A Year of Smiles – Day 174

Reason to SMILE #174: WEDDINGS

 

Blissful and elegant,

A charming delight,

Eagerly enters

The beauty in white.

 

Dapper and dashing,

A fear-stricken mess,

Anxiously awaits

The groom at his best.

 

Shiny and lighthearted,

A roomful of grins,

Respectfully dotes

Their fam’ly and friends.

 

The scene is a wonder

Where time has no end.

When two become one,

A new life begins.

 

But is it the picture

We place on the wall?

Is it as perfect

As our minds recall?

 

Last time I checked,

A wedding takes work.

One day of magic

Leaves dad in the lurch.

 

And on the blessed day

Not one thing is right –

Not flowers, not cake,

Not dresses, not lights.

 

The Moms are both frantic;

Dads sink in defeat.

The flower girl’s mad

And stomping her feet.

 

The bridesmaids are fighting;

The groomsmen don’t care.

The bride’s feet are cold;

The groom is… nowhere!

 

So many emotions

In such a short time.

So many mishaps

To thwart groom and bride.

 

So what’s the big hubbub?

Why all of the fuss?

Is it all worth it

To turn me to us?

 

Despite all the chaos,

There’s one thing that’s true:

It’s worth any price

To hear said, “I do.”

 

“I do take my lover

To be by my side

I promise to stay

Our love will abide.

 

“I will fight to uphold

This most sacred vow

And when times are rough

We’ll make it… somehow.”

 

And when your days married

Have turned into years,

You’ll look back and smile

(Perhaps shed some tears)

 

On all of the folly

Of your special day

And thank God for blessing

Your life anyway!



Image by symbols-n-emoticons.com

A Year of Smiles – Day 162

Reason to SMILE #162: CHANGE

I do not like this thing called change.

I do not like to feel so strange.

I do not like to try new things.

I do not like the fear it brings.

 

I would not like it even if

You sent it to me with a kiss.

I would not like it with a SMILE;

You can’t make me with your guile!

 

“Oh,” you say, “Change may be good

You should embrace it if you could.

Change may be just what you need.

You will like it. Try it and see.”

 

Yes, I know it may be time

To mute this stubbornness of mine.

Change may be just what I need

To find the SMILES that bring me peace.

 

Change – it’s a fact of life no matter how hard we try to ignore and resist it. Change can seem like the devil in disguise but if we give it a try, change can be the catalyst that pushes us toward the great and wondrous works that God has waiting for us.

Change – it may be hard but the SMILES you’ll find on the other side of it are worth every chance you dare to take.

P.S. I seemed to be channeling Dr. Seuss today but he always makes me SMILE. Hope you find a SMILE, too!

A Year of Smiles – Day 161

Reason to SMILE #161: TIME

A blessing and a curse.

A giver and a thief.

A healer and an afflictor.

A reality and a belief.

 

A precious commodity

Of which we must take care.

If spent very wisely,

A bounteous fruit to bare.

 

If squandered carelessly,

Great failure to regret.

Wasted opportunities

O’er which we mourn and fret.

 

A gift that we should give

To our families and our friends.

A gift for which we hope

When life is at its end.

 

A sacrifice taken

When causes grand arise.

An alm for which we grasp

When it’s time to say goodbye.

 

Time is ours to spend or waste.

It’s ours to hoard or share.

It’s ours to fill with love or hate.

It’s ours – so beware.

 

We’re only given a set amount.

Once spent, it can’t be beckoned.

So fill your time with SMILES and love

And don’t regret a second.

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!

 

 

Image by symbols-n-emoticons.com

 

 

 

 

A Year of Smiles – Day 122

Reason to SMILE #122: COLORS

What if all the blue crayons

In your color case

Decided all the green crayons

Were simply a big waste?

 

“You’re too green,” they might say.

“You’re not like us at all.

We don’t need your kind around.

Get out!” they’d say with gall.

 

Pushing the green crayons out

Of the color box,

The blues would then settle in

Their spacious, comfy spots.

 

“Ah!” the blues would then proclaim.

“This extra room is nice

But the reds might say it’s theirs

And that will not suffice.”

 

The crayons blue would soon begin

To push the reds out, too,

Along with every other shade

Til all was left was blue.

 

“Oh, what freedom! We’ve so much space,”

The blues would then shout.

Now, we can color everything.

Our hue’s the best, no doubt.”

 

Upon this declaration,

The crayons blue would jump

From their box to color the world –

Ev’ry rock, ev’ry road, ev’ry bump.

 

They’d first begin with the sky.

Oh, what wonderful hues!

They’d paint the sky almost as bright

As God himself would do.

 

Dark blue, light blue, gray blue, teal-

Endless shades there’d be!

