A Year of Smiles – Day 279

Reason to SMILE #279 – BECAUSE IT’S WORLD SMILE DAY!

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Did you know that today, October 6, 2017, is World Smile Day? I didn’t until only a few moments ago. How did I not know about World Smile Day? Someone really needs to get me a better calendar!

Well, I’ve learned a few things about this awesome day (and you can learn more by clicking here). World Smile Day has been around since 1999. (Seriously, where have I been and what have I been doing all these years?) It is recognized on the first Friday of October each year and it is celebrated by doing an act of kindness to help at least one person to smile. I love World Smile Day. We should have so many more than just one!

It’s late in the day but there’s still time to make someone SMILE today. Find a frown and help turn it upside down.

You still here? Get out there and spread the SMILES!

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A Year of Smiles – Day 265

Reason to SMILE #265: THROWING OUT THE GARBAGE

From the moment I hit the publish button on yesterday’s post, one song has filled my mind:

Cast your burdens 

Unto Jesus;

He cares for you.

(Repeat and repeat and repeat)

It’s a song straight from the Word of God:

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭”Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭55:22 “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

‬God is quite the communicator, isn’t He? He’s always faithful to remind me of the answer to my worries, discouragement and disappointments – giving them all to Him. No. Let me rephrase that. You see, God doesn’t want me to simply hand over my fears and anxieties. God wants me to cast them off. He wants me to throw away my discouragement with great force, to reject my disappointments with disgust, to propel all of my burdens off of my shoulders and onto the shoulders of the Almighty. 

Wow! That’s some serious garbage disposal. 

And it is serious. All of this mess that the devil throws our way will only weigh us down and distract us from God’s plan for us. If we could only remember that God can handle our burdens so much better than we can, we’d find ourselves spending less time in the muck and mire of life and more in life’s abundance. 

It’s easier said than done but today, I’m working on throwing out the trash. I’m sorting through the mess that’s overwhelming me and tossing – – No, I’m hurling my burdens onto the Lord. This doesn’t make the problems of life disappear. It does, however, free me from the ‬weight of these cares and allows me to find joy (a/k/a SMILES) once again. 

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 247

Reason to SMILE #247: DANCING

I don’t dance. At least, not any more. Dancing was much easier when I was younger. Now that time has declared itself my enemy, dancing is not on my list of things I enjoy most in life. Maybe I don’t like it because I’ve become an old stick-in-the-mud. Maybe I don’t have many opportunities to dance. Or maybe it’s because the evil minions of time, instability and lack of coordination, have joined forces with my muscle disorder to wage war on all things that were once good and fun in my life.

I’m pretty sure it’s the stick-in-the-mud thing. 😉

This past weekend, there was a lot of dancing going on all around me. And there should have been. I was at a wedding. To be honest, I felt a little left out when the DJ called for fathers and daughters and then mothers and sons to get on the dance floor. No matter how accepting I am of my disability, it still bothers me from time to time – but just a little bit. When I saw this, however, I couldn’t help but SMILE:

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This is my mom and my oldest brother dancing at the wedding.  It was his daughter’s wedding – the first of my mom’s grandchildren to marry. My mom, of course, was adamant that she wasn’t going to dance but what mom could resist a dance with her firstborn?

Yep. That dance right there made my heart SMILE!

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 222

Reason to SMILE #222: SHARING A SMILE WITH ME (Yes, me!)


Wow! I’ve made it to Day 222! That’s a whole lotta SMILES. Only 143 to go! I’m having so much fun sharing with you everyday but…

Lately, I’ve been thinking how unfair this relationship between you and me really is. And it’s time I got this off my chest. Day in and day out, I give and I give. I offer you the best SMILES I can and what do you give in return? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. 

<Insert awkward silence here.>

Hahaha! I’m only kidding!! I love sharing my SMILES with you. Bu-ut… 

I really would love to hear from you once in a while. Let me know what makes you SMILE. What turns the corners of your mouth toward the sky? What makes you happy? What delights your soul?

I know there’s a list forming in your mind right now so c’mon! Make me SMILE today. I want to hear from you. Remember, your SMILE can make a huge difference in the life of another. Don’t hold back. Let the whole world see!

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 174

Reason to SMILE #174: WEDDINGS

 

Blissful and elegant,

A charming delight,

Eagerly enters

The beauty in white.

 

Dapper and dashing,

A fear-stricken mess,

Anxiously awaits

The groom at his best.

 

Shiny and lighthearted,

A roomful of grins,

Respectfully dotes

Their fam’ly and friends.

 

The scene is a wonder

Where time has no end.

When two become one,

A new life begins.

 

But is it the picture

We place on the wall?

Is it as perfect

As our minds recall?

 

Last time I checked,

A wedding takes work.

One day of magic

Leaves dad in the lurch.

 

And on the blessed day

Not one thing is right –

Not flowers, not cake,

Not dresses, not lights.

 

The Moms are both frantic;

Dads sink in defeat.

The flower girl’s mad

And stomping her feet.

 

The bridesmaids are fighting;

The groomsmen don’t care.

The bride’s feet are cold;

The groom is… nowhere!

 

So many emotions

In such a short time.

So many mishaps

To thwart groom and bride.

 

So what’s the big hubbub?

Why all of the fuss?

Is it all worth it

To turn me to us?

 

Despite all the chaos,

There’s one thing that’s true:

It’s worth any price

To hear said, “I do.”

 

“I do take my lover

To be by my side

I promise to stay

Our love will abide.

 

“I will fight to uphold

This most sacred vow

And when times are rough

We’ll make it… somehow.”

 

And when your days married

Have turned into years,

You’ll look back and smile

(Perhaps shed some tears)

 

On all of the folly

Of your special day

And thank God for blessing

Your life anyway!



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A Year of Smiles – Day 124

Reason to SMILE #124: THE BIG PICTURE


“I’m not going to speak at that church unless he says that it’s preaching!”

These are the words I heard a female seminary student say after being asked to speak at another student’s church.

“She can come speak but I’m not going to call it preaching.”

And these are the words of the male seminary student who gave the invitation to speak to the female student.

The female student felt a call from God on her life to preach. The male student firmly believed women were forbidden by God to preach. They were at odds with each other and neither would back down from their positions….

I just wanted to smack them both.  I couldn’t understand the problem.  I wanted to sit them both down and tell them to get over themselves.  Obviously, the guy valued the communication skills of his friend and trusted that she would bring a prayerfully guided and biblically sound message to his church.  (That sure sounds like preaching to me.)  On the other hand, if the young lady truly believed God wanted to speak through her, why turn down an opportunity to share His message just because it wasn’t called “preaching”?

It’s easy to get caught up in the things that really don’t matter.  We often think we’re standing on our principles and defending what is right. We plant our feet firmly and close our ears to any opposing opinions.  We are right and that’s all we need (or want) to know.  If only we’d take just a few steps back from the situation, we might see that in the grand scheme of things, our “important matter” is pretty insignificant.

Focusing on the big picture is challenging.  The devil likes to preoccupy our time with the little things and when we take his bait, we end up missing great opportunities for growth, for progress, for peace and for SMILES.  There’s little time for joy when you’re constantly fighting battles.

The next time you find yourself preparing for battle – worrying with an issue at work, proving a point to your opposition, ensuring that you get your way – ask yourself if it’s worth it.  Is it worth your peace of mind?  Is it going to help or hurt in the long run?  Is it worth the time that could be spent on something of greater importance?  If not, move on, fix your gaze on the big picture and SMILE.

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