A Year of Smiles – Day 169

Reason to SMILE #169: SUPERMAN

“I’m Superman,” my dad declared. “Didn’t you know that?”

“No, you’re not!” my siblings and I all protested.

“I am! I can lift this car with one hand,” Dad claimed.

We all responded with cheers to see our dad prove he was indeed Superman.

“Ok, here goes.” Without hesitation, Dad continued, “Wanna see me do it again?”

We protested again, “You didn’t do anything!”

With a grin on his face, Dad explained, “I did it so fast you couldn’t see me!”

He may not have lifted our car but there has never been any doubt in my mind that my dad is Superman. There’s no better dad and I’m grateful for him. He is my biggest fan and I can always depend on him for support, for help, for wise advice and for prayer. 

I’m blessed to have such a good father in my life, someone I can look up to, follow in his footsteps and trust to always love and accept me. You may not be able to say the same – at least not about an earthly father.  But you do have a Heavenly Father who is always good. He loves you and will always be there for you. He will never let you down or disappoint you. He’s even better than Superman! ūüėČ

Cape or no cape – my dad always makes me SMILE and I know it’s because he’s following the example of the greatest Father of all!

Psalm 68:5 (ESV) Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

James 1:17 (ESV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

1 John 3:1 (NIV) See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.


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A Year of Smiles – Day 166

Reason to SMILE #166: WILL POWER

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of WILL.” – Vince Lombardi

If this is true, I am the most successful person I know.  Why is that?

I’m married to WILL!¬† And as he so proudly proclaims:

“Where there’s a Will (pointing to himself), there’s a way!”

He makes me SMILE every time he says it.¬† Okay, okay!¬† I’m really laughing but you can’t laugh without smiling.¬†¬†It counts. ūüėČ

A Year of Smiles – Day 157

Reason to SMILE #157: TACO SALAD

4:29 PM.¬† I’m preparing for the third night of Vacation Bible School at my church.¬† I have an hour before the night begins so I’m pretty busy.¬† My phone whistles.¬† “On no!” I think. “Please don’t¬†let it be someone who can’t make it.”

I pick up my phone and am pleasantly surprised to see that it’s my older son who is currently¬†away for the summer¬†interning¬†at a church in North Georgia.¬† He has this question for me:

text 1Several things begin to run through my mind:

What a horrible mom I am for sending my kid off on his own without teaching him how to cook!

How am I supposed to get everything I need to do done in the little time I have and teach my kid how to cook at the same time?

And how in the world am I supposed to teach this kid to cook via text message?

Over the next few minutes, my son and I text back and forth while I go about prepping for VBS Night Three.¬† From how much meat is needed to browning the meat to heating up the black beans,¬†I give the instructions as¬†succinctly¬†as¬†I can¬†and I say a quick¬†prayer for safety.¬† Lord, please don’t let him burn down the Youth Minister’s house!

6:59 PM.  VBS was running smoothly.  I decide to find out how the cooking went.  So, I send my son another text:

text 2    taxo salad

He did good!  He made his momma SMILE.

I may have been busy when that text was sent to me this afternoon but it made no difference.  My son needed me and I was going to do everything I could to help Рeven if it meant giving a cooking lesson by text!

A Year of Smiles – Day 150

heart-home-imageReason to SMILE #150: HOME


Home is where the heart is.

It’s the place where I belong,

The place where rest comes easy,

Where I never feel alone.


Home is where guards are dropped –

True¬†colors can be shown –

Where PJs can be worn about

And hair need not be combed.


Peace and love fill its walls;

It’s often filled¬†with laughter.

Of course, no home is perfect –

It’s¬†worth we must¬†look after.


Times may get tough and bleak.

Trials may come and tempers flare

But a multitude of sins

Can a loving home repair.


I find it hard to wander

From this place that I call home

For¬†it’s where my¬†SMILES begin

And where my Loves are grown!



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A Year of Smiles – Day 143

Reason to SMILE #143: A CAREFREE KID

The thunderstorms were roaring. The tornado warning sirens were wailing. Students were scrambling to duck under their desks. The kids, as you can imagine, were most likely worried. After all, the weather has not been kind to our little corner of the world with two devastating tornadoes wreaking havoc on our area at the beginning of 2017. Most of us are a bit on edge, to say the least, when storms begin to brew.

Then, there’s my kid.

My kid crawls under his desk and happily sits drawing in his journal without a single worry.

Security - Alex

Meanwhile, I’m sitting at my desk almost 15 miles away imagining my child crouched under his desk, scared silly and wondering if the worst is about to take place.

I love my middle schooler. He doesn’t have a care in the world. Nothing seems to bother him. He has a happy-go-lucky attitude most of the time and seems oblivious to the things that go on around him. I often wonder if it’s unhealthy for him to be this way but most times, I just let him be. Let him save his worrying for when he becomes a parent.

Right now, he can just keep on SMILING!


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A Year of Smiles – Day 140


My older son was shopping in preparation for his summer internship as a youth minister’s assistant. His new position requires a different type of wardrobe than his usual gym shorts and “T”s. ¬†As he was shopping, my son texted me to let me know what bargains he’d found and to ask my opinion on certain items. One of those items was this:

Here is our conversation about this “interesting” piece of clothing:

Apparently, I do not know what is cool anymore. Fortunately, the store did not have his size in that lovely T-shirt. However, they did have his size in the button up shirt.

So, Monday morning, my firstborn will be strutting through the doors of First Baptist Church sporting this watermelon shirt

and a pair of watermelon-colored dress shorts to match.

That’s my boy! And I wouldn’t want him to be any different. He makes my heart SMILE! And I know God is going to use him to bring SMILES to everyone he meets this summer – especially if he’s wearing that watermelon shirt!

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A Year of Smiles – Day 135

Reason to SMILE #135: LULLABIES

‚ÄúMom, I‚Äôm not tired,‚ÄĚ said my younger son. ‚ÄúWill you sing me a nighty-night-emoticonlullaby? But sing it quiet, I don‚Äôt want brother to hear.‚ÄĚ

What mom can resist a request to sing her little boy to sleep? Besides, this meant he’d be asleep in no time at all…..

Rock-a-bye baby-

“Shhh, Mom! Quieter!”

On the tree top-

“I‚Äôm thirsty”.

“Ok, baby, let‚Äôs go get a drink.”

<Out of bed and into the kitchen. Grab a drink; back to bed. Then, we sit until every last drop is slurped from the cup…slurp…slurp…>

“Are you done?”

“Wait. Almost.” <Slurp> “Okay.”

When the wind blows-

“Baby, you have to close your eyes.”

“I‚Äôm trying!”

The cradle will rock-

“Mom, I have to tell you something.”

“Ok, what is it?”

“My friend says he‚Äôs gonna beat me up.”

“That doesn‚Äôt sound like a very good friend; maybe you should stay away from him.”

“Don‚Äôt worry. I am!”

When the bow breaks-

“Mom, I want to stretch out my legs, can you move?”

“You are getting way too tall.”

“I AM allowed to grow, Mom!”

“Okay. Go to sleep now.”

The cradle will fall-

“Can I have a hug?”

”¬†Of course.”

<Hug, hug. Kiss, kiss. Nibble, nibble.>

“Mom! My ear is not food!”

And down will come baby-

“Be still and close your eyes.”

“Ok, ok!”




And all.



Exhausting as it was, I miss the days I could sing lullabies to my babies.  But remembering those days always makes me SMILE!

You know, it would¬†really be nice to have a lullaby sung to me every now and then.¬† It’s too bad my husband can’t sing! ūüėČ


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A Year of Smiles – Day 134

Reason to SMILE #134: BEING A MOM

Top ten things I’ve learned from being a mom:

10. First steps, first time sitting up, first time on the potty, first birthday, first Christmas, first bike ride, first day of school, first good grade, first bad grade, first homerun, first real friend, first night away from home, first movie, first girlfriend, first date, first car, first dance, first day of college – your child’s life is filled with firsts. You don’t want to miss any of them. Take lots and lots of pictures. Then post them all over social media and embarrass the heck out of them! That’s one of the great joys of motherhood.

9. For the first 10 or so years of your child’s life, there is only one determining factor in choosing restaurants – the toy that is being offered in said restaurant’s kid’s meal. And here’s a side note to all the fast food joints out there: if you’ve run out of toys and you fail to tell the mom who is ordering the meal at the drive thru speaker, don’t be offended when she refuses the meal at the window and drives away. Remember, you’re not the one who has to go home with her kids!

8. There is a black hole somewhere in every household that sucks up socks, shoes, earbuds, phone chargers and remote controls. ¬†If only I could create some sort of device to detect these black holes, I’d be the richest mom on the planet!

7. When asking your kids to go search for all those missing items, detailed instructions on how to search must be given. Failure to give a step-by-step guide on what is required in a thorough search for a missing shoe results in the child walking to their bedroom door, glancing in for a moment and returning to you with a bewildered look while saying, “I can’t find it anywhere.”

6. “Because I said so” is a perfectly valid argument for the question “Why?”. Further, when your child refuses to give in and answers your argument again with “But why?”, your trump card will forever be, “Because I’m the mom, that’s why!”

5. Regardless of your resolve and any promise you ever made to yourself, you will at some point find yourself making awful sounds like “aahnn!” when you see your child reaching for the scissors or hot stove or attempting anything he or she shouldn’t be doing. ¬†After all, there is no better deterrent for bad behavior than sounding like a angry mother goose!

4. The words “I need” are code for “I know I can live without it but I really, really want it so I’m gonna bat my lashes, poke out my bottom lip and tell you I need it and pray extremely hard that you believe me even though it hasn’t worked the other 147 times I’ve tried it before.” ¬†Too bad, kid, I tried that one with my parents. Didn’t work with them either!

3. Hearing my own words spoken or seeing my own action emulated by my child can be either a blessing or a curse. They’re always watching and listening – even when you think they’re not! Those little boogers!

2. Although my job is to raise independent and responsible young men, actually letting them go out into the world and prove I’ve done that job is the most difficult thing for me (and probably any mom) to do. They’re still my babies!

1. Of the many things I’ve learned and am still learning from being a mom, the most important thing is that no matter how hard I try, I can never hold a candle to my mom. She’s the best mom around and I’m thankful God made her mine!

I love you, Mom!

And to all you moms out there, keep SMILING! ¬†We’re all in this thing together!! ¬†Happy Mother’s Day!

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A Year of Smiles – Day 132

Reason to SMILE #132: MOM MOMENTS

Mountain Dew¬ģ – I found it on the grocery list this week.big-smile-fb-emoticon

“Who asked for Mountain Dew?” I wondered but I had a feeling I already knew.

It was my younger son, my middle schooler. ¬†This is the child who up until last year would not touch soda of any kind and here he was asking for Mountain Dew, the worst soda of all! ¬†(Of course, that’s just my opinion. ¬†I apologize to those of you who love the stuff.)

I took my grocery list to the store and checked off every item Рexcept Mountain Dew.  I was not going to be an enabler of his bad habits!  After helping me carry the groceries into the house, my son looked around the kitchen.

“Did you get Mountain Dew?” he inquired.

“No,” I answered. ¬†“You don’t need it.”

“But it¬†helps me wake up in the mornings,” he whined as he was trying to establish a true “need” for the drink.

“First of all, you need to go to sleep earlier,” I began my retort. ¬†“Secondly, you can just drink some of my coffee if you really can’t wake up.”

Of course, my only reason for suggesting coffee was my certainty that he would turn up his nose at the idea.  But seconds after I proposed the alternative, I panicked.  What if he takes me up on this deal?  Here I am being an enabler. What am I thinking?  Quickly, I added a restriction to my offer.

“You can only have a couple of swallows of the coffee, though, because too much will stunt your growth.” ¬†Whew! ¬†Nice save, mom. ¬†I’m sure that will scare him.

His response, however, did not reinforce my belief that I had successfully conquered this parenting moment.  In fact, as I heard him quip the following question, I was reminded of another bad habit that I have been enabling all of his life:

“Is that what happened to you?”

You little smart aleck!

I just love these moments! (Yep, there’s that sarcasm my son learned so well!) ¬†But no matter if these parenting moments are considered a success or an utter failure, there’s nothing that compares to being a mom. ¬†As far as I’m concerned, if the only bad habit my kid learns from me is being a smart aleck, well, I’m doing pretty good… I think.

Mom moments – good or bad – are hands down the most gratifying SMILES of all!


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A Year of Smiles – Day 129

Reason to SMILE #129: SISTERS

Three boys Рmy mom already had three boys and was pregnantsmiling-pink-smiley with her fourth child.  She just knew this baby would be a boy, too.  There was still a chance for a girl, though, because she and my dad, feeling prompted by God, had already begun the adoption process.  Soon a six year old girl became a part of the family Рall the way from Korea.

Then, surprise!¬† Congratulations, mom.¬† You’ve got a healthy baby girl!¬†¬†I decided to join the crowd.¬† From that point on, I was not just my mom’s baby.¬† I was my older sister’s baby.¬† She rocked me, pampered me, fed me and she’d even sing Korean lullabies to¬†me.¬†Life¬†was good.¬† As I grew, I always had someone taking care of me.¬† I never had to lift a finger or ask for anything.¬† My sister did everything for me and gave me all I needed¬†– I didn’t even have to ask.

At age seven, I remember wanting a baby sister of my own.  Fortunately, God had a little girl in mind that would make the perfect little sister.  Mom and Dad thought so, too, and my younger sister, at almost two years old, evened out the sibling playing field.  Watch out, big brothers!

My little sister, or I should say “younger” because she is taller than me, was such a joy that my parents decided to make that her middle name.¬† She was full of life, bubbly and full of spunk.¬† We never knew what this little girl would do or say.¬† She kept everyone hopping and she kept everyone laughing.¬† She’s still that way today.

I don’t know what I would do without my two sisters.¬† I can’t even¬†imagine what life would be like if God had not decided to bring these two remarkable people into my family.¬† I’m sure of one thing, though.¬† Without my sisters, I would have a lot less SMILES!


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