Reason to SMILE #372 - No further commentary required! |

Reason to SMILE #372

Reason to SMILE #372 - No further commentary required! |


A Year of Smiles – Day 338: The SMILES of Christmas

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Christmas SMILE #4 (Reason to SMILE #338): THE CLOTHES

Of all the holidays, Christmas has to be the one with the largest clothing line. (I’m pretty sure the sale of this yuletide apparel is how Santa funds his “little” toy-making endeavor! ūüėČ ) And if you’re in the market for festive fashion, there are plenty of options to choose from:

Rudolph T-Shirts,

Santa Hats,

Candy Cane striped leggings,

Elf Pajamas.

Men’s Wrapping Paper Suits (at least that’s what they look like to me!),

“Jesus is the Reason for the Season” Neckties,

Jingle Bell Scarves,

Blinking Christmas Light Necklaces and

Ugly Christmas Sweaters.

If you think about it, we probably all know at least one person who seems to own every piece of Christmas-themed clothing or accessory known to mankind! From the moment the holiday season begins, there isn’t a day when these folks aren’t clad in something that screams, “I’m a Christmas lover!” But somebody’s gotta pay for all of those toys being delivered to millions of kids all over the world, right? ūüėČ

Sadly, I’m not a big contributor to Santa’s toy-making fund. I own very few items of Christmas clothing. I’m too practical to spend money on clothing I can’t wear all year ’round! But I have to admit that I do own many pairs of Christmas socks. I love them. They’re cute. They keep my tootsies warm and they make me SMILE.

And this year, instead of an Ornament Swap, I convinced the ladies at church to do a Christmas Socks Swap. (Betcha didn’t know I had such persuasive powers, did ya! Hehe!) Everyone is asked to bring a pair of Christmas socks stuffed with goodies to exchange. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? As far as I’m concerned, though, they can skip the goodies. A festive pair of Christmas socks is all I need to find a SMILE!

Christmas socks

A Year of Smiles – Day 331

Reason to SMILE #331: DRESSING UP

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I’m pretty sure I’ve thoroughly established that I am not a morning person. Give me til 10 or 11 o’clock. By that time, I should be a fully functioning human being.

Should be. (That may depend on the available supply of coffee.)

The problem is I don’t have the luxury of waiting til mid-morning to start my day. I have a 9 to 5 job so I simply must face those early morning hours. Facing them with a SMILE can be a challenge.

But there are all kinds of ways to begin the day with a SMILE even if the day begins too early. You can start by remembering that waking up is a blessing. (That was yesterday’s SMILE!)¬†If you’re still dragging after counting your blessings, though, I have another idea for you. Get yourself dressed up! Yep. Find you’re cutest outfit. Style your hair differently. Wear your favorite shoes. Whatever clothes, makeup, accessories you have that always make you feel good about the reflection in the mirror, wear them.

I know what you’re thinking. It does seem a little shallow, doesn’t it? Nah. When I think I’m looking particularly good, it helps me to feel good, too. I’m sure there’s some psychological explanation for this but I don’t know it so you’ll just have to trust me. Better yet, go try it. The next time you’re feeling discouraged or you’re dreading the day ahead, make yourself look your best. It’ll help. I promise.

And remember: no matter your outfit style, color scheme or choice of shoes, your best and most beautiful accessory is always your SMILE! (Yep. Betcha knew that was coming! ūüėČ)

And, by the way, guys, this goes for you, too!

A Year of Smiles – Day 240 and 241

IMG_8489I’m a day behind on my SMILES so today I’m throwing two your way. They’re short and sweet and offer no meaningful reflection whatsoever. Are you ready?

Reason to SMILE #240: NEW CLOTHES

I’m attending a wedding this weekend. Oh, weddings! (I shared that SMILE with you on Day 174.)¬†Unfortunately, I don’t have the wardrobe for a wedding. So, what does that mean? New clothes! Yay! It’s nice to have something new to wear every now and then, isn’t it? It’s even nicer when the new clothes get the approval of the hubby. WooHoo! Now that makes me SMILE.

The only bad thing about new clothes is having to go shopping. Though I once loved it, I now see shopping as simply another chore. Ugh! But, have no fear. There can even be SMILES in dreaded shopping trips especially when I find…

Reason to SMILE #241: A BARGAIN!

And this trip did not disappoint. Not only did I find something appropriate for a wedding, I got a great deal. Can you say “clearance”? I walked out of the department store with two lovely blouses and one very cute dress for only $30. You better believe that made me SMILE!

New clothes and a bargain – simple little SMILES yet taken for granted by so many.

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me the luxury of buying new clothes when needed. And thank you for multiplying my little bit of funds into a great blessing!

