"Smile, Mama. You're so pretty when you smile."
My daughter's words from months ago still echo in my ears.

I need to smile more, but I just don't think about it.  I need some sort of reminder!


I just came back from a wonderful run. About halfway back, a question came to my mind...

"Why am I so serious?"
I feel "serious"...
responsible, behind, hurried.


I live in the country, such a beautiful part of the world.

I'm a "stay-at-home" mom.

I homeschool.

I'm "livin' the dream".

The only pressure in my life is self-imposed.

I plan the schedule. I set our routine.
So, why am I not relaxed and light-hearted?

Taking time to answer the "why" was revealing for me!!!

(Try smiling right now.  
If it feels "unnatural", ask yourself "WHY?")

Like a light being turned on, answering this question gave me a fresh, more objective perspective. I don't need to try to chase away the darkness of a gloomy-feeling.  (I need to live by faith, not feelings!!!) As I uncover the light the Lord has put inside me with His presence by choosing faith, hope, and joy, the darkness and heaviness disappears on its own.

God's timing. 

When I came home from running, Handsome handed me a package that came in the mail.  Chuck Swindoll's book, "Maybe it's time to LAUGH AGAIN, Experiencing Outrageous Joy".   (Thank you, Lord!)

It is time for me to laugh and smile...

I won't wait until school is out and summer break begins.  I will choose joy today!

I wrote this post yesterday evening, and before I put my kids in bed, I gathered them in my room.

 We all drew smiley-faces on our hands and agreed to try to make each other smile and laugh the  next day.

I hope these ideas inspire you with a few creative ideas of your own.

  • I woke my kids with this silly songs from my childhood...

  • I have been slipping smarties to the kids when I catch them smiling throughout the day. 

  •  We are taking laugh-breaks between subjects today to read a couple jokes and comics to each other.