Weekly Favorite Links (July 16-August 5, 2015)

(Photo Via)

What makes you happy?

This is a question I’ve been asked a lot lately, both directly by others and one that I have been mulling over on my quiet drives to and from work. I guess part of it is because I had to take a workshop session related to happiness for work purposes and it was a really interesting experience. The workshop began with pop songs playing in the background (which did make us feel pretty pumped up) and after that, everyone had to go around sharing what was one thing that made them happy. I honestly didn’t think much of the question at first, so the first thing that came to my mind was GOOD FOOD ’cause I was hungry and…. I love food a lot. Y’all should already know that though.

As the session progressed, I realized that what seemed like an initial harmless, superficial question really was one of life’s most significant question marks that every individual must answer for themselves. Because we all strive to be happy; we may all differ in how we believe and see where happiness comes from.

If there was one thing that was apparent from that meeting, it was the realization that the world believes you are in charge of your happiness and there are concrete steps and goals to achieve it. By the end of the workshop, there was probably about ten suggested strategies that were offered to all of us to achieve the happiness we were looking for. We were also asked to publicly share and offer examples of ways that we were trying to achieve such happiness. For example, someone would be asked to share to the rest of the group how they were kind to someone else or one thing they’ve learned recently in order to improve their weaknesses. I was called on to share a recent event that inspired me and empowered me. Others were asked to talk about what they loved about themselves and areas where they had to overcome certain challenges. We were also given a worksheet to complete and take home and before we left the meeting, we all had to write down two commitments we were going to work towards.

On the one hand, I appreciated the workshop. There were a lot of good points made and some great practical ways for me to work on my weaknesses and further areas that I can continue to grow in. The personal sharing from everyone was also pretty relatable and we were able to bond better as a team. Furthermore, I felt more motivated to challenge myself outside of my comfort zone. And yes, making a commitment to something, striving towards goals, and successfully achieving them does bring about the feeling of happiness. But only to a certain degree. That feeling of accomplishment, the exhilaration you get from checking off something from a bucket list– it’s all temporary. So while I enjoyed the workshop, on the other hand, I also left that meeting a bit dissatisfied and not fully convinced at everything that was addressed. I think I was taken aback because for the first time in a long while, I was told that Self can make happiness happen. As if the greatest purpose in this life is to be happy with myself and come to terms with how great of a person I am (as if I need more reasons to be prideful of who I am).

However, I know that in order to find true happiness and lasting joy, everything that was suggested at that workshop were only fragments of what I know to be true. I think the workshop only addressed and scratched the surface level of bigger issues. I felt like the people leading the session and even the group discussions were trying to persuade me that a band-aid would fix areas that might need open heart surgery. There comes a point where we can try to do everything in our power to get what we want and it will be in vain since we’re limited as human beings. The biggest hole in that team bonding activity was that contentment apart from Christ is impossible because only in Christ alone will we find our everlasting happiness. After all, God’s creations were never meant to replace him as our Creator.

Self cannot be elevated nor is the individual Self reliable enough to deliver. I think if anything, Self only ends up disappointing more than impressing because we’re all fallen sinners. Honestly, I don’t even know what will happen to me in the next minute, much less a lifetime, so how can I guarantee my own happiness? I can’t. Instead, I believe and trust that true happiness is found when I surrender my life to Jesus, when my sinful desires are cast away and when my mind is renewed to be more like his. In Christ alone, my soul will be satisfied.

Christianity:

4 Things It’s Okay To Say When You’re Hurt – How to find clarity through reconciliation. There can never be too much clarity.

Give Your Suitor Some Grace – This hit home pretty hard for me because I know that I struggled with this a lot in past relationships, and will continue to do so in future ones.

God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle – Oomph. We’ve all heard the saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” But the truth is, we will be given more than we can handle so that we can turn towards Christ. God does allow trials to refine us and to point us back to him. Such great truths may be hard to swallow, but God is wiser than we’ll ever be. This one’s being added to the favorites.

How Do You Define Joy – This ties into my intro for today’s weekly favorite links. Praise God for Piper.

I Thought Planned Parenthood Protected Family Values – If you can’t already tell from the title, they don’t.

Theological Heroes and Villains – One thing that is consistent about mankind is mankind’s inconsistencies. “I have learned that I need to choose my heroes carefully. I need to expect that my heroes will be flawed. I need to believe that I am flawed. And I need to force myself to remember that the best of men are but men at their best.”

Explaining The Problem Does Not Eliminate The Problem – I love how God uses blog posts like these to encourage in the most perfect way. I had been feeling guilty about some past mistakes, kind of feeling woe is me and then I read this: “Guilt only disappears when we’re made right with God.” It’s true. I don’t want to be paralyzed by guilt from acknowledging bad choices, but to embrace the free grace that God offers to those that repent. What’s more important than recognizing sin is being reconciled to God.

We Will Not Bow – We don’t bow down to Caesar. We bow to our King.

Food:

(Photo Via)

48 Healthy Things To Buy At Trader Joe’s – YES!!! More excuses for me to shop at Trader Joe’s.

Asian Beef Burgers With A Shiitake Saute – Craving right now.

Brown Butter Zucchini Coffee Cake – I know it’s because you’re trying to get me to eat more veggies, but hey, it works!!!

Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles With Cashew Sauce – Just wowowow.

Greek Salad Dip – Looks interesting and healthy.

Gouda Mac And Cheese With Peaches – You had me at mac and cheese.

Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes and Garlic and Onion Yogurt Sauce – I didn’t even know green tomatoes existed.

Takeout Sesame Noodles – Perhaps my favorite summer dish. This woman knows the way to my stomach.

Which Alcoholic Drink Are You – This is a fun post. I don’t know who came up with this list, but you can figure out which drink fits you best based upon your Myers-Brigg personality type. Mine’s champagne. Which is funny because I don’t think I like champagne. Except when it’s obligatory for me to drink at weddings.

Misc:

Printable Ice Cream Party Invites – Free and cute. All you need to know. For all my friends that love ice cream.

Music:

Throwback to a song that I really loved back in college. Been playing it on repeat when my emotions are everywhere.

I really love this new song from Hillsong UNITED. It’s catchy. My favorite line: “I found my life when I laid it down.

TV and Movies:

Check out this epic trailer for the upcoming Batman v Superman movie. Thanks to musicgoon for mentioning it on his blog.

The Lord of the Rings Mythology Explained (Part 1) and (Part 2) – Just recently discovered this gem, thanks to the little bro. I’m more of a LOTR movies fan than a fan of the books, but I think that’s only because I really haven’t put in time to study the books. Shame on me, really. I probably should marathon and re-read all of them again.

Advertisements

3 Comments

  1. Aaron says:

    Love this post. It’s a question I need to ask myself, along with “where do I find contentment” and “where is my worth.” I think it’s absolutely critical that we are able to discern the wisdom of the world from the wisdom of God. Regarding your post, I believe that sometimes the Self is put on a pedestal, and this is idolatry. So being satisfied in Jesus is something I’ve been learning and seek to apply after coming back from my vacation.

    Thanks for the shout out on the Batman V Superman link! I’ve got a ton of links to share since I’ve been back from vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: