I am a firm believer that attitude can make or break an experience, a day, and a situation. Now, even though I believe this, I would be lying if I said I always live up to this statement in a positive way.
This morning started off really well! My boyfriend, Evan (who just so happens to double as my best friend), came over for breakfast, and we talked about our goals for the day as we munched on a high quality breakfast of cereal accessorized with strawberries (we do it gourmet over here in the Doles household). In fact, Evan was even wearing a radiant orchid (one of my color obsessions and Pantone’s color of the year) button-up, and matched the blooming rhododendrons outside of the dining room window.
After Evan left for his internship after his appreciated company and conversation, I had the time to dig into the Word. Now, I’ve been pretty successful with digging into some OTHER words (such as books for homework, reading through my news feeds on social media, and filling my girly cravings for sparkle, stories, and fashion with magazines), but I haven’t been doing very well when it comes to rooting myself in the Bible (at all). I was really glad to spend some alone time with God and try to take in what He might be trying to communicate with me. I definitely felt a lot more peaceful after I read. In fact, in the midst of the stress and intimidation of a new internship, God lead me to the perfect passage. My devotional for the day lead me to Philippians 4. I know this wasn’t a coincidence. These words provided me with great comfort today
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
I am not a very assertive person, so starting new things and trying to adjust to transitions can be difficult. I tend to think about the way that I act and the things that I say affecting other people, so often times I can become a wallflower when I am the “new kid”, because I don’t want to get on anyone’s nerves or come off as arrogant or bossy if I try to get too involved right away. This has served as somewhat of a struggle at times, and sometimes I would find myself rolling my eyes at my own gentle and meek behavior, wishing that I could be a little bit bolder. Seeing the words, “Let your gentleness be evident to all”, felt like God was giving me a hug, telling me that I don’t have to be down on myself for being who I am. Sure, there are times to be bold and assertive, but there are also times to be gentle, and since this is a part of my nature, I have realized that I don’t have to worry about trying to change the way that I operate. I have to view my strengths for strengths, not as weaknesses.
Also, this entire passage is a great testament to the beautiful comfort we have in Jesus. I know that I don’t have to worry and stress about the things I can or cannot control. We are told not to be anxious, but to present our requests to God through prayer and petition (a request made for something desired, especially a respectful or humble request, as to a superior or to one of those in authority; a supplication or prayer: a petition for aid; a petition to God for courage and strength…thank you dictionary.com). It is so easy to let the little things stress us out, and honestly, I tend to do this. It was an excellent reminder to me that I should be communicating with God rather than stressing about things. I need to remember to talk to God like He is my best friend, and this is an area in which I am working to be more intentional.
I loved all of the different sections to this passage, so I started writing them down on colorful paint chips that I picked up from Lowe’s the other day (collecting samples for the duplex I will be moving into this fall, but that’s a whole different story 🙂 ), and now I am keeping them in my purse. I plan to write down at least one verse from my devotions on a paint chip before I start my day, and keep them on a little keyring in my purse so I can pull them out at any point during my day to look at when I need some reassurance, encouragement, or a little hug/pick me up from God’s word.
So, what happened after this? Well, filled to the brim in joy and confidence, I was ready to go into my internship, when I realized that the keys to Pearl (our family’s trusty silver minivan) were missing. I scampered around the house like a dizzy mouse in a maze as I tore the house apart (apologies to my family) looking for the keys. Why was it so important that I took Pearl opposed to one of the other cars (such as Kronk, the equally dashing Sequoia)? I’ll tell you why: I am directionally challenged, and my directions were nestled safely inside of Pearl. Frazzled, I left for work 10 minutes behind my schedule, and partnered with Siri to find my way to work. However, my good friend Siri doesn’t do too well under the pressures of construction and road closures, so we ran into some more problems along the way. Somehow, by the Grace of God alone, I got to work only 2 minutes late (and I promise I didn’t even speed).
During the moment that the keys were missing, I didn’t have peace. I instantly unwound all of the precious serenity that God has graced me with during my devotions, and anxious, stressful thoughts burst to life more quickly than they had dissolved. I realized how ridiculous it was that such a negative attitude could resurface after God had clearly proven throughout my whole morning, “Relax, I’ve got this.”
From this day, I learned that I am given the constant option to choose trust or to choose doubt, to choose serenity or to choose stress. I really want to adopt a more laid back and positive attitude for all situations, and I think that today really opened my eyes to the tempting tendencies to stress about the little things.
The second my foot stepped through the door, I chose to be happy. I felt frazzled, but I made sure to do what I was doing to the best of my ability. I was very excited that I got to go along on my first shoot today for eightWest. We went to a place that basically serves as a manners school for dogs. I went from being a tightly wound ball of stress to petting beautiful puppies and watching the people I shadowed do their job exceptionally well. I got to learn how to mic the guests (careful, the windscreens have a habit of running off and playing hide and go seek in the guests’ shirts!), and I observed the effortless way one of our hosts made the guests feel comfortable in front of the camera with her warm smile and genuine questions.
Of course it wouldn’t be classic Kelly if I hadn’t misunderstood what one of the guests was saying and unintentionally volunteered to parade one of the dogs in front of the camera for a shot (she wasn’t talking to me, and broke into an understandably judgmental laugh when I over eagerly gushed, “Oh of course!” when the question was directed to one of her employees). I know this doesn’t really make sense with the context of the venue, but they ended up giving me a couple all natural anti aging samples (?)…I don’t ask questions, but I am partially Dutch, so I gratefully accepted!
When I got back from the shoot, I was excited to learn that a couple of other girls in the office are really into fitness and nutrition like I am, so we hit it off talking about our favorite online trainers (Shout out to Blogilates for providing me with conversation material!).
Shadowing during the shoot of the Maranda Show, I got to see a father beam at his son playing his heart out on the drums, and strike up a conversation with the proud parent, learning some of their story. I got to talk to a girl created beautiful mint and gold decorations for her open house. I was inspired by her creativity, and I even got to recommend a possible photography internship to her after hearing about her dreams of becoming a wedding photographer. Today I learned that I love seeing people involved in something they love. I gain so much joy and fulfillment from asking people about their passions, and learning about what makes people unique and special. I learned that I love using my creativity (I was coming up with different hooks, intros, and conclusions in my head as I watched the shoot happen, and even got to suggest a word choice at some point), and that I desire to make people feel special, welcome, and comfortable.
I learned that it is crucial to choose joy whenever you can, and I have learned that when I choose joy, I am able to spread joy to others.
But most importantly, I am learning to choose to trust God in the little things and the big things, and to choose to focus on him, even in the midst of chaos.