It was a hot summer day in Northwest Arkansas. The back-to-back Zoom meetings in the middle of a pandemic were wearing on me. My overwhelming thoughts were getting loud so I decided to take a walk around the block.
I’ll be really honest with you: I just wanted to quit everything. At the ripe age of twenty-six, I found myself wishing for retirement more days than not. Have you ever caught yourself in this place?
“There has to be more to life than this,” I thought to myself. If you’ve had the same thoughts, there are two things you need to know before we dig in:
- You’re in good company and not alone.
- Your thoughts are spot on: There is more to life than this place we often catch ourselves in.
Up until this point in time, my happy place had only been a physical location. If you would have asked me what my happy place was, I more than likely would have said any beach along Florida’s scenic Highway 30A or Jackson Hole, Wyoming or hanging with my husband in a cozy coffee shop, even though moments in these places are few and far between.
Why was I wishing and dreaming of escaping from the very place God had called me to? On my walk that day, I picked a random Christine Caine podcast to listen to. Guess what she talked about on the episode? Retirement and how we are called to do kingdom work every day of our lives!
You know those moments when it feels like God is speaking through someone else directly to you? This was one of those. As I took one step in front of the other on my walk, my mind led me to a question that has challenged me to pivot my perspective ever since: What if our happy place is our everyday journey with God?
Trust me, there are days when I look at my own life and I remember picturing it to be so different. I was a public relations major. Have I ever had a PR job? No. I love running and being outside. Do I sit behind a computer screen every weekday for work? Yes. The list could go on and on.
Life often looks very different from how we pictured it, but where God has positioned us is exactly where we need to be. This is where the freeing yet challenging choice we have to make comes in: Would we rather spend our days wishing we were somewhere else or spend our days soaking up the very place where our feet are planted?
Just this week, my friend Olivia said something on the phone that stuck with me. She told me how her pastor refers to our time on Earth as “going camping.” Think about that for a minute: When you go camping, you typically bring a light load with you and have a posture that is expectant for some type of crazy adventure.
Friends, we’re on an everyday journey to do kingdom work until we are called to our forever home. It’s not an arrival moment we are aiming for but a voyage with Him. Our God is not only for us but is with us.
Are you ready to pivot your happy place from a precise location to anywhere He takes you in this life? Ephesians 2:7-10 in the Message Version says it best, “Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”
There’s no better time than now. Welcome to your everyday happy place!
Tips & Tricks for Creating Your Everyday Happy Place:
- Accept your ticket from God to let Him be a part of your daily journey.
- Lighten your load. Give your burdens to God and allow yourself to receive grace. It’s the ultimate gift that has no strings attached and requires no transactions.
- Get in the Word and really get to know God. Lean not on your own understanding and focus on seeking Him every day.
- Spend time in prayer and confiding in God. He truly listens and will find the most creative ways to speak back to you. Instant gratification has nothing on the satisfaction you experience when you start seeing God reveal Himself to you. Come to Him with the good, bad, and everything in between.
- Make moves and know that God is with you wherever you go. Love people on your journey and enjoy the abundant life He wants you to have now.
Do you need a new perspective on life? Are you looking for cozy, inspiring, guided journal pages that will both meet you where you are and encourage you to keep going? Look no further than the new journal from DaySpring, This Is My Happy Place: A Positivity Journal to Finding God’s Light, by Hope Reagan Harris! In it, you’ll find encouraging messages, fun, interactive activities, and compelling, thought-provoking questions that will lead you to a deeper understanding of yourself and God’s purpose in your life. You’ll be challenged to choose a positive perspective in which, with God’s help, all things are possible. Write your heart out, explore your God-given potential, and find your happy place in the pages of this truly unique positivity journal.
Get your copy of This is My Happy Place today, and for a chance to win another copy for a friend, tell us in the comments below who you’d like to gift a copy to. We’ll be choosing FIVE winners!
Then join Hope and (in)courage community manager Becky Keife for a chat all about This is My Happy Place! Tune in tomorrow, 4/20/22, on our Facebook page at 11am CST for their conversation.
I love this post and the passage you shared from The Message makes me smile. Many blessings on your happy place!
