A Year of Smiles РDay 223

Reason to SMILE #223: THE HAPPINESS OF OTHERS

Do any of you ever post things on your favorite social media site then constantly check to see how many likes you have or if anyone has commented? 

Any of you? 

Ever?

No? 

Yeah, me neither. 

Uhm, excuse me a moment. I need to go check something. ūüėČ

While I was randomly scrolling through Facebook today – I wasn’t checking on yesterday’s blog post or anything like that! – I came across one of those friendship videos that an old college friend shared. I paused my scrolling long enough to watch the slide show of pictures from his life, pictures of his wife and child, vacation fun and other memories that I’m sure meant very much to him. Each picture showed my friend and his family smiling and truly enjoying their lives together. And by time the little video had reached its end, I realized I was smiling, too. It was nice to see my friend’s joy. I couldn’t help but SMILE!

You know, this whole being part of the human race thing really does have its perks. We have each other to walk with through life, to help carry our burdens, to cry with. We also have each other to share in our joys, to celebrate our triumphs, to have fun together and to help us find a SMILE.

You see, it’s all part of God’s design. I have no doubt that you and I were made to make each other SMILE!

Romans 12:15 (NIV) Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

1 Corinthians 12:26-27 (NIV) If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

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A Year of Smiles – Day 151

Reason to SMILE #151: PRAYER

How often do you pray?  I find myself praying all the time.praying-hands-emoticon

“Lord, help me make it¬†through this day.”

“Lord, please keep¬†so-and-so¬†safe.”

“Heal so-and-so¬†quickly, Lord.”

“Thank you¬†for all your blessings, Lord.”

“Ok, Lord, give me strength ’cause these kids are killin’ me!” ūüėČ

The day to day conversations with God come pretty easy.¬† It’s like chatting with a friend or co-worker.¬† There’s merit to those little prayer snippets but I’m not sure this is truly what prayer is meant to be.

When was the last time you¬†actually got down on your knees and spent hours in prayer with the Heavenly Father praising him for His blessings, casting your burdens at His feet, asking forgiveness for your transgressions and listening for His still, small voice to speak to your soul?¬† Now that doesn’t come so easy – at least not for me.¬†¬†Often, I set out to spend time with God but weariness or¬†busyness¬†interrupts.¬† ¬†Oh, how it must make God feel when I can’t even make time to sit and talk with Him.

Right about now, you’re probably thinking that this doesn’t sound much like a SMILE.¬† Maybe not yet but hang on, folks.¬† I’m getting there.

I may not be the prayer warrior that I should be (God’s still working on me!) but I know without a doubt that there are mighty prayer warriors out there praying for me.¬† How do I know?¬† Because there’s no way I could have made it through¬†some of the things I’ve been through without the prayers of loving friends and family.¬† And when I have a need, those prayer warriors –¬†my mom,¬†my dad,¬†my pastor,¬†my best friend,¬†my church family –¬†are there to¬†pray me through whatever I am facing.¬†¬†Now, to me, that’s¬†worth a hundred¬†SMILES and so much more!

 

Image by symbols-n-emoticons.com

 

 

A Year of Smiles – Day 7

Reason to SMILE #7: REST

469a181dd0206176dfe8e08e98c4e738_sleep-clipart-nixbkbxxt-good-sleep-clipart_512-485We’ve all had those days when we hit the ground running in the morning¬†and we keep running throughout the day until our heads hit our pillows again at night.¬† These days are exhausting and they come too often.¬† But oh, when the hectic, non-stop frenzy of a day is over, the rest that comes when we lay down in a warm cozy bed is A-MAZ-ING! There’s nothing that compares to¬†it.

Tonight, in the City of Albany, Georgia, there are thousands in need of rest.  First responders, disaster relief crews and community volunteers who have been working all week to restore what has been lost need rest.  Thousands of citizens whose homes have been destroyed and lives turned upside down, who are seeking shelter from freezing temperatures and food for hungry families need rest.  To many of these people, rest is nowhere in sight.

So, will you join me in praying for my community?

Dear Heavenly Father, I first want to thank You for your great PROVISION for our city.  Thank You for your BLESSINGS, for volunteers giving of their time and resources, for food being distributed, for shelters being provided, for roofs being patched and for all the work that is going on throughout our city.

People are tired, Lord, and need rest.  I pray that, tonight, You will provide that AMAZING REST for our first responders, for those tirelessly working to restore power, for those cutting and removing trees and cleaning neighborhoods, for those repairing roofs and for those who are preparing meals for the community and providing shelter for those in need.  Restore their strength as they rest, restore their spirits and renew their drive to serve this city.

Lord, I pray also that You will, tonight, provide rest for those consumed in worry, those who have lost their homes or vehicles, those who have no power still, those who need warmth and shelter, those who need nourishment and other provisions.  Lord, may they sleep tonight in your PERFECT REST knowing that You are the Great Provider and may they rise in the morning with a SMILE knowing that You have it all under control.

In Jesus’ name I pray these things, Amen.

 

Image provided by clipartfest.com.

A Year of Smiles – Day 6

Reason to SMILE #6: HUGS

I give warm hugs.¬† This is¬†the message on one of my¬†t-shirts.¬† Beside this message¬†is a picture of a goofy little snow man that seems to be falling apart.¬† You know that snow man, right?¬† He was really popular a few¬†years ago when that one movie was released. Remember that movie? It was the one with princesses, a bad guy pretending to be a hero, a reindeer and an ice delivery man who becomes¬†a reluctant hero.¬† Ring any bells?¬† No?¬† Okay, I’ll Let It Go then.¬† (Wink. Wink.)

Anyway, I feel a bit strange when I wear this t-shirt because I’m not usually one to offer hugs freely.¬† It makes me uncomfortable.¬† I don’t know why.¬†¬†Don’t get me wrong.¬† I give hugs.¬† I hug my¬†family.¬† I hug my kids at church.¬† I hug folks I haven’t seen in ages.¬† I just don’t¬†hug each person I see every time I see them.¬† People who do that are true “warm huggers”.¬† They have a gift.

There are times, though, when I need a hug – times when my heart is heavy, when the burdens of life overwhelm, when there’s no answers to my problems and I just need to be held.¬† During these times, a warm hug is most welcome and does much good.

It’s amazing the power of a hug.¬† A hug can lift spirits and¬†lighten a load. Hugs¬†can even reduce blood pressure and¬†improve emotional well-being and overall health. It’s true!¬† I read¬†it on Facebook! (Wink. Wink.)¬†Well, I do know one thing for certain –¬†a hug given at just¬†the right time can make¬†the heaviest of¬†hearts and loneliest of souls¬†SMILE again.

I think I need to start giving more hugs.  How about you?