autumn days

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Gift of A Heartfelt Smile

Each morning I rise from my slumber to fill myself with song, love, peace, and joy.  It takes effort, though it surely pays off to see my children so happy, and to have my eyes and heart open to their present happiness. 

Sitting just outside the public school office while my homeschooling daughter enjoyed her music class, this morning I sat, smiled, and read a book.  That was it.  Simple and beautiful.  No dishes, laundry, piles of paper, scheduling, phone calls to be made, no really long list of things to accomplish.  I sat there for 30 minutes with just myself, my AWE-some book, and 100 adults and children passing by.  My little light was a'shining brightly and my smile was a beam of sunshine.  In other words, I was as thrilled as my daughter to be there.

When I am so incredibly thrilled to be somewhere with my little light shining, my joy is evident through my smile and my twinkling eyes, just like Jolly Ol' Saint Nick.  So when these 100 people walked by me this morning, I smiled.  A joy-filled "It's so nice to see you" smile.  Usually people I interact with throughout my days are happy to see me and return my smile.  Maybe that's what you get when you feel all your friends are loved ones.  Or perhaps the reactions of others don't matter as much as they used to.

In this clean calm elementary school, many of these people walked by more than once, and still didn't return any glimmer of a smile.  Most that passed me didn't smile.  Some teachers nearly glared as if to quietly question my motives.  Children looked curiously at this adult reading a fat book and looking up to greet passers by as they enjoying their walk to a special destination.  Some smiled.  About 15 of these people smiled back.  And that made all the energy put into creating my smile worth it. 

Not only is it nice for others when we smile, it is incredible medicine for ourselves.  The more we smile, forced or natural, the more we feel joy and contentment, the more we do to take care of ourselves, and the healthier our bodies, minds, and spirits.  A great personal challenge would be to count our smile-o-meter until we completely lose track (my mama brain would lose track quickly) or try to beat yesterday's number.  I may say to my children, "Okay, here's your homework for the day!"  Ooooooh, what if a public school teacher gave this as homework?!  It'd take very little time to make that a very happy group of delicious children.

What a sweet gift to give to another: a sincere smile.  For this moment, I will set aside my desire to immediately find a solution to every worldly challenge, and I give a smile to beautiful children and their loving teachers.  The gift of a smile.  Yes, my mission for today is complete, yet the day has only begun.  What an incredible life we lead, especially when we pause in the moment and put a little heart into our smile.

A smile is just one way to share your love throughout your day.  How do you shine for others?

smiles from the mouths of babes

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