Thank you for such an uplifting and encouraging message. Being positive doesn’t always come naturally or easy, but you have reminded us that God is our happy place and our job is to spread His love and joy to others. I have a fellow teacher friend that would enjoy the “Happy Place” journal.
Rhonda Fesperman says
I’ve placed an order to get my copy!! I’m excited. I needed these words today. I have about 30 days left before I retire from 20 years in education. I was struggling to go to work today. I would love for my daughter to win this journal. She works with special needs children and has also been struggling. She is only 26 and has a long work life ahead of her. I have shared today’s reading to Facebook and will ask her to read it. I hope it helps others today as it has me. Thank you Hope for sharing these encouraging words!
Thank you! I think God is using you to speak to me through this post!
Thank you for putting into words something that is quite “heavy” but your writing makes it easy on the soul and heart. Let’s enjoy our happy places and encourage others that we are already THERE!
Ruth Mills says
Amen, beautifully said! I love you were given the name Hope. You seem to have fulfilled your name! Blessings upon blessings.
Thank you for sharing today, it hit my home and my heart.
I have a work friend who is really struggling. I would share with her.
Cynthia P. Glow says
Can’t wait to read this book. If I won the free copy I would give it to my friend, Monica. She is such a great encourager. She has started a non-profit organization to support amputees, since she is an amputee herself. God has placed her where she needed to be through the years and He has opened the doors for this support group. She is changing lives everyday through her ministry.
I enjoyed this inspirational message this morning. I would give a copy to our daughter who is 26 and finding her way.
Erica Miller says
thank you for your post! Gret insights and that Ephesians scripture was just what i needed today! it is early morning and i find myself here in northwest arkansas, just where God has placed me for this season. i would love to receive the lovely journal for my beautiful mother, who has come all the way from california to be with me. she could use encouragement. one of her favorite sayings is “bloom where you are planted”!
Hope, My husband and I are retired and are relatively healthy enough to continue kingdom work. We’re desperately looking for direction since we live in a tough part of the country where our faith is not welcome. It’s discouraging. Reading your blog was definitely encouraging. Your book would be a welcome to our future! Stay strong.
Sharon A says
I love this post! I so needed it this morning. I would give it to my friend Scarlett who is going through a tough time having just lost her husband of 60 years.
Joan Moore says
Very wise and encouraging words.
Your book sounds wonderful, I would gift it to my Bestie, who has been through so much for the past several years, but always looks forward with Hope and Faith.
I’d love to gift a copy to my friend Amanda M., she has always encouraged me at just the right time and the concept of your happy place being everywhere could benefit both of us!
Wow! Today’s devotional really made me think about rethinking my happy place! Always trying to eventually reach a happy place outside of where I am is actually stressful. It makes more sense for me to cast my burdens on the Lord, and live every day, where I am, in a happy state and a happy place. I would gift my copy of This Is My Happy Place to a friend of mine who is rediscovering her happy place after a recent divorce.
This article really touched me. I would love to share the book with my young adult daughter. She has been struggling to find her happy place and a relationship with God.
Marlene White says
I love this article and have been struggling with this same thing. Can’t wait to get the journal and I’ll love to win a copy for my daughter Ella who struggles with so much and does not believe in God and it breaks my heart because she needs God in her life.
I would love to gift a copy to my daughter.
I would love to give a copy to my sister in law!! She would love it!
Pamela Richardson says
I love this!!! I am definitely going to purchase this journal, and I would love to win a copy for my 16 year old daughter, Chayse
Jennifer Johnson says
All I can say is “wow, I totally needed to hear this message!” Thanks for helping me have a totally different perspective.
Stacey E. says
This is exactly what I need. Very thought provoking article. God does bless us. I would love to win a copy for my sister. She is in need of this inspiring journal. Her life is hard right now and this is what she really needs. Thank you for the wonderful article. To God be the glory.
“Life often looks very different from how we pictured it, but where God has positioned us is exactly where we need to be.” This message right here speaks loudly to me. I did not picture myself where I am today and God has helped me fill a dream and lead me on a path to my happy place. Leaving Corporate America in 2021 fearing of failure, I became an entrepreneur and he continues to lead me to success. I am so grateful.
