Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pom Poms, Smiles and Feelings

The song “Feelings" the 1975 hit by Morris Alfred, instantly takes me back to a Friday Night high school football game back in 1976. (I’m showing my age.) It is half-time and I’m doing a routine with the drill team and my huge pom poms in my sparkly sequined outfit and groovy white boots. I plastered on my smile and entertained the crowd. I felt true joy. My smile was authentic.

Faith is not about feelings. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
There’s a new song on the Christian radio station by Sanctus Real, called “Lead Me”. The husband in the song is asking God to help him lead his family. The lyrics really resonate with my family's current situation(except the beautiful wife part)…

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying...

Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Fast forward several decades. I DO always smile in photos. I plaster that smile on just like I did back in the drill team days. On the inside I’m not smiling right now, but who is going to want to befriend the Eeyore I’ve become and why would I want grumpy photos. There’s a balance of being truthful and real with the new people I meet and being fun to be around.

I think I learned about smiling from my mom (who is kind and smiles a lot) and from the musical Annie. I used to sing the line “you’re never fully dressed without your smile” to my kids as they left for school. I know it’s a fact that smiling is contagious and people are more likely to be friendly if you look approachable.

These days, “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. Nehemiah 8:10 I am trying to fill up my soul with the love of Jesus so my joy will be authentic and not fake. Every day I’m attempting to focus on something good or fun about my life and circumstances. As I write this I’m sitting by our sweet lake on this beautiful fall day with my precious daughter. I hear the wind blow the fallen leaves, the football team is doing drills, the train is going by and the local church bell is ringing. This moment is a gift that I’ll want to tuck away to pull out on a cold winter day.

Watching a mom try to “lead” her special needs son on a walk is also a reminder. She patiently waited while her stubborn child sat down on a bench and refused to move. God will always lead me and is always patient. Sometimes He leads in obvious ways (like big flashy pom poms )and other times it will be done quietly with just a whisper to my heart.

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