Friday, May 20, 2011

God Links + Chowda = Happiness

Have you ever had a series of events happen, and you look back on them and you're amazed at how things lined up so perfectly?

Like, you met someone who introduced you to someone else, who invited you to lunch, then touched your life in a special way?

Someone I know once referred to those series of events as "God links." As in, God links the right people together at the right time.

God has linked so many wonderful people to me in the past few years. My "circle of influence" has grown.

Steven Covey, the famed author of  "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" says that your life doesn't just "happen." Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. He says the choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.

I agree with Covey to a certain extent, but I also believe that God has carefully laid plans for all of us. When you put your faith in God, it is now His job to take full and complete care of you in every detail of your life. There is not an area or detail in your life that God will not be willing to help you out with – no matter how small or trivial you think it may be.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
                 --Jeremiah 29:11

Well, there it is. That was one of our "cling to" Bible verses when Nicole was in the hospital, and one I've meditated on frequently when trying to decide what to do with my life. The plans are laid, and God wants good for us--we simply have to live it!

Your language is a good indicator of how you see yourself. A proactive person uses proactive language--I can, I will, I prefer, etc. A reactive person uses reactive language--I can't, I have to, if only. Reactive people believe they are not responsible for what they say and do--they have no choice.

The people I've been linked to in recent years have been positive, creative, enthusiastic, giving, motivated and *happy.* I think that God has linked me with people who have the traits I most want/need at this time in my life.

I read an interview today with New York Times bestselling author, Gretchen Rubin, who wrote a book called "The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun."

Unlike Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love," Rubin didn't have the luxury of taking off for an extended trip to Italy, India and Bali. She has a husband, two young children and life to deal with. And while she was a generally happy person, she had an epiphony where she realized that people feel happy, but they want to appreciate it more, live up to it and not take it for granted. "It’s so easy in every day life to focus on the little annoyances instead of thinking about what a happy life you have."

Rubin started out by challenging herself to do things in her ordinary routine to make herself happier. One of the first things she realized is that she needed to get to know herself better. "I realized that I didn’t always know myself or live my life according to my own nature. The more I thought, ‘How could I become Gretchen?,’ the happier my life became. It began to reflect my interest, values, temperament much more closely."

Because I'm 53, and my children are adults now and my husband is very supportive, I do have the luxury of going away for a month. And being in an inspiring environment, away from everyday obligations, affords me the opportunity to think, reflect, get to know myself better.

Some people may think it's a selfish thing for me to do. And that happiness, period, is a selfish aspiration. I side with Rubin when she said happy people make people happy!

"What people don’t know is that a lot of people are troubled by the feeling that it’s selfish to want to be happy. They worry that if they have the elements of a happy life and they want to be happier, that they’re spoiled and preoccupied with themselves in a way that’s not laudable. Or they think that in a world that’s so full of suffering, it’s not morally appropriate to be happy.

Rubin's reasearch shows that happy people are more likely to volunteer; they give away money; they’re better leaders; they have better relationships with their friends and family; they’re healthier; they’re more connected to other people and people are more attracted to them. "I don’t think it’s selfish to be happier, because it’s by being happier that you give yourself the emotional wherewithal to turn outward."

I'm grateful for the God links in my life--the people, the events, the experiences and the opportunities that have one-by-one been linked together to bring me to where I am today.

You may be wondering what brought on this unusually serious post. Well, one God link led to another to another, and Jonni and I ended up having lunch with a wonderful new friend-of-a-friend in Camden, Maine yesterday. Because I respect her privacy, I'm not saying much more about it, but I will say that we all enjoyed the most spectacular cup of clam "chowda" at an iconic Maine restaurant named Cappy's. The lunch was so delicious and the conversation so riveting, that I forgot all about taking a peek at Alexander, the 150+-year-old stuffed seagull. I know....I'm just sick about it. Just so you'll know what you're missing, this is how they present a cup of chowder at Cappy's:

Blessings to all who read this!

P.S. Here's the series of God links that led to my wonderful lunch yesterday:


  1. Rock on, Susan -- you inspire me!

  2. Luvvvv your blogs sweet friend and your positive attitude!!
    Luv ya,

  3. Beautifully written, Susan. I am very touched...thank you! Love, Cindy

  4. So amazing that you post about 'God links' today 'cause I had a 'God Link' today. You are so right about God having the plan, we just have to be open to it. God Bless.