Reason to SMILE #17: Forgiveness

Reason to SMILE #17: Forgiveness - Has something been stealing your joy? You might just need a little bit of this. |

My husband often kicks his feet during the night. It can be quite annoying. My husband isn’t bothered by it. He sleeps like a baby but many nights it keeps me wide awake.

You see, falling asleep at night does not come easy for me. There are times when I can’t turn off my thoughts and I lie awake going over everything that happened during the day, listing everything I need to do the next day, coming up with ideas for blog posts (haven’t been very successful with this one lately!) and praying. After what seems like an eternity, I’ll finally drift off to sleep. Then…

Whack! I get kicked by my husband.

Seriously! The other night, he actually kicked me! And every few minutes, he did it again. I tried to be understanding. I gently pushed his legs further away from me. It made no difference. The kicks kept coming. I asked him to turn over thinking he would kick the other direction but no-ooo! He began to kick backwards. Ultimately, I could take it no longer and when he kicked me again for the umpteenth time, I kicked him right back! But wouldn’t you know it. My husband wasn’t phased a bit. It sure made me feel better, though! 😉

Aren’t you glad God doesn’t react like I did?

No matter how many times we mess up or how often we return to the things we shouldn’t be doing, God never repays our sins with what is deserved. Instead, He is patient with us. He shows us love and mercy. He offers us grace. And when we’re ready to admit our wrongs and throw down our sins, He showers us with His forgiveness.

Let me tell you, folks. There’s nothing like the Joy that comes with God’s forgiveness!! If you haven’t experienced it, you really ought to give it a shot. 🙂

By the way, the day after I kicked my husband, I decided to fess up. I told him about his restless legs and my frustration over his incessant kicking. He apologized and asked if I had gone to sleep in the living room.

“Absolutely not!” I replied. “I just kicked you back!”

I’ve never heard my husband laugh so hard.

Well, at least he got a SMILE out of the whole ordeal. <SIGH>

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 103:10-13 He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.


Thanksgiving: A Countdown to Joy – Day 5

Thanksgiving: A Countdown to Joy - Day 5 - The countdown to Thanksgiving and to Joy has begun and my reasons to give thanks might surprise you. Check it out! |

The life of Eucharisteo, the life of giving thanks – it takes determination, a keen awareness of one’s attitude and a sharp attention to the surrounding world. It’s a choice to be made daily. Sometimes hourly. Sometimes minute-ly (I know. That’s not a word, at least not how I meant to use it. But I was on a roll! 😉 )

And so I begin my list of blessings, my reasons to give thanks:

1. The sound of the box fan lulling me to sleep each night

2. The softness of my pillow that my husband constantly tries to claim as his own

3. The security I feel in my home allowing me to sleep soundly through the night

4. The cozy slippers I reach for every morning when I wake

5. The quietness of the morning as I sip my first cup of coffee

6. Coffee

7. A second cup of cup!

8. Listening to my favorite tunes on the way to work,

9. Flawlessly executing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” before the clock even strikes 8 AM while I’m sitting in a line of traffic… waiting… (Yes, I’ve broken my rule that all things Christmas must wait until the day after Thanksgiving. And who’s to say my singing wasn’t absolutely perfect? When you’re in a car alone, your singing can be anything you say it is! 😉 )

Waiting. Hmmm. Is waiting one of the graces God bestows on His children, a gift for which I should be thankful?

When I’ve left the house five minutes late and find that everyone else must have done the same causing traffic to be so congested that there’s no way I’ll make up those lost minutes on the road, am I to be thankful for the wait?

When the driver in front of me insists on poking his way onto the expressway rather than using the onramp to reach the speed needed to merge with the flow of traffic, am I to be grateful that I was almost run over by the semi that couldn’t slow down to accommodate the careless driver’s pokiness?

When I see a friend or loved one making the same mistakes, living the same consequences, though I’ve prayed steadfastly for their eyes to be opened, for their deliverance from their chains, can I thank my God for their extended suffering, for the help that has been seemingly delayed?

