On Finding Your Happy Place {And Why Mine Involves You!}

by | Sep 22, 2016 | Books, Rhythms of Rest


Walking down a spiral staircase, I reach the landing on the second floor when H looks up from his laptop in the family room, furrows his brow and says, “Are you okay?”

Obviously I don’t hide emotions well.

“No, I’m not okay. Not at all.”

Joining him, I sit down on the foot stool, push a free palm into my forehead, phone grasped in the other. Tears begin welling up and dripping into the carpet.

“My friend Laura just messaged me to say she bought a ticket to Nest Fest. She’s driving from West Virginia to North Carolina to watch me sign books! Diane is driving 12 hours from Minnesota to Nashville. Friends are buying plane tickets, reserving hotel rooms and rearranging schedules. I’m not okay. I’m humbled, grateful, and honored.”

A smile spread across his face. That knowing smile you witness as the last person to grasp the obvious.

I was born a Relater. Friendships are like oxygen and belonging is like breath. I need them in order to thrive and be the person God created.

As a true blue Relater at the core of my being, Jennifer Dukes Lee writes about what makes me tick in The Happiness Dare.

You love the warmth and security of close friendships. You guard yourself against loneliness. At your best, you allow yourself to be fully seen. You also make safe places for others to be seen – and loved just as they are. And this . . . To you home isn’t a place, it’s the people.

Next month I’m going home to my happy place in Kansas, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee! As I divulged to someone recently, this book tour is as much about seeing friends as it is about selling books. Shhh! Don’t tell my publisher.



Who cares about long flights or becoming intimately acquainted with the Atlanta airport five times in two weeks when you have girlfriends waiting to laugh, shop, and eat with you at every destination. But I’m heeding Jennifer’s wise words and watching for red flags when it comes to how I’m wired.

Relaters have to guard against putting people before God.

My book launch has become an opportunity to practice living what I write about. Will I rest in confidence knowing God is with me in the details or will I lose my way with people pleasing?

It’s tempting to think a message God writes through an author is ultimately about success, influence, and  money. Those outcomes are important yes, but fleeting. The message on God’s heart for His people lives beyond the lifetime of an author, let’s just put that reality out in the open. We steward what God entrusts by cultivating relationships.  The message of a book lives on through His people.

You will be in your sweet spot when you are consciously relating to others out of the love that Jesus first had for you. You are happiest when your relationships are Christ-centered. You can maximize your sweet spot by remembering that your first and most important relationship is the one you have with God. All other relationships flow from Jesus’ friendship toward you.

I’m happiest when my relational security is found in God’s love and I’m surrounded by friends like you. I’m not sure I’ll ever be okay with the generosity you’ve shown me as I launch Rhythms of Rest into the world. At least, I hope not.

Will I see you when I come home to the US in October? You can find my speaking itinerary here.

What is your Happiness Style? Take this assessment and tell me if you are a Relater, Experiencer, Doer, Giver or Thinker in the comments. It only takes five minutes and it’s so fun! And then order my friend (see what I did there as a Relater?) Jennifer’s book The Happiness Dare. You’re going to love it.

Group of beautiful young women strolling on a beach. Three friends walking on the beach and laughing on a summer day, enjoying vacation.

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  1. Cathy

    I am a doer and relater. And I look forward to seeing you in Charlotte on Oct. 22nd!

    • Shelly Miller

      I’m not surprised that you are a doer. I need more doers in my life! But a relater . . . Hello! We’ll be talking for hours. Look forward to seeing you too!

  2. Sandra Heska King

    I wish my life wasn’t so unsettled right now. I’ll be in Florida–pretty sure of that. That’s all I know. I also know that flights to Nashville from Ft. Lauderdale aren’t so bad…

    I’m a thinker…

    • Shelly Miller

      Love knowing that about you Sandra. I think I have a house full of thinkers. You are good people. If you think you might come to Nashville, let me know. I would love to see you.

  3. dukeslee

    I so appreciate you. Thanks for sharing about The Happiness Dare, even in the midst of your own launch. I was so excited to hear that people are traveling to see you! You’ve made them a priority in YOUR life, and now they want to do the same thing. What a gift. I love you, friend.

    • Shelly Miller

      I’m so thankful for you, my Doer/Relater friend. Not sure how I would’ve done this crazy book launch without you. You’ve kept me sane! It’s a privilege to share your work. I know people will be blessed by your books.

  4. Amanda

    I love this! I also love that despite moving halfway around the world, you still very much know who you’re “people” are. My husband and I just moved 1,000 miles across the US and struggling to make new friends, especially when the people who know us best are still back where we moved from.

    Also, I just took the test – I’m very much a Doer, which I think contributes to why I love reading, talking about, and practicing Sabbath and rest so much. Being a Doer can easily get out of hand 😉

    Wish you were coming to Colorado! But can’t wait to get my hands on your book,

    Amanda | amandabixler.com

    • Shelly Miller

      Amanda, when my family moved to the South, I struggled with finding my people for nearly a decade. It was brutal. Of course, looking back, I see how God used that time of isolation as an extrovert to make me into a writer. I am convinced without that time to press into God instead of friendships, I wouldn’t be an author today. He uses all things for our good, even when they are painful as you know. I’m so glad you are reading, talking about and practicing Sabbath and it’s so fun to know you are a doer. I wish I were going to the West (that’s home for me!) but maybe God will orchestrate something there in the future. Would love to meet you.

  5. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Oh Shelly, teary with you. What a joy to feel the warmth of support people have for you. No wonder! Look at all the joy your words bring us. How I would love to be there, *somehow*. Just not sure how to make it work. Praying! and I am a thinker (and stewer, frankly :-)), and also a relater. How I have loved relating to you on the blog, email, phone, and in-person on those golden times when it did work out! Love you, and cannot wait to see where God will send your book!!! Thrilled. ANd wow, Jennifer’s book is also a favorite, as is she.

    • Shelly Miller

      I was just thinking yesterday that it would be such grace if you came to Lawrence. Flights from St. Louis to Kansas City are usually cheap on Southwest. I would love to see you!

  6. Janet from FL

    I like the banner at the top of the blog! You probably did this a while ago, but I just noticed it today. I read the blog, and then my mind said, wait a minute, something is different. HaHa. I wish I could see you in person, but I won’t be able to get to any of your engagements. I did the Happiness Dare assessment a while ago, and I am a Thinker/Doer. We each play a different part in the Body of Christ. Lucky for us, God loves us all!

    • Shelly Miller

      Yes, it all changed a few months ago Janet. That’s what happens to my email followers, no need to click over to the blog sometimes. Glad you like it. I am so happy with the new fresh look.

  7. Nancy Ruegg

    SO excited for you, Shelly! I pray God’s blessing upon your book tour — on-time flights, restful places to stay, many hugs and much laughter with friends, enthusiastic response to your book. We’ll forward to an Ephesians 3:20 report!

    • Shelly Miller

      Thank you for that sweet blessing Nancy! I’ll take it.

  8. LuAnn

    Shelly, I took Jennifer’s quiz. I’m a Thinker and relate best to other Thinkers and to Relaters :)!

    • Shelly Miller

      Not surprised in the least!

  9. pastordt

    I hope every minute is lovely! I took the test but haven’t read the book. I got ‘giver.’

    • Shelly Miller

      Oh, that’s great to know about you Diana! Always lovely to see you here friend.

  10. Mary Bonner

    Love this, Shelley!

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