Creative Writing: Tooth Brushing

Serendipity weekend! 

We love it so, this little home the Lord gave us, this place where we unwind and fill our cup. Not that our “real” life needs to be escaped at all; rather, it’s a choice to separate ourselves for a few hours together. It is so very, very good.

“I forgot my toothbrush,” my husband says as he unpacks his little overnight bag. 

“I have an extra one stashed away in the closet,” I answer.

Thank God for toothbrushes. Teeth just don’t feel right unless they get brushed every few hours. Nobody loves the fuzz that happens otherwise. 

That night, I brush my teeth, especially mindful of the process, and it feels wonderful. My mouth is happy when I am done. 

The ordinary-ness of tooth brushing stirs something deep within me–so easy to do, yet vital for the quality of everyday life. So easy to not do, yet truly life-sustaining. Most daily processes are like that, aren’t they?

God uses ordinary to point to the extra-ordinary.

When the Good Book says to watch over our heart with all diligence, it is really telling us ’s to make sure we don’t let fuzz grow there, to make sure we wash it daily, hourly, whenever necessary. Just like teeth. Just like the life of a couple.

Thus this choice of escaping to Serendipity regularly, even though we don’t need an escape.

Jesus washed His disciples’ feet because walking on this earth can sometimes make us dirty, even though both walking and feet are gifts from heaven. And ordinary washing feet must happen regularly, just like heart watching. 

And tooth-brushing.

The Power of Reframing

So, what to do? How should we proceed?

1. Acknowledge

Be real and honest with yourself about what happened.

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2. Make a Plan to deal with it

If you are on a tight schedule, lay the issue down but set a meeting with yourself to deal with it. If you are able to deal with it right then and there, by all means, do that!

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3. Be curious

Bring to your conscious mind what happened, and ask yourself some questions: Why did the situation escalate and go the way it did? Why did I act this way? What triggered the action? How was I feeling? What was I thinking? Discuss with yourself what your triggers were. You will begin to gain insight into the issue. And when you start to understand your experiences, you can learn from them and eventually redesign them.

I personally like to write my insights into my journal; it helps me process it all.

4. Build new healthy thoughts

We know that our thoughts produce our feelings which trigger our actions which bring results. So it’s fair to say that it is our thoughts first of all that are the source of our results

So, in the situation where your results where not as you wanted them to be, what thought do you need to create to change your feelings, and therefore your actions and your results? Start brainstorming these!

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