Behind the Smile

I’m so righteous when I drive. I listen to Christian radio and sing along. Sometimes I even become emotionally moved by the words. I mean I need a halo or wings or something in recognition of my superior spirituality – until someone cuts me off or goes too slow. Then the halo goes flying off and the unholy words go flying out. Can you relate?

Sometimes I think if I listen to or read spiritual words somehow I’ll absorb holiness. If only it worked that way – I’d be Mother Teresa. It’s time for some transparency: I’ve paid attention to my thoughts hidden behind my “I’m ok – everything’s ok” exterior. For example, while driving with my kids one day, we got behind a car going 15 mph under the speed limit. I growled a little outwardly. Inwardly I said things like “Get the H*** out of my way.” I wasn’t even in a hurry. 

Driving is just one area in which I struggle with my thoughts. Sporting events are another. At my daughter’s cheer competitions you’d think that I’m calm and possibly even laid back. I sit back in my chair, smile, cheer and clap. But let there be an unfair score sheet and the inside of me ignites to full blown indignation. And, I hate to even admit this people, but a small part of me says “YES!” inside when our competitor’s team makes a mistake…I know…it’s a sickness…

What about our thoughts about our kids? Ooh. I’ll tread carefully here. Do you ever think your kids are ungrateful, entitled little monsters? Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you had bypassed parenting and just opted for goldfish? No? Good. Me either. Moving on…

My point is what we think about affects how we act. Every sin begins as a thought. Every single one. So I need to get back in the habit of taking every thought captive. It sounds difficult, and it is at first, but the more I recognize my thought pattern, the easier it will be to stop it in its tracks. It requires intentionality and purposeful decision-making, but I promise it helps to have those boundaries when temptation comes.

I’m trying to live as if every one of my thoughts could be heard by the masses. If I was exposed from the inside out, there certainly wouldn’t be perfection, but would it convey how much I truly love people, or would my toxic thoughts overshadow? I’m aiming for the former. I can’t promise I won’t make hollow death threats during sporting events, but I can promise I’ll recognize I’m crazy and tell myself to get a grip. 

4 thoughts on “Behind the Smile”

  1. Thank you for the reminder on how my negative thoughts effect my actions…and my mood! I’ve had to step back from frustrating situations because I recognized that it was taking over my brain and making me angry, giving my serious anxiety and giving my sleepiness nights. My new motto is “NOT MY CIRCUS” and asking less questions about a situation has helped. Trusting that everything works out in the end has also helped. I love your stories! Thank you for putting yourself “out there” in the vast cyber abyss!

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