Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just a smile

A smile is the light in 
the window of your face
that tells people you're
at home.

~ Author Unknown

Smiles for me are a
barometer.  On a normal
day, I smile a lot.

at my kids 
at my buddies at yoga
at the clerk at the grocery
at the UPS man
at a funny e-mail 
at a special blog-comment

And on a really great day,
that smile will be joined
by a big 'ol belly laugh.

Those are THE best.

So earlier in the summer
when my daughter said,
You never smile at me
anymore {because in teen
lingo so many things are
labeled always or never....}
it was like a splash of
cold water on my face.


I don't remember what 
was bringing me down at
that time ~ probably just
tired ~ but ever since, I've
made a conscious decision
to smile at each member of
my family, early and often, 
each and every day.

But what if ~
what if ~
you were unable 
to smile?

Yes, it happens.

Every three minutes a baby
is born with a facial deformity
such as a cleft lift or cleft palate,
which makes it impossible to
smile and often impossible to
eat or speak.

{I know you've all seen
the before pictures of these
precious children in magazines.}

Thailer from Venezuela, before.....

In many cultures, these babies
grow into children who are
shunned and rejected.

In 1982 an organization was
formed that has been restoring
smiles all over the world ever since:
Operation Smile.

Thailer, after : )

These amazing medical professionals
and caring, huge-hearted volunteers
travel the globe to provide free surgeries
to children and young adults that will 
give smiles back, along with the 
chance for living a normal life.

What a gift.

Grace from South Africa

200,000 patients in over 60 countries
have received this gift, so far.

In addition to donations from generous
souls who give directly to Operation
Smile's website, they also receive benefits
from caring business partners through
their Shop to Benefit program.

Ibrahim from Egypt

One of these,
is giving a percentage of each rental
fee to Operation Smile, with the goal of 
providing at least 1,000 

Tatyana from Belarus

So, as college students work towards
their future dreams, Operation Smile 
will benefit and help others fufill
 their own dreams. 

To smile. 

Have you smiled today?

If yes, how very lucky you are.
If no, what are you waiting for?

Sending you a big smile, along with
a huge hug, today.  Because you 
make me smile.....

And I never want to take that
simple blessing for granted.


For more information about
the Campus Book Rentals
Making a Difference Program,
click here.

Photos:  All family members,
except for the sweet faces
from Operation Smile.

Linking with



Appreciate the reminder to smile at those we love . . . and the story of an organization that is making such a strong impact on the world. Fantastic, Suzanne.


Marie said...

Another thoughtful and very beautiful post Suzanne! Love the smiles. Operation Smile is a very worthwhile cause. That's what we are here for, to help our brothers and sisters in whateve way that we can. We must be the Saviours hands here on earth! xxoo

Felicity said...

Lately, some of my biggest smiles have come via your lovely words Suzanne and for that I say a whole hearted THANK YOU!.

xx Felicity {smiling as I type}

simpledaisy said...

I am smiling now!!! Thank you! What a sweet post:)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful reminder of something we so take for granted. I am a smiler, so when I do not it strikes everyone as odd. Sometimes I am in deep thought about something or just busy. But hey, I think the world need a whole lot more sincere smiles.

Maria @ Linen & Verbena

Martha said...

What great smiles and what a great organization!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

This post makes me smile!!!!

michele said...

how can one not smile at the thought of Operation Smile? what a blessed opportunity. I'm a smiler so it's easy for others to read when I'm under the weather (like now). and smiling is an effective strategy in therapy to quickly change the mood. thanks for the reminder to be grateful for smiling!



the little sweetie in one of the images in my post tday couldn't smile because of her palate, but she has received help from a kind shop in Peru i'm spotlighting.

A Vintage Chic said...

Beautiful, Suzanne! A smile IS such an amazing easy to give--but so important to those it's given to!

What a wonderful organization--I didn't know about it...thank-you for sharing what you know.

Wishing you a smile-filled day, dear to smile at my girls...


Cindy said...

Your post made me smile! All of your posts are so lovely and thought provoking. I love it when I open my email and there is a new post from you, I always know after I read it I will have a good feeling!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

FANTASTIC THOUGHT and great way to bring the reality of this...thank you reminding me, as I go back to school on MONDAY, that smiles have always gotten me through the TOUGHEST DAYS....BIG HUGS and a smile to your, beautiful! Anita

Happy Homemaker UK said...