Anne B says
I am excited about this new journal. I’d love to win a copy for my friend Cheri. Sometimes life is hard and a refocus to the positive and what God has right in front of us is the best medicine
So excited to get this journal! I love the reminder in the article about giving our burdens to God—we simply can’t do life without Him . I would gift a copy to my teacher friend who has had a challenging year and I think it would bring some hope & perspective back into her life. Thanks Hope for pouring your heart into this journal!
This is so needed thank you for this today! I would gift a copy to one of my co worker mama’s whose life has been a little hectic this year. This would brighten her day
Destiny Keller says
I’d love to gift a copy to my friend, Lindsey. Her sister, my best friend passed away and I believe Hopes encouragement could be a light to her
I so enjoyed this post so thank you for sharing. I am one of those people that took God out of His box on Sundays and Wednesdays and put Him back the rest of the week. But as He doesn’t fit in a box, He has this sneaky way of showing up when you least expect Him to and let’s you know exactly how much He loves you. So now my journey is to just trust Him to know the itinerary and the mapped out directions for that journey. He is an ever present help in my time of need, and shares my joy and my sorrows. He teaches me how to rejoice and love others even if they are unloveable. He has taught me how to love myself as well.
It is a daily walk that lifts me up and humbles me as well. Such a good reminder that you shared. Thank you and bless you
I’d love to win a copy for my sister!
Mary Turner says
This just brings so much joy to my heart. ❤️ Thank you for sharing. I needed this.
How true this is and very on point with current situations. I’d love to gift this to my sister in law.
I struggle with finding my happy place often as my situation is not a happy place. Thank you for your encouraging words to keep my focus on Jesus and finding the reason He has me in this place at this time. I would share the book with a teacher friend who is struggling as a single mom of teenage and young adult children while caring for her parents. Thank you for a chance to win this book!
RONDEE MULLENAUX says
Hope – I just pre-ordered your book and can’t want to dig in! I would love for my Daughter to have one too; she’s 32, lives far away and I pray every day for her to be, as she calls me, “Churchy.” I would love for her to have a non-negotiable Quiet Time every day with God. On another note, your article that led me to buy this book/journal hit the nail on the head for me. Even at 56, I feel like I don’t know what I want to do when I “grow up” and find myself daydreaming about retirement and a full schedule of volunteering, spending time with Jesus and family and friends, and having traveling adventures with my sweet Husband more than I can as a working woman. Anyway, thanks for listening and for the article. Have a joy-filled day! Rondee
Beth Williams says
Lately I’ve been thinking & saying “there has to be more to this life.” “Why is life so darn hard?” “Want to get my happy back.” I know my happiness isn’t dependent on emotions but on my perspective. My attitude gets better when I change my focus from me to God. Each Friday I take a few hours & go volunteer with Loaves & Fishes food bank. I do whatever needs to be done from making & handing out food boxes, to putting meals together & handing those out. Also can find me cleaning up, doing dishes or helping organize a closet. The people I work with & those coming for help do my heart good. I get to see & realize how blessed I am. My happy place isn’t a location, but a person in the name of Jesus Christ. When I go out & do His bidding I feel much better.
Beth Williams says
Hope & In Courage,
I would love to give my friend Wanda B or my pastor’s wife Kathy a copy of this.
Nancy Carpenter says
The Lord has been speaking to me lately about journaling, which I have never done !
My husband and I are at full retirement age and wanting to step out and let the Lord lead us we’re He wants us . His economy is far greater than the worlds economy , so we trust Him !
A journey worth journaling about !
I would love to give my Granddaughter a copy to help draw her closer to the Jesus . To challenge her to see how shallow the world really is and how steadfast the Lord is ❤️
Thanks , have an especially Blessed day ♥️
Tricia Savage says
Thank you for this thought provoking article. I re-read it twice.! Now i,m going to introduce it to three friends & my niece.You have a gift of writting.
Iiris L I Korhonen e Kaukoranta says
I like your concept of finding your happy place.. it reminds me of a quote that was shared with me..
“its not what you take with you but what you leave behind.”