A peace in the perfect design

proverbs-topaz

The pelts of a dribbling basketball accosted me as I rounded the usual curve on a pathway between homes that opened into an urban park. My earbuds in, I did not ordinarily hear the sounds of play but today was different. The melodies that accompanied me on my habitual daily walk had been muted. Having no beat to tread to, or song to stride with, my steps seemed spasmodic, uneven and irregular. I’d lost my rhythm in the silence.

Earlier, discouraged and disappointed, I laced my running shoes and stepped out of my front door. The chilly breeze of an autumn evening scratched my cheeks. I pulled my hood up over my ponytail, and hit the music icon on my phone assuming  lyrics would release me from my hurt feelings. My ears were belted by Michael W. Smith.

There is strength within the sorrow
There is beauty in our tears
And You meet us in our mourning
With a love that casts out fear

Inwardly I groaned.  And wondered if I had any tunes to conspire with my mounting crabbiness. Something with lyrics like:

You got it right /  to be uptight/ as life ain’t going your way/ so just be cool/ and know you ain’t no fool/ so stamp your feet/ and tear down that tree/ for you deserve to retaliate!

And the corner of my lips turned down, pierced together with irritability. Kind of catchy that tune. Maybe something Brad Paisley would sing. Or Carrie Underwood. There’s that scene in that music video of hers where she takes keys to her cheating boyfriends supped up truck…

Quickening my pace, I dug my hands deeper into my jacket pockets. Despite the crisp breeze, I felt my forehead perspiring and my palms heating up. I pulled my hands out of my pockets, flipped my hood off and undid the front zipper of my jacket. Great, my stomach is now cramping. What’s up with that? And that basketball sound is crashing in my head. Is a headache coming on? 

I’d let myself become a victim to ill-temper. And what was it getting me?

What is the cost of my feeling all these unnecessary annoyances?

Stress was what it was getting me. And the physical symptoms of stress. The adrenal glands flooding my body with stress hormones making my brain deflect blood towards my muscles causing my perspiration. My stomach ache and headache part of a long list of health problems linked to stress including insomnia, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, skin rashes, heart attack, and stroke.

But smiling? This is what happens when we smile:

Smiling can help you manage stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, chemicals that makes you happier. Endorphin’s are the same chemicals you get from working out or running, resulting in what is known as a runner’s high. Smile more to get that high without running.

Smiling even makes your immune system stronger by making your body produce white blood cells to help fight illnesses. One study found that hospitalized children who were visited by story-tellers and puppeteers who made them smile and laugh had higher white blood cell counts than those children who weren’t visited.

From 9 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Smile More

 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Can you see it, my friends?  When we smile, allowing peace to flow again in our minds and hearts, we are in Christ. And this  peace is good for our physical health! When I think about how perfectly we are designed, I cannot help but be awed and grateful.

****************************************

I press play, the corner of my lips turning up from the hope of His promises as Michael W. Smith’s words grace my ears, and my steps fall into the rhythm of the melody.

You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

And I smile.

What are you smiling about today?

Advertisements

30 thoughts on “A peace in the perfect design

  1. Hi Lynn,
    Walking is such a great way to feel peaceful and I love how smiling can do that too! I tend to look too serious without realizing it, always with a little frown from concentration, so making the effort to smile might do more than just make me look more pleasant and approachable! 🙂 It’s funny how our facial expressions can affect our whole outlooks — and I’m hoping you are feeling less stressed today too! 🙂 xo

    Like

    1. It sounds like you like to walk too Valerie. I much prefer it over the gym. I hope today you have lots of moments where smiling is just a natural response! Have I ever told you I love that necklace you are wearing in your profile picture. It’s a beauty, like you!

