Reason to SMILE #62: FRIDAYS

 

Reason to SMILE #62: FRIDAYS - Yay!!!! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

SMILE –

It’s Friday!!!

Need I say more?

🙂

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Reason to SMILE #244: MAPS

Reason to SMILE #244: MAPS - Feeling lost? Well, this SMILE is for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com
Remember the days of paper maps? You know the ones I’m talking about. They came neatly folded in a packet small enough to fit into your car’s glove compartment but opened up to the size of the windshield. Of course, once unfolded, these maps never returned to their original folded size again!

Then there was the big, bulky atlas – a book of maps that never fit anywhere in the car except the trunk. And anytime you needed it, you’d have to pull over on the side of the road to retrieve it.

The atlas was always my husband’s navigational aide of choice and, of course, I was always the navigator. Unfortunately, we didn’t always have the best of luck following these paper maps to get to our destinations.

My husband would say, after finding that we were lost, “I can’t believe someone with a college education can’t read a map.”

I’d say, “That wasn’t my major!”

Okay. Okay. We may have had some communication issues. 😉

Fortunately for us both, we now have Google Maps. No longer do we have to struggle with bulky paper maps that block the view and probably have caused as many divorces as they have accidents. We can simply type in an address and boom! The route is laid out for us and all we have to do is follow the blue line.

Well, just like Google Maps helps us in our travels, we also have a map to help us along life’s journey. The Bible, God’s lamp for our feet and light for our paths, is right at our fingertips. His guide for our lives has never been more accessible. It’s only a click of a website or touch of an app away. We only need to open it, read it and boom! His path is laid out before us and all we have to do is follow it.

Having a map at my fingertips sure has made a difference in my family trips. Having God’s Word at my fingertips has made a difference of even greater significance. Without having to worry with navigation myself, either on the road or in my walk with God, I have more time to enjoy the journey and all the SMILES along the way.

Reason to SMILE #6: HUGS

Reason to SMILE #6: HUGS - Are you a hugger? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

I give warm hugs.

This is the message on one of my t-shirts. Beside this message is a picture of a goofy little snow man that seems to be falling apart.

You know that snow man, right?

He was really popular a few years ago when that one movie was released.

Remember that movie?

It was the one with princesses, a bad guy pretending to be a hero, a reindeer and an ice delivery man who becomes a reluctant hero.

Ring any bells?

No?

Okay, I’ll Let It Go then.  (Yuk – yuk – yuk)

Anyway, I feel a bit strange when I wear this t-shirt because I’m not usually one to offer hugs freely. It makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know why. Don’t get me wrong. I give hugs. I hug my family. I hug folks I haven’t seen in ages. I hug those who offer a hug to me. But I don’t go around hugging every person that I see every time I see them. People who do that are true “warm huggers”. They have a gift.

There are times, though, when I need a hug – times when my heart is heavy, when the burdens of life overwhelm, when there’s no answers to my problems and I just need to be held. During these times, a warm hug is most welcomed and does so much good.

It’s amazing the power of a hug. A hug can lift spirits and lighten a load. A hug can even reduce blood pressure and improve emotional well-being and overall health. It’s true! I read it on Facebook! 😉

Well, I do know one thing for certain – a hug given at just the right time can make the heaviest of hearts and loneliest of souls SMILE again.

So I suppose I shouldn’t be so stingy with those hugs!

Reason to SMILE #368: DOING NOTHING

Reason to SMILE #368: DOING NOTHING - Can’t find a reason to SMILE today? You may just be trying too hard! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

From the frequency of my blog posts, you may be able to tell that I’m getting pretty good at doing nothing. It’s been two months since I’ve written anything worth posting.

Two. Whole. Months.

Do I feel bad?

I do.

Bad enough to turn off the TV, stop my Facebook scrolling and pick up the pen (well, the iPad)?

Apparently.

But isn’t it ironic that the first thing I choose to celebrate after deciding I’ve wasted enough time doing nothing is, well, “doing nothing”?!?

Or maybe it’s the perfect subject after a long break of doing just that.

<SIGH>

Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been traipsing about life shirking my responsibilities and blowing off obligations as if I didn’t have a care in the world. No. I work for a living. I take care of a family. I cook. I do laundry. I clean – every now and then, anyway. 😉

But on any given Monday, if you were to ask me what I did over the weekend, my answer would unashamedly be, “Absolutely nothing”.

I know. I know. There are things that need to be done – walls to be painted, closets to be de-cluttered, projects to be finished, blog posts to be written – and I promise I’ll get to these things. I will. But right now, I’m truly enjoying doing nothing in my down time.

You should try it!

Now, I’m not advocating complacency or pure out laziness here. I’m only saying that just like there are times in life that call for us to take action, get the job done, stand up and do something, there are also times that call for doing nothing.

Let’s explore this fantastic idea, shall we?

When you’ve worked nonstop for days and you haven’t had a decent night’s sleep, taking some time to do nothing is a great way to rest and rejuvenate. If you don’t, I guarantee your body will do it for you.

