And Fortune Smiled

My Post (2)

From a pile of 8 or so fortune cookies, the “Eeyore” in my life picked up this one. How fortunate!

(Check out my post on the Eeyores of life here.)

Immediately, he placed the cookie’s secret message in front of me without saying a word. The reveal had nothing to do with my blog posts, though – my Eeyore doesn’t read them. I knew that bringing it to my attention meant he heard the message loud and clear.

It’s a little disconcerting to be overshadowed by a cookie. You see, I’ve been preaching this same message to him day in and day out. He appears to be listening and always responds in agreement.

“Yes, I know it’s how I look at things.”

“Yes, I know I control my own happiness.”

“Yes, yes. You’re right.”

But the message never seems to make it past his earlobes.

I suppose it takes something out of the ordinary to get our attention every now and then. However, those attention grabbers may not always turn out to be as yummy as a cookie. For many of us, it takes a hard knock or two to wake us up and prompt us to make a change. We’re so wonderfully headstrong, aren’t we!

However, for some of us, we only need the wake up call to be delivered in an unsuspected or unusual method – like a fortune cookie.

So, go ahead, my Eeyore. Ignore the encouragement I’ve been giving you for years and listen to the stinkin’ cookie!

I’m pretty sure whoever wrote that fortune has been reading my blog, anyway. 😉

 

 

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A Year of Smiles – Day 319

Reason to SMILE #319: THUMBS UPS, STARS AND HEARTS

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I love, love, loooooove (D’ya think that’s enough empasis?) receiving likes on my blog and social media posts. Finding notifications from WordPress or Facebook on my phone in the mornings puts a huge SMILE on my face and a spring in my step. And, oh, how I need that extra boost in the mornings!  (True story.)

I’m pretty sure if we’re all being honest, we’d agree that seeing those seals of approval from our friends, family and even strangers makes us feel good. Maybe that’s why so many of us gravitate to social media. Where else can you post a picture of your breakfast and get 50 approving reactions in 30 seconds or less? Where else can you comment about current affairs and find a whole group of people anxious to discuss (though maybe not all agreeably) the issue with you? Where else can you post pics of your babies and have people share in your pride of those precious kiddos? Where else can you brag about accomplishments, whether big or small, and find a whole world ready to applaud for you?

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Yep. Seeing those “thumbs ups” is pretty awesome. But how much more awesome would it be if we gave those stars and hearts and likes in “real” life? What if we slapped a Heart Sticker on the shirts of our friends every time they told a funny joke or showed us a picture of their kids? What if we gave out shiny Star Stickers every time our co-workers did a good job or completed a difficult task? Or what if we passed out Thumbs Up Cards to strangers on the street or in the grocery store just as a way to brighten someone’s day? Could you imagine the looks on people’s faces? Could you imagine the SMILES?

Okay. Okay. The more I think about covering people with hearts and stars and thumbs ups, the more I realize how silly it would be. But it does’t change the powerful impact of these little signs of approval. They really do make me SMILE!

P.S. I’m seriously considering getting some Thumbs Up Stickers printed. You don’t know how badly I want to see the expressions on people’s faces when I slap one on those stickers on their shoulders! (Hahahaha!)

A Year of Smiles – Day 315

Reason to SMILE #315: CUDDLES

Are you a cuddler? I’m not so sure that I am. I really don’t mind cuddling. I mean, what mom doesn’t like cuddling with her little kiddos? Snuggling up on the couch with the family pet is okay, too. And, of course, cuddles with the spouse are always good.

Hmmm. Maybe I am a cuddler!

I don’t know, though. I really enjoy having my own space. Not sharing the blankets or the couch or my three feet of personal space is nice. (It is 3 feet, right? It should be 3 feet – maybe more!) Being able to relax comfortably without dying of a heat stroke caused by the prolonged close proximity of a loved one (though very, very loved, indeed – I promise!) is a wonderful feeling.

Ugh! I sound like a terrible human being, don’t I? 😉

Well, cuddler or not, I’ve found that there are always days when I desperately need to be cuddled. Days, like today, when nothing goes right – when the school won’t let you give food to your child because it’s not in a lunchbox, when everything you do at work is wrong and has to be done a second or third time, when what you thought were certainties in your life turned out to be huge questions – it’s on these day, I want to curl up into big strong arms and just be held. Yep. On these days, I’m definitely a cuddler.

It’s a good thing I have big, strong arms to run to when I need a cuddle or two. Knowing my hubby is there to comfort me always makes me SMILE. Even better, though, is knowing I can run to the loving arms of my Heavenly Father when the burdens of the day are too much to bear. And you just can’t beat the SMILE that comes from resting in the Father’s arms!

