Real Life Stories Guest Post

By Celeste

I’m writing over at The Joy Blog today.  Lana has done some amazing work on this blog. She brings together real life stories dealing with everything from physical handicaps, to death in the family and asks people how they overcame these challenges and how they choose joy.  I’m a big advocate of her purpose.


Meet Lana- the joy maker.

She asked me to talk about one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through.  Initially, I thought about talking about that time I bought my kids a Sesame Street Saxaphone (SO loud), but in the end I wrote about depression. 

Here’s an excerpt:

The Joy Blog: Celeste! Thank you for being willing to do this interview. I’m excited. Let’s jump in. Tell us all, what does having joy mean to you? 
This is a good question. I think happiness is greatly misunderstood these days. I think people think something is wrong with their lives if they are not happy all the time.  I think people think something is wrong with their relationship if it doesn’t constantly make them happy. People think something is wrong with their career, religion, children, etc, etc. 

I think this is a major reason people seek “quick fixes” to make them temporarily happy. But all too often these quick fixes serve their short-term happiness while leaving long term happiness completely empty. 

I’m starting to realize that joy does not mean being happy 100% of the time. Most of the time for me, the ratio tends to look more like 90% work, 10% unadulterated joy. With parenting, this is the case for sure, but also being healthy, marriage, projects, religion. 

It is crucial for me to remember that just because something doesn’t bring me temporary happiness or pleasure doesn’t mean there is something wrong with it or I should seek a new project/relationship/religion/health plan. It just means, like anything, I get out what I put in. And the getting something out of it part doesn’t always happen concurrently with the putting something into it part. 
So, I guess having joy means serving my long term self and not escaping the work part of joy. 

TJB: What things bring you joy? 
Celeste: Hm, well I think I’m about to contradict my lovely little joy sonnet I just wrote by including some short-term happinesses. 🙂 But here are some things that make me happy in both the short-term and long-term: 

  • Knowing that I helped someone be happy in big or small ways 
  • Driving by myself with a milk shake 
  • Having uninterrupted time to work on a project 
  • A productive day 
  • When we put our kids down and I get time with my husband to watch funny shows together 
  • Watching my kids accomplish something hard and seeing the pride on their faces 
  • Accomplishing something good with my blog 
  • Seeing my kids play outside 
  • Picking my happy baby up from a nap 
  • Getting together with other couples and laughing uproariously 
  • The feeling that God loves me and is pleased with what I’m doing 

TJB: Tell us about a time in your life where you dealt with a mountain that seemed impossible to climb. 

Celeste: When my third child was born, he was extremely fussy. Colic, I think they call it. If I was not aggressively soothing this child, he was screaming. I couldn’t put him down and he rarely ever slept more than 45 minute stretches no matter what I tried (and, oh, I tried so many things).


And we are just on collaboration station here at A Thing Called Love.  Exciting!  Here are some other places our posts have been showing up lately:

Mormon Buzzz picked up one of our posts about faith transitions (Deciding to Love) here and here.
LDSLiving then picked up that same article here.
For the Love of Tuna re-posted The Secret to Making Your Spouse Like You here.

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