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, Greese,¬†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 289


Faster than a little boy’s ability to make up excuses to skip school.

More powerful than the myriad of sicknesses plaguing his body.

Able to spot a tall tale with a single glance.mom-2010524_1280

Look! In the kitchen!

It’s a doctor.

It’s Dad.

No, it’s Mom Рarmed with the Pink Pills of Power ready to battle the crippling moves of the stomach’s arch-nemesis, Tum E. Ache. Pills so powerful that with the mere mention of their name, even the worst aches and pains flee in fear.

Our story begins at the Smith household where a little boy is just waking up to get ready for school‚Ķ.

We see our young victim crawling out of his chair, doubled over with his arm around his stomach. The little boy cries, ‚ÄúOhhhh! My stomach hurts!‚ÄĚ

Then from the kitchen, our hero appears and proclaims, ‚ÄúI‚Äôll get the Pepto!‚ÄĚ

WHAM! BOOM! POW! Those four powerful words knock Tum E. Ache to the floor and he quickly vanishes to escape his impending doom!

The little boy, now walking upright and wearing a smile on his face, happily ingests the bubble gum goodness of the powerful pink Pepto.

And our hero quietly retreats to the kitchen to enjoy her coffee but keeps a watchful eye on her surroundings. You never know when Tum E. Ache or his League of Phony Syndromes will rear their ugly heads again!

Being a mom means you have to face all kinds of evil foes every day, including that pesky “I don’t wanna go to school” monster. The key is being armed with the right weapons. A whole lotta love and patience and a little bit of children’s chewable Pepto ūüėČ will ensure the victory and the SMILES every time!


A Year of Smiles – Day 288

Reason to SMILE #288: CAMPFIRES 

There’s nothing like sitting around a campfire watching the flames dance and the embers glow to calm the nerves and ease a troubled mind. Tonight’s crisp air begged for the warmth of a fire. My husband obliged and I’m glad he did.

I needed to hear the cheerful crackle of the flames. I needed to gaze into the fire’s soothing glow. I needed to feel my burdens float away with the ashes as they drifted through the air and disappeared into the night.


What a relaxing SMILE!

There is one thing that could’ve made it better, though…

Marshmallows! If I’d only had marshmallows! ūüėČ

A Year of Smiles – Day 286

Reason to SMILE #286: PROGRESS

Adobe Spark (27)

Five of us have been sharing one bathroom for almost a month now. A rotted floor in our main bathroom meant total renovation – something neither I nor my husband knows how to do. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to hire a professional, either. So, my husband has been gleaning what he can from YouTube videos and he has been tackling the job little by little.

We have both discovered that demolition is the best part. Tearing up stuff is easy. Just hand me a¬†sledge hammer! Haha – I can’t even pick up a sledge hammer. Anyway…

Once the demolition was complete, though, we were stumped. The idea of reconstruction was overwhelming and the bathroom renovation came to a screeching halt. Ugh!

This weekend, however, we found some motivation in the form of a friend willing to lend a hand. And not just any friend – a friend who knows what he’s doing! And boy, oh boy, do I thank God for this friend!

We’ve finally made some progress! And this is making all of us SMILE!


A Year of Smiles – Days 278 and 280

It seems I skipped a day. Boy, is my blog thread going to be messed up! But here comes two SMILES for you today.


My older son was participating in a youth camppooh.jpeg last weekend with the church he interned for over the summer. He sent me this picture and asked, “You want?”

I¬†assumed he was at store and¬†thought I might want him to buy it so I asked, “How much?”

His response: “Free… I did that.”

Umm. Yes, I want it! You really had to ask? ūüėČ

He painted this from a picture he saw on a t-shirt. The kid has skills! And it will be a SMILE I always cherish because…

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” – Winnie the Pooh


Reason to SMILE #280: REESE’S COFFEE CREAMERCoffee Creamer

I gotta tell ya. This right here might be the best SMILE ever! Well, at least the best SMILE today, anyway. You know¬†I love my coffee but what you may not know is I love¬†my Reese’s just as much as Pooh loves honey.¬†This indulgence just might have me looking like that silly old bear before¬†I know it!

Maybe not. But it may¬†help me find my¬†SMILE¬†a little earlier every day. ūüėȬ†Mmmm. Mmmm. Good.


A Year of Smiles – Day 273


What is the one thing in life that you love most, that you love doing the most? What is the one thing that excites you, that stirs up the embers of passion inside of you? Is it your job? Your hobbies? Charity work? Taking care of your family? Crafting? Building?

One of my greatest passions is writing. (Well, of course. This is a blog, right?) My love for writing began in my high school years, I believe, but I seriously began to hone my craft of word weaving in college. Take a look at one of my entries in a journal I was required to keep for a Spiritual Formation class in seminary:

I have so many things, Lord, so many gifts of this world. Collections of this and piles of that fill my empty spaces. The emptiness is never quite satisfied, however, and I am left with a desire for more. I search for the perfect pictures to cover my barren walls. I seek out the best attire to fill the cavities of my closets. Only the finest furniture can decorate my lifeless rooms. Only the most scholarly books can line my wanting shelves.

I acquire but the shelves still lack. The walls still beckon for companionship. I allow myself to be trapped by selfish desires, by misleading promises and by relentless lies. I dare to believe that objects can fill my empty spaces, that possessions alone suffice.

Lord, only you can fill my emptiness. Only you can line the shelves of my wanting. Only you can animate my rooms of lifelessness. Your goodness alone can fill the cavities and adorn the barren. God, you are enough for me.

Who is this writer? And how can I find her again? ūüėČ

Regardless of the styles in which I choose to write, the passion remains the same. It is a passion given by the Lord and one which I will always use to give glory to His name. That is truly what all of our gifts, skills and passions are for Рto honor the Lord, to make His name famous and to reach a dying world in need of the Savior. Our passions may be the driving force behind our happiness and contentment but using our passions to glorify the Heavenly Father will always fill our lives with joy and lead to a life of SMILES.


A Year of Smiles – Day 271

Reason to SMILE #271: FALL

Vibrant colors in the trees, leaves drifting to the ground, crisp air in the mornings, fragrant breezes in the afternoons, sweater temperatures in the evenings – oh, how I love the season of Fall!

<Insert record scratching here.>

I live in southwest Georgia. We have absolutely none of that. Sigh.

Still, Fall is my favorite season of all. There are all sorts of pumpkin, gourd and sunflower decorations to see. There are candy corn and caramel apples to munch. There are also fairs and festivals to attend and holidays to enjoy. So many SMILES in only one season.

One thing about Fall, however, does not make me SMILE. Would you like to know what that is?

Fair warning: I may lose a few readers upon its revelation…

Okay. Here goes…

I do not like this ridiculous inundation of pumpkin spice! The world has gone mad with the stuff. Why, oh, why must everything be flavored with pumpkin spice? I don’t understand. The only thing that should be pumpkin flavored is pie and bread. Everything else should be left alone.

Other than that, Fall is awesome! ūüėĀ

God has made such a beautiful world for us to enjoy. I think it’s about time to travel North so I can enjoy all the SMILES of Fall… minus the pumpkin spice, of course. ūüėČ

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! ūüôā