A Letter to Humanity: Confession

I saw you the other day standing alone under a bridge.  You were watching the cars zoom past you while you were having a conversation with yourself.  No one waved to you.  No one stopped to see if you were okay – no one, including me.

I watched you at the street corner as I sat at a traffic light.  You were a new face at this busy intersection.  The sign you were holding read, “Hungry disabled veteran.”  I had three boxes full of leftovers from my birthday dinner.  I did not offer anything.

I passed you in the school parking lot yesterday morning.  Our children played together at a local play area last week, yet you walked right past me as if you did not recognize me.  You did not say, “Hello.”  You did not even acknowledge my presence.  But, I did not speak to you, either.

You were struggling with your baby and all her baby things.  As you were leaving the restaurant, I heard something hit the ground.  I turned to see a baby bottle lying beside my seat.  The gentleman at the next table offered help while I continued my lunch conversation.

I wonder how many times I have passed you by without a glance, without a thought.  How many times have you crossed my path without my recognition?  How many times have I accused you of self-centeredness when I was the one who neglected to reach out to you?  Can I count the times?  Can you?

Have I become so selfish that I no longer recognize your face?  Am I so blind that I no longer see your need and so deaf that I no longer hear your cries?  Yes!  I am engrossed in my own desires, my own life and my own world to such a degree that I see nothing but what is mine.  And still I wonder where you are when I am in need.  Surely, you are thoughtful enough to remember me!

I was not intended to live life this way; I was not meant to close my eyes to the world around me, to live in seclusion and to seek my own satisfaction no matter the cost to others.  I was created to share, to fellowship, to touch, to help, to heal, to love.  Still, when I saw you hungry and thirsty, I did not feed you.  When I saw you homeless and shivering, I did not shelter you.  When I saw you sick and in prison, I did not help you.  Very little effort was required – a smile, a wave, a hug, a word – but I could not be bothered.  I failed you and I failed the One who sent me to you.

I saw you standing along the roadside.  You were having a conversation but this time, you were not alone.  A man was holding your hands in his as he said a prayer for you….

That should have been me.


What If

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…

Reason to SMILE #185 – The Good Fight


“Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect – We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions – The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”

– George Washington


“Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.”

– John Adams


“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

– Thomas Paine

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”

– Samuel Adams

Some things are worth the fight.

I’m thankful for all those who have gone before me that believed this to be true. I’m equally as grateful that many more are still continuing the Good Fight today!

Because We All Need It


Don’t let today pass you by.
Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Send a text, an email, a tweet, a shoutout on Facebook.
Give a hug, a fist bump or a pat on the back.
Say a kind word; give a compliment; share a laugh!
Or simply share a smile.
I say it over and over but it is often the smallest actions that make the biggest impact in our lives.
Who will you encourage TODAY?

Unmask the SMILES!

Unmask the SMILES! - Do you miss seeing SMILES on people’s faces? Well, masks may not be the problem. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

To wear a mask or not to wear a mask. That is the question.

And that is an ongoing debate that I choose not to join.

Whether we choose to wear a mask or not, masks have become a part of our daily lives. Some don’t have a choice in the matter – their “powers that be” have mandated wearing masks in public. Some wear masks because they are protecting loved ones who are at risk. Some wear them in consideration of the fears of others. And most of us mask up out of necessity when we really need a gallon of milk and the store requires a mask for entry!

After all these months enduring this pandemic, I still find it strange seeing all the masked faces. It’s even a little unsettling when you work at a bank where the rule of thumb is: if a person enters the bank in a mask, duck under your desk quickly and call 911. You’re about to get robbed! I’d love to tell you that I’m getting used to this whole mask wearing thing.

But I’m not.

Recently, a Facebook friend posted that what he misses the most in this new mask-wearing world is seeing SMILES on people’s faces. And it made me realize, well, it actually reinforced what I have always believed to be true about a SMILE – there is nothing on earth quite as powerful!

But it does seem our SMILES are disappearing behind the masks. The truth of the matter is the SMILES are disappearing, period. And it’s not just the coverings on our faces that mask the SMILES. So many things in life steal our joy and ultimately our SMLES. Fears, financial struggles, sickness, loss, disappointments, fatigue, stress, toxic relationships, divorce, and so many other “germs” in life strip us of our hope and happiness. 

So, what can we do to keep the SMILES from disappearing? How do we keep our SMILES visible in this new mask-wearing world? How do we stir up the joy inside of each other? How do we prove that nothing can stop the power of a SMILE?

We keep smiling – even behind the masks.

We wave big or bump elbows when we see each other.

We speak encouraging words, kind words, hope-filled words.

We laugh with each other – big and loud and annoying laughs!!

We pray with one another and hold each other up when the SMILES are hard to find.

We spread SMILES – little joys, ordinary moments we often take for granted, simple feats we might otherwise ignore, silly thoughts and cheerful hopes.

We don’t spread germs – negativity, hatred, discouragement, angry comments, ugly words.

Well, my friends, I’ve decided to do my part in “unmasking” the SMILES. So, get ready. More of my daily – uhm, maybe every other day or possibly bi-weekly! 😉 – SMILES are coming your way. Some are new; some are old. Some are silly; some are serious. Some will come with commentary and some will stand on their own. But the SMILES are back and it is my hope that you will find one when you need it for yourself or to share with those around you.