A Year of Smiles – Day 299

Reason to SMILE #299: THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARDuntitled (4)

Look at this! I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. All can I can say is “WOW!”

Thank you, Gail, of gaillovesgod, for thinking of me. I am honored and I was blessed by your words of encouragement that came with the nomination:

May this put a smile on your face, as you do mine and His all the time.

I certainly am SMILING but not only because of the award. It makes my heart soar to know that my daily posts are being used by God to encourage others. My SMILES are spreading! 😉

Here are the Rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions asked.
3. Nominate 11 other blogs and ask 11 new questions for them.
4. Finally, list the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in the post.

No. 1 was easy. What an encouragement Gail is to me through her blog and her uplifting comments on my posts. I need to be thanking her daily!

Now on to No. 2. My answers to Gail’s questions are:

1. How are you doing?

Honestly, I’m a little down. This week, I had to tell my kids at church that my last day as their children’s minister is this Sunday. I’m really going to miss these kids but I know I am following the Lord’s direction. It’s tough and I’m pretty bummed.

2. How are you and Jesus getting along? (It’s okay to be honest)

Jesus and I are talking more and more. I am leaning on Him for so much and trusting my Good Shepherd to lead me where he wants me to be.

3. What did you last blog about?

My last SMILE post was about breakfast! Yummy, yummy!

4. What season is it where you live?

We finally have Fall weather in southwest Georgia! Yay!

5. What encourages you to be positive?

The promises of God always remind me that He holds me in the palm of His hand. He has a plan for me and He is working for my good. Believing this makes it difficult not to be positive.

6. Do you know someone waiting to be nominated?

I’m sure there are many bloggers out there who could use the encouragement that these awards bring.

7. What do you like to do on the weekend?

I love to relax, sit outside with my husband while he grills and binge watch The Flash or Once Upon a Time on Netflix.

8. What’s your favorite song right now?

“What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship and “Even If” by MercyMe both resonate within my soul right now. My all time favorite is an oldie – “Joy Comes in the Morning” by the Gaither. That’s good singing right there!!

9. Have you ever read the entire Bible?

Yes, but for me, it takes a lot of discipline.

10. How do you feel to know you make others smile? (anyone I nominated makes me smile! and God!)

Well, it makes me SMILE! Seriously, I’m cheesin’!! 😉

11. Do you know how much God loves you? Because He does!

Yes, Yes! His love for me – and for everyone –  is immeasurable!

Whew! This is a lot of work! Oh, but here comes the good part. Step No. 3 allows me to nominate 11 more recipients of the Sunshine Blogger Award.  I get to pass the SMILE on to others! So, get out your catcher’s mitt, there’s a SMILE coming your way.

Nominations:

  1. Rae of Real as the Streets
  2. Dr. Andrea Dinardo of Thriving Under Pressure
  3. Carolyn of BeautyBeyondBones
  4. Jeff Rab of RabBits
  5. Romy at savedandblessedblog
  6. Brandi of Brandi’s World
  7. Christina Embree at reFocus
  8. Rotimi Elijah at Inspire Me
  9. Apostle Gabriel Cross at Pure Glory
  10. Ndifreke Efiok Akpan at Kip Walkin
  11. Jon & Hayley at Red Letters

I know some of you may not want to participate and that’s perfectly okay. Just know that you inspire and encourage me and so many others. You make me SMILE and that’s good stuff! 🙂

If you do decide to join in, here are the 11 questions I have for you:

  1. Why did you begin blogging?
  2. Who inspires you?
  3. What are your methods for overcoming writer’s block?
  4. Are you a published writer?
  5. Do you aspire to be a published writer?
  6. When was the last time you were truly happy?
  7. Do you have a favorite childhood memory? What is it?
  8. What is one of your goals in life?
  9. If you could have a conversation with any celebrity (dead or alive), who would it be?
  10. What’s your favorite ice cream? (Ha! I don’t know why just knowing your answers will make me SMILE. 🙂 )
  11. What would you like to be your legacy?

Let’s see. I believe I’ve completed all of the steps. Yep, my award acceptance is complete but I have to give one more great big shout out to Gail. THANK YOU FOR THIS AMAZING SMILE. Boy, did I ever need it.

Okay, nominees. It’s your turn. Keep the SMILE going!

A Year of Smiles – Day 264


TRANSPARENCY

The smiles have seemed so far away this week. I have been overwhelmed with concerns, distracted by discouragements and dragged down by disappointments. So, today, I’m having a difficult time finding a smile to share with you…

It happens. Life gets messy, confusing and downright ugly sometimes. And if I’m being completely transparent, I often become stuck in the middle of it all. My smile becomes a mere facade. But I am only human. Besides, no one ever said that life wouldn’t be messy. God’s Word even tells me I’ll walk through valleys…

The good thing is God has promised to walk with me in the valleys. Ah! Now there’s a SMILE. I am never alone; God is always with me. Do you remember that SMILE from Day 22?

