(You can also listen to this message on the new Women Living Courageously podcast!
Just click – Smile Again.)
Recently I was driving through a local favorite chicken restaurant.
The wait was rather long.
I probably sat in my car for about 30 minutes before I got to the pickup window.
But it was a beautiful day, and there was no reason to lose my joy.
Just before I got to the pick-up window, I had this thought, “Smile at the lady who’s preparing my order. Look her in the eyes and smile at her.”
As she opened the window and asked, “Are you, Melanie?”
I said “Yes.”
And I smiled at her.
She paused. Looked at me funny.
And she said, “I haven’t seen very many of those smiles today. I love seeing your smile!”
It’s my favorite – as Buddy the Elf says.
However, many people have lost their smiles today!
Maybe you have lost yours?
When was the last time you smiled at someone else?
Or, looked in the mirror and smiled at yourself?
For some of you. If you heard yourself laugh, it might scare you because it has been so long since you have heard yourself laugh.
Today I want to give you PERMISSION to smile again!
It’s okay to laugh again!
Yes, life is hard. But we don’t have to live as those who have no hope.
God didn’t create us to walk around all gloomy.
Pastor Adrian Rogers once said:
“Joy is proof that what we have is real and that it satisfies.”
He also said this. “A joyless Christian is an oxymoron”
One other quote of his that I love about Joy is this one:
“Joy is important in winning people to Christ. Don’t go around looking like an advance agent for an undertaker.”
Can I ask you some hard questions today?
- Do you have joy?
- Do people see you and notice that there’s something about you that is hopeful even when life is hard?
- Can you rummage up a smile?
- Can you find some laughter in your life?
Perhaps, like so many people, you just need a little help getting back to the place of joy and hope and smiling.
Can I suggest something that is so worked for me in bringing back the joy and bringing the smile when they’re lost?
Looking back over the chaos and crazy of the last two years, I remember distinctly hitting a rough patch.
In the early summer of 2020, I reached a point where I felt really sad. I didn’t like all that was going on in the world and all the events happening around us.
When praying one morning, I felt like God led me to try something.
I was reading in the Psalms where the psalmist was talking about praising the Lord.
An idea came to me… I should start praising every single day very intentionally.
What did that look like?
For me… I took my phone and my earbuds and went into my walking closet.
And I’d sit down by myself. (The dog sometimes came with me.)
Then I found a praise and worship song that I loved.
I began to play it there in my closet by myself.
From the moment I started doing this, my whole demeanor changed.
That’s what I did!
For weeks, I would sing along to a song.
I just lost myself in praising God all alone in my closet.
My dog thought I lost had lost my mind.
But this daily practice affected me!
As I looked up to heaven and told God that I trusted him, that I loved him, and that I worshipped him, something begin to change.
I began to find joy in hope again. My smile again.
The words to the songs, the time in God’s presence, and the sweet moments of praise began to completely affect my mood, my thoughts, and my days.
I’ve been playing these songs for the last two years.
I got my smile back!
Can I suggest today?
Start taking five minutes every day and praising and worshipping God with music.
I believe if you will it will completely change your whole face, demeanor, your countenance, your hope, and your outlook.
So how do you start?
What are some ways that you can begin to praise God each day?
I found my smile again by using my Cell Phone.
Most of us have a cell phone.
You can find free music on your cell phone.
You can use free apps like Spotify has a free version iHeartRadio. Several others offer free versions of music.
In these apps, you enter n a type of praise music you want to listen to.
You enter hymns. Or, you can enter Southern gospel whatever you like, put it in the search bar, and crank up the music.
I found my smile again by using YouTube.
Also, you can go to YouTube for free praise music.
Play free music on your cell phone through YouTube all day long.
Many people have made playlists and you can go to playlists.
And you can listen to a whole hour of a certain kind of music or a certain artist.
I found my smile again by using the Television.
Most televisions offer a music option that comes with a basic package.
Or you can access the Internet on your television.
You can play free YouTube stations that will allow you to watch and listen to praise music all day long.
I found my smile again by using the Radio.
Across the United States, you can find Christian radio in almost every town and city now.
Look for great praise and worship music and turn it on and you’re in your call.
Turn off the news and the sad songs.
Turn off the chaotic events and start worshipping God.
I found my smile again by using by Singing and Humming.
If you can’t find any music to watch or listen to, try singing or humming.
Yes! I do this all the time.
Total mood changer!
I’m not sure that I completely understand why this changes us so much, but I know that it does.
Praise changes us!
Worship brings joy!
Challenge – I want to give you today!
I want to encourage you right now and invite you and spur you on to try this.
This week try this experiment every morning.
I do think it’s better in the morning. Get up a little earlier.
Set aside 5 minutes just for praise and worship.
Find some music and put your earbuds in.
Then, put your energy into praising God.
**I believe if you’ll start doing this, you will find your smile again!
Just for you…
The amazing folks here at LWF have put together a free music playlist for you.
Here is the link to get to the playlist…
Link – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3aO01MlVwtd8r47O0bIko3?si=865e76e1237e473c
If you just need somewhere to begin. I’d love for you to get a copy of this playlist.
Sister, my prayer today is that you will get your smile back and hear yourself laughing out loud once again!
I look forward to meeting with you again soon!
Remember this week that we are just ordinary women.
But we serve an extraordinary God!
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I’m excited to use your podcast. Encouraging words and reminders of God’s love is so needed and welcomed! If Anyone had a reason to Frown and have self pity it was Jesus. Instead his focus was always outward. Smile! Spread joy! Be grateful ! Such great reminders.
Thank you so much, Julie!
Do glad you are joining us!
We appreciate you and your encouragement!
Praying that God will bless you today~
Thank you Melanie for the podcast on Smiling 😊. I listen to Christian music at home and in my car and praise Him, makes a world of difference in my attitude and mood. 🌹
So glad you have access to so much great music! It does lift the soul and changes our point of view!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Appreciate you and your kind words~
Decades ago, I was a young first year teacher with big dreams, full of hope, some doubt, some fear, and perhaps way too serious. There was a custodian who was ALWAYS smiling and singing. One day I stopped him and asked him what makes him so happy. He shard scripture with me, not in a preachy way, but in honest sharing, and that smile never quit. I wondered, with all my Sunday school lessons, I never saw anyone with such a smile. His smile conveyed joy, enthusiasm in the moment. Up to then, my thoughts were about yesterday’s mistakes in the past and tomorrow’s challenges in the future. How did I forget today?
The following year we moved 2000 miles away, but his message stayed close in my heart. That was over fifty years ago, and I never forgot him. He taught me about grasping the gift of the moment.
What a wonderful story! I love this!
Isn’t it amazing how a simple, genuine smile can make such an impact!
Thank you for sharing this!
Melanie, I feel like I lost my smile because I have had to go to work every day during this Pandemic. I don’t see anyone smiling because of the masks. My boss doesn’t let me listen to music either. It’s a very depressing place. I will try listening to praise music first thing. Thank you for the encouragement.
So sorry to hear how hard it has been.
I will pray for you to find ways to be encouraged, motivated, and inspired in spite of all of this!
Asking to give you HOPE~
Thank you Melanie for your podcasts and uplifting words and encouragement! Blessings!
Thank you so much!!
I am binge listening to your podcasts tonight, Melanie, lol! God is speaking through you to help and encourage we, women. I believe He led me to Women Living Courageously 💕
You bless me by doing this!
Your words are so encouraging.
Praying that God will bless you~