Monday, May 20, 2013


I decided to smile on purpose, twelve & more years ago. I decided to help my face grow into a pleasant appearance, so that I wouldn't have frown lines and scowls engraved in the delicate muscles of my countenance. Once they're carved, that's what I have to work with. I know this. I study faces. I take notes. I know my heritage. I've watched in slow motion the women whose faces age into troubled and distant masks, tough coverings etched with disappointment and fear and suffering. I've seen other women whose faces have developed into radiant reflections of the joy they chose to live out.

I decided to make a stand against the frown lines, to be me, to let my face reflect the peace my faith provided. I'd fallen into a habit of scowling when I concentrated, and I realized that face, ostensibly at rest, gave testimony of much more suffering than had been my lot. It was an ungrateful face, a lying face that I was creating by not paying attention, by doing what came naturally instead of what could be done intentionally. I did not wish to bear false witness. Instead I chose to make my face show that I knew God was in charge, that I did not need to fear, that I was celebrating the freedom of trusting in Him. I wanted a face that would draw people to Him, and I set out to make my face be that.

Recent months have brought a number of challenges and I've fallen unconsciously into the old natural habits again. My face is reflecting my earthly situation and not my place in the kingdom of God. Yes, I've been weary, and tired people don't make good decisions. Exhaustion tends to make us fall into old patterns of behavior. So I can use that excuse if I want it, but I don't want it. The habits are making the lines whether I mean them to be made or not. So I'm remembering again today, remembering to look up, to smile, to say without words what my heart knows to be true.

I'm remembering - because God kept bringing it to mind all morning - that all things work together for the good of those who love The Lord. I certainly love Him, and I'm going to smile today and believe that even my crazy schedule and list of tasks is part of His plan for my good; that if I'm out of balance He'll show me; that going through trials will help polish me so that I can reflect Him better.

If you see me NOT smiling, will you remind me to remember?

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