I had made a decision in my heart. I had kept the decision quiet and had a silent purpose between God and me to change something He has showed me needed adjustment. I had decided that I need to smile more. I purposed to smile as I make my bed. Smile as I put in a load of laundry. Smile while I make breakfast, and lunch and even dinner. I purposed that I would smile when I told them, “Rise and Shine” even though the majority of my children still have their eyes closed when those words leave my lips. I figured that perhaps even in their tired state they would ‘hear’ my smile even if they could not see it.

 That was the decision. I told God. I asked God to help me. Help me to be joyful and happy and to remind me to let it show on my face. Sometimes God has funny ways of answering prayers. He answered mine this morning.

 It came in the forward words of Zak. He was in the car, ready for school, waiting to do our ‘race’. (Our race is a game we play when we see who can get buckled first.) I was walking out to the car. It had been a good morning; and had gone off without a hitch. I was happy to be taking him to school and walked out the door taking in the sunshine, and the beautiful morning that was greeting my exit from the house. (In other words, in my opinion, I was happy.)

I open the door to the car and hear Zak. “Come on, Mom. Smile! It’s a wonderful day.” You must picture these words being said by someone who had just consumed 10 cups of coffee because that is the manner in which he said them. “You need to smile, Mom! Are you mad about something?”

I suppressed the emotion that rose up from within me. “Of course I’m not mad! I am having a great day. Why does he think I am mad?” Instead I asked him, “Does it look like I’m mad?”

“Yeah, because you’re not smiling. You need to smile. It’s a beautiful day!” I was getting that he was completely happy about this ‘beautiful’ day we were having at 7:30 in the morning. His smile absolutely washed over his entire face.

I quizzed again, “So, I looked mad?”

About as quickly as the words left my lips he jumped out of the car, backpack and all in tow and walked up to the door I had just exited. “This is how you looked Mom.” He then proceeded to walk towards the car with the biggest, gloomiest growl on his face. When he got to the car door he said, “That’s you Mom.”

It was becoming quite clear that this was not entirely Zak talking to me. It was God; answering my prayer to help me to smile more. It could not have been clearer. I asked, “How do you want me to look, Zak?”

Zak ran back to the front door and headed back to the car. However, this time he had the biggest grin on his face. He was walking, OK – almost skipping towards the car and saying, “It’s a beautiful day!” He then got into the car shutting the door with way too much energy. “That’s how you should look, Mom. Like you’re not mad.”

“I will work on that Zak.” His smile, surprisingly, got bigger and his eyes glittered with excitement. “I would like that, Mom!” He then got back into our normal routine grabbing the seat belt and holding it over his shoulder. “Want to race?” I shook my head and grabbed my belt. He then said in a voice as loud as my ears could handle, “On your marks…get set…go.”

He won – and I smiled.

It was a beautiful day!

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