A Year of Smiles – Day 291

Reason to SMILE #291: HE’S GOT YOU!

Adobe Spark (32)

Matthew 6:25 – 26

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Read those verses again and let that thought wash over you.

Are YOU not much MORE VALUABLE?

By the way, that question – it’s rhetorical. But in case you are unsure, the answer is “Yes! Yes you are!” And our God will take care of you.

He’s got you!

So stop with the worrying. It’s time to SMILE!

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A Year of Smiles – Day 283

Reason to SMILE #283: THE ORDINARY

Adobe Spark (23)

Dear Lord,

I take so many things for granted, so many little things. A comfortable pair of shoes, a warm sweater, a hot meal, the light of each new day, the consistency of my every breath, a job that provides for my family’s sustenance – all these things are mine because of your goodness alone. With careless hands I receive such wonderful gifts and my words of thanksgiving for all of these things are spoken in hypocrisy.

Every day I experience your inexhaustible goodness yet I do not allow myself to see it. How happy I would be if I learned to appreciate the ordinary for extraordinary may only occur once in a lifetime. The ordinary, however, fills all of my days.

Thank you, Lord, for pouring out your goodness into my life despite the many times I do not acknowledge that goodness. Help me to see the good in the ordinary, to find the SMILES in the everyday things and to know that even the smallest things of life are extraordinary gifts from you.

A Year of Smiles – Day 282

Reason to SMILE #282: VISITORS 

You know that moment when the doorbell rings and you open the door to see the smiling face of an old friend you haven’t seen in what seems like forever? Or when you walk through the grocery store and bump into an old college roommate? What about when you walk into the church welcome center and find your former pastor and his wife chatting away with church members as if time had never passed and they had never said “Goodbye”? 

The latter was my situation this past Sunday and oh, what a wonderful surprise! It was such a blessing to see my pastor and his wife again. They have only been gone for about six months now but I have to tell you, it seems like a lifetime. And although we were only able to visit for a few moments, it was just enough time to stock up on hugs, prayers and SMILES.

Visiting with those you hold dear but aren’t able to see often is a precious gift that comes with so many SMILES. Though tears may come when your time together is over, nothing can compare to the happiness found in the moments you share together.

A Year of Smiles – Day 277

Reason to SMILE #277: FINDING THE “AARONS” AND “HURS” IN YOUR LIFE

Adobe Spark (20)

Do you know an Aaron or a Hur? Is there someone you can count on to pray for you when you need it most, to hold you up when you’re struggling to stand, to fight beside you in your battles? If so, then you know an Aaron and a Hur and I know your life is better for it.

Curious about these two fellas? Check out this post which I wrote about these amazing friends of Moses: Victory: Our Supporting Role. You can also read their story from the source, itself, in Exodus 17:8-13 (NIV).

I have discovered that I have many Aarons and Hurs in my life – those who will stop what they are doing to pray for me, to help when needed and to be my strength when mine is gone. Oh, what comfort to know my family and friends are praying me through the struggles of this life. And though the struggles wage on, I can SMILE knowing I am being held up by so many faithful Aarons and Hurs.

What about you? Do you need someone to hold you up today? Let me pray for you. Or maybe you know someone who is losing their own battle. Maybe you can be that struggling soul’s strength. Begin praying now. Then reach out and let that person know you will stand by their side and hold them up until their battle is won. Don’t wait. Time is precious and the SMILES are waiting.

A Year of Smiles – Day 272

Reason to SMILE #272: DINNER WITH FRIENDS

Adobe Spark (14)

My husband and I have established a comfortable routine when it comes to our Friday evenings. They are spent relaxing outside with the grill sizzling while we talk with each other, complain about our days and spend time together. It’s a pretty enjoyable evening, as far as I’m concerned, and not such a bad routine – well, except for the complaining! Last night, however, we accepted an invitation to dinner with friends. We haven’t done that in a long while and I am very glad we did.

