Give me a Smile

Symbols are used everywhere to convey a message. Smiles work that way too. It is one gesture that seems accepted all over. Perhaps one of the reasons is that babies smile all the time. When they smile, we smile too. Somewhere along the way, when life has crapped on you enough, you stop smiling as often, if at all.

But the amazing thing about babies is that they get over things quickly. Once they get fed, they are happy again. Life is good! They have no idea when or how the next feeding will occur, but they aren’t worried about it right now. When they have a messy situation they are rescued from, they are filled with happiness. They don’t dwell on that stinky mess they were just in. They stay fresh in the moment! Babies smile like no other. Perhaps we could learn something from them.

Some people are self-concious about the condition of their teeth. Fake teeth, no teeth, a few teeth, all teeth… I don’t care. I’d rather see someone give me a genuine smile with whatever they had than a fake smile with perfect teeth. A sincere smile is priceless and must be freely given. For something that is free to give, it’s a wonder smiles aren’t shared more often.

When you smile at people you interact with, it can change the tone of a conversation. But what happens when they don’t smile back? Smile anyway. Some people cannot muster up a smile for whatever reason. Don’t let that distract you. Smile for them. Smile big. Enjoy life!

Heart Troubles

People take human heart conditions seriously to avoid further complications in life, as they should. Emergency crews rush to a scene to assist. It’s really amazing to see them in action. Many endanger their own wellbeing in the process and have earned a place of respect in our hearts, spiritually speaking. But how do we treat matters of this spiritual heart? Are they treated with urgency or are they disregarded due to their seeming insignificance?

I believe what goes on in our spiritual hearts has a great effect on what we see in our lives. It doesn’t take long to notice someone with a troubled heart. A key indicator of what is in someone’s heart is revealed in their language. When you listen to them, what is coming out of their mouth? Not their vocabulary but the content of what is said. Are they positive words or negative? Bitter or sweet?

Many times we do not even realize what is in our own heart. Another helpful indicator can be found when reading the Bible, which serves as a helpful guide to show you what is inside your heart. The words inside will show things about you, but you must look for them. It’s a huge book after all! For instance, our ability to love others is a reflection of our own heart. If you have a great deal of hatred, we will know it because of the lack of love demonstrated toward others.

Spiritual heart problems may not affect you like a heart attack will, but they are still vitally important. Resolving them can lead to a more joyful life and make your relationships even more special. So if you need help in this area, call on Jesus! Whatever the condition of your spiritual heart is – broken, beaten, crushed…. He will give you a new one, He did for me and I wholeheartedly believe will do the same for you.

Why Risk It?

Why build anything meaningful if there is a chance it will be lost? If you have lived long at all, you have asked why countless times. Life hurts so much when something is taken away from us. It can be a toy, a pet, family member, friend, or any number of things.

It gets to the point where we are afraid to want again. Our fear overpowers our desire to have. When this happens, all hope seems gone. When our hopes and dreams get dashed on life’s rocky areas, it leaves us in dangerously low periods. Thoughts warn at the slightest hint of hope. “Don’t get your hopes up. Remember what happened last time.”

If we remain stuck on these thoughts, life will live out as a tragedy. Living with no expectations seems like the easy way out. Less pain, less sorrow; it really sounds like a great deal. But it is a fool’s hand to play. Life has a way of swinging like a pendulum. If you do nothing, you will feel nothing and experience nothing.

However, when you decide to take a risk and hope, the pendulum starts swinging again. You will feel happiness and sadness. Understand that the more you swing in one direction, you open yourself up to swinging in the opposite direction when the pendulum returns. Basically, the greater the happiness you experience, the greater the pain you may feel if you lose it.

Again, why risk it? The shortest answer is because it is worth it. When you open yourself to experience all life has to offer, you will gain precious memories that will remain long after what created the memories is gone. As hard as memories are to look back on, they help us remember the love that we shared, a priceless gift to cherish for a lifetime. After tragedies occur in your life, take some time to heal. God can give you the strength, comfort, and healing you need in these times. Then embrace hope once more and live a full life!

Something Meaningful

Anything meaningful we get takes great effort and considerable time. All that effort put into it is part of what makes it so special to us. Before you set out for a major purchase, think hard about the cost. The more meaningful it is, the higher the cost. Decide whether you want to pay the price.

Too often we rush into things without considering what it will cost us. Sure, we take into consideration whether we can financially afford something, such as a house or car. But remember, costs are not just monetary. We earn our money through work, in which we are trade our lives for money. In essence, we are giving our life away each time we spend any amount of money. Every payment is not just a dollar sign, it is hours, even days from our lives.

The most precious commodity we have is time. It is the one thing we can never get back or buy more of. It is given to each of us in equal measure. The gap between each of us is in what we decide to do with that time.

There are many intangible but meaningful things that also create value in our lives. Work consumes a large portion due to the amount of time involved every day. Therefore considerable time should be spent examining your work life. But too much work and no play is a life out of balance. We need hobbies that give us play time away from work.

But above and beyond those, think long and hard about your relationships with family, friends, or possibly that special someone. These can be more meaningful than all the other things combined; more so than beautiful houses, nice cars, and all sorts of fanciful things. Relationships cost us in a unique way because they involve aspects of our being. Our thoughts, feelings, and so much more can all be invested to make something worthwhile. They are similar to other areas we build, but relationships have a distinct trait. They are fragile. You can work tirelessly to build one, investing a great deal of time and energy, only to watch it disappear overnight.

There are many reasons why relationships fall apart, but that is not the focus here. The important thing to remember is how special they are and be diligent to maintain them. People will come and go throughout your life. But when you have good people in your life, value them, respect them, and love them. If you do, you will truly create something meaningful.

Don’t do it. Want to do it.

Have you ever wanted somebody to do something for you? Of course, we all did . It’s not just that we want somebody to do something for us but that we want them to want to do it for us. If they complain, either with their speech or body language, we feel like telling them, “Nevermind, I’ll do it myself”. Sure, there are lots of things we don’t want to do. But we have the power to control our own reactions when others ask for something. It may take time, practice, and patience, but you can control the response you give to people.

The next time you ask someone to do something for you, pay close attention to their response. Is the person disinterested? Do they seem hesitant to do it by dragging their feet? Or are they eager to jump in there and do what you ask them to do?

When someone asks you to do something for them play close attention to your response. Does your response depend on who that person is? Does it depend on the way that person treated you in the past? Would the response you give be the same you would want to receive from someone you ask?

Put it all together. Initially, you will not be able to do anything about another person’s behavior. You cannot control another person’s response to you. For this reason, you have to relinquish that control. It’s out of your control right? Yes, to a degree that is a true. However, when you learn to consistenly control your own responses to others’ requests in a positive way, your request will be handled much better than had you not learned from these responses.

Pay attention to the response others give, the ones you give, and watch how things change over time as you begin to exercise the control you do have in your interaction with others.