God also promised to help me through this difficult and overwhelming season in my life. That was my Reason to SMILE #159. God’s help is only a prayer away. 

Oh, and I must keep telling myself that what I’m going through won’t last forever. It’s only temporary. I’ve already shared that encouragement with you, too. Check out Day 73!

I’m thinking I’ll revisit a few more of my SMILES today. Maybe it’ll restore my focus on what and Who truly matters. In the meantime, keep looking for SMILES and when you find one, shoot it my way. ❤

A Year of Smiles – Day 262

Reason to SMILE #262: TODAY

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This IS the day the Lord has made – yes, even THIS day. And all the days He made before it have prepared you for today. All the moments of gladness, moments of struggle, moments of doubt, moments of triumph and moments of sorrow that have filled your previous days have built the foundation of strength that will see you through this day.

This IS the day the Lord has made and HE will not allow you to live this day alone.  HE plans to spend it with you. HE intends to experience every moment by your side.  You can walk through this day with confidence for there is nothing in this day that will take it’s Maker by surprise.

Yes, this IS the day the Lord has made.  No matter what it holds, joy or sadness, healing or pain, celebration or mourning, THIS day is God’s gift to you.  And in this great gift, you can REJOICE and be glad!

A Year of Smiles – Day 248

Reason to SMILE #248: COMFORT

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You may feel that you will never find joy again.

Hold tight, my friend. You will.

Until then, lean into the strong arms of your Heavenly Father. When the sorrows of night have passed, you will know JOY anew – JOY unmeasurable and SMILES innumerable.

But for now, rest in His comfort.

A Year of Smiles – Day 243

Reason to SMILE #243: LAUGHTER 


We all need it – sometimes more than others. This joyous outburst affects our entire being. 

It lightens our load. 

It drowns out sadness. 

It redirects our thoughts.

It promotes healing.

It brightens our face.

It makes snot shoot from our noses, tears stream down our cheeks, food project from our mouths and muscles stretch and ache!! 🤣 It’s awesome!

How amazing this gift of laughter! It truly is the best medicine. It’s even better, though, when given by and shared with a friend. 

I hope you find a SMILE today and a good dose of laughter!

A Year of Smiles – Day 220

Reason to SMILE #220: ENERGY BOOSTS


What refuels your tank? What inspires you and keeps you going? What encourages you when you’ve lost your moxie? What gives you that extra oomph to get you through the home stretch?

Good friends?

Inspirational quotes?

Cute little memes?

Prayer?

God’s Word?

Great! Those are all fantastic. Keep seeking that encouragement!

Now. What brings you down? What stops you in your tracks? What makes you stumble? What snuffs out that flame within?

Negative people?

Bad days?

Disappointment?

Criticism?

Struggles?

What if, instead of allowing these things to bring us down, we converted all that negativity into fuel for our fires? What if we took everything meant to stop us and harnessed its power and energy to push us even further toward our goals?

What if? Negativity is thrown at us everyday. We have a choice to either allow it to bring us down, stifle our growth and rob us of our joy or to let it strengthen our resolve, affirm our callings and broaden our SMILES. 

Energy siphon? Or energy boost? Which one will you choose?

A Year of Smiles – Day 219

Reason to SMILE #219: A GOOD, SWIFT KICK 

… in the pants! 

Yep. There are times when it is completely necessary. Sometimes we get in a funk and can’t seem to find our way out. We begin wallowing in self-pity and despair over lost love, an unfavorable situation at work or a missed opportunity. The more we think of our unhappy circumstances, the more we whine and complain. And with each verse of our sob songs, we make ourselves and all those around us more and more miserable. Until… 

… someone decides to gives us a good, swift kick in the hiney or a smack on the back of the head. Sure. It may not always take a physical altercation to bring us out of our negativity and back to the land of abundant living but a kick sure does grab the attention! And when we’ve made it past a certain point in our little pity parties, it often takes something drastic to wake us up from our self-indulgent stupors.

Even more, it takes someone special to do the waking, kicking or rescuing. It takes someone willing to take us by the shoulders, look us in the eyes and tells us to get with it, to stop dwelling on our problems and start counting our blessings. It takes someone willing to risk a friendship or risk the backlash they may incur in order to help a friend find joy again.

We need lots of someones like that in our lives. We need to be those someones for others.

A good, swift kick in the pants most likely will not make us SMILE – at least not at first. But if it works, if it wakes us up from our stupor of negativity and self-pity, we’ll be grateful to the one who cared enough to do the kicking!