Happiness Despite Happenings

This past week has been packed to the brim and the Lord’s presence has been obvious. But this post isn’t deep and profound so if that is what you need this won’t help and might be quite boring. This is just a slice of Berean Family’s life.

Several prayers for others have been answered. Some can be publicly shared and others not. Isaiah at Word And Verse was able to get a job despite the economy and being jobless for much longer than desired. There are several others that are not public but God does still work in the lives of His people.

This weekend we heard the phrase “Happiness is based on happenings, but that true joy comes from within.” However, we had researched this phrase according to Scripture about a year ago and found that the Scriptures do not support that statement. Happiness and Joy are not separate ideas or concepts. They are woven together throughout the Bible. If you were to search the Scriptures for every word related to happy, joy and merry you would find that you can’t make such a cut and dried statement they are so interrelated. Anyway, the reason for stating this is an experience this past weekend.

The way things turned out this year I had no large family gathering planned for my house this Christmas. We had Berean Husband’s parents to visit Christmas Eve, with me bringing the potato salad and a dessert. Then Christmas Day was peaceful here at home. No big meals, no big fuss to make. Our traditional breakfast is cream puffs, chocolate gravy, raspberry sauce, and whipped topping. Very simple and very much enjoyed by the children.  🙂 My mom and my great aunt, second cousin, second cousin once removed relative came by during breakfast and were here to see the children get their Christmas presents. It was no big deal to me but later my mom said my relative had enjoyed it so much since she had no particular extended family to spend Christmas with. Wow, you can bless others by just letting them observe regular (chaotic) family life. 😀

Friday was spent mostly with everyone playing with their new goodies. Mine’s an iPod so I can get “pod casts” of favorite preachers and speakers. 🙂 Everything was going so smoothly (famous last words!). Christmas with my mom and sister’s families was planned for Sunday afternoon after church at her condo.

Then around 8:30 or 9:00 PM I get a phone call. Suddenly everything is changed. Can my mom and sister stop by Saturday before my mom transports sister back out of state to her home? Well, of course, they can. Nevertheless, my mom is upset because this particular sister isn’t planning on staying in town for the Sunday get together.

So at 6:00 AM Saturday I get up and begin cooking what I have here in the house. By 9:00 AM all the sisters are contacted and everyone is heading to my house for Christmas at 1:00. Only another woman would understand how potentially stressful this could have been. The house was a wreck since we sorta suspend the usual chores during the holidays and only do the minimum work for a few days. I didn’t have a large sum of food in the house since I wasn’t planning on doing any major cooking. Time was short, very short. Oh, yeah, I had promised to buzz the boys that day also!

Therefore, between 6:00 AM and 1:00 PM this is what got accomplished:

~ Spaghetti Sauce and Noodles

~ Chicken Alfredo and Noodles

~ Baked a Swedish Nut birthday cake for second Berean Son whose birthday was that day.

~ Opps! Cake over topped pan and made a huge mess. Stank up the house, looked horrible, etc.

~ Baked second Swedish Nut birthday cake. Worked better this time.

~ Buzzed all three boys, sent them for baths/showers.

~ Artichoke and Spinach dip for an appetizer.

~ Got kids to straighten up the house some. Like clean under the seat of the four year old at the table, kinda stuff.

~ Caught up on several loads of laundry. With seven in the family it can pile up after just a couple of days. Didn’t want smelly socks adding to the odor of the burnt cake.  🙁

~ Opps! Red Blood looking stuff running all over the inside of the refrigerator! Major panic what is that! Turns out to be a jar of apple rings in red cinnamon sauce has turned over and is draining its sticky contents all over the refrigerator. What a mess! First Berean Son says just leave it until later. But no! I can’t have company opening the refrigerator and it looking like blood is all over the place. So we remove everything from the refrigerator and clean it out. It is amazing how fast you can do this if you have to.

~ Sent Berean Husband to Wal-Mart for Ice Cream for Birthday boy. Forgot to add Alfredo sauce to the list. Opps! Call him on the cell phone while he is there. Cell phone sitting in car not even on. He will get that call today when he goes to work. Homemade Alfredo sauce tastes much better than store bought anyway.

~ Berean Husband and Berean Grandmother, unexpectedly, meet up at Wal-Mart and compare buggies. They bring home salad and fixings, bread, pre-made brownies and Ice cream. Plus a few extra items that there was no time to fix, sorry.

~ Berean Husband helps by turning on the mixer for the cake icing and watching it for me as I put in ingredients. He got several compliments over “his icing he made.”

~ At around 1:00 PM the first of the guests arrive and everything is done but cooking the pasta and warming the bread.

Only those that know me well would understand that this is not how I like things to work. I tease about a couple of my kids liking to have their “ducks in a row” well they got it honestly. I like advanced notice about everything, spontaneous is a foreign word to me. I like my ducks all lined up also. But the Lord has taught me to accept the unexpected, even if He has to scatter my ducks Himself.

If happiness was based on happenings, I should have been most unhappy. Now true I do have the Joy of the Lord in my life. But I could honestly say that I was happy. Actually, I was laughing about everything. I was very busy and slightly stressed as to time issues but I just thought everything was just hilarious. Some of the funny things must remain private in order to not offend those affected. I was laughing about some things so much last night I couldn’t sleep.

Overall, the Lord was Merciful and Graceful to me. He gave me plenty of help from my husband and children. He gave me both happiness and deep joy when I could have easily been bent out of shape. (That was Sunday when I was bent out of shape due to a terrible backache that morning.) Despite all the things that could have gone wrong, things after guests arrived went very well.

Birthday Boy did have one trouble. The children overruled mom and we ate off paper plates instead of the usual china. Due to a dear friend, I have lots of china because mine is the type a grocery store gave away with a certain amount of purchase. My grandmother gave me a small set when I got married. It is old and worn but extra pieces can be bought from many thrift stores. But the kids didn’t want to hand wash china. So we used Great Value Foam plates, not Kelli’s husband’s Chinet plates. Well, foam plates don’t hold up well to an onslaught of food at Christmas. His plate broke in half spilling all the contents! Thankfully, he had just stepped outside. Yeah, it was in the yard! Dogs hit the jackpot! Did I forget to say that it was 75 degrees here in winter for Christmas! We had to turn on the air conditioners.

Sunday was great other than the backache. We visited three different churches in one day. We had a good Sunday School lesson together as a family, then three different but good worship services throughout the day. Even the four year old sat well through so many services and wasn’t any trouble. He did sing in the car on the way home and talked in his bed for hours after “going to bed.” Obviously, he hadn’t used up his allotted words for the day.

If you sent me an email this week and I haven’t responded, so sorry, I have gotten a little behind. I plan to catch up this week unless of course my ducks get scattered again.

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