Okay. Okay. I was wrong. There’s always something meaningful in every SMILE.

A Year of Smiles – Day 187

Reason to SMILE #187: NECKTIES

I have a confession. ¬†I love men’s neckties. ¬†No, not men in neckties –¬†the actual neckties! Weird, isn’t it? ¬†I know. ¬†Sigh!

I think it started with the TV show Blossom. ¬†Do you remember that¬†smiley-with-bow-tietelevision show? The opening credits feature the main character bopping around in a skirt made from men’s neckties. ¬†I thought it was awesome at the time! ¬†I wanted a skirt exactly like it. ¬†I settled for a vest, though. ¬†I scrounged around in my dad’s old neckties, found a sewing pattern and helped my mom make a “Tie Vest” for me. ¬†(Okay. All I really did was watch as she made the vest! But I did pick out the ties. ¬†That was helping!)

From that moment, I have loved collecting old ties and repurposing them for all sorts of things. ¬†I’ve made pillows, chair seat covers, a purse, angels to hang as ornaments and angels to stand on a shelf. ¬†I’ve also decorated Christmas cards and picture frames and I have plans to make a Christmas tree skirt. ¬†(Ah! plans. ¬†Sigh!¬†…again.)

I have boxes and boxes of old ties in my closet.  If you were to sift through the boxes and pull out any one of the ties, you might actually cringe at the color or pattern.  You might even question why I keep such awful accessories and suggest that I simply toss them. And I would respond in agreement that most of these neckties, once at the top of the fashion charts, are, in fact, quite hideous on their own.  But, when you gather a few of these old-fashioned neckties and join them together to create something with a brand new purpose, their strange patterns and out-dated color schemes become something surprisingly beautiful! Of course, it takes a little work to repurpose these ties, ripping open seams, pulling out the inner stuffing and cutting away the worn and tattered edges, but the end results are always pleasing.

We’re a lot like those old, out of style neckties, you know. ¬†We become worn and ragged from life. ¬†We acquire stains, wrinkles, bruises and scars. ¬†Sometimes others look at us and shrink away because in their minds, we’re unsightly. ¬†We don’t quite meet¬†their standards. ¬†They may choose to toss us aside thinking we are of no use to them. ¬†We all have that tendency to throw others away, not giving them a chance (or a second chance) or not being forgiving and accepting.¬† What great potential¬†and blessing¬†we so easily discard!

Oh, but I am exceedingly glad that God sees us as more than just junk to be discarded.¬†He doesn’t see our messy lives and seedy pasts. He doesn’t care that we have ugly scars or faded dreams. God takes a look at us and sees all that we can become, all that He created us to be. Then He picks us up, shakes off the dust, scrubs and washes clean the sin-created stains, rids us of the unnecessary clutter and baggage and molds us into something beautiful.¬†But He doesn’t stop there.¬† He takes the beauty He is creating in each one of us¬†and He places us all together, a hodgepodge of talents, skills, and unique characteristics, to form¬†a family¬†working, living and existing¬†together to bring glory and honor to¬†Him. How cool is that!

But I must warn you.¬†God’s¬†repurposing is not an¬†easy process. It hurts at times.¬†It calls for sacrifice, humility and complete openness.¬†It calls for dying to self. But the plans that the Creator of the Universe has for us are so much better than we could ever imagine for ourselves.¬†And¬†I guarantee the end result will always¬†bring a SMILE.

Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)
Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Revelation 21:5 (NIV)
He who was seated on the throne said, ‚ÄúI am making everything new!‚ÄĚ Then he said, ‚ÄúWrite this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.‚ÄĚ




A Year of Smiles – Day 177


I don’t know what came over me.¬† I was browsing through smiley-with-handbagthe¬†oodles of purses at a local department store and there it was.¬† I had to have it.¬† Now, I would normally gravitate toward the safe¬†and boring colors, like brown or¬†black, but I was¬†drawn to the pink¬†handbag.¬† Pink!¬† I don’t do pink.¬† At least, I didn’t until now.

I have come to the conclusion that¬†I am going through a mid-life crisis.¬† I’m buying clothes and accessories in colors I normally wouldn’t wear.¬† I’m wearing lipstick which I’ve rarely ever done.¬† I’m painting my toenails orange, for Pete’s sake!¬† It’s either a crisis or… hmmm… I don’t know what else it could be.

So, if you see me dressed in chartreuse polka dots¬†while toting my hot pink handbag, just SMILE.¬† I’m sure I’ll be¬†back to¬†my normal self in no time unless…

…this could be me not caring what anyone else thinks, choosing things that make me SMILE and¬†allowing my true self to¬†finally¬†shine.¬† Yeah.¬† That sounds much better than “mid-life crisis”, don’t you think?¬† ūüėČ


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