A Year of Smiles – Day 270

Reason to SMILE #270: BEING MISSED

“Mrs. Karen, I came down here to see you!”IMG_8104

One of my kids who moved up to the youth department this year made a special visit downstairs to the children’s ministry to see me. As she gave me a hug, she said, “I miss you.”

Oh, what sweet music to my ears! And what a heart-swelling SMILE!

Sorry, Youth Minister. Those kids I sent upstairs to you in August will always be mine! 😉


A Year of Smiles – Day 169

Reason to SMILE #169: SUPERMAN

“I’m Superman,” my dad declared. “Didn’t you know that?”

“No, you’re not!” my siblings and I all protested.

“I am! I can lift this car with one hand,” Dad claimed.

We all responded with cheers to see our dad prove he was indeed Superman.

“Ok, here goes.” Without hesitation, Dad continued, “Wanna see me do it again?”

We protested again, “You didn’t do anything!”

With a grin on his face, Dad explained, “I did it so fast you couldn’t see me!”

He may not have lifted our car but there has never been any doubt in my mind that my dad is Superman. There’s no better dad and I’m grateful for him. He is my biggest fan and I can always depend on him for support, for help, for wise advice and for prayer. 

I’m blessed to have such a good father in my life, someone I can look up to, follow in his footsteps and trust to always love and accept me. You may not be able to say the same – at least not about an earthly father.  But you do have a Heavenly Father who is always good. He loves you and will always be there for you. He will never let you down or disappoint you. He’s even better than Superman! 😉

Cape or no cape – my dad always makes me SMILE and I know it’s because he’s following the example of the greatest Father of all!

Psalm 68:5 (ESV) Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

James 1:17 (ESV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

1 John 3:1 (NIV) See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.


Image by symbols-n-emoticons.com

A Year of Smiles – Day 163

Reason to SMILE #163: THE 5 SECOND RULE

I was cooking.

Yes, I was cooking.

This has been a year for cooking for me.  I’ve cooked more this year than I’ve ever cooked in my life! It’s strange since the cooking in my house is usually done by someone other than me. But I’ll let you in on a secret.

Are you ready?

Come close because I can’t speak this too loudly…

I really do enjoy cooking!

It’s relaxing and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. Who knew!

I digress.

Tonight, I was bagging a few unneeded cobs of corn to put in the freezer. One slipped from my hand and fell to the kitchen floor. I immediately picked it up and just did catch myself trying to put it in the bag with all the rest. Ewww! I couldn’t help but laugh at myself, though, for the only thing going through my mind at the time was the voice of one of my church kids screaming, “Five second rule!”

It’s times like these when I know I’ve been in children’s ministry entirely too long! But what can I do? It’s my calling and it makes me SMILE – but not when it almost ruins my supper!!

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 8

Reason to SMILE #8 – BABIES


Little fingers, little toes,

Little shoes, little clothes,

Infectious laughs, big, bright eyes,

First attempts at saying “Bye-Bye”,


Faces smeared with oatmeal goo,

Noses wrinkled at new food,

Kicking feet and waving arms

To the beat of a Mickey Mouse song.


Babies!  There’s no greater cure

For your troubles – that’s for sure.

Just a glimpse is all you need

For instant SMILES – guaranteed.


Image provided by symbol-n-emoticons.com.

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.

Plan B

I’m a “Plan A” kind of person.  I spend hours, days, weeks and more preparing, organizing and lining up every detail so that Plan A will come off without a hitch.  After all, Plan A is the best plan so why settle for anything less?  And just as one of my college friends recently posted on his Facebook wall, I simply don’t have time to develop a Plan B.  But the reality is there are times when Plan B is necessary like when the church is hosting a Family Fun Night filled with all kinds of outdoor activities for the kids and the weatherman is calling for rain. That is exactly where I found myself the other day.

What were we going to do?  The bouncy houses had already been reserved.  The cotton candy, popcorn and snow cone machines were ready to go and the children were anticipating a fun evening outdoors.  But the weather radar was filled with green, yellow and red blobs and those blobs were heading our way.  I had an indoor game that we could play that would involve children, youth and adults.  And the cotton candy, popcorn and snow cones would be just as good inside as they would outside but Plan A – that is what I wanted to do.  I prayed for God to hold back the rains, at least until after our fun night.  I refused to look at the radar even though our youth minister kept giving me updates.  I simply did not want to go to Plan B but God had other plans.  Those colorful blobs from the radar stayed their course and the rains did come.

So, we played the craziest, most chaotic game we could play in a church dining hall and we ate snow cones, popcorn and cotton candy.  Though the evening began with a little disappointment, it ended with excitement, exhaustion and even a bit of amazement.  Plan B worked and we all had a great time.  How do I know?  It was the hug I received at the end of the night just before a little boy was leaving and the words that made Plan B all worthwhile – “Bye, Ms. Karen.  I had fun with you tonight.”  Yeah.  I’m thinking my Plan B was God’s Plan A all along!