Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mugs & Muffins :: Giveaway! :: that Smile!

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Good Morning and welcome back to our third installment of Mugs and Muffins! 

This morning...
is exciting for me for a couple of reasons.

You see, yesterday was my birthday.  Hey! wait a minute. Wasn't the last time we did Mugs & Muffins the day after my anniversary?  Well, I'm not really trying this.  Honestly, I'm not.  I'm just going with the flow and well, this is what is next.  Thanks for celebrating with me.  Alrighty then...moving on.

Okay ladies, so pull up your chairs. Grab your favorite mug.   Is it coffee in yours?  I've been thinking about trying a Vanilla Chai Tea or something for something different... and well, that would mean me going out and getting me one, because I don't have anything like that of the sort around here.  And, why am I hankering for that?  I have no idea...
Well.  I'm not going anywhere.  So...coffee (of course!) will have to do.  Not that that's a hard thing, at all.

But I do think the vanilla chai would go fabulous with our muffins here this morning.  Well, they are not really muffins they're biscuits. ;) Today we have Upside-Down Orange Biscuits.  The recipe will follow, at the bottom of this post.  You'll want to be sure to grab it.

Let's get on with our topic of choice today.  Thanks again for stopping by and joining in.  I'm so excited you're here.
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A smile is a light in the window of your face to show your heart is at home.

This topic of hospitality, as I alluded to on Thursday, is one I often come back to - over and over again - and will continue to do so.  I hope you never tire of it...because I pray I never do.  It's such an important aspect of the Christian Life.  And, as a woman (of God!), it's easier to embrace then we realize. 

So.  How am I getting the topic of hospitality out of the above quote, when it's talking about a smile and you're heart being at home?  It all goes hand in hand.

Some time ago.  Oh my goodness.  A LONG time ago, back when I was a teenager in youth group.  Our small group was headed out on a day trip to wherever (can't remember) and we stopped at a fast-food place to pick up either breakfast or lunch.  Again, an unimportant detail that I don't remember.

However, I do remember it was my turn to order.  I had stepped up to the counter to do just that and the person behind the counter (rather loudly) makes mention of my smile.  It caught me so off guard.  To them - my smile - was beautiful and it made their day and they took the time to share that with me and everyone else within earshot.  I, of course, was also naturally embarrassed by this and down deep (at the time) didn't believe it.  Not one bit. I still don't think it is anything to write home about - as in drop-dead gorgeous.  But.  I've gotten to thinking about that moment - from time to time - since.  Obviously, it left a pretty big impact on me if I still remember that moment so vividly.  What did this person really notice?  Did this person see Jesus in me, or what?  I'll never know for sure, but I can certainly hope so - because that is really Who I would want someone to take notice of.  Not me.  I also know I will never, ever see this person again, in my life, however, I think what they noticed - it was "a word" meant for me - in that moment.  From God himself.

Wear that smile! 

Wear it well.
(the truth is... I didn't even realize that I was smiling.)

You see!  A smile can make all the difference, in the world.  It is the light showing through the window (your countenance) of your soul.  You'll never know what kind of impact, impression, influence you'll leave behind...if you do.

A heart at peace gives life to the body. (Proverbs 14:30)

People can sense this, about people.

A genuine smile brings warmth.  It speaks confidence.  It's friendly and inviting.  It draws others.  It makes a difference.  It can't help but be infectious, contagious and  it will over take your life, if you let it and want it to.

Is it always easy? 

 No!  It isn't. 

And I'm the first one to admit - after all of this...I don't smile nearly as often as I should.  Particularly at home and in the daily grind in and of mothering.  Even as a wife... I struggle.  Ask my darling husband. ;(

(I'll share something here on an even more personal note, and I'm totally being honest.)

