The name of the person in today’s blog has been changed to protect and respect her privacy.
We walked into a very familiar place yet with unfamiliar faces. However, we felt right at home because we were among the running, screaming, chaotic presence of children celebrating a friend’s birthday. There was a wide range of adults from parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, etc. We all came together to at this fun bouncy place called Monkey Joe’s. Yes, Monkey Joe’s. It is what it sounds like, a jungle for wild monkeys.
All of our children were jumping, swinging, pushing, pulling, and flipping off every apparatus in this place. Every adult had two similar ideas: 1) Better there than our homes and 2) Dear God, THANK YOU for places like Monkey Joe’s in the middle of old man winter!
In such a place, your eyes are moving a mile a minute and your head is turning back and forth left to right and right to left as you try to keep a close eye on your children.
Among the crowd, I saw her; she too was all over the place chasing after her children and watching their every move. I could not take my eyes off of her. I even paid attention to her as she walked in and out of the birthday party room in which we were invited. She had this radiant, beaming smile and she never undressed her smile from her face. I thought to myself, “Wow, she is really enjoying herself; she is smiling ear to ear!”
As the party was called together in the birthday room, Barbara smiled continuously. As her children asked for more drink, begging for more jungle play, and eating pizza; she sat next to me still smiling with no worries. With thoughtful and gentle words, she responded with words and a beaming smile.
Finally, I greeted her and asked her how she knew the birthday boy and his family. Little did I know, her children and our friend attended the same school as our son.
After asking a few questions, I saw a break in her smile. I then saw a pain behind her beaming smile, which was replaced with small smirk.
We began talking and she continued sharing. Eventually she said, “It’s been two years now and now I finally feel comfortable smiling. You see, it is just me and my boys. They lost their Dad a little over two years ago and though it still hurts, he rests in my heart to give me my smile. That’s the way he loved his boys!”
She continued and said, “I smile to keep the tears from flowing because life sure hurts. I smile and find things to laugh at because it’s worth it or I will drive myself crazy over my hurt.”
Then she immediately turned to the needs and demands of her children, and responded to them with gentle words and smile.
Barbara has no earthly idea how much she blessed me that day. From the conversation alone, she made me think about how much I love my lbs. (I love acronyms; I can’t help myself). She confirmed to me that life is all about Lessons and Blessings.
There’s a blessing in every lesson and a lesson in every blessing.
Her name is forever written upon the reflections of my heart because of her unceasing smile during her difficult time. Her smile represented a resilient courageous spirit.
Take these scenarios for an example. These life curve balls/ detours/roadblocks/closed doors (whatever you want to nickname them), may have applied or may one day apply in your life:
Turned down for that job you wanted so badly, but only to discover God had better plans by taking you another route.
The test still waiting for you to pass, in order to you to the next level of your life.
The minor or major accident that could have taken your life, but definitely changed your life because God took control of the situation.
The unexpected, God-Divine conversation with a total stranger that turns into those must needed words to bless you or the stranger causing breakthrough
That lesson from a sermon; that scripture tweet; that blog article; that news story that just seems to hit the right spot at the right time for your thirsty mind.
Action: Change your grumblings, murmurings, complaints, worries, or negative thoughts into LBs and instead look for the blessing in every lesson and the lesson in every blessing because everything is a lesson or a blessing! It’s called perspective!
Look at the word “blessing;” remove the b and the g and replace the ‘I’ with an ‘o’; and you get a “lesson!” Evaluate, calculate, and appreciate your every lesson; your every blessing! The blessing is in the lesson.
Question(s): What happened to you yesterday or today that you thought was a curve ball? What have you encountered in the past that you can reflect back on and discover the blessing in that lesson? (Please leave a comment below.)Chaitra MTN Universal Be the wEiRd this world needs!
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