We enjoyed laughter, good conversation and great company. It was a welcomed distraction to our own little problems in our lives and a much needed break in our routine. You see, it’s easy to fall into the ruts of life and we often miss opportunities for fun, fellowship or even rest simply because we’re following our routines. But a change in the schedule is good sometimes and even the smallest change, like dinner with friends, can make a significant impact.

The break in my routine last night became a much needed SMILE for me and for my husband. I can’t count how many times my husband told me what fun he had. I even tried something I’d never eaten before and actually liked it. That is a miracle in and of itself. Hmmm. Dinner with friends may need to happen more often!

A Year of Smiles – Day 268

Reason to SMILE #268: CAMPING

Due to the necessity of an unexpected renovation in our house this weekend, my family of five is now sharing only one bathroom. This makes for rather hectic mornings and even more difficult nights. You see, the only functioning bathroom just so happens to be the master bathroom. So, of course, everyone is traipsing in and out of my bedroom at all hours of the night. All that traffic does not encourage a peaceful night’s sleep. But my husband came up with a solution…

Camping! No, not real camping outside. That would make my nights even more stressful with all the bugs, snakes and wild animals. (Okay. There are no wild animals in my neighborhood… Not that I know of anyway!) No, we decided to camp out in our living room. With our mattress, blankets, big screen TV and fan, it’s pretty darn comfy. Most importantly, though, we’re not being awakened in the middle of the night by a kid in need of the potty! Now, that, my friends, is a great reason to SMILE.

You know, this camping out in the living room is really not that bad. It reminds me of the times I did the same thing as a kid. It also reminds me that I am definitely no longer a kid. Boy, oh boy! Getting up from this floor sure is a booger! 🙂

A Year of Smiles – Day 265

Reason to SMILE #265: THROWING OUT THE GARBAGE

From the moment I hit the publish button on yesterday’s post, one song has filled my mind:

Cast your burdens 

Unto Jesus;

He cares for you.

(Repeat and repeat and repeat)

It’s a song straight from the Word of God:

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭”Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭55:22 “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

‬God is quite the communicator, isn’t He? He’s always faithful to remind me of the answer to my worries, discouragement and disappointments – giving them all to Him. No. Let me rephrase that. You see, God doesn’t want me to simply hand over my fears and anxieties. God wants me to cast them off. He wants me to throw away my discouragement with great force, to reject my disappointments with disgust, to propel all of my burdens off of my shoulders and onto the shoulders of the Almighty. 

Wow! That’s some serious garbage disposal. 

And it is serious. All of this mess that the devil throws our way will only weigh us down and distract us from God’s plan for us. If we could only remember that God can handle our burdens so much better than we can, we’d find ourselves spending less time in the muck and mire of life and more in life’s abundance. 

It’s easier said than done but today, I’m working on throwing out the trash. I’m sorting through the mess that’s overwhelming me and tossing – – No, I’m hurling my burdens onto the Lord. This doesn’t make the problems of life disappear. It does, however, free me from the ‬weight of these cares and allows me to find joy (a/k/a SMILES) once again. 

A Year of Smiles – Day 264


TRANSPARENCY

The smiles have seemed so far away this week. I have been overwhelmed with concerns, distracted by discouragements and dragged down by disappointments. So, today, I’m having a difficult time finding a smile to share with you…

It happens. Life gets messy, confusing and downright ugly sometimes. And if I’m being completely transparent, I often become stuck in the middle of it all. My smile becomes a mere facade. But I am only human. Besides, no one ever said that life wouldn’t be messy. God’s Word even tells me I’ll walk through valleys…

The good thing is God has promised to walk with me in the valleys. Ah! Now there’s a SMILE. I am never alone; God is always with me. Do you remember that SMILE from Day 22?

God also promised to help me through this difficult and overwhelming season in my life. That was my Reason to SMILE #159. God’s help is only a prayer away. 

Oh, and I must keep telling myself that what I’m going through won’t last forever. It’s only temporary. I’ve already shared that encouragement with you, too. Check out Day 73!

I’m thinking I’ll revisit a few more of my SMILES today. Maybe it’ll restore my focus on what and Who truly matters. In the meantime, keep looking for SMILES and when you find one, shoot it my way. ❤