Opportunity - How’s your tomorrow shaping up? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com


Every new day affords us with opportunities.

Every opportunity presents us with a choice.

What we choose today will affect our tomorrow.


Understanding this concept is a sign of maturity.

Not wasting any opportunity is a sign of wisdom.


How is your tomorrow shaping up?


Thanksgiving: A Countdown to Joy

Thanksgiving: A Countdown to Joy - Have you lost your Joy? Keep reading to discover the secret to finding it. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Five days.


Only five days til pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, savory stuffing, buttery dinner rolls and, oh, yes – that plump and juicy turkey!

Ahhhh… I can smell the heavenly aroma already.

Can’t you?

To be honest, though, my anticipation of Thanksgiving has been at an all-time low this year. In fact, I haven’t thought much about it until last night when my husband asked, “So, am I deep frying a turkey this year?” (I may have drooled just a little bit. 😉 )

I don’t know what it is. My mind, of late, hasn’t been filled with thankful thoughts. To the contrary, I feel as though a cloud of negativity has been looming over me and that ugly, overbearing attitude is beginning to take its toll.

It’s time to refocus.

I’ve been reading a daily devotional entitled, One Thousand Gifts. In this book, the author shares her journey of living out Eucharisteo, which is the biblical Greek word meaning “to give thanks”. Her journey began with a challenge from a friend to make a list a 1000 gifts – 1000 graces God has shown her, 1000 reasons to be thankful. (Hmmm… kinda reminds me of my reasons to SMILE!)

As she made her list, the author realized that God continuously showers us with blessings each and every day. Even in the midst of difficulties, she found that there are always reasons to be thankful; there are always graces to be discovered. And  before her list was complete, her choice to look for these gifts of grace every day filled her heart with an overwhelming Joy.

And there it is – the secret to real Joy. It’s a life of Thanksgiving. You can even see it in the word itself. For right at the center of Eucharisteo, Thanksgiving, is the word, Chara, which means “JOY”!

So, today, I begin my countdown to Joy. I’m challenging myself to begin a list of graces, a list of blessings, no matter how small, and hopefully, on our celebration day of Eucharisteo, Thanksgiving, I’ll truly be able to joyfully thank God for the graces He continuously shows.

A Year of Smiles – Day 313


Adobe Spark (5)

Today, November 13th, is World Kindness Day and once again, I didn’t get the memo. I seriously need a better calendar.


Why isn’t World Kindness Day on my calendar, anyway?  Why didn’t I get an alert on my phone? Shouldn’t days like World Kindness Day and World Smile Day be highlighted and celebrated? Where are the decorations, the cookies, the cakes, the parades? Where is the news media? How cool would it be to turn on the TV and only see stories of people around the world performing random acts of kindness or to open up your twitter feed and only find encouraging and uplifting tweets, words of kindness and not hate!

The problem is kindness doesn’t bring in the big bucks. It doesn’t draw the crowds or stir our interests and keep us coming back for more. It’s a shame really. Doesn’t the media know that the more stories of kindness they share, the more they are encouraging others to be kind? Don’t they realize the influence they have in this world?

I’m afraid they do.

Well, I refuse to let this day go unnoticed. The fact that we have a World Kindness Day makes me SMILE.  And I am more than happy to celebrate by finding more and more ways to be kind to others. I say it so often but it is so true: It takes very little effort to be kind to others. In fact, when we show kindness to others, those others tend to pass that kindness along. Just like dropping a pebble in the water causes ripples to grow and grow, our acts of kindness can cause a ripple effect throughout the world.

So, what are you waiting for? Go be kind today. And if you already show kindness wherever you go, try to find new and exciting ways to spread kindness today. With kindness comes SMILES and the more the world is SMILING, the kinder it will be.

Find out more about World Kindness Day by clicking here.

P.S. If you’re paying close attention, you know that my Days don’t line up with the actual calendar days. Today, November 13th, is actually Day 317 of this year. Yes, I’m 4 days behind but Thanksgiving is next week – there are about 25 SMILES in one Thanksgiving Dinner. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to catch up!! 😉

A Year of Smiles – Day 87

smiley-on-a-meadowReason to SMILE #87: CLOUD WATCHING

My family and I once took a trip to Arizona.  The heat in Arizona is quite different from the heat in southwest Georgia.  In my neck of the woods, humidity is a fact of life and moisture is always in the air.  Clouds fill the sky.  In Arizona, however, it’s very dry and we noticed that the presence of clouds was almost non-existent.  When we did see a cloud, it was never in the sky for long.  Clouds would dissipate in a matter of seconds.  It became my goal to catch an Arizona cloud on film and if you flip through my pictures from our trip, you’ll find a couple of pictures of bright blue skies with just a smidgeon of white fluff in the middle.  I caught one!

