Saturday smiles: finding the good edition

I’m a little late with the smiles today. It’s been that kind of week. Honestly, I was avoiding writing this until I felt like I had something to smile about. (And I’m on my second “draft” of this post right now because of a computer glitch. Ugh. Technology does NOT make me smile.) Sickness, discouragement, grief, disappointment — we’ve had some of each this week, and I wanted to wallow in pity about the lack of smile-worthy moments in my life this week.

Then this happened.

And God, in His new-every-morning mercy, reminded me with falling snow, that He is faithful and He loves me. And He gives me lots of reasons to smile.

Had it not snowed, our day would have looked drastically different. I would have been off to writer’s group this morning while the kids stayed home with my husband, then I would have hauled them off to a birthday party while my husband stayed home. Hectic is how it was shaping up. Instead, we spent the day together, and it looked more like this.

That’s my husband, getting ready to playfully toss a snowball at our son. He aimed too high, though, and sent the little boy back to the house in tears. The boy was not to be denied his snow time, though. After towelling off, he was right back at it.

Today, I smile because my husband shovels snow. And takes the kids out to “help.”

And helps a neighbor lady shovel her walk even though it was not what he necessarily wanted to do.

Because our plans were canceled, we collaborated on dinner, too, which always makes me smile, even if the pile of dishes afterward makes me groan. My husband can make something amazing out of the need-to-be-used-today ingredients in our house. His creativity in the kitchen is a strength in our family.

Indulge me in a little more bragging. We got his second-to-last semester’s grades today: straight B-pluses. Encouraging and relieving and maybe a little bit unexpected.

Speaking of unexpected, I lost more weight this week. That makes almost eight pounds in three weeks. I don’t feel like I’ve made drastic changes, so maybe the little things really do make a big difference.

I took a turn outside with the “little things” who live in our house, seizing what I think will be a short opportunity to play in the snow. (We’ll be in the 40s again early in the week. So long, snow. It was nice knowing you.)

In less than a minute, our daughter had flopped onto the snow and made a snow angel. She invited me to join her, but I discovered that I’m a winter wuss. Thirty minutes outside and I was ready to go back in and have a cup of hot coffee. Our goal was to make a snowman, but we had the wrong kind of snow. This was as close as we got.

While outside, our kids exercised their imaginations. We worked a construction site a la Bob the Builder. Our son was Bob. Our daughter and I were both Wendy, Bob’s assistant. Big Bob, she said, was inside.

She’ll be 4 soon, and daily she shows us what fun awaits us as she grows. Earlier in the week, she sang a song about pumpkins and rainbows. When she sang it for me, I had to buy a ticket and then follow her in a dance around the living room.

And this guy.

His challenging personality keeps us on our toes. Tonight we made the decision to convert his crib to a toddler bed.

You can almost see the glee on his face. This is both smile-worthy and sad. My babies are growing up. It’s bittersweet.

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I look at life positively all the time. I don’t. It’s a chore, sometimes, to choose to see the good rather than focus on what seems to be the bad.

Life is full of disappointments and discouragement. I know that. But I’m finding there’s more to life than that, too. The good doesn’t always outweigh the bad, but counting my blessings gives me a lift out of an otherwise unbearably dark pit.

Choose to see the good.

Even if it’s just one thing at a time.

Even if you have to smile through tears.

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