Our first interview! Meet Tammy Stevens, my best friend and life coach! Tammy is 31 years old and lives in Utah. Tammy is happily married to her husband Lorin Stevens for seven years. Together, they raise their four beautiful children. Tammy was born and raised in Logan Utah, and this gals Logan pride runs deep! She spends her days tackling motherhood in all it’s glory, while also substitute teaching and training for marathons. She is a beautiful soul with the kindest heart, and her best feature… you guessed it, that smile! Here are a few things that brings her happiness…
During the day I pause to find happiness in nap time. It breaks up the day. It allows me to do things that bring me joy like reading, journaling, organizing, connecting through phone calls, texting or social media. If I have a project or calling (or a lesson to prepare) in the church nap time allows me to accomplish those tasks. I also find joy by pausing to read to my children or having them read to me. I enjoy sitting down with the kids on the couch or my bed and the words on the page come to life through their imagination and questions. I enjoy seeing the joy on their faces as they find the humor, beauty, and adventure so well-written or Illustrated on the page. I also pause during the day to find joy as a family as we eat dinner. I have in my mind an ideal happy dinner where everyone eats with gratitude and kindness in Words. With lots of connections through humor and meaningful conversation. Where everyone finishes their food within the half of an hour of when we sat down. This rarely happens, let’s be honest. However I’m trying to find the joy in spoon-feeding, silly questions and mimicking behavior that isn’t always appropriate ( such as nose picking or getting out of one’s chair multiple times.) I try to keep in mind the Serenity Prayer which states, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Some rituals that I find generate happiness for me are running in the morning while listening to a conference talk or a podcast on how to improve life by intentional living, my marriage, or being a mother. I have also generated happiness by giving prayers of gratitude at night. I enjoy date night every week with my husband. Even if we don’t do something big or go out to dinner, it’s just that time where we have one-on-one to be away from the house, work , the kids and just focusing on connecting with each other.
Happiness to me looks like having something intentionally planned as a family throughout the day whether that be working or playing. I have found when I plan intentionally to have family time together it makes the work feel more fulfilling because the children feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves and I learn from their enthusiasm and new perspective on whatever we’re doing. I feel fulfilled because I am trying to teach them how to do a new skill or game in which they are learning social skills, thinking skills, communication and creativity . Happiness to me is spending time with the ones you love and care about the most.
A place I like to go that makes me happy is where Lorin and I will grew up, which is Logan Utah. We have a lot of fun memories there and still enjoy the feeling that it is a small town and time slows down when we visit . Our childhood was a lot of fun and we love sharing those experiences with our children. Family vacations are also a place where we find a lot of joy. This last year we went to Yellowstone and I found it very fulfilling as we ventured out with no agenda and just went with the flow. There is something about getting out of your comfort zone, house, the normal routine of the day, and just being present with those around you in an unfamiliar place with no expectations… that can be the cause of so much joy.
There are many activities that make me really happy like dating my spouse, girl time with my besties, self care, therapy retreats, going to church. But when you get down to it all of these things have one common denominator and that is connection. connection to me is what makes me really happy. It’s the intention of being present with another person or activity in which we can share the dreams and disappointments of life. It gives me a safe place to be vulnerable and authentic. to feel of God’s grace and to be taught by His wonderful children. Connection gives me a better perspective of our Heavenly father’s plan of happiness.
I believe happiness is worth seeking because that is what God is all about. He is a god of joy. He placed us on this Earth that we might have a choice. He knows what it feels like to go through trials, tribulations, Temptations and yet he is the most joyful being. He knows what true Joy is because he has felt true sorrow. Russell M Nelson spoke of the importance of being intentional in what we focus on. He stated, “My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives. When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening —or not happening— in our lives. Joy is a gift for the faithful. It is the gift that comes from intentionally trying to live a righteous life, as taught by Jesus Christ.” I agree whole heartedly with this! Amen!