Don’t Waste Yours

Don’t Waste Yours |

… because everything is!

Every day, every moment;

Every sunrise, every sunset;

Every SMILE, every tear;

Every encounter, every opportunity;

Every challenge, every failure;

Every heartbeat, every breath.

Everything is a Miracle.

Don’t waste yours.



How to Spread SMILES – not germs! Idea #2: Say “Thank You”

How to Spread SMILES - not germs! Idea #2: Say "Thank you" - Want to show your appreciation for the unsung heroes during this pandemic? Here are a few ideas for you! |

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this pandemic, it’s who truly is essential in our lives –

Doctors, nurses, medical technicians and staff, farmers, grocers, shelf stockers, delivery service drivers, truck drivers, gas station clerks, teachers, pharmacists, bankers, law enforcement.

And let’s not forget the cleaning crews, the food preparers, the maintenance teams, utility companies, and mail carriers!

These people are true heroes and each one has worked tirelessly and sacrificially to keep our world spinning, to give us a sense of security and to provide us with a little bit of normalcy in these crazy times.

Yep, we have some amazing people in this world and they definitely aren’t who we once thought they were. And right about now, I’m sure they need some encouragement. They need to know their efforts are appreciated. They need to know what a difference they are making. They could just use a few SMILES.

Cue you and me!

It’s time for the rest of us, those who are benefiting from the work of our world’s unsung heroes, to show our appreciation.

How? Here are a few ideas:

1. Donate to organizations that are providing meals for our tired heroes.

2. Be respectful to our grocers and store owners by doing your part to keep places clean – wear your gloves and masks, wipe down your cart after you use it.

3. Tip your food delivery drivers the best that you can. Imagine the stress and anxiety these drivers must be feeling delivering to all of us strangers!

4. Tell a teacher how grateful you are for their dedication to educating the next generation of world leaders.

5. Just say, “Thank you!” –  to everyone who helps you. Acknowledge what they do for you and share some words of encouragement. Sometimes, a simple “Thank you” is all that is necessary to bring a SMILE to someone’s face.

We have so much for which to be grateful! Express your appreciation today and continue the movement to

Spread SMILES – not germs!


Reason to SMILE #10: TOILET PAPER - Have you ever found yourself without it??- - -

“What are you thankful for?”

The question was asked by the pastor at a churchwide Thanksgiving meal.

Adults, youth and children took turns sharing the things for which they were most thankful.

Then, a little girl stood up.

There’s always that one kid in a children’s ministry that will say anything to get a laugh, the one who loves stirring up the class with random stories or outlandish answers to serious question. The little girl standing up that evening to declare in front of the entire church what makes her heart thankful was that one kid.

As the pastor held the microphone down toward the smiling girl, she proudly proclaimed,

“I’m thankful for toilet paper!”

The room filled with laughter. And “toilet paper” has been this child’s answer to the same question ever since.

When I first published this SMILE a couple of years ago, readers may have scratched their heads and thought I was crazy to think toilet paper was a reason to smile. But right about now, I’m pretty sure we all give a little cheer when we find the elusive pack of T.P. on the grocery shelf!!

Yep, toilet paper – correction – having toilet paper is most certainly a reason to SMILE! 😉

P.S. Sorry folks. I just couldn’t help myself with this one!! 😉

A Year of Smiles – Day 326: THANKSGIVING DAY


Adobe Spark (42)

Before the Thanksgiving meal each year, my family gathers together to pray. My dad usually says the blessing but before he prays, he is faithful to remind us of how good our God is, of the many blessings that have been bestowed upon our family and of the hope we have in Jesus. Dad reminds us to count our blessings and sometimes, he gives each family member the opportunity to name one thing for which he or she is thankful. It is a special time of Thanks Giving and though it usually makes me cry (because I am a huge crybaby), it always brings a SMILE to my heart.

In the midst of all your Thanksgiving festivities, remember to take the time to give thanks for all the blessings in your life. Everything that you call yours – your loved ones, your friends, your possessions, your job – is a gift from the Heavenly Father. He lavishes these blessings upon us because of His great love for us. The least we can do is pause for a moment to say, “Thank you.”

Giving thanks – what a fabulous reason for a holiday! And what a fabulous reason to SMILE! The great thing is, if you make Thanks Giving a daily habit, you’re guaranteed a daily SMILE.  Now, who wouldn’t want that? 😉

A Year of Smiles – Day 323: Thanksgiving Countdown

Reason to SMILE and BE THANKFUL #323: FAMILY


It’s unbelievable that I’ve gone all year without writing about such a fantastic SMILE! I’m glad I haven’t, though, because Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to reflect on the blessings of family.

I’m not sure I’d characterize my family as the typical family. We’re a larger family than most – two parents, three sons and three daughters. (“The Brady bunch, the Brady bunch, that’s the way we became the…” Sing it with me! Hehe! I couldn’t help myself!) We’re not a blended family. My parents have been married for 56 years. (Woohoo, Mom and Dad!) And of the six children, four of us are biological and two are adopted.

My siblings and I are all grown up (at least, physically – Hahaha! Gotta get those jabs in somewhere!) and have kids of our own. But we don’t all live close enough to see each other regularly. Although keeping in touch is not our greatest strength (I’ll be the first to admit that I’m horrible at it!), holidays give us the chance to either gather together or talk with each other over the phone.

