I have received many gifts from my mother over the years including unconditional love, confidence that with God’s help I could do anything (within reason), hugs and shared tears when I did not meet “my goals” like the drill team in 7th grade, a loving touch when I thought I could not go another day before twin sons Jonathan and Trae were born right before Mother’s Day.
However, it is the gift of a smile that brings her most often to mind. At the age of nine or ten, I went through “a stage” where a smile was hard to find. I often walked around in “contemplation.” Guess who noticed? Mom began to ask me a simple question, “Could you please put a smile on your face?” Of course, being the pre-teen I was, the more that question was raised the greater my “contemplation” grew. Then one day when I arrived home from school, my mother met me with a new thought. She said with a smile, “Did you know if you smile it causes less wrinkles?” From that day on, I began to smile- for all the wrong reasons. However, that enlightenment introduced me to a much more wonderful fact, smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, lifts your spirits, and it sure makes those around you feel a lot better!
Are you old enough to remember the campaign that proclaimed on everything from bumper stickers to buttons, “Smile, God Loves You!”? It is so easy to become muddled in the ‘tasks at hand” and lose our smile. Or how about the recent necessity of wearing masks in public? It has hurt my heart not to be able to see a smile or share one. But let’s not forget – God loves us- each one of us. He sees our special gifts, including our smiles, and He wants to make the most of them. Wow! That’s definitely worth a Big Smile!
Smile, God Loves You! Try it. It won’t be long before you have the chance to share your joy with someone who cannot help but ask, “What are you so happy about?”
-Laurie Stroud Franklin
Founder, The Christian Family Publication, Inc.
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Celebrating 20 Years of Good News!
“Look to the Lord & His Strength, Seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 (Holman Standard)