What a lovely post idea - I love how you really connected all the dots. Are you going to do a post on parenting advice regarding teenagers? I feel you have some great tips :) XOL

Amy Arnaz said...

Yes! I smiled today -- at my little dog, my kitties, my Honey, by cup of coffee, the sunrise, my funny Facebook friends who write crazy things! And it's only 11:30am so I have a whole day to smile. And..Suzanne... you blog made me smile too. xoxo Amy

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful post! Trying to keep smiling with this storm bearing down on us!

Your photos are beautiful, is there anything more beautiful than a smile!

K @ Aurora Blythe said...

Great organization! Thank you for promoting it :-)

koralee said...

Oh I so agree my friend...some people are just smilers...others not so much!


Jo said...

How do you do it ... each and every time... you just "get it"... such a sweet gift ~ thank you for passing it along.

Have a wonderful weekend ~

Anonymous said...

My face carries a natural frown.. genetics turn the corners of my mouth downward so I have to make a conscious effort to show a smile. I'm smiling on the inside all the time. My mouth just doesn't know it. :-))))

Whosyergurl said...

I think of the old saying that it takes more muscles to frown than smile.
Wanted to tell you...a friend of mine loves your blog. Her name is Donna. I don't know if she has ever commented...she told me how much she loves your blog. She has an account to read my blog/comment and found you through my blog.
xo, Cheryl

lisaroyhandbags said...

It's amazing how getting a smile from someone can really make my day - perhaps because in everyone's crazy day, they get so preoccupied with their work, chores, errands, thoughts that they forget to take a moment and give someone a smile. I'm making a conscious effort to smile more and in doing so, I feel I'm becoming a happier, more appreciative person xo

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Great post. Such a simple thing that we all take for granted. I never want to stop smiling. Have a great weekend. Mona

Laura said...

As the song says Miss Suzanne-
you make me smile.
As soon as I post this comment, I am headed into the den where my husband is and I am going to

Thank you for a beautiful reminder.

White Spray Paint

Rene said...

I heart smiles. I'm thinking that when your daughter said that to you, you must have been taken aback. I will make the conscious decision to smile "early and often" as you said. It really does set the tone for the day.


Joanna said...

Well that stopped me short. We have so much to smile about, don't we? Even living with teenage angst!

Looking at all those dear little faces makes you realise that we take smiling for granted - we either do it or we don't. I can't imagine not having that choice - or having a child who wasn't able to smile. How your heart would break for them.

Operation Smile is such a wonderful organization, I will pop over to their website now.

Beautiful family photographs too!

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

What a wonderful way to make us appreciate what can so easily be taken for granted.

Stitchfork said...

You make me smile every time I stop by! Thanks Suzanne!
xo Cathy

paige said...

suzanne, while i think your smile is one the prettiest, i think your heart is one of the biggest!
may you be blessed today.
thank you for your beautiful reminder and for giving those precious babies a shout out!

A Rosy Note said...

I love this post, Suzanne. For a long time, I've donated to Smile Train, which is like Operation Smile. I hate to think of a child going through life shunned based on a deformity that could be remedied.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Like you, I am also a smiler. One of the easiest ways to smile is reading your wonderful posts...they always make us stop and think and we end up smiling. It's interesting that your daughter said that to you because sometimes I think we become so intent on making certain that all needs are met and our minds serious that we forget the easy task of smiling, even though we are filled with love in focusing on those tasks. I guess a simple smile is one of the best and easiest ways to express our love. Sending you a big hug and smile. XO

Linda said...

Such a great organization, Suzanne! And I love the reminder to smile MORE!!

Lili said...

It sure can make a difference and sometimes a simple smile is all we need from someone. Great post Suzanne! xo ~Lili

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

I missed this post so I am so glad that you linked us to come back here to visit, Suzanne.

I smile at everybody that I see.
That's just me.

However, I am often caught off guard by the people I pass on the street or in a supermarket or wherever my day takes me that when I smile at them.... they do not smile back!

It takes SO much conscious effort to intentionally tighten the muscles to NOT smile back..... it amazes me!

Then I usually say a prayer, for them bc I think they must be so sad or broken and hurt that they have locked this natural innate response in an effort to shut off and protect themselves from people?

So sad. Breaks my heart. Frustrates me too, to be honest. Makes you wonder.....?

I smile all day. Even when I am sad I still smile. I am a glass half full kind of gal....what can I say?
A dreamer for sure!

You are a bright light to me, Suzanne! I was drawn to your beaming sparkling smile when I met you last weekend!