I believe the power of a SMILE can’t be vanquished by the “masks” in this world. Though sorrows, fears and struggles may temporarily dampen it’s glow, the power of true joy comes deep down from your toes! And sometimes, that joy just needs a little boost to shine on through. 

I choose to give that joy a boost. I choose to spread SMILES – not germs.

How ‘bout you? What are you doing to spread SMILES? I’d love to hear your stories so I can SMILE right along with you. 🙂 

Word Power

Word Power - Do you know how powerful your words are? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Life and death are in the power of the tongue.

Proverbs 18:21

Words are such a powerful tool in this life. Songs, poetry, prayers, sermons, news articles, novels, blog posts and so much more have the power to sway our opinions, to move us to action and to inspire us to change. Even little things like comments on a social media page have a huge impact on our moods, our self-worths, and our views of the world around us.

Words are power. And we’ve all been gifted with the ability to wield it.

Oh, but as Aunt May so wisely warned Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility. (Mom of boys here. My references are limited! 😉 )

Think about the words you’ve spoken over the last 24 hours. (*Oh, you had to go there, KJ?!?* Hey, I hear ya but God really convicted me this past week about this. I’m just looking for anyone else out there who’s flubbed up, too! 😉 )

Ask yourself these questions about your recent comments or conversations:

  • Did my words build up others or tear them down?
  • Did my words encourage or discourage?
  • Did my words bring joy or did my words bring sadness and pain?
  • Were my words truthful or were they lies?
  • Did my words emphasize the good in others, the world and our current situation or did my words add to the negativity, the darkness and the hopelessness?
  • If my every word that I have spoken was read aloud for the world to hear, would I be proud or ashamed of myself?
  • Has my every word glorified God and pointed others to Him?

(Do your toes hurt? Cuz God is really doing a number on mine! Ouch!)

The responsibility to use our words wisely should not be taken lightly. Our words, like our actions, have consequences – both good and bad. And if any of us cannot handle the responsibility, it’s best we heed the advice of every grandma everywhere in the world:

 “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”

So, as we go about our week, let’s remember the great power we’ve been given and ask God to help us wield it. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all used our Word Power for good and not evil?

I’d like that kind of world, wouldn’t you?

“May the words of my mouth

and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable to you, Lord,

my rock and my Redeemer.”

Psalms‬ ‭19:14‬


**Looking for more Biblical references about the power of our words and how we should use it? Check out Colossians 4:6 Proverbs 15:1Ephesians 4:25 & 29James 3:5Proverbs 10:19Colossians 3:8Matthew 15:18 and there are so many more!

One Wish

One Wish - Can peace truly be a reality? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

We were driving home from church. It was a stormy night and from the silence in the back seat of the car, I could tell my soon-to-be 5th Grader’s wheels were spinning.

“If I had fairy godparents,” he began, “I would wish for this storm to go away. You know what else I’d wish for?”

“What?” I inquired.

“I’d wish for world peace!” he declared with great conviction.

Wanting to take advantage of this opportunity to teach my kid a little something, I replied, “You know, if you want world peace, you don’t have to wish for it. It starts with you and me.”

Reminding him of his behavior toward some of the kids at church, I continued, “You can’t have peace by telling everyone to ‘be quiet’ all the time or by tattling on others.”

I paused to see if I’d get a response but after hearing nothing, I concluded my mini lesson for the evening, “We all have to play our part if we want to have world peace.”

Without even the smallest moment of reflection, my son piped up again, “You know what else I’d wish for? I’d wish for the game, Lego Jurassic World.”

So much for that teachable moment!

I really think I should get extra “good parenting” points for trying! Don’t you? 😉


That’s ok. I’ll keep trying. I MUST keep trying! It’s what we all must continue to do.

We must continue to teach the next generation that the pursuit for peace is a worthy endeavor, that peace is worth the fight.

Yes, the fight.

You see, it’s easy to talk the talk, to make our wishes and preach our sermons about living peaceably with all men. Words come easy.

But when push comes to shove, when we’ve logged off of social media, when those that we hate are standing right in front of us, this is where our words are put to the test. This is where the pursuit for peace is accomplished. This is what our children are watching and what the next generation will emulate.

Oh, friends. Peace must be more than a simple wish.

Peace must be an action.

And peace must begin with you and me.


Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness —

without it no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14


How to Spread SMILES – not germs! Idea #4: Shop Local

How to Spread SMILES - not germs! Idea #4: Shop Local | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com/

As you begin to venture out and brave the post-pandemic world (We’re getting there, I think!), don’t forget the little guy – the mom and pop shops, the corner deli, the farmers’ markets, the family-owned restaurants, the barber shops, the local service stations, and all the other small businesses that have laid the foundations of our communities. The owners of these establishments are fighting for their livelihoods, grasping tightly to their dreams and struggling just to survive.

They need our help.

Individually, we may not be able to do much but together, your little bit and my little bit can add up to a whole lot!

Shop local! And Spread SMILES-not germs! 😉