The Power of a Smile

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Going to the store with four children in tow is not an easy feat for this mother, but sometimes, I do what I have to do. One place we visit on occasion is our local warehouse store, Costco. Before we leave the warehouse, there is an employee stationed near the exit, checking everyone’s purchases and receipt. Believe it or not, this part of our trip is a highlight for my kids. I’m being serious … they will sometimes fight over who gets to hand the receipt to the “checker”. Why all the competition over this seemingly mundane task?

Because they want to be the recipient of the smile.

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Some employee must have been bored one day or just in a good mood, and started drawing happy faces on everyone’s receipts. Well, this simple gesture apparently caught on because almost every receipt checker at our store does this. (I did notice that this only occurs when I’m with my kids, though.) Whether this is a company-wide policy or it only happens at our store, I’m not sure, but it certainly makes my children happy. What is it about a smile?

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To be honest with you, I don’t have a naturally smiley face. My natural, just-walking-down-the-street facial expression may be interpreted as sad, mad, or serious. I sometimes have to work at displaying a more pleasant countenance. But I’ve seen how a smile can, not only turn my day around, but someone else’s as well.

Have you ever smiled at the cashier, who was clearly having a rough day? I used to work in a large movie theater, and when people were late for the show, they were not too happy about waiting around in long lines. The few patrons, who took the time to smile and say “thank you” brought some peace to the chaotic rush of opening weekends.

Compared to my brief career in the movies, my days as a homeschooling mom are more busy than ever. And when I’m busy, I forget to smile. My children are great about reminding me, whether directly or indirectly, by their silliness and funny commentaries.

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Did you know that the Bible talks about the power of a sincere smile?

“A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.” (Proverbs 15:13)

“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones.” (Proverbs 15:30)

Not to be underestimated, that small movement of our facial muscles can lift up the heaviest of burdens. And when my countenance is fueled by my joy in The Lord, I hope the world will see a smiley face. 🙂

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20 thoughts on “The Power of a Smile

  1. I have never had our four kids hand the receipt to the ‘checker’ at the door. Now, I’m going to give it a try to see if they make a smiley face. I always get the highlighter line through the receipt. I imagine if they do a smiley face, our kids will need to take turns each time as this would also make their day.

  2. Is that a Sam’s Club smiley receipt?! If so, it also happens in WV and MO at everyone I’ve been to! I also have the same resting unhappy looking face. People probably think I’m much more unhappy or serious than I really am.

    1. It’s from Costco, but aren’t Costco and Sam’s Club part of the same group of warehouse stores? That’s interesting that they do the smiley faces in Sam’s Club too!

  3. Adorable kids! Great smiles. This post is so true! A simple smile can totally transform an interaction with someone. It’s so powerful. Too bad sometimes it’s just easier to scowl 🙂 ha

  4. These words brought a smile to my face. Thank you for sharing those verses, it’s been a long time since I’ve read them. Similar to your experience in the movies, I used to wait tables and smiles, small gestures of kindness always made the day better.

  5. Such a sweet post! Smiles do make all the difference. Our server at a restaurant today was a smiley highschool-aged boy, and it really lifted my mood to see his face.

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