A Year of Smiles – Day 290

Reason to SMILE #290: EEYORE

“I was so upset, I forgot to be happy.”

– Eeyore 


I think of all the characters in the Hundred Acre Wood, my favorite has to be Eeyore. Oh, there are other creatures in the Wood more pleasant, more cheerful but I love that pessimistic old donkey. I just want to cuddle up beside him, scratch him behind the ears and tell him everything is going to be okay, even though I know he wouldn’t believe me. 

I may actually know a human or two like Eeyore. You know the ones – the people who always see the negative, who see the glass half-empty, who find the smallest bit of darkness in the midst of overwhelming light. Many people try to avoid these Gloomy Gusses in life. The thing is, though, God loves the Gloomy Gusses just as much as he loves the Suzy Sunshines. 

And they need to know how much they are loved. We need to park ourselves beside them, put our arms around their shoulders and tell them everything is going to be alright – yes, even if these “Eeyores” won’t believe us. It’s what God has called us to do. 

Is there an Eeyore in your life? Show God’s love to him today and keep on showing it. You just might see a SMILE on the face of that Gloomy Gus one day!

Advertisements

Carrying Them to Jesus

“He’s back!” shouted a voice from outside. A young man jumped to his feet and peered out of his doorway. To his surprise, he saw crowds of people running down the path in front of his house. He turned to his friends inside and without a word, the three young men inside the house rose to their feet and they all headed to the back room.

The men knew that the news of his arrival was spreading quickly. There was no time to lose. The four friends reached down and firmly grasped the bed upon which a fifth friend was lying. Though startled, the infirmed friend did not make a sound for he, too, had heard the commotion outside. He braced himself for the move as his friends began to carry him outside and into the street.

Their destination was not far, just a few houses away, but as more and more people joined the entourage in the street, the journey of these five friends seemed endless. The four men carrying their bed-stricken friend looked at each in desperation. Were they going to make it? Were they going to miss him? In tandem, the men hastened their steps and carefully weaved through the parade down the dusty pathway.

As they reached the house at the end of the path, the men noticed an unusual silence. Though the crowd was great, the typical noise of such a crowd was replaced by the sound of a single voice trickling through the masses and pouring out into the air. Hearing the words spoken by this single voice, the four burdened men felt a resolve as never before to carry their friend to the one speaking. They tried every entryway, each door, each window, but their attempts to enter the house were thwarted. No one in the crowd was willing to sacrifice their position.

All hope seemed lost until one friend had an idea. With the nod of his head, he convinced his friends of the solution. Not once did any one of them raise a question as they maneuvered their infirmed friend onto the roof of the crowded house. Once atop, they set to the task of tearing a hole in the roof large enough to lower the bed through without jeopardizing the safety of their friend. Though difficult, ingenuity and perseverance prevailed. Slowly, the men lowered their paralyzed friend into the house and laid him at the feet of Jesus. The faith of these four men yielded the forgiveness and healing of the fifth and five friends walked away changed forever.

Adobe Spark (26)

There are people all around us who are paralyzed, spiritually and emotionally. Their lives are crippled with fear, with hatred, with regrets. They need healing and restoration but most cannot find their way to the One who can forgive their sins, heal their hearts and save their souls. They cannot find their way to Jesus. They need someone to lead the way. They need someone to carry them.

Do you know someone who needs to be brought to Jesus? Do you know someone who cannot make the journey on their own? Will you carry that one to Jesus today? Are you willing to help that friend, that loved one, that neighbor? Take their hand, help them scoop up the broken pieces of their lives, give them a shoulder to lean on and carry the hurting, the broken, the weary, the lost to the Savior. Your faith can make all the difference.

(Adapted from Mark 2:1-12.)

A Year of Smiles – Day 284

Reason to SMILE #284: SPROUTING OF THE SEEDAdobe Spark (25)

“Mrs. Karen, do we get another memory verse tonight?” one of the kids asked.

“Next week we’ll have a new one but not tonight,” I replied.

“Awwww!”

Two kids asked that question as we finished our Wednesday night activities. Both responded with the same disappointed groan. I was thrilled! No, not that they were disappointed – well, actually, yes, that they were disappointed! For their disappointment over not receiving a new memory verse was a clear indication of their desire to know God’s Word! Woohoo! How cool is that!

This may not excite you as much as it does me but knowing I played a small part in developing a child’s desire for God’s Word gives me a SMILE that I will carry for a lifetime!

A Year of Smiles – Day 281

Reason to SMILE #281: SMARTIES

It’s funny the things we remember from our childhoods. I remember chasing my brothers around the house with a plastic baseball bat and getting stuck on the monkey bars because a snake had decided to crawl under me and hold me hostage. I also remember piling into a little Ford Fiesta, along with the seven other members of my family, to go to church every Sunday. And at this church was a pastor who would carry gumballs around in his suit coat pocket. All of the kids knew it and as soon as the service was over, we’d excitedly make our way to the pastor to get a piece of gum. What an impression this pastor made! With the simple gift of a piece of gum every Sunday, this pastor showed us kids how important we were to the church family.

At the church I attend now, we also have a smartiesman who is making a lasting impression on the lives of children. He is affectionately known as the “Candy Man” and the kids are always seeking him out. They all know that each Sunday he hands out Smarties and they love it! He has a big heart and loves to see the SMILE on the face of each child as he hands him or her a piece of candy. It may seem like a small gesture but I know the impact it has on these kids and the love they receive with each pack of Smarties will last a lifetime.

Oh! And each Sunday, the Candy Man makes sure I receive a pack of Smarties, as well. He walks up beside me, reaches for my hand and secretly sneaks me the candy. “You may be the Children’s Director but you’re just as little as they are. So you get a piece of candy, too!” Makes me SMILE every time.

A Year of Smiles – Day 279

Reason to SMILE #279 – BECAUSE IT’S WORLD SMILE DAY!

Adobe Spark (21)

Did you know that today, October 6, 2017, is World Smile Day? I didn’t until only a few moments ago. How did I not know about World Smile Day? Someone really needs to get me a better calendar!

Well, I’ve learned a few things about this awesome day (and you can learn more by clicking here). World Smile Day has been around since 1999. (Seriously, where have I been and what have I been doing all these years?) It is recognized on the first Friday of October each year and it is celebrated by doing an act of kindness to help at least one person to smile. I love World Smile Day. We should have so many more than just one!

It’s late in the day but there’s still time to make someone SMILE today. Find a frown and help turn it upside down.

You still here? Get out there and spread the SMILES!

A Year of Smiles – Day 263

Reason to SMILE #263: BREAKING THE MOLD


The problem with the mold is that it’s one size fits all. But square pegs simply won’t fit into round holes! And if God made you square, who are we to say that you must be round? If you’re round, why should you be square? Can’t we simply toss the mold and let everyone fit the way God intended us to fit – according to His design, carefully sculpted by His loving hands to be children after His own heart?

Forget the mold. Be proud of your corners (or lack thereof 😉) and SMILE!

A Year of Smiles – Day 259

Reason to SMILE #259: CARE PACKAGES 


This arrived from my older sister today! Inside this box I found:

  • 1 bag Sweet Potato chips
  • 1 bag kettle style Potato chips made with avocado oil
  • Mini vanilla marshmallows 
  • Two dietary supplements that help alleviate anxiety 

The snacks were all gluten free and non GMO verified, have no preservatives, no MSG, no Trans fat, no artificial flavors and low sodium. I’m not sure if they have any taste 😉 but apparently, they are good for me and I need to be eating healthier snacks. She knows me all too well.

The supplements were included because of my confession to her about recent anxiety attacks I’ve had at the grocery store and in normal conversation with people I’ve known for years. My anxiety makes absolutely no sense to me. I suppose that’s the nature of anxiety but my sister understood. She swears by the natural calming aides she included in my care package.

What a SMILE – a package full of items meant to enhance my well-being sent by someone who loves me and is concerned about my health. It’s a care package only a sister would send. That’s what sisters are for, right? 

Hmmm. I suppose it’s my turn to send a care package to my younger sister now. Time to pass on a SMILE!

