Five Minute Friday: Happy

Along the Way @

Gentle Reader,

Tonight, we celebrate.

Two years ago, just after I joined the FMF crew, our beloved Kate Motaung took over hosting duties from the equally-beloved Lisa-Jo Baker. Week after week, she dreams up prompts for us to tackle. She gives us space to be silly or serious, shallow or substantive. She encourages us to let the words flow. She is our cheerleader. She prays for us, most of whom she’s never even met. She buys ice cream specifically for consuming during the Twitter party. She threads running jokes throughout every chat. Her words move us to think, to laugh, to worship God.

She is our Fearless Leader.

Kate, we love you.


Oh, emotions.

I hate them.

Give me the world of the mind. I love it there. Ask me about my feels regarding a particular person or thing and I many times I have to stop, sit down and think about how to put the feels into words. (People find this odd because I admit to being anxious, but I guess I don’t view anxiety as an emotion. It’s a constant). Some can create masterpieces with their emotions. I’m more of a finger-painter.

What makes me happy?

Reading the Bible. The smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies. The way Benny’s tongue hangs out of his mouth when he sleeps. Chris’ laugh. My mom’s spaghetti because it tastes like home. New books. Praying. Watching the wind blow through the trees. My dad’s extremely dry sense of humor. The way Blue curls his long wiener dog body into a ball when he’s laying on the couch. Scarves. Boots. Autumn. Being best friends with my brother. Pride and Prejudice. My “Messy Mondays” Bible study group. Candles. Organizing things. Purging clutter. Painting my toenails. Learning something new. Spending time with close, trusted friends. Pausing to listen to voices raised in praise during church. Being part of the chaplaincy team at the shelter. Oreos dipped in milk. Saturday nights at home with my husband and my dogs and a good movie or Netflix binge session. Grace. Forgiveness. The promise of Eternity.

And this, right here.


I am happiest when I’m tapping the keys or dragging the pen across the page. Even when I’m sad or angry. When I write, I am completely myself. And when I’m writing on theology, I feel the Holy Spirit all happy inside me.

Happiness gets the side-eye in Christian circles. It’s not “holy” or whatever. When I read the Bible, I see a whole lot of God and man together in happiness. Yes, life is hard and trials are a sure thing. But doesn’t God make you happy? Just being with Him? Knowing Him? Sitting with Him?

It makes me happy.


My journey to faith. (15)

Photo Credit: Bảo-Quân Nguyễn

30 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Happy

  1. I love all those things that make you happy. Writing makes me happy too friend! After reading Jennifer’s book, I can see holy and happy as two sides to the same coin. One can Inded gave both. Love you sista! I’m in the 5 spot this week.


    1. Holy and happy as two sides of the same coin. That’s interesting. Perhaps happiness flows out of obedience, out of living as God created us to live.


  2. Marie,
    I love the imagery of fingerpainting. I feel like a novice most of the time and can relate well. My mom is a counselor and when she asks how I feel? I actually have to sit and contemplate. “Hmm. How am I feeling?”
    My default is “good” or “happy”, but it’s more of a neutral. If I’m not feeling bad, then I’m feeling good.
    “But doesn’t God make you happy? Just being with Him? Knowing Him? Sitting with Him?”

    The stress of completing my online class had left me drained this summer, and I realized today, I hadn’t made much time to just listen to worship music. (and it doesn’t have to be labeled ‘worship’ music for it to move me…) That there, is where I really do find Him. I can drown out everything else and just be with Him.

    So thank you for sharing a new (to me) David Crowder song. “Oh How He Loves” has been my new favorite since last May.

    Love all that you are and share!
    (#7 again)


  3. Marie, what a great post. For what it ‘s worth, purging clutter makes me ridiculously happy! Time with friends and especially when the Lord speaks to me in Bis still, quiet voice make me happy.

    I love your post this week, my friend!


    1. Throwing stuff away is so cathartic. Why keep what’s weighing you down? Now if I could just remember that when it comes to processing thoughts and feelings, I’d be all set.


  4. Beautiful. I share so many of the things that make you happy and I do think it is such an underrated but important pursuit! How amazing to have writing as a means of connecting with others and making all of us happier 🙂


  5. Beautiful. Love all the little things you recall here: gratefulness right there for God’s many gifts…and love the way you end your post. I’ve been challenged by Jennifer’s book to recognize how I let fear and ungratefulness stifle not just my own, but also others’ happiness: I’m starting to consciously open my eyes and palms to so much of His
    goodness that I hadn’t even realized I was pushing away.


    1. Oh, Anna. I think we have much in common. I, too, have given fear far too much control in my life. It’s always a process of one step forward and a couple back, but let’s keep progressing!


  6. Girl, I love you so! This is the post that I set out to write but who doesn’t love reading what makes people happy? That was my intention… but you know how it goes and how He is the boss of me. Sigh. Still – I LOVED your list and it made me happy just to read it! (and that song! #Swoon!)


  7. Yes, Jesus makes me very happy – I like hanging out with Him a lot. I like to worship and lift my hands in praise – my hubs moves out of my way because I get all happy and my arms get wider as though trying to contain Him in my praise. I love writing when Holy Spirit speaks to me and lately He keeps saying the really hard things. And then I have to bleed across the keyboard and wait to see if anyone is going to come knock on my door and drag me to the stone table. Oh my…I like happy – if you have a minute go read my slave, or, servant post – that’s what He nailed me with yesterday. xo and a gentle hug since you’re healing and all.


  8. I like your list of things that make you happy. It is good to take time to reflect on those things and be thankful. I love your comment that when you’re writing about theology you feel the Holy Spirit happy inside you- that’s a lovely way of putting it. And I agree that even in the midst of life’s trials I love that we can find happiness in God.


  9. Marie, I love your list of what makes you happy. We have a few in common: writing!, chocolate chip cookies, my mom’s spaghetti, Saturday nights at home with my husband. Your words continue to spur me on and uplift me. Thanks again for doing that with them today! Much love to you!



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