When your spouse comes home in a fowl mood and starts snapping at everyone and everything, what’s the best thing for you to do? Nothing, my friend. Nothing. Better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret and make the situation worse!

And what about that co-worker or boss that insists on doing something his or her own way when you’ve tried and tried to explain that it’s not going to work? Do you continue to warn of an impending disaster? Nope. You sit back and watch. Some people simply have to learn the hard way and you doing nothing in this situation provides the perfect opportunity for that necessary life lesson!

You see, there are times when doing nothing is exactly what is needed. And, yes, even when the laundry is piling up and the unfinished projects are beckoning, choosing to do nothing on the couch with your favorite book in hand or your favorite movie playing can seriously do a body good.

So, what did you do last weekend?

Me?

I did absolutely nothing and I gotta tell ya. Doing nothing over the weekend sure did help me SMILE while doing a whole lotta somethings on Monday morning! 😉

Reason to SMILE #47: HAPPY PEOPLE

Reason to SMILE #47: HAPPY PEOPLE - So that's why they're so happy! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

“Welcome!  How are you today?” I heard as I entered the store.

Looking over toward the checkout counter, I discovered a young man with the biggest smile on his face and the happiest spirit about him. His happiness seemed to resonate throughout the store as he spoke with each customer and made positive comments about every item being purchased.

This was not what I expected when I walked in the store that day but it was a most welcomed surprise. I left the store with a smile on my face and it’s all because of that young man’s happy attitude.

Don’t you just love to be around happy people?  Their joy seems to rub off on everyone they meet.  And the cool thing is when they leave, the happiness remains.

But the same goes for unhappy people.  Their gloom and misery spread to all those around them and linger long after they are gone.  Most of us do our best to avoid the perpetually unhappy.

I learned a song in children’s choir a long, LONG time ago called “Humbly Grateful or Grumbly Hateful”.¹  It starts with a little rhyme that says:

I have two friends with funny names that sound a lot alike
But once you get to know them, they’re as different as day and night.
One is happy all the time and has lots and lots of friends.
The other always gripes and complains and no one really likes him.
You may wonder who they are and why they act the way they do.
The difference is the way they see things, it’s called their attitude.

So, which one are you?

Are you HUMBLY GRATEFUL, lifting others up with your happiness?

Or are you GRUMBLY HATEFUL, leaving others disheartened and discouraged?

I want to be like that young man I met in the store and leave everyone with a SMILE!

 

¹”Humbly Grateful or Grumbly Hateful” by Janet McMahan-Wilson and Kathie Hill

Reason to SMILE #367: YOUR FAVORITE SONG

Reason to SMILE #367: YOUR FAVORITE SONG - How can you not Smile when you hear your jam?? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

We all have one –

That one song we love.

That one song we call our “jam”.

That one song that no matter where we are or what we are doing – trudging through the work day, pulling weeds in the garden, walking through the grocery store or driving down the road – the whole world stops when that first note is played.

And when that first beat hits, it’s no holds barred. Spectators be warned. The volume is going up and the shame is going out the window. Hang on to your hats, folks, and get out those camera phones cause you’re about to get the performance of a lifetime. You definitely don’t want to miss this!

This is going viral!! 😉 😉

Hearing your favorite song is a miraculous experience. It’s powerful. It sweeps you into another world, frees you of your troubles and responsibilities and makes you feel like the rock star you’ve always dreamed you could be.

And when you reach the end of your performance or even if you’re only listening (But who on earth can just listen to their favorite song?!? Tell me. Who?), you’ll find a SMILE on your face and a skip in your step. And you’ll be reaching for the repeat button because you will not want the SMILES to end.

So tell me…

What’s your favorite song?

Don’t have one? Don’t worry. I can make a few suggestions. 🙂

 

He’s Got You

He's Got You - If you feel like everything is out of control, you don't need to worry and this is why... | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Your world may seem out of control;

Your future may seem uncertain;

Your questions may seem unanswered

But there’s no need to worry –

He’s got you.

 

You may feel like your dodging curve balls

Life is relentlessly throwing your way;

You may feel you never catch a break

But there’s no need to doubt –

He’s got you.

 

Your hope may seem dried up;

Your faith may seem extinguished;

Your dreams and your prayers may see futile

But there’s no need to give up –

He’s got you.

 

No matter your situation right now, in this very moment, remember this one truth:

GOD’S GOT YOU!

He’s holding you in the palm of His hand. He is surrounding you with His loving arms. He is working out your troubles for your good. He is preparing you for His glorious purpose.

 

He hasn’t forgotten you.

He hasn’t forsaken you.

He hasn’t failed you.

 

He loves you.

You are His child.

You can breathe easy because

HE’S GOT YOU.

Breathe – Just a Reminder

Breathe -Just a Reminder - For those of us who are struggling through life right now... | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

When the storms of life have covered your blue skies,
When the answers can’t be found for all your why’s,
When your load is feeling heavy and you can’t get out of bed,
When you’re weary from the struggle with the thoughts inside your head…

Breathe –
Just hang on –
Soon your darkness will surrender to the dawn.