When was the last time you stopped to look at the clouds or lay out in your back yard and watched them float by?  When was the last time you looked at a cloud and saw a lion roaring or a duck flapping its wings or a clown juggling?  When was the last time you looked up from whatever it is that keeps you busy?

Take some time to appreciate the beauty around you.  God has given us a spectacular world in which to live.  The sights are breathtaking.  Don’t let your busyness keep you from the SMILES that come from enjoying God’s wonderful creation.

Look up!  You just might find a SMILE in one of those clouds!!


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A Year of Smiles – Day 79

SMILE Idea for Day 79:

Do somdetective-smileyething nice for someone in secret!

Leave a gift basket at someone’s front door.

Pay for a meal for a couple across the restaurant or a family in the drive thru line.

Leave a pre-paid gas card at a gas pump.

Whatever you can imagine that will make a difference in someone’s day, just do it and let God get all the credit.

Go make a difference on this Monday.  Then step back and watch how God can turn your secret acts of kindness into SMILES for all the world to see!


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A Year of Smiles – Day 47


“Welcome.  How are you today?”  Those were the words I heard as I entered the dollar store.  I looked over toward the checkout counter and there was a young man helping customers check out and greeting those who entered.  He had the biggest smile on his face and the happiest spirit about him.  And his happiness seemed to resonate throughout the store as he spoke with everyone and made positive comments about every item being purchased.  This was certainly not what I expected when I walked into the store but it was a most welcomed surprise.  I left the store that day with a smile on my face and it’s all because of that young man’s happy attitude.

Isn’t it nice 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.

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.

There’s a song that I learned in children’s choir 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 alikegrumpy-emoticon

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?  Do you lift others up with your happiness?  Or are you Grumbly Hateful?  Do you leave others disheartened and discouraged?

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


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

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A Year of Smiles – Day 44

Reason to SMILE #44: GOING M.A.D.

I have a new goal in life: I WILL transform my Mondays into SMILES!

On Day 30, I issued a challenge of sorts to give Mondays the new purpose of spreading joy to those around you.  The challenge was mainly for my sake, I think, so today I have chosen to “Go M.A.D.”  Today and every Monday, I will Go Make A Difference in someone’s life.  Whether it’s through sending an encouraging email, making a phone call or buying lunch for someone behind me in the drive-thru line, I will find a way to bring a SMILE to someone other than myself.  And I’ll share those SMILES with you.

I want you to share your SMILES with me, as well.  So how ’bout it?  Will you take the flattering-emoticonchallenge to “Go M.A.D.” on these dreaded Mondays?  Remember, the more SMILES you give, the more SMILES you have.  It’s that simple.

I can’t wait to hear all about your Monday SMILES!


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A Year of Smiles – Day 40

Reason to SMILE #40: KIDISMS – ROUND 2 (Because 1 “kidism” is never enough!)

smiley-laughing-and-cryingOn New Year’s Day, my boys and I sat in church as the pastor issued his New Year’s Challenge/Inspirational Message to the faithful few who attended service that cold and rainy morning.  His sermon text was Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  After a few introductory comments, the pastor questioned the congregation, “Can you really do ALL things through Christ?”

He then proceeded with four arguments for an affirmative answer to his query.  The first argument was that you can do all things through Christ if you want to.  Pastor called this the principle of Personal Desire.  He explained this principal by pointing out that most of us find a way to do the things that we really want to do.  If we want to go to the movies, we make the time.  If we want to buy a car, we find the financing.  Anything that we truly desire to do, we find a way to make it happen.  He then brought into question the nature of our desires: Do we want to serve God?  Do we want to have a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father?  Do we want to further His Kingdom?  Finally, the pastor inquired of the congregation once again, “What do you WANT to do?”

Now at this point in a sermon, I fully expect my younger son to be slumped down in the pew or leaning forward with his head in his hands half-listening and half-daydreaming.  It seemed, however, that my son was fully alert and attentive on that particular morning.  As soon as the pastor asked, “What do you want to do?”, my son leaned over toward me and whispered, “I want to teleport!”

Okay.  So, he was just half-listening and half-daydreaming and he definitely missed the pastor’s point.  That’s my kid, though – never a dull moment but those moments always make me SMILE! 


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A Year of Smiles – Day 16

Reason to SMILE #16: DREAMS

“I have a dream today … I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low.  The rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight.  And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.  This is our hope.  This is the faith that I go back to the South with.  With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.  With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.  With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some dreams are meant to effect change and impact the world around us.  Some are meant to influence only the individual with the dream.  No dream, however, will accomplish anything unless it is pursued.

Do you have a dream today?  Maybe it’s a dream for your own future.  Maybe it’s a vision dreamy-emoticonof the lives you want for your children.  Maybe it’s an idea that will impact the entire world.  Don’t sit on it.  Do something.  Take that first step toward your dream.  Simply dreaming of change or a brighter tomorrow will only leave you dissatisfied and regretful.  Putting your dream into action – now that will leave you with a SMILE.


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