one of my happy places. Paddle boarding in the bay is another. Cuddling pretty much anywhere in my home with my favorite afghan is another. I still am fond of that little spot in the park.
So back to my question in the very beginning, maybe God made nature so extravagantly because He knew there would be times in our lives that it would be the only thing to bring us joy. He knew it would minister to our hearts and souls when nothing and no one else could. It is at least one reason He made it for me. Happy environments are a must for us all.
Go find your happy place, cry out to God, and be happy AGAIN! If I can, I know you can! He will meet you there. I promise. Happy Monday! #happyMONDAYblog