Of course, my favorite times are when we can all get together.  I cherish those rare occasions. The picture below was taken at my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary (six years ago). Most of us were there; we were only missing one of my sisters and her kids.


Awww! Look at those little munchkins! Where does the time go?

One thing is certain about my family. When the Jones clan gets together, you never know what will happen. It’s always loads of fun, especially when we start playing games. (You can read about that at A Year of Smiles – Day 123.) No matter what we do, though, even if we’re just napping on the couch after a wonderfully scrumptious Thanksgiving meal, our time together is always, well, interesting (Yeah. That’s a good word to describe it! 😉 ).

Sure. We have the usual family frustrations. We get on each other’s nerves and we make each other angry from time to time. What family doesn’t? But I would’t trade these folks for anything! Family is a precious gift, one that brings so much joy and so many priceless SMILES!

A Year of Smiles – Day 255


I have come to the conclusion that I would never be able to live off the land.

I would die.

Very quickly.

I only had to live without electricity and running water for twenty-five hours because of Hurricane Irma but my time “off the grid” ( 😉 ) taught me a lot about myself. Mostly, I learned how many things I take for granted. For instance, I don’t think twice when I walk into a room and flip on the light. I begrudgingly turn on the kitchen faucet in order to wash the dishes. Taking a shower is just part of my daily routine. And indoor plumbing – well, I actually do thank God for that quite often.

Basically, those twenty-five hours have shown me how blessed I truly am. I live a life of luxury compared to so many others but I take so much of it for granted. The moment my power was restored, I actually shouted,” Woohoo!” and came very close to doing a happy dance. I was overjoyed. Imagine if I showed some of that same joy when I adjusted the thermostat to make the house a little more comfortable or when I loaded the dishwasher after a having a delicious meal with my family or when I flipped the switch and the lights came on… Do you think my gratefulness would cause God to SMILE?

Adobe Spark (11)

Yeah. I’m pretty sure it would.




A Year of Smiles – Day 142


My heart was set on an “Everything” bagel with strawberry cream cheese and my taste buds were primed and ready.  I drove up to the drive thru speaker.

“How can I help you?” asked the voice on the other side of the speaker.

“Do you have any “Everything” bagels today?” I inquired.  It was lunch time and they may have run out at breakfast.

“One large sweet tea,” the voice responded.  “Is that all?”

“No, not tea.  I wanted to know what bagels you have.”

“OK. That was raspberry tea.”

“No.  I want a bagel.”

“Let’s try this one more time,” the voice finally said.  “If I can’t understand you this time, I’ll ask you to drive around to the window.”

“How ’bout I come on up to the window?” I suggested while thinking this drive-thru guy must somehow be related to Siri, my similarly comprehension-challenged iPhone assistant.  (Then, again, maybe I’m the problem… Surely Not! 😉 )

I pulled up to the window.  The employee and I had a decent conversation with SMILES and everything.  He apologized for not being able to hear me at the speaker.  I ordered the “Everything” bagel but unfortunately, they were out.  I settled for a whole grain bagel (probably better for me) with strawberry cream cheese (probably not good for me at all). I paid.  I received my order and I drove away.

When I returned to work, I opened the bag and pulled out my bagel.  I had already resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to be enjoying an “Everything” bagel for lunch but I was consoled by knowing the bagel I ordered was smothered in yummy strawberry cream cheese.  I opened the food wrapper to discover a plain bagel covered with plain cream cheese.  SIGH!  Apparently, I’m having communication problems!

I did not have time to return to the restaurant so my taste buds had to deal with disappointment.  The problem was the disappointment began to infected my attitude. For a while after lunch, nothing made me happy.  In fact, everything made me cranky. People aggravated me and simple tasks irritated me.  It was not a good afternoon.

I don’t know what it was that pulled me out of my awful mood. I think I just eventually realized how silly I was acting.  So I didn’t get the bagel I wanted.  I didn’t even get my second choice but I did get to eat.  That’s more than some people can say.  And if the only disappointment I experienced today was finding a plain bagel with plain cream cheese in my drive thru order, then I’m doing pretty good.  In fact, I am blessed.

We don’t always get the SMILES we want in life.  So when life serves you a plain bagel with plain cream cheese, remember to be thankful.  Thankfulness keeps your heart happy and a happy heart shows all over your face!


Image by

A Year of Smiles – Day 10


confused-emoticon-scratching-head“What are you thankful for?”

The question was asked by the pastor at a churchwide Thanksgiving meal.  Adults, youth and children took turns sharing the things for which they were most thankful.  Then, she stood up.

There’s always that one kid in a children’s ministry that will say anything to get a laugh, the one who loves stirring up the class with random stories or outlandish answers to serious question.  The little girl standing up that evening to declare in front of the entire church what makes her little heart thankful was that one kid.

As the pastor held the microphone down toward the little girl, she proudly proclaimed, “I’m thankful for toilet paper!”

The room filled with laughter.  And “toilet paper” has been this kid’s answer to the same question ever since.

So, you probably scratched your head and thought I was crazy when I listed toilet paper as a reason to smile.  Well, for those of you in doubt, I have just one question for you:

Have you ever been without it?

Yep, toilet paper – correction – having toilet paper is most certainly a reason to SMILE! 😉