You’ll never guess what I am wearing!!

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
Mother Teresa

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”
Joseph Addison
Whenever I go to the store, I am constantly amazed at how many angry/depressed/empty faces there are around me. Especially when right in front of them are five of the cutest kids to ever walk the planet! I mean, lets just start with the littlest….have you seen this guy? How can you look at a three year old boy and scowl. He’s not screaming. He’s just chilling, looking ridiculously adorable. Yet the grumpiness is strong. Ok, but let’s leave the munchkins out of it. Let’s say it was just me. Plain old me. And you met eyes with me. What would you do? I will tell you what most people do. Nothing. They look at me like I was a sack of potatoes. Or paint on the wall. Or like I was totally invisible. People look right at my eyes and then look down as if I wasn’t there at all. Women, men, old, young, this condition knows no boundaries. No one smiles anymore in South Florida. But I do. I am on a smiling mission. Mostly because I am acutely aware that I have a million and one things to smile about. Even on a day like today, when nothing seemed to go the way it was supposed to, the list of things I have to be thankful for is endless, number one being I know Jesus, the One that holds my future. Why wouldn’t I smile? Now hear me on this, I know it is hard to smile in a Wal-mart, or Target, or even Aldi. 😉 Today I spent the first 20 minutes at Target in the restrooms, between three little children that apparently had too many raisins. Twenty minutes. But then, once I got past that adventure, I saw this sweet blond mommy at the checkout, with a three year old, one year old, and baby twins. Lord have mercy. And I smiled at her, and told her what a beautiful family she had. And she smiled back. Two mommies, having a conversation through a smile across a room. Ahhhhhhh. It’s a great feeling when people smile back. It’s a connection. You can feel it in your heart. Especially in south Florida. Because it’s a 50/50 shot (or less) that someone will actually smile back at you.
When it comes to shopping malls, or super stores, there are three levels of miserable people, as far as I am concerned.
There is level 1- just scowling and grimacing, or blank stares…they may glance at me or my children, but there is no change in expression, unless it is to scowl more.
Then level 2- Those that look right at my eyeballs, and then look away as if it never happened at which point I start contemplating the probability that I am actually invisible.
Then def-con level 3- Those that look right at my eyeballs long enough for me to eek out a smile and THEN they look away. Zero response. Who doesn’t smile at a smile?
Here is my disclaimer. There is a lot of pain and tragedy in the world. Horrible, unthinkable events are occurring as I type. My heart is grieved by this and I am not saying that all should walk around with a stupid grin on their face. But, man, the percentages of grumbly faces surely cannot reflect the percentages of people in the midst of personal tragedy. Most of these solemn sour pusses are just tired of life.

Proverbs 15:13

A joyful heart makes a cheerful countenance,
But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

We are entering a season that for most is a joyous time. But for some it is a very hard time. If you are a believer, and your heart is filled with joy, man, now is the time to let that light shine. Because although I mentioned three levels of miserable people, I left my favorite level till last.
Level 1/2- These people have the tell tale long face, but upon receiving your smile, their face lights up, like they didn’t know people still smiled. I am telling you. I see this one A LOT! And there is nothing like it. It’s authentic and inspiring, and it brings to life all the quotes I presented to you today. Take the smile challenge and see how many people you can smile at when you are out and about. Like a big “from your heart” smile. And if you can’t, if you are the weary one. Jesus has this invitation for you. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Take Him up on it. Every day.
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