Gifts for Dad ➔

Happiness. We are all seeking it. Looking for it. Buying it. But what is it? Really, how do you and I describe what happiness is? Society is telling us we need to be happy. As parents, we want to make our children happy. Our hearts are yearning to be happy. But how? As I scroll through social media, I am told by drinking this, having this, reading this, living this way, I will be happy. I see the best of the best pictures posted and compare myself and my messy double chin selfie. I flip through a magazine seeing tanned, slim, big busted, smiling women frolicking around… well they look pretty dang happy. The world tells me so. It must be true. 

Recently, I have been told by two different people they are just looking for their happiness. Yet, they hurt me in the process of their journey. Is that how it works? I wonder if they found it yet and how many more people they will use to achieve it. I see it more and more. We all want that magical feeling of happiness, we will do whatever possible to get it. IT. As though it is concrete. It is a possession to be had. Where do you find happiness? The gym, work, shopping, a relationship, booze, social media. External objects and people. The effort is on something or someone. Do you try to create this picture perfect life? Happy family, beautiful house, perfect marriage. Pinterest worthy. Is the facade stiff and hard to maintain? Is it really making you happy? Did it make me happy when I was trying to find it there, too? No. I was miserable. 

Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. -Democritus

I am happier today than I have ever been. My therapist calls it self-realization. I just call it, I finally stopped resisting God. I finally stopped trying to be perfect. I finally stopped showing only the good. I finally stopped. I learned to accept my flaws and weakness, to acknowledge my sins, to ask for forgiveness, and to take the steps to change. Finally, I listened to the questions in my head about who Jesus really was and I acted on them. I bought a Bible and read it. Finally, I accepted His words and teachings. I brought them into my heart and established them as a way of life. I stopped living for myself, but for God and His son Jesus. Every thing I am doing is for them. Little by little. I am making changes daily to be a better me. First, to be more like Jesus. Second, to show my children. Third, for me. And this little seed of joy is beginning to bloom. Slowly. Patiently. Emerging deep inside of me. From the depth of my soul to the smile on my face. I can feel it.

This didn’t happen overnight. Yes, something drastic happened to me which made me see life and people differently. It did force me to starting doing the way I lived differently. But don’t we all have moments and events like that in our lives? Where we are made to wake up and decide if we are going to make a change or not? We either have to decide to keep living the way we have been or finally stop resisting. 

I stopped resisting. In the beginning, I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I wanted to get away from my pain and thoughts, so I turned my attention towards others. Praying more. Calling a friend. Donating clothes. Participating in more play dates, group meetings, and prayer groups. Making friends with the other moms. Extending friendship everywhere I was. Working at the church. Sending a simple text to say hi. Buying someone coffee. Saying kind words to a stranger. Smiling. 

As time went on, I wanted to do more. I wanted to give more. I learned who Jesus really was. I finally discovered Him. Thus, I found that by being more like Jesus, I was happier. I am happier. Loving my neighbor. Extending forgiveness. Practicing patience and sacrifice. Being truthful in my sins and faults. Actively looking to better myself. Speaking kindly. 

How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, You will be happy and it will be well with you. -Psalm 128:1-2

Happiness is not external. It is something inside of you. It is how you live your life. It is how you love. It is how you speak. It is how you treat others. You will never be happy if you aren’t happy with yourself. I see joy in my life. I see it when I make others happy. I see it when I work to be the best person I can be. The woman God sees. Happiness is not an end result. Once you have it, it doesn’t stay. It is a constant process of growing, making mistakes, standing back up, and giving of what and who you are. Happiness is always changing. With the seasons of our life, we are always changing. 

The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can’t supply is proof that Heaven must be our home. -C.S. Lewis

I now know, I will never have complete happiness. I now know, I will only obtain complete joy and happiness when I am in heaven with my Father. And that true joy and happiness I seek is everlasting because the source is everlasting. But I get a chance to be here on Earth to give happiness to others. I get a chance to make a difference in someone else’s life. I get a chance to suffer, love, grow, hurt, give, sacrifice. I am happy. Because I CHOOSE to be happy. I choose to live according to God and Jesus. And I am just getting started. I can’t wait to see what awaits me. I can’t wait to feel the inner joy and happiness that is in store for me. I can’t wait to share and teach it to my children. And my friends. And my family. And the world. 

This is happiness. Right here. Inside of me. 

Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. -Psalm 144:15

Katie Weber

A momma of 2 young boys whose days are filled with wrestling, running, and noise. A Nebraska native with a love of coffee, the Lord, music, a good romance novel, movies, and dessert. Just trying to figure out single motherhood, to navigate divorce and co-parenting, to live and thrive with depression and anxiety, all the while finding the lovely in this life. Follow along for more at Lovely in the Dark. 

Dear Introverted Mom, Take that Break

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman outside with book and food

I am alone, in a hotel room, 20 minutes from home, lying back in the crisp bed, feet propped up on billowing white pillows. A good book is in my hand. The large window beside me overlooks the Mississippi River as the sun slowly sets and people unwind for a southern Louisiana evening in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ll probably order room service for dinner. I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop across the street, sipping on a deliciously caffeinated beverage carefully made to my liking. I ate a delicate snack filled with fruits, fancy lettuce, and expensive cheese while...

Keep Reading

As an Anxious Mom, I Remind Myself You Were God’s Child First

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping

I remember bringing that squishy baby home from the hospital. His 9-pound birth weight didn’t label him as scrawny by any means, but he was so small to us. I cringed the first time I laid him in the bassinet beside my bed. I wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on him all night long like the nurses in the hospital nursery. I couldn’t make sure he was breathing every second of my coveted slumber. To calm my worries, we turned on our bathroom light and left the door wide open. The extra light wouldn’t disturb our angel from...

Keep Reading

Home is Holy Ground

In: Faith, Motherhood
Kids and mom at home

Some days, I wake up and walk around my house feeling my chest rise looking at the chaotic mess I didn’t get done the day before.  Trampling over toys, incomplete laundry, and dishes that seem to load up by the end of the day. I pause, I stare, and I wonder which of the objects in each room I should tackle first. I take a deep breath and notice my heart and my mind are overwhelmed with a running checklist. Why can’t everything just get done all at one time? You can talk to a dozen mothers and I am...

Keep Reading

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

In Motherhood, Grace Makes up the Difference

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young child

Today, I have been the mean mom, the tired mom, the overwhelmed mom, the anxious mom, the impatient mom, and the want to turn in my mom card mom. Mostly, I’ve felt like the I have no clue what I’m doing mom. I have raised my voice 47 times, told children to “suck it up, buttercup” 36 times, and have intervened in approximately 83 sibling disagreements. I have rolled my eyes 59 times, sighed 148 times, and visibly showed other signs of impatience, well, way too many times. RELATED: I’m a Good Mom, You Just Caught Me in a Bad...

Keep Reading

Jesus Meets Me in Motherhood With His No Matter What Love

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother embracing daughter in sunlit room

My toddler was that kid on the playground—the one who would push and bite, erupting into a tantrum and needing to be carried home screaming. As I would carry my child to the car, the other moms looked at me with sympathy, confusion, fear, and . . . judgment.  Parents of challenging kids know this look well. We see judgment everywhere we go. I knew others were judging me, and I knew our challenges were beyond the normal bell curve, but as an overwhelmed young mom, I did all I knew to do: I blamed myself.  At my lowest, I...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

Dear Girl, Give Jesus Your Mess

In: Faith, Living
Woman holding Bible, color photo

Oh, dear girl, Give Jesus the mess. Your mess. The mess you think is too much or too big or too unbearable. The depths of the mess. The very worst of the mess. Lay it at His feet. He knew you long before the mess existed. Nobody knows your mess like Jesus. I assure you—this will not catch Him by surprise. Even when you do not understand, even when it is most difficult, even when you have your head buried in your hands. Praise Him, for God wastes nothing.  Even when it feels like opposition is coming at you from...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love Is an Endless Pursuit

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child on bike, color photo

I look at him and my heart breaks into a million little pieces. It simply hurts too much to know he hurts. He is my heart, and it squeezes and revolts when he struggles. I want to close my eyes and hold him close, and when I resurface, I want the world to be different for him. Look different, smell different, taste different. But, it remains the same, this pain.   In the beginning, when he was in my womb, I held my hands on my stomach and his tiny feet kicked me back. His bodily imprint on my skin. He...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Brings Me to the Floor and Jesus Meets Me There

In: Faith, Motherhood

I recently came across a short memoir writing competition with the theme, “Places that have made me, changed me, or inspired me.” I could write something for that, I thought. I’m by no means a jet-setter, but I do have a passport. I spent my 16th birthday in Russia on a three-week mission trip. During college, I lived in Thessaloniki, Greece for a four-month study abroad program. After my British husband and I got married, we settled in the UK, where we’ve spent the last 10 years. And now, I’m back in my sunny Florida hometown. These experiences and places...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections