A Year of Smiles – Day 292

Reason to SMILE #292: MUSICALS


I can hear the doubt filtering through cyber space now. “Really? Musicals?”

Ab. so. lute. ly.

I love a good musical. Musicals draw me in, engage my senses and emotions and create a longing within me to jump up and sing at the top of my lungs. I really should’ve pursued a Broadway career. (Hahaha! I’m laughing at myself right now! ūüėČ )

My husband and sons don’t share my affection for musicals, however. (Imagine that!) I once took them all to see the movie Frozen. They agreed only because the trailers for the movie showed scenes of a goofy little snowman and a big oaf of a reindeer frolicking in the snow. As soon as the first song began, though, all three of my boys, husband included, turned to me and asked, “Why didn’t you tell me this was a musical?” Well …

Not all musicals are created equal and I’m sure a true aficionado of musicals would have a vastly different definition of a “good” musical than I do.¬†I’m a simple little lady who’s a sucker for happy endings, innocent stories and fantastical whimsy.¬†I’m talking The Sound of Music, Grease,¬†Into the Woods, The Wizard of Oz and Sister Act. Ooooh, or Sister Act 2.¬†Now, that’s a musical that¬†makes me regret my decision to not pursue a career in music. When that kid hits that high note near the end of “Oh Happy Day”, it makes me wanna shout.¬†I could do that! (Hahahaha! I’m laughing at me, again!)

Well, that’s my case for musicals. Though some of you out there agree with the men in my life that musicals rank right up there with having a root canal, I think they’re wonderful. They make me SMILE.

Now, do me a favor. Listen to this:

Oh Happy Day, Sister Act 2

Minute 2:51 – YESSSS!!¬†Ah, c’mon! There’s no way that didn’t¬†make you SMILE!





A Year of Smiles – Day 163

Reason to SMILE #163: THE 5 SECOND RULE

I was cooking.

Yes, I was cooking.

This has been a year for cooking for me.  I’ve cooked more this year than I’ve ever cooked in my life! It’s strange since the cooking in my house is usually done by someone other than me. But I’ll let you in on a secret.

Are you ready?

Come close because I can’t speak this too loudly…

I really do enjoy cooking!

It’s relaxing and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. Who knew!

I digress.

Tonight, I was bagging a few unneeded cobs of corn to put in the freezer. One slipped from my hand and fell to the kitchen floor. I immediately picked it up and just did catch myself trying to put it in the bag with all the rest. Ewww! I couldn’t help but laugh at myself, though, for the only thing going through my mind at the time was the voice of one of my church kids screaming, “Five second rule!”

It’s times like these when I know I’ve been in children’s ministry entirely too long! But what can I do? It’s my calling and it makes me SMILE – but not when it almost ruins my supper!!

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 141


“Siri, call Bre.”

My words appear on the phone as “Call Bree”.

Siri responds, “Did you mean Bray?” Her words appear with the name spelled “Bre”.

“Well, not really but go ahead.”


“Siri, call Will.”

“Did you mean Gayle Hill?”

“No, I meant Will.”

“Would you like me to call Gayle Hill?

“No, I want you to call the man I call 2 or 3 times a day and text even more. I want you to call my husband, Will!”

“What would you like me to do?”


“Calling Gayle Hill…”


I need a new personal assistant!

Hands-free calls – they definitely are worth a SMILE. I just don’t know what Siri has against my husband!

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A Year of Smiles – Day 139

Reason to SMILE #139: SHORT PEOPLE (Yep – that’s me!)

I was making my way to an intersection.  The light was red but I was turning right so I veered off in the right lane and pulled up to see if any traffic was coming before I made my turn.  I looked over to the left and there was a big truck waiting in the other lane to turn left.  Unfortunately, I was too short to see past this behemoth of a vehicle.  I slowly inched forward trying to get a better view of oncoming traffic.  But I noticed that the truck slowly inched forward, as well.  Ugh!  I inched forward a little bit more.  The truck inched forward a little bit more.  Aw, c’mon!  I inched forward a third time at the risk of placing my front bumper out into traffic.  Wouldn’t you know it – the truck inched forward a third time, too.  Fine! I’ll wait for the light to turn green! 

That’s the story of my life.  I’m a short person living in a tall, tall world.

I can only reach the first shelf of my kitchen cabinets.  At the local mini-golf course, I can only see the very tip top of my head in the bathroom mirror.  At work, I can only see from my nose up in the bathroom mirror.  I have to move the driver’s seat in my car so close to the steering wheel that if the airbag went off, well, I’d hate to think what would happen.  Both of my boys tower over me which makes it extremely difficult to be intimidating.  When I have to meet with a group of people around a conference table, I always have to stand – that at least gives the appearance of authority.  And I have to use an umbrella to reach the switch that turns on the magnetic lock on the church doors.

Being short is not always fun!  But being short does have it’s advantages. I get to wear the cutest shoes and clothes and they don’t take up much space in my closet so I can buy a bunch more. I’m pretty much the same size as my kids in the children’s ministry at church. Getting down to their level is easy. If I fall, I don’t have far to go before hitting the ground. I don’t have to duck to get into doorways. And when I can’t reach something on the top shelf while shopping, I get to find a tall, dark and handsome stranger to help. Just don’t tell my husband! ūüėČ

Yes, I’m short. And that’s okay with me because I’ve always heard that God only let things grow until they’re perfect. I guess some of us just didn’t take as long as others! Hehehe! ūüėú I’m only kidding. 

Now click here, listen to this song and SMILE!

A Year of Smiles – Day 138

Reason to SMILE #138: HASHTAGS

My work day was nearing an end and I decided to pull out my phone to check in on the wonderful world of Facebook. As I was scrolling I happened upon a friend’s post of an image which contained a Bible verse. The comment above the image read, “#bonusverse”.  I don’t know why but this cracked me up. I reacted with a ūüĎć then immediately changed it to ‚̧ but wanted to also choose ūüėā.  The hashtag just made me laugh.  WooHoo! I get a bonus!

Well, I scrolled just a little further and discovered that this was an ancillary post meant to backup a previous post of a verse from my friend’s daily devotion. It made so much more sense then. But I was still laughing at the idea of a bonus verse. Call now and you get this bonus verse absolutely free!  

My mind jumps track way too often, folks. 

Do you ever stop to read people’s hashtags when you’re scrolling through Facebook? They can be pretty hilarious. What’s the funniest hashtag you’ve seen?  Come on. Share your SMILES with me.

I’m still SMILING about my friend’s #bonusverse but come to think of it, it’s always a bonus when we here a Word from the Lord!

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 131

Reason to SMILE #131: LITE-BRITES

“Why do we go to church?” asked the Sunday School teacher.

Quickly, the children in the class responded with the usual answers one would expect to hear:File May 11, 11 14 51 PM

“To learn about God”,

“To learn about the Bible”,

“To worship God”.

“Now, tell me,” said the teacher. “Why do you go to church?”

An unusual silence fell over the students.  A few brave students finally spoke the revealing truth:

“To have fun”,

“Because mom and dad makes me”.

Then another child raised his voice, “We go to church so God can make us a Lite-Brite!”

Laughter erupted in the Sunday School classroom.  Little did these students know how right that little boy was!


As a child, I would play with my Lite-Brite for hours creating pictures full of brilliantly colored lights.  When each picture was finished, I would turn out all the lights leaving only the Lite-Brite to shine.  To my delight, flecks of colored light pierced through the darkness and illuminated my room.

This child’s toy is actually the perfect picture of what God’s Church should be to the world.¬† With the uniqueness of each member, all come together to create the brilliant colors of light that shine out into a darkened world.¬† The combination of our individual lights forms the shining pictures of God’s Love, His Truth and His Salvation that drive away the shadows of loneliness, deception and death.

Imagine the brilliantly¬†beaming SMILES when God’s children join together to shine out like a Lite-Brite for all the world to see!