A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. (Proverbs 15:30)
I was getting in to the van one day a few months ago and I happened to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the car window. I was frowning. There was a little pinched frown in between my eyebrows.
Why was I frowning? The children were busy buckling themselves in their seats, we were off to an event of some sort, we weren’t terribly late, it wasn’t a Bad Hair Day, I had my faithful pink travel mug full of coffee; there was NO REASON for me to be frowning.
I began to sneak little peeks at myself, in mirrors and windows, throughout the week. I discovered that more often than not, my face arranged itself in a little frown. I was shocked. Is this the expression that greets my children and my husband on a daily basis? Is there some underlying trouble or concern in my life that would cause me to have a constant frown on my face? Am I doomed to be branded a sour puss (wrinkles and all)?
I decided right then and there that I was going to make a commitment to smiling. It’s the dumbest sounding thing, and I’m almost embarrassed to blog it, but it’s the truth. I made a decision to smile.
You have to smile when you get hugs like this!
Whether I’m feeling cheerful or grumpy, I smile.
When I’m walking around doing errands, I smile.
I smile BEFORE someone smiles at me – I’m a proactive smiler.
I purposely compose my face into a smile throughout the day.
Of course, I forget. Of course I fuss at my children and frown and pout. Of course, I feel sad, angry or frustrated and don’t WANT to smile.
Life is stressful. Parenting is hard work that requires discipline and energy. Being a mother, especially a stay at home mom, often means performing menial chores over and over again, most of the time without thanks and certainly without pay. Squabbling, tattling children can exhaust even the most virtuous of Proverbs 31 women.
Smiling helps to tug my heart back to the right place of joy and thankfulness. Amazingly, my inward spirit almost always follows my outward expressions. Smiling at the children somehow helps to increase my patience with their antics and lower my frustration at their behavior. Smiling first and then speaking, results in a lowered tone of voice and a calmer disposition.
Smiling brings a balm of peace and sweetness that is powerful in the make-up of our family.
A big hug after a YMCA workout.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
Project 365 – Day 323
My internet connection went down last night while I was blogging. Sorry this is late.