My Senior year of high school, I became the Student Body President. I always thought it was interesting that I first practiced that role and then became that role.
One day, while I was driving by myself, I realized that I really didn't smile that much when I was alone. I decided to practice being happy and smiling even when it didn't seem natural.
I plastered the biggest grin on my face, looked around at the scenery, and kept driving. Right then, I looked over and saw a girl from my high school driving by and waving. A little embarrassed about my over-sized grin; yet still maintaining it, I waved back.
The next day at school, this girl approached me and said, "Rachel, you are always soooo happy and always smiling! I saw you in your car by yourself, and you were still smiling!" Inside I laughed because she didn't know that it was an experiment I was doing on myself, but I was glad she was able to see a happy face.
In the last 3 days, 3 different people delivered a similar message to me, so I decided to ponder what it was that I was really being told.
On Saturday, 5 minutes after arriving at my son's wrestling match, our baby Jayden had a blow-out in his diaper. It was bad... all up his back and all down his legs. Since there were no changing tables or counters in the high school bathroom, and since I was alone with all the other children, I had to strip him down right there on the gym floor. I was trying to be as discreet as possible, so I stayed to the edge a bit. People still watched, however, and got a kick out of it. One lady shouted out, "Look! She's even smiling through it all!!" I hadn't realized that I was smiling, but apparently I was!!
Yesterday at church, a teenage boy came up to me laughing and said, "Umm, Sister Mills, I saw you twice last week in your van. You were jamming out and dancing at the stop light." I said, "Oh yeah! I did see you!!" He continued, "Then I saw you again another day." "What was I doing that time?" I asked. He responded, "You were still jamming and wearing a funny hat." I hadn't realized that I jam so much; although, the kids and I do have fun on our drives. (Disclaimer to my mother: I was driving safely while jamming, and my music was not turned up too loud. :-))
Tonight, I walked into the middle school gym for a sports competition. Juliana was clinging to my back, Jayden was hugging my neck in the front, and my other children were bouncing beside me. I was smiling big because I was genuinely happy. I wasn't paying much attention to anybody in the stands; I was just smiling. Right then, a stranger from the crowd called out in a friendly tone, "How can you be so happy with so many kids?" A little surprised by her comment, I responded, "They're the ones that make me happy!!" After I passed them, I looked back and there were several women still watching and smiling at my situation.
As I pondered these messages I had received, I realized that in many other people's minds, I should have been frustrated and possibly pulling my hair out. It was shocking to them that I could be enjoying my life so much.
Just as I had practiced being the Student Body President and then later became the Student Body President, I had practiced being a smiley girl and realized tonight that I had become that smiley woman after all these years.
I have a plaque in front of my computer that I received a couple of years ago from "Time Out For Women" (www.tofw.com). It says, "Choose to BECOME. 'All things are possible to HIM that believeth'~ Mark 9:23"
I believe!!! I believe in miracles!! I believe I can become even more!! What hope that brings! I don't need to be discouraged!! God is molding me!
It is a miracle that God can present us with the appropriate challenges and life-experiences so that we can become who HE created us to be.