Is there a place for waiting on my list of blessings? Does God truly expect me to be thankful in those situations that test my patience, my sanity, my ability to keep my frustrated (and often sarcastic) thoughts to myself, in those situations that test my faith?

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:3-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Yes, there’s a reason for our times of waiting. With waiting comes patience and understanding. With waiting, we discover what it means to have hope, to trust in a God who knows our every need, whose help always arrives on time, and who works even the times of waiting for our good.

Let’s see. Where was I in my list of blessings?

Oh, yes, that’s right.

Reason to give thanks #10:



A Year of Smiles – Day 289


Faster than a little boy’s ability to make up excuses to skip school.

More powerful than the myriad of sicknesses plaguing his body.

Able to spot a tall tale with a single

Look! In the kitchen!

It’s a doctor.

It’s Dad.

No, it’s Mom – armed with the Pink Pills of Power ready to battle the crippling moves of the stomach’s arch-nemesis, Tum E. Ache. Pills so powerful that with the mere mention of their name, even the worst aches and pains flee in fear.

Our story begins at the Smith household where a little boy is just waking up to get ready for school….

We see our young victim crawling out of his chair, doubled over with his arm around his stomach. The little boy cries, “Ohhhh! My stomach hurts!”

Then from the kitchen, our hero appears and proclaims, “I’ll get the Pepto!”

WHAM! BOOM! POW! Those four powerful words knock Tum E. Ache to the floor and he quickly vanishes to escape his impending doom!

The little boy, now walking upright and wearing a smile on his face, happily ingests the bubble gum goodness of the powerful pink Pepto.

And our hero quietly retreats to the kitchen to enjoy her coffee but keeps a watchful eye on her surroundings. You never know when Tum E. Ache or his League of Phony Syndromes will rear their ugly heads again!

Being a mom means you have to face all kinds of evil foes every day, including that pesky “I don’t wanna go to school” monster. The key is being armed with the right weapons. A whole lotta love and patience and a little bit of children’s chewable Pepto 😉 will ensure the victory and the SMILES every time!


A Year of Smiles – Day 239



I wonder how our world would look if we all believed the best in each other.

What if we looked past the rough edges and saw the potential waiting to burst forth.

What if we embraced the awkwardness and peculiarities and allowed them to broaden our horizons and enlighten our perceptions.

What if we ignored the drama and discovered an infectious spirit of energy and attraction.

What if we overlooked the gruff and callous demeanor and the offensive words and actions and focused on the hurting soul in need of love.

What if we forgave the faults we see in others, the same faults we long for others to forgive in us, and see each other as imperfect brothers and sisters doing our best in an imperfect world.

What if we stopped discarding people and embraced each other as a masterpiece of the the Great Creator, a child of God worthy to be loved, pursued, forgiven and accepted.

What if…

Believing the best in others takes practice, patience and persistence. It opens us up to heartache and disappointment but if we make the effort to see others through the eyes of Jesus, I feel certain that our world would be filled with so many more SMILES.


A Year of Smiles – Day 215

Reason to SMILE #215: SELF-CONTROL

They say,” Confession is good for the soul.” I don’t know who “they” are but I have to agree with them. So…

I have a confession and I’m afraid that once I reveal my transgression, you will no longer think the same of me. However, since I’m not sure how most of you think of me anyway (because rarely does anyone ever comment on my blog posts), I suppose my revelation won’t make much difference – other than ease my conscience. So, ready or not, here goes.

Today, this little old man came into my office (My “day job” is working for an attorney.). He asked the receptionist for a copy of a deed that was prepared for him by the attorney. The receptionist asked if I could make a copy and I responded with, “I can do one better. I have the original recorded deed to give him.” Everything was hunky dory until I handed the deed to this old man. I watched as he examined it then looked right past me to the receptionist and said, “This is not the original.” She couldn’t help him. I could yet he choose to speak to her. I interrupted an explained that the document I handed to him was, indeed, the original. He argued to the receptionist further.

After listening to his argument, I began to realize that by “original”, he meant an old deed from 1949 that he gave to the attorney to help him prepare the most recent deed. “Ah!” I thought. “I can handle that.” I found what he was looking for and gave it to him. Again, I watched him inspect the 1949 deed and then compare it to the recent deed.

