{guest post} Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy

We’re still in the throes of moving in and settling our new {temporary} home … so today Molly from Molly Madonna writes about how everything’s amazing but nobody’s happy. I know Molly through a number of ways – our husbands, church, Gleek Retreat and mutual friends to name a few, she’s an inspired writer and a great conversationalist. She always has the perfect thing to say. Take it away, Molly …

If you Google this phrase, you’ll land on a You Tube video I’ve determined the whole 1st world needs to see. This is my humble opinion, of course, but I figure it’s worth mentioning for a few who might do so upon suggestion. Disclaimer: It’s mildly profane in a spot or two, and it might sting a little if you’re human, like me. I still highly recommend it.

“Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.” How true it is. As the video suggests, we are so underwhelmed these days by the miracle of things we encounter in everyday life. Air travel, for instance. Or incredibly high speed smart phones. ATMs and online banking. Truly, utterly underwhelmed. Just today, I half-yelled at my phone when the internet wasn’t working at a speed I deem acceptable. Watch the video, I promise. It will clear up any confusion.

I find myself whispering the above title phrase in my mind often these days, and it’s been a humbling reminder. “Ugh. The coffee’s not hot enough.” Insert phrase. “But I don’t waaaaant to buy the generic version.” Insert phrase. “It’s too cold, too hot, too loud in here!” Insert phrase. What I should be thinking is, “Ahhh. Coffee…at least there’s money in my pocket to buy ANY version at all…thank goodness for air conditioning, heat, plenty of company.” I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.

Truth is, everything IS amazing. Even when I can’t see it that way. And no, my life isn’t perfect–far from it. I don’t always get my way, and my bank account runs too low for comfort sometimes. I can’t always just “fix it” when I so desperately want to, and my jeans from high school simply won’t fit. But I look around me and life is full of amazing things. This week, I was once again privy to an experience that overwhelms me in the very best way possible. I watched a child enter into this big, beautiful, colorful world. Took my breath away. Made me tear up. Brought me back to a place of, “Oh, wow. How incredible!” And the same could be said for so many moments–gigantic and small, where I take notice of the life around me and can’t help but be amazed.

I went for a run the other day and my legs worked like machines beneath me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fast. Just in awe of how my muscles work to carry my body over long distances without giving way. I bought groceries and filled up my cart, then my trunk, then my pantry. I considered people I’ve met all over the world who would be aghast at the feast I consider my “weekly shopping.” I walked outside this morning to birds chirping, drizzling rain, fresh air, bright red blossoms. Man, am I lucky.

And I thought I was having one of the most challenging, emotional, trying weeks of my entire life. Actually, I still am. Maybe I’ll be able to write about all of it someday. For now though, I’ll do my best to look around me and remember to think, “everything sure is pretty amazing.” Because deep down past the junk and the hurt and the pressures of the moment, there’s still fresh, raw, vulnerable hope; and life IS amazing; and somewhere, there’s room in my heart for happy.

{guest post}

Today Rebekah from Thankfully Thinking is writing here about how to find contentment. I know Rebeckah in a few ways – through our husbands, through friends, through blogging. She’s a passionate person with friendship as a true value. Enjoy this from her …

The older I get, the more I realize how many times I am tempted to base my own value on comparing myself to others. That I am more or less serving that them, that they have cute little size 7 shoes that look great in peep toe heels or that they can eat ice cream every night of the week without an evidence of it. But, the more women I share life with, the more I also am recognizing that this vortex pulls at all of us, like a heavy under toe, sucking us out to sea where we lose our compass for reality.

I know for me, it starts with my daily life– the blogs I read, the facebook pictures I view, the way people choose to present themselves online. I paint pictures of others lives based on the little snapshots I see on the screen. And I think as obvious as it is, we all need to remember that people are dynamic and multifaceted which overflows into the reality of each of our lives having struggle and grief and joy and confidence and insecurity all at once. I think we love to show the world our best self life through a filter that siphons out the evidences of the hard things.

But what if we banded together, and helped each other and helped ourselves by sharing the load of these struggles. And all the more sharing our joys as well. And what if the things we presented on our blogs were not just our glossy 5 x7 moments but the ones in between that we don’t have pictures of? I think so much of life happens between the glossy moments.

I have a deep longing for this type of community in my life , to grow with other women and get real about the things that I am convinced we are ALL dealing with. I have learned over the past year that in the moments that I have been able to be transparent I have experienced some incredible friendships and conversations, places that I never have been before with friends because we were both willing to let their guards down. To confess things to one another and ask for prayer, to share hopes and dreams in a place that can hold them until they are realized.

And something extraordinary happens in those moments; where you begin to have the freedom to see yourself as talented and beautiful and worth it rather that lesser and in contrast to. All of the fears that we have about sounding crazy or weak or needy are heard, filtered and echoed back with the insight and experience of other women and we start to feel like we are ok. So here’s to honest living and blessing one another by being real.