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do what makes you happy?

Image result for do what makes you happy 

Roughly once per month, one of my sisters texts me a photo of a sign from Hobby Lobby or TJ Maxx or Home Goods with the words "Do what makes you happy!" or "Do more of what makes you happy." or "Don't do much. Just do what makes you happy." Then we all get into a 5-minute angry texting rant about why these signs are the worst.

Do what makes you happy? 

Sweet goodness, I hope not.

What makes me "happy" is eating potato oles and Crunch Wrap Supremes until I'm violently ill. Or going to Michaels and buying scrapbooking paper for a project I'm never going to finish  . . . ok, I'm actually never even going to start it. Or wasting time on Pinterest saving baked donut recipes I'll probably never make while simultaneously avoiding folding clothes my kids actually will wear.

I think you see where this is going.

What so often makes us "happy" are those things that are usually the worst for us. We don't need even our home decor to encourage our worst faults, do we?

So what about alcoholics? Drink more.

Or the liars? Fib more.

Or the lazy schmucks? Do even less.

Or the rude and insensitive? Anger more people.

Or the serial whiners? Complain more.

Or the greedy? Want more!

If those things make you "happy," then it's your lucky day: The world is right there in the Hobby Lobby aisle with pom poms and a cheerleading outfit hooraying you on for the low low cost of $14.99 with 50% off if you show the coupon on your app.

But our hearts all know -- not so secretly -- that's no bueno.

Joanna Gaines, if you're out there, could you please instead design a sign that says:

 Do more of what makes you happy!*

*That which is good and right and true. 

What if, instead of doing what makes us "happy," we do what is best?

What if, instead of focusing on ourselves, we focused on what makes our husband or children or parents or next door neighbor or content?

What if, instead of going for brunch on Sunday, we went to church instead where Christ meets us with true gladness and joy?

What if, instead of indulging our pet sins of laziness and gluttony and lust and greed, we strive for thinking less of ourselves and more of others?

What if what made us truly happy was to live in and by God's Word in the Ten Commandments?

What if we wasted less time and on our phones and spent more time tending to the needs of the people right around us?

What if we opted to worry less about the Hobby Lobby sign and instead got to the business of being content with what we have -- right here, right now?

I think we'd find, slowly and surely, that the things that are actually what are right and true are those things that will bring us lasting joy -- the kind that Crunch Wraps and new cars and laying on the couch when we should be working will never afford.

Do more of what makes you happy?

Only if that means reading a book with my toddler when she asks nicely, or snuggling my ten-month-old when his front tooth is popping through and hurts like all get out, or when my husband needs an hour and a good glass of wine to talk through something on his mind, or when a friend is having a particularly rough week and needs a meal and a break from cooking dinner for a night.

Otherwise, sorry, Hobby Lobby. How about . . . NOT?



  1. What if I go to church and then come home and make brunch for my entire family and my family across the alley and then cook some more for a Super Bowl party because it all makes me happy???? Thank you for this post. Very needed as always!

  2. You all text for 5 whole minutes to rant about Hobby Lobby sign sayings? Wow. Bored and sanctimonious, much? Good grief. I'm embarrassed for you. Lighten up. It's home decor, not legalism. Oh, and the irony of this bit, "Or the serial whiners? Complain more." Uh...that's YOU right now. You just described and ranted about yourself and this whole post with that phrase. Hilarious.

    But if we're going for judgmental and sanctimonious...friggin' spay and neuter your damn pets. Do you know how many orphaned and neglected farm pets end up in city shelters due to you country bumpkins thinking barn cats and constantly pregnant dogs are ok? I mean at least my rant is in defense of actual living creatures and not just against signage made in China that has phrases you've clearly been raised (TO THINK) you're too good for. Of all the things to rant about. Get over yourself.

    P.S. Did this post make you happy? I bet it did.

    1. I've noticed that people often leave comments or reviews anonymously when they are ashamed (1) of what they said or (2) how they said it.

      Just something I've noticed. -- Rosie A.

    2. Anonymous, whaaaaaa? Calling us country bumpkins? But I wasn't even wearing my bib overalls when I wrote this!

    3. Rosie, unless you're writing to a certain church publication. Then you put your name, email address, home address and fax number on it, CC your DP and the Synod president, and call the Church Information Center just to make sure the person received the letter. Ha! :)

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