I call it God. You may call it law of attraction. But either way, there is no denying how the world moves us to meet people exactly when and where we need to.
I walked into a networking function last Friday, knowing very few people. Most times this outgoing gal is invigorated by an experience like such, but this day I was a tad overwhelmed so I meandered to the safest place in the room, which was by the appetizers. I mean, can anyone deny some tasty hummus and brownies bites?
As I approached the veggies and dip, I found myself quickly engaged in deep conversation with someone I had just had the pleasure of meeting. It didn’t take but a few minutes to realize that we were destined to meet that day. Both of us quickly opened up about our lives as if we had been long-lost friends catching up over drinks. Except this was our first meeting, but it would likely not be our last.
I’m no aura-reader, but I knew immediately that she had an amazing soul, one that I could learn a lot from. And after she began sharing pieces of her life I knew I was so right. She shared her story with me, which should have been filled with grief and pain. Her story of loss was one most would find laced with heartache. But not her. Her story was filled with joy. It was engulfed in peace. Through the challenges she was forced to face, she was not faced with disappointment, but rather purpose. She beamed almost as if the Holy Spirit was radiating from every ounce of her being. And it all stemmed from how she perceives the world around her.
I thought that I lived a life of perspective, but I realized that night that we all have plenty of room for personal growth, which is why secretively a few days later I decided to put her lifestyle to work in my life, seeing how a small shift, but a very conscious one, in how I perceived the world would have the potential to change me. Here is what happened.
I woke up a littler earlier than expected that morning, but I was gracious I woke up in time to accomplish what needed to be tackled that day. I was expected to deliver a hand-made wreath to a customer early that morning, and I had plenty of work to do to meet that expectation. You see, what started as a fundraiser to help me save up to self-publish my book has evolved into an amazing creative venture for me, and while I love every minute of it, this time of the year my hands are working overtime. My typical response would have been a shrug and a mental “I have to make another wreath this morning”. But as I took a shower to wake up to the day, I realized how lucky I am because I don’t have to make it, I get to. I get to be creative. I get to give someone something amazing for the holidays. I get to.
The kids woke up not long after, as crazed as usual, and like every Sunday, we had condensed time to allow the crazed mentality as we needed to get ready for church. I had a pep in my step that morning. I always love Sundays, but if I’m being honest with myself, I rarely allow myself the opportunity to let the Word fully soak in since we are always corralling three kiddos. But this day, we got there a bit earlier than normal. This day, the kids were more contained than usual and I got to listen to the beautiful messages of God’s timing, which hit home perfectly for me. I didn’t have to go to church that morning. I felt honored to get to live in a world where I can openly express my faith and get to go.
Later that afternoon, I decided that a perfect early birthday celebration for my sweet almost-four-year-old would be some momma-daughter time at the local movie theater. She was excited, and I had a new found excitement myself. We chowed down on popcorn and cherry slushies while we watched “The Star”, a sweet animated movie depicting a unique perspective of the birth of Jesus. I’m sure my daughter didn’t understand most of the story line but throughout it she would lean over and hold my hand which meant the world to me. Afterwards she even affirmed that I am indeed still her best friend. I didn’t have to spend the afternoon with her. I got to. And I cherished the time I was blessed to get with a girl whose soul is as special to me as the shining star the movie was about.
Evening brought with it our normal routines of dinner, baths, and bedtime rituals. For three kids, you can imagine how tedious and time-consuming this time of the day is. Most evenings I find myself mentally hurrying it along, praying for the quiet time my husband and I get in front of the television once all are nicely tucked in bed. But this night, I pushed myself to cherish every moment I got to have.
I pulled the softest blanket in the house over my legs and begged for all three kids to cuddle close as we giggled and told stories of our days. I loved this time, especially with my baby took my face in his hands and leaned forward with an unexpected slobbery kiss. We prayed together and then the evening book of choice was something my oldest requested. He grabbed his children’s Bible and together we read about Jesus’ birth and how He was called to teach the world. Even after we read the last chapter for the evening, my son couldn’t wait to identify the exact spot in the Bible we were going to pick up the next night. I didn’t have to read them a story that night. I got to. And how gracious I was that I got to read him the Bible!
When all the littles were safe in their beds, I told my husband about my challenge for the day. I shared how I made the conscious decision to live a “get to” life versus a “have to”. It wasn’t easy. I found myself slipping at times into the old world of thought. But when I would catch myself, I was able to shift my perspective just in time, before allowing negativity to take root. He may not have noticed my shift, but boy did I.
A small change in seeing what I get to do in life pushed me to be more present in the moments. I was more grateful for each moment too. I found that I didn’t have to talk myself into doing something I should do, but rather it just happened. It was much easier to tackle my daily tasks when realizing how lucky I was to have everything I needed and time to spend with my loved ones. I found the energy to read more when I realized how blessed I was to get to share God’s Word with my children. And in return I got extra hugs and kisses that night from each kiddo, which is their amazing way of saying thanks.
A glorious day I had just from making one conscious shift in my thinking. Imagine what amazing things may happen if you make the decision today to live a “get to” life! Sure, you will tackle the same obstacles that your life’s road is paved with no matter which perspective you choose to live by, but how you perceive each dictates much more than the outcomes. Who is up for the challenge? Let’s take it a day at a time, together. And let’s start today. Choose today to be grateful for the things you GET to do, for the people you GET to spend time with, and for the person you GET to be.