      Like

  2. Hi Lynn! I can let stress get to me too. I don’t get stomachaches, but I do get awfully busy in my mind. I never think to smile then, and maybe I should. It sounds so crazy to do in the middle of feeling anxious, but I think it might break the hold that the negative mood has on me. Worth a try anyway!
    I hope you were able to smile away your mood too?
    Ceil

    Like

    1. H Ceil, as I was reading your comment those silly cat videos came to mind for some reason! I see how just a little interruption of silliness is necessary in our days sometimes, to break our ‘busy in mind’ states. May you have a blessed day with some smiling silliness mixed in, breaking away any anxiety!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I couldn’t help but smile when I read your lyrics, Lynn. It was a catchy tune. Thank you for being authentic. 🙂 It’s exactly what we humans feel at times, and I know God understands but wants us to give all our frustrations over to Him. Easier said than done though, right? I smile because God is so patient with us. His love and grace towards us is so amazing! Blessings and hugs to you!

    Like

    1. Yes, His character is patience isn’t it? And love and grace! When I think on these things, I remember to breathe and know the times of feeling frustrated do pass. May you be smiling today with the knowing of His love and grace He has for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m smiling because your very real words of a moment in time where nothing seemed to go right or be right found you ultimately addressing it with His peace and your choice to smile instead of fueling the crabby flame seeking to flare up and squelch the joy of Him! Thanks, Lynn, for keeping it real!

    Like

  5. Thanks for the reminder, Lynn! My life is full of stress right now, and I am feeling it. Your blog made me smile, and that is a good start. 🙂 ❤

    Like

    1. Stress is so hard on us, but a part of life in this time of ours. My prayer for you is you see His peace and love for you as He carries you through this time. He’s got you, sister! May you have many interruptions of smiles today!

      Like

  6. I smiled at the sounds you heard, when you intentionally listened. I’m in a season where I’m trying to be more in tune with the natural sounds, sights and touches around me. How much we miss by relying on our feelings and forgetting that the Lord God made it all. I enjoyed my time here!

    Like

    1. Traci, you make such a great point! Being completely present, really seeing what is happening from the smell of coffee to the drip of water or anything other sounds of sites around us, keep us in the moment which is all we really have. And honors all He has made and given us. A grateful heart is a satisfied and content heart isn’t it? Thank you for your perspective on this!

      Like

  7. I felt my mood turn sour this morning for no particular reason (or maybe because it’s my first day back to work after a short vacation lol). This is a good reminder that I need to have joy. That I represent Jesus and it should be evident today and everyday. Thanks for posting this!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I will make a conscious effort to smile this weekend because I have not been doing very much of that lately. My poor kids – all they see is a grumpy mom, which surely doesn’t help them! This weekend we have a church retreat and I’m going to consciously seek to smile.

    Like

  9. I have been on purpose smiling and speaking softer and listening more for the last month. I had let a person in my life become my life because I could not fix her. It’s so irritating to try to fix some one who seemingly has no clue she needs fixed or it seems that way to me. I was becoming sick of heart, sick of body and sick of spirit. Finally through a study I am doing on freedom in Christ, I on purpose decided to love on this person every day because I see her every day. It’s was not easy at first but it has gotten better. God is always faithful to work more on the one who is praying then the one you are praying for. Oh I still pray for her but I realized God does not really need me to pray for her, He loves her and is doing His work in her at His speed, not mine. Goodness, the freedom that can come from not be the fixer and being the needy. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your words make me smile today. I so enjoy your writing — today, I feltl like I’m going on an adventure with you into a dark cave to find the light…which I did, and came out with a big smile! Great writing and much fun to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It is true. Smiling releases dolphins within us and they swim around and tickle us from inside. And this makes us feel good. I read it in a medical book which I am writing.

    If you go around smiling all the time sooner or later someone will stop you and ask “What’s so funny?” Hope you have an answer ready.

    Praying that you are better soon and the dark clouds surrounding you have lifted. God bless you, Lynn.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lynn ouch I have so many of those symptoms – probably all of them except the stroke, but I did smile a whole lot at school today, and I have a smile knowing 3 new grand babies are on the way in March. Great post.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s