I ran into my neighbor this morning. His first words to me were, “I’m smiling because it is the weekend and I am so glad I don’t have to go to work!” I mirrored his feelings, but I thought there is so much more to smile about.  Each day is special and if you look around there are just some things worth mentioning.
 I’m smiling because no matter the struggles and trials I face, no one can steal my joy in Jesus and certainly things could always be worse.  I’m smiling because you are my friend and I love and miss you lots.  I’m also smiling because I’m hoping as you take the time to read this the wheels are turning in your head as you ask yourself, “What do I have to smile about?”

I’m smiling because I’m blessed beyond belief.  When I look around and see the hardships others face, I’m good to go. 

I’m smiling because I have work to do and a place to live.  I’m smiling because of my kids and how much I love them and how blessed I am that God chose me to be their mom. 

I’m smiling because no matter the differences and distractions that may occur in our family we are still friends and care about each other.  I’m smiling because today dawned bright and clear with the hope and promise of a beautiful day. I’m smiling because I’m a witness to the changing colors fall and winter bring and I’m able to feel the mist on my nose and in my hair when the fog rolls in.

 I’m smiling because I’m around good people and despite their individual struggles and issues we all have a tight knit relationship.  I’m smiling because of my colleagues and peers and I know they have my back if I need them.  I’m smiling because my boss cares and even if I don’t see him on a day-to-day basis he is there for me.  I’m smiling for the resources available to me to make this a better day.
 I’m smiling because I have ten dogs and five cats. I have the resources to provide for them and they have the uncanny ability to make me laugh.  I’m smiling because of my good health and the health of those around me.  I’m smiling because, even if I don’t know you, you are part of my life. Though I might not know you very well or even see you on a regular basis I know, that I know, that I know, we think about each other and on occasion we might even remember something we did together.
 I’m smiling because this is the day God gave me, one more day, to fulfill his purpose and blessings in me. I’m smiling because during this season of Thanksgiving, I have so many things to be thankful for.  I’m smiling because those who are in pain and hurting and dealing with terminal illness, in due time, will join Jesus and there will be no more pain and hurt. 
 I’m smiling because all over the world young men and young women have chosen to put their lives on the line for me to be able to live like I live. I’m smiling because God watches over them all the time. I’m smiling because it is the holiday season and Thanksgiving and Christmas will soon be upon us.  There is joy and reason to smile when we think about celebrating the birth of the one and only true and living God. 
 I’m smiling because, when I think about it, this list could go on for days.  There are so many blessings that I could never list them all.  I don’t know what your list looks like, but you too, have a reason or two to smile. 

Melinda Clements is an E-T community columnist. She can be reached at melinda_clements@centurylink.net.