A Year of Smiles – Day 258

Reason to SMILE #258: KINDNESS

Adobe Spark

There are times in life when everything is suddenly put into perspective, when all the frivolities that consume our thoughts and our time fade away in the light of what truly matters.  I am experiencing one of those times and I’m not even sure I can convey what I am feeling to you.

After finalizing a few details with a client today, the client thanked me for the work I have done. I responded with my typical, “It was no problem, at all. I’m glad we could help.” He replied, “No, you don’t understand.” Then he began to explain all that he has endured this past year. From divorce to being homeless for more than four months, his year has been rough to say the least. “You’ve been kinder to me and done more to help me than anyone else has. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you and everyone in your office.”

It was all I could do to keep from crying while on the phone with this man. (I’m having a pretty tough time keeping the tears from flowing as I write this now!)

After our conversation, I thought back over the past two months and all that I’ve done for this client. The odd thing is I haven’t done anything out of the ordinary.  I haven’t shown him special consideration. I’ve spoken with him like I do anyone else. I’ve taken his calls. I’ve listened to him and answered his questions as thoroughly and clearly as I could. I’ve performed the work he has engaged my office to do with as much accuracy and as timely as possible. I’ve treated him like a human being, like I would anyone else, like I would want to be treated. Yet, to this man, my actions and the way I have interacted with him have been the most kindness he’s seen in some time. It has made a difference in his life.

Wow!

I don’t know how else to react. I am humbled. I am grateful that I was able to help this client. I am convicted. So many times, I see my “day job” as simply a job, a way to pay the bills. I do take pride in my work. I like to do things right! But I never look at what I do at the office as making a difference in anyone’s life. I do the work. The attorney gets the credit and that’s that. ( 😉 ) Today, I have seen that no matter the importance (or lack of importance) of my title, the only thing that matters is how I treat others, how I share the love of God in everything I do and say.

Kindness – it’s doesn’t take much effort. But any effort it may take is certainly worth it. You never know what the person behind you in the check-out line, beside you on the church pew, in front of you at the theater or on the other end of the phone is going through. Your kindness, simply treating others with decency and love, could make a world of difference in another’s life. And I know without a doubt that it will create some SMILES – for others and for you!

A Year of Smiles – Day 256

Reason to SMILE #256: THANK YOUS


This was sitting on my desk when I walked into my office. What a wonderful surprise! The card was sent to me by a client who simply wanted to thank me for my assistance. Rarely do I get thanked in such a thoughtful way for doing my job so you better believe it made me SMILE.

It’s nice to hear “thank you”, isn’t it? It fills us with satisfaction, a healthy sense of pride and a good dose of humility. Mostly, though, being thanked just makes us feel good. So, why not spread the good vibes and SMILES all around? I think I’ll start by sharing those wonderful feelings with you.

Thank you for hanging around this year. Thank you for being a part of my blogging family. Every like and every comment brings a SMILE to my face and encourages me to keep writing.

Now, it’s your turn. Let someone know how much you appreciate them. Go spread some SMILES today!

A Year of Smiles – Day 239

Reason to SMILE #239: BELIEVING THE BEST IN OTHERS

IMG_8478

I wonder how our world would look if we all believed the best in each other.

What if we looked past the rough edges and saw the potential waiting to burst forth.

What if we embraced the awkwardness and peculiarities and allowed them to broaden our horizons and enlighten our perceptions.

What if we ignored the drama and discovered an infectious spirit of energy and attraction.

What if we overlooked the gruff and callous demeanor and the offensive words and actions and focused on the hurting soul in need of love.

What if we forgave the faults we see in others, the same faults we long for others to forgive in us, and see each other as imperfect brothers and sisters doing our best in an imperfect world.

What if we stopped discarding people and embraced each other as a masterpiece of the the Great Creator, a child of God worthy to be loved, pursued, forgiven and accepted.

What if…

Believing the best in others takes practice, patience and persistence. It opens us up to heartache and disappointment but if we make the effort to see others through the eyes of Jesus, I feel certain that our world would be filled with so many more SMILES.