You make me smile…

Make–verb
1. to cause someone to be or become
2. to cause to happen to or be experienced by someone

“You make me smile,” I said to my husband as I looked at the face I have loved for so long. Honestly, most days just seeing him makes my face happy. Granted, there are moments where the thought of mustering up a smile for him would take more than I’ve got. In that case, I would say, “You make me so mad!”

The phrase, “You make me…(fill in the blank)” kind of struck me.

We have some power to cause some things to happen. I could walk into my daughter’s room right now and in ten seconds flat, make her feel inadequate. All it would take would be to list some things she failed to accomplish, no matter how insignificant. Maybe she didn’t put away her nail polish or her shoes–AGAIN. Maybe she left the garage door open.
Quite honestly, these things do come out of my mouth too frequently. Perhaps, my words and feelings are justified. After all, my “job” is to keep things in order and when someone isn’t assisting me in that process, I tend to point it out.

Perhaps, I sometimes miss the forest for the trees.

I mean, my children, are amazingly brilliant, thoughtful, giving, considerate people and so maybe they just don’t see that some of the things they do makes more work for me.

But maybe it’s just because they are so busy becoming incredible. Maybe I should concentrate on coming in for the assist.

When they were precious little people with which I spent my every day, we played and danced and laughed together. Some days, we got caught up in the mundane. I would be making lunch and bringing it out to my cutie-pies all sitting around the table waiting for Momma to give them their PB-J’s and carrot sticks and no one was smiling or talking. Not for any reason, just no one had anything to say. All of a sudden, I would break out into hysterical laughter for no reason at all. They would look at each other with huge, startled eyes and then at Momma, who certainly had gone crazy! But as I continued, they had to join me. They couldn’t help it. I made them laugh. And we would laugh until we cried and our bellies hurt, and it changed the course of the day.

What kind of power, in the lives of those I love, do I want to have today?

I am an observer. I process things slowly. I’m convinced this is why I was never good at any kind of sport. You have to think quickly in a game in order to do well. I have watched people and have seen them struggle with various issues. Both my parents were very depressed people. Having been around them a lot I can tell you that it had the tendency to make me feel depressed. I figured I had two choices: to continue the pattern and allow that to infect me, or to turn the other direction and make the choice to be different.
I chose a 180. What this meant to me was I had to choose to be a positive thinker, and I had to think about more than just myself.
I am convinced that the main reason people are negative and struggling mentally is due to self-absorption. And I can be guilty on any given day. When most of what comes out of my mouth is “I” or “me,” it’s gonna be a rough day for everyone around me. When I wake up and make the choice to be a servant to those I love, or make the effort to brighten someone else’s day it makes all of the difference. Turns out to be a great day. The kind where I feel satisfied when my head hits the pillow.

I have recently watched a few episodes of the show Secret Millionaire. The concept is that a pretty spoiled millionaire is put into a rough part of town for a few days without all their usual accoutrements and volunteers for local charities. At the end of their volunteer time, they give away thousands of their own dollars to worthy charities. The process is what I find fascinating. During this time, these folks have to think about someone who hasn’t had life easy, and put themselves in some less desirable shoes. They have to give of themselves and in the process their heart is opened up. At the end of each show, they feel great about themselves for having given so much money away, and it reminds me every time of why Jesus said to give secretly. Quickly, the giving can turn the giver into a hero and frankly, that’s not supposed to be the point. Yes, it feels great to get that teary, Thank you!” but we are not supposed to need the credit. The point is that it isn’t all about me.

Our family loves to give in secret. I refuse to be specific, but there’s nothing like knowing there is a need somewhere, and blessing someone quietly. It forces us to be willing to give God the credit for providing instead of allowing us to feel like a hero.

Don’t you think it might be time to make someone’s day brighter. It’s as easy as holding the door for someone, or giving an elderly person a minute of conversation, or smiling at the grumpy cashier. It might be quietly meeting someone’s need or just breaking into hysterical laughter. Just consider thinking outside of yourself today. I guarantee, it will make you smile.

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