I was driving home from Mutual just now, giggling over how funny my dear friend Pam, our YW secretary, is, and I was struck, like I would have stopped in my tracks if I hadn't been driving :) , by the realization that I've been really HAPPY lately. Not just giddy cheerfulness, and not that I don't have my moments of stress over work and Arabic and school and laundry and groceries, but there's been an underlying level of lasting-feeling happiness and peace lately, for at least the last couple of weeks, and especially for the last couple of days, and I'm really humbled and grateful for that, and glad for the nudge to recognize it.
I think at least part of it has to do with the time I've spent with our youth - we had stake youth conference 2 Saturdays ago, and then ward youth conference the next Tues-Wed, so that was 3 full days in a 5-day span that I spent in close proximity with our awesome youth. It was so fun and uplifting to be with them! They're so funny and fun and GOOD. I went to a baptism this last Saturday, and one of the missionaries said while bearing his testimony that he's a better person for having known this new convert, and I was struck then by the thought that THAT was how to describe how I felt about the time I've gotten to spend with the youth these last few weeks - I am a better person because of the time I've gotten to spend with them and around them. They are GOOD people. They talk about and love the gospel, they serve each other and include each other, they are helpful and generally cheerful. Just good folk to be around.
And then yesterday was our ward 4th of July party, and I was reminded of the friends of all ages that I have in my ward, and how much I enjoy them. Oh wow I laughed so hard with Pam, and the YW (and leaders) ROCKED the YM (and leaders) in a tug-o-war, and I made friends with two new young couples that just moved in.
And also - one of our youth confided in me about a member of the opposite sex (teehee! didn't you LOVE being a teenager?!), and while I did NOT start the spontaneous water fight of the 10-yrs-old-and-younger crowd, I WAS the main target and DID get completely soaked (and did some soaking of my own as well, thankyouverymuch). :) And, people? If those last two items don't make a person feel like she's "arrived," I'm not quite sure what will. ;)
It's just been some really good times lately, and some good spiritual growth, and some good development of friendships of all shapes and sizes, and I'm grateful that my Heavenly Father saw fit to hit me with a 2x4 tonight and point out that - HEY! YOU'RE HAPPY! - because I sure wouldn't want to have missed this. :)