Breathe –
Just be still –
Know the God who holds you close and always will.

You’ll find healing, you’ll find hope,
You’ll find peace that won’t let go
When you breathe.

When you’ve lost the will to face another day,
When you feel as though there is no other way
To remedy the aching of your bruised and broken heart,
When you’re tired of all the madness and you need a brand new start…

Breathe –
Don’t give in –
Soon your weeping will give way to joy again.

Breathe –
Find your rest –
In the Arms of the One who knows you best.

You’ll find healing, you’ll find hope,
You’ll find peace that won’t let go
When you…

Lift your hands up to the Father;
Let his Spirit flow through you.
There is rest within His presence
Knowing He will see you through.

Breathe –
Just hang on –
Soon your darkness will surrender to the dawn.

Breathe –
Just be still –
Know the God who holds you close and always will.

 

© KJ Smith 2018

Lyrics by KJ Smith as inspired by the words of my friend, Ben Ford – You can read his words here.

 

*One day, I’ll be able to share a finished song for you all to hear but for now,

Remember to BREATHE.

Let God’s spirit bring healing, hope and very soon –

JOY!

A Couch Potato, A Piano Bench and A Plan

A Couch Potato, a Piano Bench and a Plan - Looking for an easy DIY project? Has this couch potato got a project for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

I have become a couch potato.

Every day, I come home from work, cook supper and then sit on the couch until bedtime. My weekends aren’t much different.

Yes. I live an exciting life. 😉

From my perch on the couch, I have a view of this ugly, old piano bench.

A Couch Potato, a Piano Bench and a Plan - Looking for an easy DIY project? Has this couch potato got a project for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

It has certainly seen better days!

Last Saturday, I’d had enough of my laziness. So, I decided I’d give this unfortunate piece of furniture a makeover –

– with MEN’S NECKTIES!

If you followed my daily SMILES in 2017, you know that I love men’s neckties. I collect them for such occasions as this.

It’s a little weird, I know. But there’s something about taking all these different ties – some wide, some thin, some elegant, some down-right ugly, some pristine, some worn – and putting them all together to make something new, fun and beautiful.

I think it reminds me of what God does for us. He takes our brokenness, our ugly qualities, our talents and our uniqueness and molds us into a beautiful reflection of His glory, a new creation with new purpose – if we let Him. (But that’s a blog post for another day!)

Back to my poor neglected piano bench. I was actually excited about this project because I hadn’t used my ties for anything in quite a while. So, here we go.

Step 1: Gather supplies – a staple gun, a screwdriver, scissors, material and a pile of ties.

Step 2: Remove seat of bench from legs and remove old covering (or what was left of the old covering.

A Couch Potato, a Piano Bench and a Plan - Looking for an easy DIY project? Has this couch potato got a project for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Step 3: Cover seat with material. Cut enough material to wrap around the seat and staple underneath. Trim any excess material. By the way, the color of the material really doesn’t matter. This is just a base layer. The ties will cover it. My husband saw the material I was using and asked, “You’re going to use that?!?” Apparently, he did not like it!

A Couch Potato, a Piano Bench and a Plan - Looking for an easy DIY project? Has this couch potato got a project for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Step 4: Lay out your ties and arrange them in whatever order suits you. Be sure to alternate the direction of the ties with one tie having the fat end at the top, the next tie having fat end at the bottom and so forth. Once arranged, flip ties over so the fronts are facing down.

Step 5: Place the seat of the bench upside down on the ties. Staple each tie to the underside. Be sure to pull the ties tight but not so tight that you cannot weave the top layer of ties through. Once stapled, cut off the excess.

A Couch Potato, a Piano Bench and a Plan - Looking for an easy DIY project? Has this couch potato got a project for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.comA Couch Potato, a Piano Bench and a Plan - Looking for an easy DIY project? Has this couch potato got a project for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Step 6: Flip the bench over and begin weaving additional ties, or excess cut off from the ties you already used, through the first layer of ties on the bench seat. After the weaving is complete, flip the seat, staple the ties to the underside and cut off the excess.  Be sure to pull the ties taut.

A Couch Potato, a Piano Bench and a Plan - Looking for an easy DIY project? Has this couch potato got a project for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.comA Couch Potato, a Piano Bench and a Plan - Looking for an easy DIY project? Has this couch potato got a project for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.comA Couch Potato, a Piano Bench and a Plan - Looking for an easy DIY project? Has this couch potato got a project for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Step 7: Now for the corners. Rather than staple the ties on the corners to the underneath, I cut enough of the excess to leave a tail that could be tucked underneath the other ties. It was a painstaking task but worth the effort.

Step 8: Screw the seat back to the legs.

A Couch Potato, a Piano Bench and a Plan - Looking for an easy DIY project? Has this couch potato got a project for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Voila! A beautiful creation from a hodgepodge of men’s neckties and the perfect reminder of what God can do with our lives!

I may be tired and my back may be telling me that I’m not as young as I used to be but the view from my comfy seat on the couch sure has improved! 😉 😉

And it absolutely makes me SMILE!