Begin to Grin

Smile in cup 2

This past week I’ve been asking myself the question, “What do I do that makes God smile?”

Thus began my God-badgering.

“Do you smile when I care for my family?”

“Do you smile when I teach at church?”

“Do you smile when I lend a friend a listening ear?”

He politely nodded an affirmation, as if to say “Of course sweetie.”

But my spirit sensed there was more behind the nod. So I began to think about my kids and what they do that makes me smile. I thought of things that I would categorize as accomplishments. I also thought about their gifts-the things they are able to do “naturally.” Ask me to recite any of the above and my pearly whites will appear.

But the spread of my lips over those things is nothing compared to the expression of joy elicited by thoughts of WHO they are.

Matthew, the eldest boy was our history nut. I begin to grin as I remember our gazillion trips to the history section of the library. He looked like he’d found the Holy Grail when he came across a George Washington book. Watching Matthew be Matthew was all it ever took to make me smile.

Paul Revere Matt 1

The middle child, Taylor, graced us with her incomparable imagination. She’d pass time during a hair dressing by narrating and play-acting with two bobby pins, one the prince, the other the princess. Until I met my daughter I never knew a bobby pin could be the feature actor in a fairy-tale. Her creativity and contentment in whatever situation blessed me to my core.

Pumpkin-Tay 1

The youngest was the builder. Tape, string, and staples were absent from our home from 2002 thru 2006. Anything that wasn’t nailed down served as a building material for whatever was currently under construction. Was it frustrating to never have scotch tape? Why, yes. Yes it was. But the cost was worth the end result because the end result was James being James. The sparkle in his eyes as he’d invite us for a ride in his recently constructed time “twaveling” machine was priceless.

Builder James 1

Upon reflection, I realized that what genuinely made me smile when I thought about my kiddos had nothing to do with them doing anything.

“Lord, could it be you feel that way about us?”

I used to think I needed to be noticed in order to be special. Seriously, I can’t tell you how much I strived to do it all. Be it all.

  • Crown me please!
  • Promote me please!
  • Standing “O” please!

Cross my heart it wasn’t narcissism. It was simply how I thought “things worked.” I’m embarrassed to admit it but somehow getting noticed meant I was loved. (The 80’s critic in my head is muttering “Gag me with a spoon.”)

I wish my admission weren’t so lame but anything else wouldn’t be the truth. No wonder I gravitated toward thoughts of “important” or “meaningful” activity as I pondered over how God made me and asked myself , “What do I do that makes him smile?”

Ready for my epiphany?

I don’t have to do anything to make Him smile.

He smiles when——–

I’m. Just. Me.

The “me” that likes to talk out-loud—to myself—like Scotty from Star Trek when I’m making supper for the family. No one’s around but it makes frying hamburger far more entertaining. Yeah. I’m pretty sure that makes God smile.

The “me” that cranks the music while I’m vacuuming and pauses to pretend I’m Toby Mac. Hips are swinging. Lips are syncing. I’m convinced (erroneously) I have swagger. I think this makes Him smile.

The “me” that on occasion, during a moment of stillness, weeps because the world is full of so much hurt and it seems like Jesus is a long time coming. He smiles (tenderly) at that.

The “me” that marvels at how could I have made that mistake again? I anguish over my Spiritual Alzheimer’s because my blunder perpetually reincarnates. I can’t remember the answer to my failure let alone the question. He smiles (compassionately) at that.

It’s taken me nearly a week to think through this but I know the lesson He’s teaching me and I pray I’ll remember this one for a long time.

God smiles over me being me.

Not because of what I do or don’t do. He covered all the “do’s” on the cross. So there you have it. An impostor with an amateur Irish accent combined with a wanna-be rap star are enough… more than enough to Make. Him. Smile.

How about you friend? Do you know how much He delights in you? Allow me to speak truth over you today and tell you that He does! I hope that today, and in the day’s to come, you’ll ask yourself——–

What in me makes God begin to grin?

I have a feeling that once you figure it out, it will make you smile too. 🙂

“Content with who they are and where they are, unanxious, they’ll live at peace.” Zephaniah 3:13 MSG

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you…” Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

Please join me and others over at Suzie Eller’s #livefree community as we ponder the wonder of being knit into being by a Father who delights in us!

Your DoAhead Friend,


  1. Oh Cindy! I love your heart all the more today! First, I love seeing your three children thru their mommas eyes! And second, girl! Second is simply you! I could leave you much “mushiness” but I’m just going to say you, my sister, are a star!!!! (Wink wink)

  2. Lisa Strickland says:

    WOW… needed this today! In a world where everyone seems to want us to perform or prove what we do best…. THANKFUL THAT GOD SMILES AT SIMPLY WHO WE ARE!! Although, I’m convinced He rolls in the floor laughing at me (and a few others I know)!! So thankful God smiles over His babies!! Thank you Jodie, for sharing Cindy with the FF Girls! and Cindy, can’t wait to meet you, so we can smile face to face!

    • I know Lisa! I can’t tell you how many times I’m utterly convinced God throws His head back and simply roars. Oh, how I love that fact that He laughs! So thrilled to see you hear today! Can’t wait to meet you!

  3. I love this! I have given much thought to actions that make God happy, and I know He loves us just as we are. I never made this connection and thought about it in these terms exactly though. Thank you for sharing this – I find comfort and peace in the fact that God loves us as we love our children, for who we are… in all our quirkiness and imperfections. As a Faithfully Fit girl, I can’t wait to hear you speak at our spring conference!

    • It’s funny to me Sara how I forget I. Am. His. Child! I am utterly convinced that the delight we feel in our own children is nothing compared to the delight He has over us. Mind blowing really. I’m excited as well for this Spring! Have a great day Sara!

  4. Wow! Cindy your words are so indentifiable. Along with Jodi I love your heart and am constantly amazed how God truly smiles at us “just as we are”.

    Cathy. (Faithfully Fit).

    • Lingering in my head are the lyrics to “Just As I Am.” I usually think of that song when I think of forgiveness. I forget it applies to His delight as well. Thanks so much for stopping by Cathy!

  5. I love this post so much. It made me smile very big as I think about how God smiles just as we are. I love your description of how you love your children each just as they are. I don’t have children but I think about my nieces and nephews and how much I love them for who they are , and it makes me smile . Today I am rejoicing how God loves me for me!

  6. This is wonderful from beginning to end! I so admire your wisdom!

  7. Hi there Cindy! Your post made ME smile! I had a builder too. My girl made houses, accessories, and everything possible for American girl dolls. I never could find any tape. Even after buying her a giant dispenser to keep in her room with 8 extra rolls of the stuff. She’d still nab mine too.

    But how wonderful to know we don’t have to do anything to make God smile.

  8. He rejoices over us with dancing. We can do nothing and he’s already smiling like a proud parent that He is. I love this. I just forget sometimes. Thanks for reminding me. 🙂

  9. What a wonderful word from Him. To remind us each that he delights in us.. To see that you know that he delights in you makes me know that you have a deep relationship with our Lord and Savior and will bring us a word from him that is just what He would have us to here! Praise the Lord for who He is. We are truly looking forward to seeing you in Roanoke Rapids!

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