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? ūüėČ

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!

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A Year of Smiles – Day 291

Reason to SMILE #291: HE’S GOT YOU!

Adobe Spark (32)

Matthew 6:25 – 26

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Read those verses again and let that thought wash over you.

Are YOU not much MORE VALUABLE?

By the way, that question¬†– it’s rhetorical. But¬†in case you¬†are unsure, the answer¬†is¬†“Yes! Yes you are!” And our God will take care of you.

He’s got you!

So¬†stop with¬†the worrying. It’s time to¬†SMILE!

A Year of Smiles – Day 213

Reason to SMILE #213: YOU’VE GOT THIS!

This week¬†many of the children in my church begin another year of school. The first day of school is always a dreaded day in my household (actually, any school day is!) and I’m sure it’s the same for many other households. Of course, there are a variety of reasons to be anxious over the beginning of a new school year. For my kid, it’s merely that he doesn’t see the point of school! (Yep. Tell me how do you deal with that one! – – Please!) No matter the reason, I completely understand. I had a whole list of them myself. So, for all of you out there who may have kids hesitant to begin this new school year, here’s a SMILE to pass along:

You've Got This Adobe Spark

 

And¬†if you’re not a student, well, this SMILE is for you, too!¬†Remember, no matter what you are facing, God and You have got this!

A Year of Smiles – Day 191

Reason to SMILE #191: MERCY

I messed up. There’s no other way of looking at it. I completely blew it. I’ve worked for weeks to get a project completed. I’ve coordinated with several different parties from all over the United States, fought with overnight couriers, manipulated schedules and pretty much performed everything short of miracles so all could be finalized today.  Then I had to go and throw all that hard work away with one bad decision. Ugh! I may have played a huge role in completing this project but I’ve also single handedly thrown a huge kink in it’s culmination.

It has not been a good day. Fortunately, I have an understanding boss who did not even flinch with the news of my screw up. Instead, he helped me to meet enough of the requirements of the project today which will allow me time to fix my blunder in the next day or two. It’s humbling when you expect/deserve a negative reaction or speech filled with disappointment but you actually receive a helping hand and sympathetic gesture of forgiveness.

That’s a lot like God. No matter how many times we mess up, He isn’t waiting to give us a tongue lashing or strike us down with a lightning bolt. Instead, He’s waiting to forgive us with open arms. Yes, there may be consequences for our bad choices. We do have to learn from our mistakes. But God shows us mercy by withholding what we truly deserve, separation from Him because of our sins, and giving us what we do not deserve, grace and forgiveness.

I have no idea how my blunder is going to work out. It may be fine and I will be able to SMILE and thank God for the blessing. Or it may be the opposite and I may find myself cleaning up an ugly mess. Though definitely more difficult, I will still be able to SMILE realizing that I have been given an opportunity to learn from my mistake. (Did I mention how hard it will be to find that SMILE?) No matter the outcome, I am thankful for the reminder of the great mercy God shows to me every day of my life.

A Year of Smiles – Day 176

Reason to SMILE #176: GRACE

John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.


God’s grace is not restricted to those who are powerful, those who are rich, those who come from the right neighborhood or those who behave a certain way.  God’s grace is freely given to ALL who believe.

So why is the grace we choose to show limited to only a select few?

Knowing that I am loved, forgiven and accepted by God no matter my past, no matter my mistakes and no matter my proclivity for messing up, is the greatest SMILE of all.

Ephesians 2:8 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

Matthew 7:1-2 (ESV) Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.


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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! ūüėČ

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.

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A Year of Smiles – Day 75

Reason to SMILE #75 – ONE SIZE FITS ALL

Imagine¬†peering across a department store and spotting the cutest top you’ve ever seen.¬† You must possess it so you make a bee-line for it.¬† When you reach the rack from which it is hanging, you realize that the first shirt on the rack is too large.¬† You¬†look for a smaller size but they all appear to be the same. Then you¬†check the¬†tags.¬† One Size Fits All.¬† Your heart is broken¬†because you must accept that your wardrobe will¬†never be¬†complete.

This is the story of my life.¬† “One¬†Size Fits All” does not fit me – ever.¬†¬†And in no way does this sizing method¬†make me smile.¬† Well… I take that back.¬† The hilarity of the whole concept actually does make me laugh. It’s ridiculous.¬† Who came up with this idea, anyway?

Despite my wardrobe woes, there is one thing that¬†I am grateful uses the “One Size Fits facebook-romantic-smiley-with-heart-eyesAll” sizing method.¬† That is the Love of God.¬† Yes!¬† No matter who you are, no matter your shape, your weight, your height (or lack thereof), your¬†sex, your color, God’s Love for you¬†is a perfect fit.¬†¬†You’ll¬†never find it too small.¬† His love stretches to the farthest corners of creation to find you.¬† You’ll never find it¬†binding.¬† His love frees¬†us from¬†the¬†chains of sin allowing us to¬†live life abundantly.¬† You’ll never find it too¬†baggy.¬† His love nestles you in¬†His strong arms¬†keeping you safe and secure in His care.

God’s love is¬†for you. God’s love is for me.¬† God’s love is for¬†everyone.¬† One Size Fits All.¬†¬†There’s no better reason to¬†SMILE!

 

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A Year of Smiles – Day 45

love-smiley-with-heart-eyesReason to SMILE #45: LOVE, OF COURSE!

I found my Valentine twenty-one years ago. ¬†Like¬†in any new relationship, Valentine’s Day was everyday!¬† We called¬†each other countless times¬†a day, rushed to embrace like we hadn’t seen each other in weeks when it had only been¬†hours,¬†bought thoughtful¬†gifts and even¬†sent each other love letters (remember actually writing on a piece of paper? ūüėČ ).¬† Ah, young love.

Now that we’ve been married 19 of those 21 years, have raise one child to college years and are working on¬†just getting the 2nd kid out of 6th grade (3 more months!), the pitter-pattering heartbeat of young love¬†has¬†pretty much fizzled.¬†¬†It’s a good thing, too, because all that stuff we do to impress¬†and secure that¬†new love is exhausting!¬†¬†Don’t get me wrong, folks.¬† I love my husband more¬†today than I¬†did 21 years ago and he’d say the same¬†about me.¬† But after 21 years of faithfulness, of tackling life’s trials together and of learning to live as one,¬†there’s no question of our love for each other.

Maybe you haven’t found your Valentine, yet.¬† Or maybe¬†the one you thought was your¬†Valentine turned out to be just the opposite.¬† Today, you need to know that you ARE loved.¬† You are loved¬†by One who sees you as¬†worthy of a gift far greater than any diamond necklace,¬†fancy dinner or bouquet of flowers.¬†¬†You are loved by Jesus.¬† He gave His own life so you could find forgiveness, acceptance, fulfillment, peace, joy and eternal salvation.¬†¬†His love will satisfy the deepest longings¬†of your heart when the love of this world has failed you. ¬†Now that is a Love that will make you SMILE – if you let Him!

Oh, I almost forgot….

To my husband on this Valentine’s Day:¬†You can¬†skip the flowers and¬†the¬†jewelry.¬† (Seriously,¬†they’re too expensive and we have bills to pay.)¬†¬†A kiss on¬†the cheek¬†every morning is all I need from you to make me SMILE….¬†¬†And a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. ¬†A Reese’s Peanut Butter cup would make me SMILE, too! ūüėČ