Blue cars, blue pants, blue, blue, blue

As far as one could see.

 

Then stepping back to survey

All that they had colored,

These lofty blues would be pleased.

They didn’t need the others.

 

Somewhere, then, I’d like to think,

From in the crayon box,

An old and used up blue crayon

Would climb up to the top.

 

“Hey!” he’d shout. “What about

The sun, the grass and flowers?

The wondrous beauty of these can’t

Be captured by mere blue power.

 

“Yes,” another blue would chime,

“How shall we color these?

The sun is not a shade of blue

Nor is the grass or trees.”

 

“We pushed out all the colors that

Could have done the job.

A brighter place this world could be

If their beauty, we did not rob.”

 

Nodding in agreement, I suspect

Each blue would slump

Knowing they had slighted the world

By being such big chumps!

 

I’m so glad God chose to use a multitude of colors to paint the world, aren’t you?  Imagine how boring and bland it would be without such a variety of colors.  Imagine how dull the world would be without such a variety of people.  And just like every color is needed to create a perfect picture of a beautiful sunset over the ocean, so also is every person needed to create a better world and to fill that world with bright and beautiful SMILES.

 

 

Image by symbols-n-emoticons.com

Is This the Truth?

Fires burn across the land,

The smoke fills the skies.

Angry men shout out and scream;

Some break down and cry.

Children watch as people die;

They see the hate, the pain.

Their little eyes can’t believe

The suffering and the shame.

 

Is this the world we want to show our children?

Is this the place we want them to call home?

We tell them that we love them but don’t show them the same.

Is this the truth we want them to know?

 

I wrote these lyrics more than 20 years ago.  I was almost 18 years old and had just watched news coverage of the Los Angeles Riots of 1992.  I was horrified as pictures of violence, hate, fear and desperation flashed before my eyes.  I was overwhelmed with uncertainty and fear even though I lived on the opposite side of the country.  I did not understand it all and I knew there were children and other young people trying to make sense of the chaos, as well.

I wondered what these children were learning from the situation.  What lessons about life were they gleaning?  Were they giving up all hope at that moment?  Was their innocence slipping away as disturbing images of humanity at its worst invaded their ideals of safety and security?  Were they resigning to believe that this was how life was supposed to be?  Were these children accepting the hate, violence and pride as their truth?

Now, twenty-two years later, we find ourselves seeing familiar images flash on our TV screens.  And I cannot help but wonder.  Where are those children who watched similar scenes so many years ago?  They are the adults of our world now.  Are they watching in horror as they did as a child?  Are they worried about their own children and the effect this situation will have on their young lives?  Are they outraged?  Are they scared?  Are they worried?  Or are they hitting the power button, shrugging their shoulders and walking away?  After all, that’s life.  That’s the truth of our existence and there’s nothing anyone can do about it….

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)

There is hope, dear friends.  We can redefine the truth that our world accepts today.  It starts with Love.  It starts with you and me.

It’s Christmastime!

It’s Christmastime everyone!

Time to deck the halls –

Time to string the lights

‘Round the tree and on the walls.

 

It’s time to go a-wasselling –

Wasselling?  Hooray!

Don’t know what it is

But we’ll have fun anyway.

 

It’s time to join the bustle,

Time to shop the stores,

Time to wrap the gifts –

Wait! I need just one thing more.

 

Celebrations everywhere,

Yummy treats to eat,

Old friends to laugh with,

And memories, oh, so sweet.

 

Families all together,

Loved ones held so close,

Christmas is the time

That we truly love the most!

 

But the joy of this season

By all is not shared.

There are those burdened

By a heavy load of cares.

 

There are those who are hurting,

Those who have no hope,

Those who are hungry,

Those who cannot seem to cope.

 

Christmastime to these dear ones

Is just another day

To struggle all alone,

Not a time to sing and play.

 

They simply can’t comprehend

The reason that we sing.

Their woes are too great;

They think miracles silly things.

 

They’re searching for an answer,

Escape from their plight.

They’re holding back tears

As they kiss their kids goodnight.

 

Oh, it’s time we look around –

Open up our eyes

To a dying world

That thinks no one hears their cries.

 

Our lives are filled with plenty;

We’ve so much to give.

We’ve a Hope to share

With a world that longs for it.

 

It’s Christmastime, after all!

Time to spread the news,

Time to tell of Jesus

And His love for me and you.

 

It’s time to go a-serving!

Serving?  Yes, indeed!

Meeting needs of others –

What great joy and peace it brings!

 

So, let’s celebrate this season

Telling of His birth,

Giving unto others,

Spreading Hope and Love on earth.

Mirrors, Bags and Dancing Shoes: A Lesson on Desires

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.  Matthew 5:6

In a little village, there lived a man who had three girls.

