Saturday, April 30, 2011

Contemplating Joy

So I've been reading this book, "Surprised by Joy" by C. S. Lewis. It is INCREDIBLE. I thoroughly, absolutely recommend it to anyone and everyone. It's basically about the shape of his early life, how he grew into the man he became concerning his religious beliefs. Anyways. It's fabulous. But I've been thinking a lot lately about joy, and what brings it... and he put it so eloquently, I decided to post it on my blog, slightly edited so it makes sense - I just took out what you have to read the book to understand, things that reference to his previous stories.

"It is difficult to find words strong enough for the sensation which came over me. It was a sensation, of course, of desire; but desire for what? Before I knew what I desired, the desire itself was gone, the whole glimpse withdrawn, the world turned commonplace again, or only stirred by a longing for the longing that had just ceased. It had taken only a moment of time; and in a certain sense everything else that had ever happened to me was insignificant in comparison.
It was an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished from both Happiness and from Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic, and one only, in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again. Apart from that, and considered it's only quality, it might almost equally well be called a particular kind of unhappiness or grief. But then it is a kind we want. I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world. But then Joy is never in our power and pleasure often is."

Now, when I read this it just hit me so hard. I feel like he defined exactly what I have been struggling to put a finger on. Because joy is different - it's not in our power to create, it's not something we can force or concoct out of thin air. It's interesting in life how some things that may seem so glamorous and exciting turn out to be so disappointing and empty, when in contrast small, seemingly insignificant things bring so much happiness. I've found in my life that this joy comes from serving others, and serving God. It comes through having relationships and friendship, and in getting to know and building yourself. It comes from doing what is right, even when it's really hard. It comes from being true to yourself, and being honest (: When you have experienced joy there is nothing like it. It satisfies the soul. I think sometimes people find what they think is joy, when it really is just pleasure. There's no glorious meaning... it's empty.

Anyways, these are my deep thoughts for the week. I'm ecstatic to finish this book, and to learn more about it. This week has been awesome. As my thoughts turn ever more to the future, I always wonder to myself if I'll be able to find and keep that joy constantly in my life. I think I will. I know if I continuously do what I know to be right, things will always work out. I'll be able to keep and receive more of that joy, that fulfillment and satisfaction in my life. I am so, so grateful for good friends. They make a huge difference. I have so many incredible people in my life. I am very, very blessed. I'm going to miss Utah. But I am convinced that very, very happy things are coming in the future (:

What you see and hear depends a great deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are
C.S. Lewis

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Kid's (:

Lately I've been having a rather pessimistic view of the world. It's tough when the kids are coming and constantly going.. I miss them a ton. My parent's used to describe our home after they leave as a tomb. It's so quiet and still.. it feels empty. We had an awesome trip this time, and I am so looking forward to seeing them again. I am so proud of every single one of them, as obnoxious and loud as they are (: They are such awesome kids. Dexter is hilarious. His sense of humor is just hilarious..and he is such a good kid. He is so smart. Honestly, their all smart. Haha. Isaac is such a sweety. His witty comments always make me laugh, their always so smart and they catch you completely off guard sometimes. Hannah is very much her own person. She is a very feisty, sassy girl - but inside her 12 year old self is one of the sweetest personalities. Jacob is the clown. He's such a ham, always wanting attention. But he also has this sweet side to him that is just very, very kind. I got to spend a lot of time with Katharine, and that was AWESOME (: She is so hilarious! Me, being an only child at home, with a naturally more thoughtful and sober nature, can make life too serious sometimes. It is so refreshing to have her lighten me up and see the world through funky, rose colored glasses (: She has this special, unique talent of just making me totally comfortable with being completely myself, and not really caring what anybody thinks. She's one of my best friends. We laugh so hard. It's something you don't know until you've experienced it, haha. I miss Adam and Peter. Their adorable. I can't wait to see them again. Families are awesome. They cause a lot of pain and heartache sometimes, but the joy and companionship is worth all the hard stuff a million times over. I am so grateful for my family. I wish I could see all of them all the time. But I'm so grateful for the time we can spend together. I don't take it for granted anymore. Someday I want a huge, loud, crazy family just like my own. Families are the best (:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's humbling. When you kind of brush somebody off, wrapped up in your all important little bubble, thinking everything in your life is just so important. And then you find out what the other person is going through. And then you feel like a jerk, and realize how self absorbed you have really been.
Everyone has pain. Everyone has problems. Everyone. Nobody is exempt.. and even though some people's pain seems smaller or less dramatic then somebody else's, it doesn't make that pain any less meaningful or hurtful to the person going through it. Even people whose lives seem so perfect from the outside. You never know what is going on behind closed doors, what the world doesn't see, what secret trials and pains people have. I went to a church meeting a few weeks ago, and the woman speaking said that she wished everyone in that room could see each other at their lowest points. Now that seems like a funny thing to say, but I wish that too. I think people would be able to relate to each other more, and I think there would be more opportunities for compassion and love and kindness.
You just never know what somebody is going through. I know in my life, it would have helped a lot if I could have opened up to someone and just been accepted and loved and have received a little help, even if it was just a listening, caring ear. I guess a lot of that is probably my own fault. But I know it can mean so much to someone to reach out and be kind. And by reaching out and being kind and accepting, it lightens somebody else's burden...
This world is a really hard place sometimes, for everyone. I guess that's kind of what life is all about. Just helping each other out and being there for them, in thick and thin. Watching out for others, and being a friend. Being sincere. Treating others how you want to be treated. I don't want to forget that.
Sorry, that was depressing. Just my thoughts for the week, I guess.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Tunes

So in Madrigals we just got introduced to this new fantastic song, called Bumblebee. It's by a Swedish group of singers called "The Real Group".
I adore the song, so I decided to go online and learn and hear more from them. Their music is FANTASTIC.
It's so catchy and upbeat. When I listen to it, I feel like tap dancing and snapping down the sidewalk, with a hat tipped sideways, and dark black shades ;) It is that fun! They have jazz, classical, and some really unique, just random stuff. My favorite are their jazz songs.. Their worth looking into. I highly recommend them.
I will definitely be purchasing a new, I'm sure future favorite, cd in the near future (:

Their website: