You may be familiar with the phrase, "What a difference a day makes."  Well, I propose a slight revision. "What a difference a smile makes."  It can transform a day from dreary to joyful, and the lack of it can easy drain the most overflowing heart. 

How quickly my heart is lifted when I peek over the edge of the crib at my infant son to see him throw out a big toothless grin at seeing Mommy.   On the other hand, my spirit can be just as easy pulled down by a grumpy growl from my precious preschool-age little girl as I seek to rouse her for a new day.  It is a conscience choice to not allow the "crabbies" to darken the light of happiness I seek to shine into my family.

When you see others, or even when alone, practice the art of smiling.  "Fish hook therapy" as my mother often says.  Imagine a piece of string with a fish hook attached to each end.  Hook one fish hook on one corner of your mouth, wrap the string around the top back of your head, and attach the other hook to the other corner of your mouth.  You will find you are forced into a smile. 

Though this may sound silly or even hypocritical to force a smile when the motivation for it is lacking.  I have found often when I smile, even when the joy that usually prompts one is lacking, suddenly the world does seem a bit better, and I find that the happiness I am forcing to show on my face is suddenly filling my heart.  Of course, nothing replaces a smile that is brought on by true joy, happiness, or enjoyment. 

May your day today be filled with all the things that bring you joy, and when that joy may seem a bit low, encourage it along by simply smiling.

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