Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Heaven is a _____________________

Last weekend over brunch with some friends after church, the topic of Heaven came up. It came up in a way I had never thought about it before. My friend mentioned he was reading some book about a guy that said Heaven was/could be (not sure of his exact claim) a combination of some of your happiest moments when you’re alive.  My friend went on to ask what are the 5 happiest moments of my life? 

Here’s what I’ve decided that my Heaven would look like if the happiest moments of my life were on “repeat”.

1.     A mash up of me at every amusement park I’ve ever been to (minus the lines).  Riding rollercoasters and rides always brings out my adventurous side, and I am guaranteed to smile & laugh nonstop when at an amusement park with rides.
My favorite amusement park of all time - Cedar Point! 

2.     Playing tennis…this sport I picked up in high school has stuck with me. Not only does it relax me, but it makes me insanely happy. I’d get rid of hitting the balls over the fence in Heaven…that part is always annoying.

Me with my tennis BEAST face! 
One of my favorite tennis patterns! 

3.     Eating meals with my immediate family.  Of course I wasn’t happy when the menu was something I didn’t like (very picky eater as a kid), but I grew up with Mom, Dad, sister, brother and me all eating around the dinner table. Sometimes we’d have serious talks and other times we’d laugh our heads off. Regardless, I was always happy for the stability and consistency of having them around for a meal.
Eating with the Fab 5! 

4.     Performing Godspell a la 2002, same cast as when I was 15/sophomore in high school.  I love to be on stage so much! Singing, dancing and acting out parables from the Bible with the people I did at the time was one of my happiest moments ever!

5.     Laughter with friends outside at the beach.  Of course I enjoy laughter with friends on any occasion, but there’s something special about the times when I’m outside with my friends, feel the sun’s warmth against my skin and we’re laughing all of our cares away.

Beaching it in Texas! 
Beaching it with friends in MI

Beach, food & volleyball in Chicago! 
Beaching in Miami! 

Beach time silliness in Chicago!  
Grubbin' @ the beach

When I’ve thought of Heaven in the past, it usually leaves me somewhat unsettled because I can’t quite grip my mind around it based on what I’ve read/understood. According to the Bible, admission to Heaven is selective, it’s like a big praise & worship concert all day, and there are mansions and streets of gold. I just knew I wanted to go there because the alternative sounded so bad. I’ve never thought of Heaven as being a place where my happiness would be played out.  It sounds bizarre, but thinking of Heaven in terms of my best moments actually left me with some ease about the place. I have no CLUE what Heaven is really like…but at least thinking about it in terms of happiness forced me to think about when I am happy.

 I can remember when I’ve been down…but most happy…that superlative doesn’t always stay on the radar for me.  It seems so counterintuitive because in theory we should always remember the times when we’re at our best/most happy.

I’m going to be looking out for my happy moments way more now, and thinking…maybe this is what Heaven feels like when I’m in those moments.

Solitude vs. Loneliness

The art of solitude. It's knowing how to be by yourself and to enjoy that time. That's a skill that I'm always perfecting. Some times in my life I've been really good at it...others, not so much. I decided to make a video short documenting some of the things I do to find solitude.

I set it to Bilal's "Lost for Now" because I thought the song best captured the catalyst that pushed me to practice enjoying my company (a break-up in Sept 2012). I guess 6 months have passed since then and I've made a lot of progress in going from loneliness to solitude.

Now remember, you are reading the UNexpert, with that said...this video is not going to be nominated for any awards, it's very amateur. I'm hoping you can connect to it though when you've had moments where you are your best company.

Feel free to leave comments, and tell me some of the things that you do to enjoy your "you" time.

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