What a day today has been. I suppose to you, it may not appear that special, but for me, it has been wonderful. I started my day out getting Ruby ready for school. We waited at the bus stop together, like always. (which reminded me, i really need to get a winter hat) I enjoy watching my girl get on the bus each and every day and its so fun to smile and wave at the little nameless faces that i see looking out at me, just hoping for someone to wave back. Just once, if someone would wave back...:) It always brings me such joy just taking that ten minutes out of the crazy waffle making, egg scrambling, and juice spilling morning to wait with Ruby. We play 'simon says' with Sydney and just before they get on the bus, i always remind them what my mom used to remind me "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" I say loudly, as the bus pulls up "Be a light today girls!" They probably don't even care, but i am hoping that it just sinks into their head and heart and that they subconsciously are lights in our very dark world.
Which brings me to my main point today. Being a light. I am always shocked at the craziness that i experience at the stores, on the roads, and in the grocery lines. People are just so rude. They demand the discount that they were positive they saw, they argue about a misprice, and treat the employee as just that...an employee. Not a person. Let me tell ya, i am the first to admit that i am always moving when i am in a store. There is no leisurely pace for me. I don't just wander around and look at things. I am moving fast with my giraffe like body and i know where i am going and what i need, and what time i need to be back to the car. Get it? Pretty fast paced. That being said, i have always thought it was really important to smile. I feel very deeply, all the way down into my heart that a smile is a priceless thing. I like to intentionally look at a person as we walk into a store and just smile at them. I love seeing the moms with the crying babies and purposely meeting their tapped out stare with a smile. A smile. When the woman in front of me in line at Herbergers yesterday (i was returning a doorbuster pillow that wasn't so much a doorbuster but a head acher) and she had her crabby hand on her hip and her toe was a tappin. After the hugly pregnant girl rung her up she questioned if everything was on sale. The kind woman said the Clinique item was $25 and never goes on sale. Well, wouldn't you know that thats not what the crabby lady wanted to hear. She leaned into her hip and said that the sign said $20, blah blah blah. The woman called down to Clinique to check and they informed her that that sign was for another item. Squack, squack the women went on about how that sign was so misleading and how mad she was about it. I mean, she was not happy, and it was very obvious. She was going to let this woman have it until something happened. Well, the employee just informed her that she had marked it down to $20 and continued on. The customer didn't say thanks or seem appreciative, she just went on about that darn sign. I mean, didn't her Mother ever tell her that you get more bees with honey? I was shocked at the audacity of the customer. It was her mistake after all and she couldn't have found a kinder way to make her point? That's the last that i heard of that conversation as my turn was next with a different cashier. I was bummed because i had all these nice things that i was going to ask the employee about how far along she was and if she knew what she was having. I wanted to make her feel special and do a little damage control for the woman who had just left. But, of course i went to the other worker. I tried to make small talk, laugh and even throw in a few million dollar smiles. I wanted her to know that i was being sincere and that i wanted her day to be a good one. That, in turn, made me leave feeling joyful and glad. I was skipping out of Herbergers while kissing babies, signing autographs and high fiving senior citizens! Get my drift? It felt good. I LOVE doing that. I know how much i appreciate a smile. Unexpected but appreciated. It just warms my heart to see someone smile at me as we make eye contact. What a gift from God smiles are. Its like a little glimpse into heaven, i think. It doesn't take much effort, but it makes a big impact.
So, today i woke up with a renewed spirit. For no particular reason, but i just was choosing to be joyful and i wasn't going to let anything get me down. And what better way to feel good inside than a donut and coffee, right? I pumped the kids all up about what a fun little trip it was going to be and how we would all get coffee and it would be great. I even through in a few extra smiles...they don't work so well on the kids, but i try never the less. We head to Caribou with the $8 in cash. (Still in my pocket from yesterdays trip to Herbergers.) It was going to be great. As always, I order my small white mocha and get the kids an oreo cookie snowdrift split in two cups, i am feeling joyful. I have cash. That in itself is a wonderful thing. Wait one minute, let me take you back about one hour....this morning when i got up and got Ruby to the bus stop i had on my brown pajama like sweat pants, a plain long sleeved shirt, a greasy pony tail with a hot pink child's headband on, and no makeup. Not my best look, but whatever. Well, i was so excited about the joy i was going to find in coffee that i went against my gut and just threw on my purple Polaris coat and shades and away we went.(just wanted to catch you up on the beauty coming through the drive thru) Okay, now back to the drivethru. As i pull up to the window a guy opens it. Well, now this kid was so darn cute that it was almost distracting. So instantly i am regretting the choice of a greasy pony and hot pink headband. Thankful for the sunglasses, i ask him something about this stamp card. Well, he told me it was a sticker card and not stamp and i got all nervous cause i couldn't find it and blah, blah, i said what do i owe you? Thinking I could stall for time to find my punch (I mean STICKER) card. Cause hey, if i am buying a coffee, you bet your bottom i want my 6th one free:) He fumbles a little and says that i don't owe him anything that the car in front of me already paid! I was shocked. Completely shocked. Almost enough to forget my sloppy appearance, but not quite. I went on rambling about how thankful i was and how this never happens to me and how i know about the drive thru difference and what a kind thing it is to do...
Now, there has been so many times that i had to scrape money together to get a coffee. I know, not because i NEED it, but because it is a fun treat. But this time, I had the $8 burning a hole in my pocket. I asked if i could wait for the next car to pull up so i could pay for their drink. He said sure and i rolled up my window and waited. (well, i fixed my pony tail and waited) Finally a car pulls up behind me and i can see a couple of heads in there (i was picturing 13). Well, my brain starts swirling and i am thinking this is going to be the car that is picking up coffee for the office, or the teachers, or for their whole family...panic, a little of panic now...the handsome boy opens the window and tells me the total $4.85. Hallelujah! I give them a five and drive away, but not before i smile.
I felt on top of the world. I was thankful to God. Not like the I almost slipped on ice but didn't kind of thank you Lord. But the heart felt "Thank you God for your many many blessings!"
In that moment i thought, i choose to be joyful today. I wanted to be obedient. I wanted to be a light in this very dark world, and i felt like God blessed me. I can't explain it, and i know i am dumbing it down, but its how i felt. Like our God is so amazing. Not just because i felt his love and appreciated that tiny gift. I feel Gods love when i can't see it. I know he is there when i struggle, even if i can't feel it. But today i just wanted to say thank you. Thank you God for smiling at me. It turned an ordinary day into an extraordinary one!!
Smiling. I like to think that its one of the many ways that God shines through us. And what better time of year to share love with others? Christmas, the busiest time of year. If only we could all take the time to smile instead of fret. Smile instead of argue. Smile instead of yell. Smile instead of frown. Smile. Its the simplest act. And if we busy ourselves trying to do for others instead of thinking they should do for us, what a wonderful world we would live in. I truly believe we would be happier doing than getting.
That's my story and i'm stickin to it! (Insert wonderfully kind and genuine smile here)