How often do you stand in front of friends or strangers and smile? Not smile out of joy, but because you don't want them to know how you're really feeling.
To the world everything is fine, fantastic actually, but inside you feel lost, hurt, or maybe you're struggling with something. They ask how you're doing and you smile and say "Fine." That's okay, we all do it. It's often hard for us to admit because we don't want to burden other people. But what if I told you that you could be the girl with a genuine smile so big and so bright, you will want to show it to the world!
Recently I felt really down. A season in my life had come to an end and all of a sudden I felt lost. It wasn't the first time in my life and if God wants to continue to teach me lessons, then I'm pretty sure it won't be the last.
Over the course of decades I had become use to watering down my feelings, or should I say wearing a mask in public and feeling broken hearted behind closed doors. But like the teacher God is, He has taught me some amazing lessons along the way, preparing me for all those future classes he has for me and the hardships that have and will come my way. He reminded me of the provisions he has and will continue to give me.
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! - John 15:11
I Love reading this verse and so many others in the living Word. They remind me that the Lord not only came to save us, but that we would have Joy, that we would be given life and love and happiness in abundance.
All too often it's just easier to focus on the negative than celebrate the tiny memorable moments. Those moments, the ones that make you smile are a blessing to be treasured. We can make just small changes that can send us off in a whole new direction, a road where passers by want to know what makes us smile.
Here's the thing, just reading this doesn't make the change. Actually getting up and putting the steps to work will. Don't you want to live a life of abundance? That is what a smile is all about. It's the outward reflection of what's happening on the inside. When you're filled with happiness and contentment on the inside, you can't help but smile on the outside right? So here are just a few steps to help you on your way.
1. Before you reach for your phone as soon as you wake up, lay there for a few seconds and thank the Lord for the joyous day ahead, regardless of the hurdles that may arise, the day in itself is a blessing.
2. Go look in the mirror and tell yourself one thing that's great about you. Even if you don't believe it to begin with, overtime you will. It could be a feature, a God given talent, a kind heart.
3. Be the community. What I mean by that is, be a part of the body of Christ. Join a church, serve within it the best way you can. It could be serving as a prayer warrior, on the creative arts team, in the kitchen, the Sunday school. Even outside the church make an impact, it could be at work, a sporting club, womens group. There is so much we can do in the community. When we do for God, we make Him smile!
4. Find those rare few people that can turn your frown upside down. We all need someone. That person who can pray and talk with us. They can help us see how amazing this ONE life we have been given is! If you don't have that person in your life, then I suggest you pray to find them. God hears your need and wants. Also remember that this ministry blog is here to stand with you in prayer.
5. Make a habit to turn off the social media. Yeah, I said it! I recently did a fast of social media. And wowza, did I need it. Just by fasting from it for seven days had a major impact on how I thought about myself, the anxiety, the measuring up all disappeared, and I had so much time to spend with God in prayer. If you can set a limit, on how often you look on social media you will be surprised at how much Joy you will gain back.
6. Practice smiling. I mean it. Think of one thing to be happy about, or that song that gets your hips a moving. Do a silly dance, whatever it is that gets you laughing, just do it. Your smile is sure to come out.
These are just ideas. At the end of the day, the word of God is filled with scriptures on Joy, Happiness, faith & love. All of these fruits of the Spirit are the very things that should cause you to smile. I cannot stress enough just how beautiful you are to God, how uniquely made and precious you are in his sight. Made to be like no one else and in saying all that, He wants to see you smile thankfully and gratefully. To live a life that can spread that infectious smile to others because you know that Christ died so you could live.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. - John 10:10
Your smile is generous and full - expressive and strong and clean.
Your veiled cheeks are soft and radiant. - Song of Solomon 6:6
I pray that someone out there reading this, is supposed to be reading this. That God wants you to know that you can smile again. That you can be the one to make others around you smile. That you are precious!
Love- Sarah Tomlinson
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