Posted in photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

When you’re smiling

What makes you smile?

What is it that makes you demonstrate a certain facial expression that tells the world you’re either pleased, have affection for something, or are just plain amused by the object of your attention? What causes the corners of your mouth to turn up in a recognizable curve?

Back in the day, crooner Dean Martin sang these lyrics: “When you’re smilin’ the whole world smiles with you.”

Is that true? Is a smile contagious? Does a smile on my face cause a smile to emerge on yours?

I once read a Chinese proverb that proclaimed, “Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.”

That surely makes it sound like something as simple as a smile can make a huge difference in this world.

If you guessed that this past week’s Word Press photo challenge theme is smile, you can go ahead and let your face light up with a grin because you are absolutely correct.

I find it’s hard not to reciprocate when someone greets you with a big ol’ smile on his/her face. That tells me that there is something about this facial expression that is hard to keep to yourself.

Several years ago in this blog, I wrote about a little boy who gave me a smile, a rare thing for him according to his peers. If you care to read that post, which may cause your mouth to curve upward in that familiar expression, you can click here.  

Mother Teresa once said, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

So what are the things that make me smile? That make my face break into a happy dance?  That demonstrate the things I love?

Sunsets and sunrises. My two adorable little grandchildren. When my family is all together in one place at one time.

A vibrant fall foliage-dressed tree. Blue skies and sunshine.  Blooming flowers bursting into colors of the rainbow.

And yes, while we’re at it, rainbows after a storm.  Birds enjoying a feast at our bird feeder. Baby animals.

Spending time with good friends. Hearing an old special song on the radio. Worshiping my Lord in and out of church.

I could plaster this post with pictures of all of those smile-giving items I just mentioned, so it proved to be a challenge just to choose one photo. But I finally decided on this one. My oldest sister and brother-in-law. Two people I love dearly and don’t get to see enough because they live far away from me.

blogIMG_1356.jpgI snapped this photo of them sharing a smile one summer a couple of years ago when they were visiting us. I can’t remember at all what made them turn to each other with big grins on their faces.  Life hasn’t always been easy for them in their well over 50 years of marriage, and they’ve had to endure some health issues, but they still can smile.

And that makes me smile.

“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo



Mama of this empty nest, I’m content to live a quiet, country life with my husband of 40+ years and to view the gorgeous sunsets off my own back yard deck. Mama to three adults and Nana to adorable grandchildren, my empty nest fills up again with noise and laughter when they all return 'home'. A former English teacher, reporter/editor, education director for a non-profit organization, and stay at home mom, I retired after a season of substitute teaching at a private academy. Now I enjoy time spent with my grandchildren and family and writing words that seem to pour out of my soul or wandering around the countryside with my camera. Foremost, my faith sustains me as I meander through the empty nest stage of life. My favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

17 thoughts on “When you’re smiling

  1. Hello there friend! Just catching up on my reading of your posts. And, as we are discussing things that make us smile, I would have to start with my reading your thoughts and ponderings each month as making me smile! 😀 Thank you for that…
    My daughter has recently returned to work full time after maternity leave and I am now watching her 3, smile inducing kiddos 4 days – complete with a sleep over at Grama’s House once a week. The pace has been somewhat exhausting but I know I’m right where the Lord wants me at the moment; exhausting, but peaceful (in my heart, not in the kitchen at lunchtime). This peacefulness in my heart was recently confirmed as a gift from the Lord, when while cleaning up after the kiddos, I spied a little pair of “princess” slippers under a chair in the spare bedroom of our house. An immediate smiled formed on my Grama face and I accepted that gift with open arms…a beautiful child and a loving Lord! I am fully blessed and that is smile producing! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your thoughts on grandparenting! I know I keep saying this but we do need to catch up with each other via email. Finding the time is my challenge because I too watch one of our little ones three times/week. Don’t be surprised though if you get an email from me someday. 🙂 And thank you for continuing to read my posts.


      1. Catching up via email would be wonderful! Your response has prompted a cascade of thoughts to spill out of my mind and onto a blank page and I’d like to share them with you. 😀 Let me know how to email you and we can catch up and share some time!


  2. I showed this pic to hubby about 5 minutes ago and he’s still smiling. Neither one can recall the incident. Lol. Thanks for sharing. Love you sis.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful picture. I absolutely can feel the love and laughter oozing out of both of them. A lot of the same things that make you smile make me smile as well. Add to that watching critters in our backyard, the antics of our fur babies, a child reading a book, the list goes on and on. Thanks for a sweet post today that is right up my alley.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this!!! Lots of things make me smile- helping others and making others smile is at the top of the list. 🙂 Beautiful picture too!

    I have a picture that fits the challenge perfectly- can I still do it tomorrow?


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