A couple of days ago I was standing at a cross-walk and felt myself softly decide to smile. Which is kind of a big deal because I have heretofore had a severe case of RBF. Like, super severe. Ha.
I think part of what has caused this new habit to develop is standing on stage for the whole first half of a church service and becoming more aware of what my face does . . .
But the more significant catalyst I would cite is gratitude. During my transition back to the East Coast last summer, I ended up listening to some really helpful sermons that fleshed out the reasons and ways that grumbling is offensive to and frustrating for God. Thankfully, God gave my heart good soil and since then the seeds have been taking root.
I started out by being more intentional about listing out gratitudes here on the blog, and have recently begun writing them down with paper and pen throughout the day.
Two Tuesdays ago I was able to participate in a collab of sorts between my church and the campus ministry that my worship co-leader directs after a work event. I had been battling cold symptoms and feeling salty because my supervisor expressed concerns about my level of “engagement” at work and still getting used to my longer commute. I initially wasn’t sure if I would be able to go given the work event that was scheduled for about the same time, and the fact that I wasn’t feeling my best.
It worked out that I wasn’t needed for very long at the work event, and I decided to just go to the dinner in faith that I would feel better having gone. And I totally did! They’d made my favorite brownies and there were plenty of meats and veggies to suit my gluten free needs. After eating and chatting with some of the students for a bit, they started their normal shindig and I stayed for the worship portion.
I left feeling blessed and well-fed (physically and spiritually) and was expressing my gratefulness to God all the way back to my car from Hillsborough St. Once I got to my car, I was trying to get my music selection all sorted out when I had the thought that I should go ahead and start my car. So I put the key in the ignition and it wouldn’t turn. Whomp. Just as I started to call Subaru’s roadside assistance, the driver of the ginormous truck next to me approached and graciously agreed to jumpstart my car even though he had baseball practice in 10 minutes.
When that didn’t work (lol) I googled the issue for my make and model and in no time came across a Youtube video explaining that if the steering wheel gets locked a certain way when the ignition is turned off, there’s too much pressure on it and it won’t start. At which point I remembered that my steering wheel did randomly lock up right before I turned my car of that morning but I didn’t think much of it at the time.
So not only did God provide a gracious baseball player to rule-out the need for a battery jump, I had enough juice in my phone and a strong enough signal to learn from a Youtube video and be on my merry way all within a matter of 15 minutes. Hollapraize.
Here’s to the personal miracles of smiling for ‘no reason’ and responding instead of reacting to potentially stressful situations.
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