Many years ago, a woman who had extensive training in customer service told me, “We train our employees to smile when they’re on the telephone.”
I said, “Why? Nobody can see it.”
She responded, “Well, believe it or not, you can hear a smile on the other end of the telephone, and we find that it reduces stress in both the customer and the customer service agent.”
We were sitting in an office, so she had me do a test with her. She called me from the next cubicle and asked me to guess if she was smiling while she talked to me. I numbered each phone call and wrote ‘smile’ next to the number if I thought she was smiling. It took all of about five minutes, but I learned alot in that five minutes.
I could tell 100% of the time if she was smiling while talking to me. it changed the way the conversation went and the way she made me feel.
Over the years, I’ve tried this many times, and I find that if I smile, I usually get a better outcome than if I don’t.
Think about it: It’s free! And, apparently, there are more benefits to smiling:
I’ll leave you with a quote from a friend: “Smile! It looks good on you.”
You may be praying and not know it. How?
Traditional prayer is a solemn request for help or a giving of thanks to God. Somewhere along the line, prayer can become about something other than God. Have you ever caught yourself thinking that science (medical or otherwise), money, or a relationship might save you, make your life easier, or ‘complete you’. That, too, is prayer, but it leaves God out.
That kind of prayer sneaks up on you. You’re not aware of it in the sense of traditional prayer – as in talking to God. Pain, fear, anger, weakness, and impatience all make it easy to put your faith in something other than God, and not be aware of it.
Have you ever said something like one of the following:
- “If I could just find the right doctor, one who will understand my problem(s) and treat them, my health will improve.”
- “If I could just get the right medication, I would feel better.”
- “If I could just get that promotion, our money problems would be over, and I would be happy.”
- “If I won the lottery, I’d never worry again.”
- “If I could just be in a relationship with ‘X’, I would be happy.”
I was going through a particularly hard time physically, and I was impatient and weak. I went to my doctor, who is also a friend of mine, for help. She is a wise woman and a Christian. She said to me, “You have far too much faith in the medical system. It’s run by people, and people are flawed. Eventually, you’re luck will run out.”
It was then that I realized I had been praying at the wrong altar. I had left God out of the equation. I was blessed enough to have a friend who was kind enough to point that out.
If you don’t feel healthy, wealthy, or complete, maybe you should pray at the right altar. Pray to God.
James 5:13-14 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
Have you ever prayed at the wrong altar?
The last few weeks have been rough to say the least. In the course of the last month, I have had a Lupus Flare, Shingles, Hay-Fever, and a nasty 48 hour virus. Things have not been fun at the Kinsey Home. I have not been beautiful. As a matter of fact, I was covered in shingles (tiny blisters that burn like fire), had a runny nose (from hay-fever), my joints were red and swollen (from Lupus), and extremely pale from the war going on inside my body. To add insult to injury, I went to get my hair done, so I would feel better about myself. There was an accident with the treatment put into my hair, so my hair looked like Guy Fieri on a really bad day. Beautiful is not something I felt…at all.
During this time, I attended a writer’s conference and did not know I had shingles. I thought I was just being a weenie about my Lupus Flare. In addition, I was catching up my blog, looking into a new Church, getting some blog posts updated, and working to update my social-network. Add to that, my son was having a bit of a crisis, and I felt that I could do nothing to help him.
Beautiful is not what I felt at all, and my next doctor visit echoed that. My doctor said, “What is wrong with you? You have to slow down. You have to rest, and by that I mean going to get a glass of water is enough exercise until you improve.”
Take an overachiever with a health crisis, add in a pinch of idiocy, a teaspoon of low self-esteem, with a dash of despair, stir – and you have a recipe for disaster.
At my lowest point, I woke up in a stupor one morning, wondering why I bothered with my blog posts at all, stumbled to the bathroom, and found this note on my mirror:
Another note said, “Get some rest.”
I cried. I thanked my husband. I prayed. And, I rested.
My husband knew exactly what to say at just the right time. That’s priceless.
If you have such a person in your life, call and thank them today. If your relationship doesn’t work so well, and you need more love, just say so. Find a way to get to that place where you both care more about one-another than you do yourself. Strive to stay in that spot where you know you are loved, and your spouse knows you love them. How do you do this? Remember who is in control.
PS. If you’re contemplating marriage, are married (happily or unhappily), or are looking for a life partner, please get a copy of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It works best if you BOTH read it. I have to say it’s helped me understand the language of love more than any other self-help book I’ve read so far. It even helps me with people I’m not married to – like extended family members.