Happiness and success during dark times


By Chris Gerlach

The newly wedded Ervins walk together to lead a Christ-centered life.

Karley Freeman, Staff Writer

Simply put, 2020 has not been the best year. COVID-19, the passing of celebrity icons, wildfires, shootings, sex trafficking, politics and so many other negative aspects have put a dark cloud over many people’s heads.

Through all this darkness, it is critical to put hope in the lights shining through. Southeastern Oklahoma State University students have overcome the odds to create success and happiness despite the times in which we live.

Over summer break, Loraine Thompson, a junior art education major, launched her own soap company called Your Local Witchcraft.

Thompson learned how to make soap years ago from her high school art teacher. When she began her college career, she got into making large batches of soap, which she then gave to friends and family as holiday gifts.

“Soap making is something I have always enjoyed, and my friends raved about how good quality the soap was and how I could sell the stuff, so I thought I might as well try!” Thompson expressed.

Thompson’s description claims that this popular soap, “holds the key to tranquility…and just might be the key to relaxing both your body and your spirit. This bar of soap is perfect for the person who enjoys calming, refreshing, and floral scents!” (By Emily Dahl)

Thompson makes all her products at home and has been selling on Etsy since June, 2020.

A few of her products include lavender, oat and coffee soap, all made with shea butter and other natural ingredients. She also sells chamomile and eucalyptus spearmint soaps made with goat milk, real chamomile buds and dried eucalyptus leaves.

Thompson makes a variety of sugar scrubs and aluminum free deodorants as well.

To purchase Thompson’s products, visit her Etsy shop or check out her Instagram. While she does not yet offer student discounts, she does a regular deal of Mix and Match: 5 for $20.

Another light shining through the darkness is the recent marriage of The Southeastern’s news editor.

Michaela Ervin, a senior communications and political science double major, fell in love with her husband over “the little things.”

Ben Ervin, her husband, would pray for her when she was stressed or sad. He would write notes and leave them at the door the mornings of a test. “It wasn’t an exact moment, but more like God slowly showing me that this is the man I’d marry,” Mrs. Ervin recalled.

The two were married Aug. 2, 2020 at Mrs. Ervin’s coworker’s house. The coworker built an aisle and seating on their own property and let them get married there free of charge.

“Something we both included in our vows was that we’d lead a God centered life and marriage together,” stated Mrs. Ervin.

It is often thought that a woman’s wedding day is the happiest day of her life, but for Mrs. Ervin, that day was the day she started living for Jesus instead of herself. “But my wedding day is a very close second. It was absolutely perfect,” she said fondly.

Even though the world is going through major changes, it does not mean we have to get lost in the crisis. It is important to continue to do things you enjoy and that make you happy while also staying safe. Finding happiness in the little things may be the light to guide you out of the darkness.