“This isn’t right,” he said as he looked up to me. He was sitting. I was standing beside him. He went on a few minutes about names of trustees on the ’49 deed and names on the 2017 deed. “These don’t match,” he commented.

“I assure you the deed is correct,” I replied getting quite agitated since I knew the attorney spent a great amount of time with this man discovering which trustees from 1949 were still living and who the new trustees were now. Apparently, this ornery old man was the only living trustee remaining of his little church. (Yes, a church – another reason I feel so terrible.)

My assurance did not satisfy this man. He handed me the 2017 deed and then pointed to the names on the 1949 deed. He continued his objections about the names of the trustees becoming more gruff and condescending with each argument Finally, he said, “You didn’t do what I asked you to do this morning.”

At this point, I knew that I was dealing with someone whose capacity for reason was miniscule, most likely due to his age, I believe (and I mean nothing negative by that – it happens), because he asked us to prepare that deed and he had signed that deed two weeks earlier. Still, I continued my attempt to explain that the recent deed prepared for him was exactly what he had requested. I couldn’t stop myself. This man was talking to me like I was an idiot and I was bound and determined to shut him down. (Yep. Right there. I am ashamed.)

Our argument ended with one final attempt to make this man understand. I pointed to the new deed to explain once again why the names did not match the ’49 deed. He interrupted me with, “Don’t point at that deed. I just need you to do your job!” I had had enough so I replied, ” I need you to talk to the attorney. Make an appointment!” Then I walked away – an action I should have taken much, much earlier.

If you’ve actually read down to this point, you might be thinking, “Okay, KJ, what did you do that was so horrible? Anyone in your position would have been similarly aggravated and defensive, especially if he was treating you so poorly.”

Yes. I know but he was an old man. Time has affected his mind like it does to so many and may some day do to me. I should have been understanding, calm and patient like I am with my kids at church. Instead, I only wanted to smack the condescending look off of his face and kick him out the door! He completely infuriated me. And…

I let him.

Maybe that’s the real reason I feel so badly. I let the words and actions of another dictate not only my words and my actions but also my emotions and my mental state. Rather than exhibiting some self-control, I allowed this man’s ugly demeanor to take control. It was not my finest moments, folks. I certainly was not being a shining example of the love and patience my Heavenly Father shows me day in and day out. Sigh.

There you have it. My confession of the day. I’m not proud of myself. My actions were certainly nothing to SMILE about but there’s always a gleam of hope. I know for certain I’ll be seeing this man, again. (He made an appointment! 😉 ) Next time, I’ll remember that I don’t have to give control of my actions, my words and my emotions to others. God has given me a spirit of self-control. I simple have to remember to use it!

**But y’all seriously need to pray for me cause this man really gets my goat! 😉

2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”

I was reminded of this by Rae over at Real as the Streets. You should go check her out!

A Year of Smiles – Day 156


There are two types of people in this world: those who drive into a parking lot and pull into the first available space they see and those who drive around the parking lot again and again until a front parking space becomes available.  I am the latter.  I firmly believe that in a list of things worth waiting on, a front parking space is definitely one of the top three.

No. 1: Waiting on God

No. 2: Waiting on your soul mate

No. 3: Waiting on a front parking place

Some may say that only someone who is lazy drives around and around the parking lot waiting on a front space.  I say it takes someone with a great amount of patience to wait while a shopper buckles a baby in a car seat, loads up two other little children, unloads two shopping carts full of groceries, returns the carts to the corral and then spends at least five minutes fussing with her children before actually backing out of the parking space.  I don’t even honk the horn to hurry folks along! 😉

Seriously, I do like to find front parking spaces and I consider it a blessing when I do.  In fact, I made a trip to the store over the weekend and I didn’t even have to drive around the lot at all.  I pulled right up to the first parking space and parked right beside myself.  Yes, you did read that correctly.  Check it out:


I was so joyous over such a good parking space, I was beside myself!  Hehe!

Oh, yes!  Even a front parking space can make me SMILE!