Savoring Simple Moments


CostcoGoing to the store with four children in tow is not an easy feat for this mother, but sometimes, I do what I have to do. One place we visit on occasion is our local warehouse store, Costco. Before we leave the warehouse, there is an employee stationed near the exit, checking everyone’s purchases and receipt. Believe it or not, this part of our trip is a highlight for my kids. I’m being serious … they will sometimes fight over who gets to hand the receipt to the “checker”. Why all the competition over this seemingly mundane task? Because they want to be the recipient of the smile.

Some employee must have been bored one day or just in a good mood, and started drawing happy faces on everyone’s receipts. Well, this simple gesture apparently caught on because almost every receipt checker at our store does this. (I did notice that this only occurs when I’m with my kids, though.) Whether this is a company-wide policy or it only happens at our store, I’m not sure, but it certainly makes my children happy. What is it about a smile?

20131009-010127.jpgContrary to my Gravatar profile image, I don’t have a naturally smiley face. I have to work at it. But I’ve seen how a smile can, not only turn my day around, but someone else’s as well. Have you ever smiled at the cashier, who was clearly having a rough day? I used to work in a large movie theater, and when people were late for the show, they were not too happy about waiting around in long lines. The few patrons, who took the time to smile and say “thank you” brought some peace to the chaotic rush of opening weekends.

With my brief career in the movies long gone, my days as a homeschooling mom are more busy than ever. And when I’m busy, I forget to smile. My children are great about reminding me, whether directly or indirectly by their silliness and funny commentaries. And there’s my keen observer, Gabriel, who will not hesitate to point out even the slightest change in my expression or tone of voice and question if I’m angry. A simple smile can ease his anxiety and defuse a potentially tense situation.

“A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.” (Proverbs 15:13)

“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones.” (Proverbs 15:30)

Not to be underestimated, that small movement of our facial muscles can lift up the heaviest of burdens. And, when our countenance is fueled by our joy in The Lord, the world will see a smiley face.


(Photo credit: GinkgoTelegraph)

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