Compliments & Cake

I went to a much needed yoga class in Cape Town several nights ago. It had been a relationally busy week for Tony and me, and I desperately wanted a "minute" to be in my own head. I was determined to make it to that 7:30 vinyasa!

I went (thank goodness) and had a great class. Afterward, I went to the locker room to gather my belongings, and as I packed my mat away, I thought to myself, "I would be amped if someone told me that I have a beautiful practice."

OK, I know that sounds pretty stupid and arguably self-centered, especially in light of eternity... but hear me out.

A few years ago, at a yoga studio in my hometown, I remember really admiring another female's practice. The room was full of talented yogis, but there was something about her mindfulness that made me think, "Wow, that's inspiring." (And she was in triangle pose—not some crazy upside down maneuver.)

So, yes, just as Tony would be stoked for a fellow surfer to take notice of his "style" (it's a thing), I'd be super excited for a fellow yogi to take notice of mine! No shame.

Now back to me in the locker room. I took notice of my thought, then let it breeze on by without any major expectation of future fruition. Ten seconds later, I swung my bag over shoulder and headed out the door. The studio was practically empty at this point, and as I walked past the front desk, the instructor's first words to me were, "You have a really beautiful practice."

I was kind of shocked—feeling like my mind hadn't been my own for the last five minutes. And so, as I do, I stumbled my way through saying thank you and carrying on with conversation until Tony reappeared from the men's side to rescue me from my awkwardness.

Of course, I told Tony the story on the way to our car, and being the really encouraging person he is, he relished in the moment with me. I didn't think much else about the compliment until later the next day.

Fast forward beyond our team meeting, a quick visit at Christian Assemblies, the Craft Ministry, and the Soup Kitchen... I arrived in Capricorn Park around 4:00 pm, with a chocolate cake in hand and ready to check out a budding new ministry called Sisterhood—an art and discipleship program for youth girls.

We painted (a lot) and talked about the meaning of Philippians 4:6, then the girls ate cake. As they were nibbling away and giggling and so on, the ministry leader (Sydney) told me, "One of the girls arrived today and said, 'I'd really love to have some chocolate cake.'"

Y'all. It was only by complete chance that I showed up at that ministry with a chocolate cake. I'm not typically a gift-giver. It's not that I don't want to be, but simply put, gifts aren't my starting place. In that kind of situation my brain is typically asking questions like, "Can Yebo Life actually benefit this organization?", not "Would 12 year olds prefer chocolate or vanilla icing?"

But for some random reason, I had a chocolate cake in my refrigerator that needed to be eaten, and Tony and I weren't the people for the job. Those eight little girls were.

Between Sisterhood and the yoga studio, I got to thinking about God the Father and about how He sometimes gives us these little winks. "Hey! I'm watching you. I know the desires of your heart, and I think they're important... so, here you go. A compliment for you, and a piece of cake for you. Eat up!"

I know that God's communication with humanity is a heavily debated topic, and while I do intend for this post to be light and joyful, I'll say this: Just because we don't have the answers for everything doesn't mean that God hasn't given us the answers to many things. It doesn't mean that our desires, and even our struggles, have gone unnoticed. They matter. You matter.

My prayer is that we'd all intentionally tune in—that we'd hear, see, and experience God's voice, even in the small things like compliments and cake.