To you and me they’d look the same – same smile, same eyes, same curls.

But each of these three daughters were as different as could be

And if you took a closer look, the differences were plain to see.

 

Sophia was the drama queen; she loved the finer things

And preferred to have an audience so she could dance and sing.

Sasha loved her mirror and the reflection that she saw.

She primped and brushed and painted – she did not tolerate any flaw.

 

Then there was sweet Sara whom her sisters thought quite odd.

She did not primp; she did not dance; she spent her time with God.

Though these girls were different, their father loved them all the same.

And in return, they shared his love each in their own special way.

 

Sophia entertained her dad – she loved to make him smile.

Sasha decked their entire house with her great sense of style.

Sara hung on every word and learned all her father taught.

These girls loved their father so – a greater love there was not.

 

One sad day, the news was brought that their father had passed on.

An accident out in the field – Oh how the girls did mourn!

But their father had a plan for the lives of these three girls.

He left behind instructions for them to go out in the world.

 

“Take your share of my estate,” his instructions did direct.

“Choose a path to follow – a new life you must erect.

To take along your journey, a bag for each I’ve left.

How you choose to fill it will be the measure of your success.”

 

“Success,” thought Sophia, “I like the sound of this great plan.

I’ll take my scores of music and I’ll take my shoes for dance.

My dream is to be famous and the richest of them all.”

So she packed her bag and set her course to answer glory’s call.

 

Sasha opened up her bag and sighed, “What am I to do?

This bag does not reflect my taste.  I’m not happy with its hue.

Beauty is my talent and I’ll use it to find true love.”

So brushes, make up, mirrors and more in her bag she did stuff.

 

Sara quietly packed her bag though she did not want to leave.

“I do not know your plan, Lord, but I’ll follow where you lead.”

She took along her Bible, some money, some food, some clothes.

She began her journey praying, “Lord, be with me as I go.”

 

Fame and fortune soon became Sophia’s dream come true.

Her shelves were lined with trophies and her name filled the news.

Each night the wealthy and society’s great were found within her home.

But each morning when Sophia woke, she was always all alone.

 

Sasha’s dream to find true love came easy or so she thought.

She used her dazzling beauty to ensnare a young man’s heart.

He doted and he showered his new bride with lots of stuff.

But each gift that he presented, he found was never good enough.

 

The path on which Sara trod was not ordinary by far,

Yet in the eyes of her sisters, Sara was no shining star.

While earning her degree, Sara worked in a little store

Where she never met a stranger – the needy had an open door.

 

Years went by and there came a day when Sophia was forgotten.

No more applause, no more awards, no hype to be caught up in.

Surrounded by great treasures, she found her life empty and cold.

She’d filled her bag to the brim and left no room for what meant the most.

 

Sasha, too, found life and love to be a disappointment.

Her husband left; her beauty waned – hers only for a moment.

Her time was spent reflecting on herself and her desires.

Her bag might not be empty if she had looked a little higher.

 

Now, Sara, she was happy; she found joy with each new day.

She saw no need to hoard and store; she loved to give away.

She helped all who crossed her path without thought of her own life.

As for her bag, she would always find the contents did suffice.

 

Late one night as Sara slept, she saw her father in a dream.

She was sitting at his feet; to him tightly she did cling.

“Oh, I’ve missed you,” Sara said, his hand tightly in her grasp.

“I’ve much to tell but first, I have a question I need to ask.”

 

“At the outset of the journey of my sisters and me,

You gave a bag to each of us to fill as we did please.

Sophia’s riches and Sasha’s matchless beauty I did not gain.

So why was my bag plenteous when theirs did not sustain?”

 

Sara’s father looked down at her face and wiped her tears.

Then he spoke these words that to this day Sara still holds dear:

“My child, the objects in the bag matter not in this life.

It’s the longings of your heart and the goals for which you strive.

 

“Your sisters sought to please themselves; they did not seek the Lord.

While you, my dear, gave all to Him, in you good things He poured.

Fortune, beauty, even love, can leave one empty and chilled

But the one who longs for righteousness, that life will surely be filled. “

I Will Praise You

For Your ultimate design,

I will praise You.

For the blessings You’ve made mine,

I will praise You.

For the works You’ve done in me

And the works I’ve yet to see,

For the hope You’ve given me,

I will praise You.

These are the words to a chorus God gave to me many, many years ago.  I laid this song aside and had almost forgotten it.  But, today, the Lord has reminded me of these words of praise and I believe He wants me to share this chorus with you.  The melody resounds in my heart and mind and the expression of praise is even greater now than it was those many years ago.  I wish I could sing it for you but the Spirit’s voice is so much sweeter.  Sit back and let the sweet serenade of the Holy Spirt remind you of God’s plans for you and the hope we have in Jesus.