When my hubby walks in the front door after a long day at work... I know I should be the bubbling-over, most happiest thing he ever laid eyes on and too often, I am not.  I have a real hard time flipping the switch to going from working through the "bewitching hour", with the kiddo's, to the "Yeah! here comes Daddy!" moment, and embracing him with true, genuine love and affection he's longing for and that he truly deserves.  It makes him feel as though I'm upset with him, or something, when in reality it's the complete opposite. I'm relieved to see him - quite actually - but that hospitable heart posture is still a challenge to present.  The phone might ring, right then, and I'm all chipper-ish and smiley...and, what! how did that happen, on a dime?

This is truly an area where I need to practice and grow...and change. (you can pray for me...)
I don't know if anyone else struggles with this or not... but it is another aspect to hospitality.  Starting in our own homes. So see? and, another opportunity (for me) to practice it (Romans12:13), at that.

A good question to ask is: How does your man feel when he comes home?  Does he even want to come home, knowing what he might encounter there?  Is his wife's heart - at home?  Can he tell?

What does your face communicate?

I share all of that to say...

What is on our faces is clearly an indication of what is going on the inside.  Whether it is a smile or a frown...what is on the inside must and will come out.

Think about these two different verses found in Proverbs.  They almost say the same thing.  But see if you can make out the difference.  One is something and the other does something.  One makes you the blessing.  The other makes you the blessed.

Proverbs 15:13 - A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15: 30 - A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

Friend, if your heart is at home...at peace.  Then, for sure, your countenance will reflect that.  And so will mine. 

A smile is a light in the window of your face to show your heart is at home.

I like this practical application.

I have a dear friend, in real life, whom I greatly admire.  This woman (Susan Kemmerer) blesses me, consistently with her example.  I got her permission to share this and well... I just want to say... if you've ever met this gal - you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't met her yet.  You need to! (I feel like I should give a bit of an introduction - something she didn't give me permission to do). Or click HERE; this is her version. ;)  Susie is a writer, speaker, author, business owner - all to do with homeschooling-  as well as a mother of nine (seven sons and two daughters) and a blessed -thoroughly enjoying being a -grandmother.
Susie is ALWAYS smiling.  Even when it isn't easy. It has often made me curious... as to how or why it is she smiles so easily?  Susie has had some pretty tough moments (especially here of late) in her life, and yet... without fail... there is always this beautiful smile on her face. 

She writes in her book - Homeschool Supermom - NOT!  that this was a learned thing for her.

Read the practical advice she shares...

If the habits of reaction are proving difficult to break in your own life, think in small, definite chunks of time.  This is what I had to do when I first determine to walk in a way that was pleasing to God.  I literally said to myself, "For the next 15 minutes, I will not react in anger or say anything rude.  Even if one of the kids spills another glass of milk or gets into another squabble, I will demonstrate the peace that God has graciously promised to grow in my life.  I will smile at my kids.  Help me, God, for the next 15 minutes."

When I walked triumphantly for 15 minutes, I went for the next 15 minutes.  I practiced this, crying out to God minute-by-minute, until my bad habits were broken and new habits were in place.  Taking small steps like this, empowered by God, takes an overwhelming goal (like ridding your home of C.H.A.O.S.) and makes it achievable.  No, you may not be able to control your responses for an entire day, but by God's grace you can control them for the next 15 minutes!  Pray without ceasing (sending up those constant little pleas for help), and watch the power of God transform your life one minute at a time!
later in the book, she writes this...

(How to pursue gentleness...)

Learn to smile at your kids... a frequent, gentle smile is such a small thing, but so meaningful.  It portrays a message of joy and hope to one who receives it.  It's almost impossible to not respond with a smile to someone who smiles at you.  Don't withhold your smiles only for those times when they succeed.  You're smile shouldn't be bestowed only as a reward.  It should be freely and liberally given as a sign of your love, even when - especially when - your children are struggling.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 KJV).

So?  How often does a simple smile reflect out to others of what's going on inside?  All of the time. 

Can anyone add any thoughts to this?  Tell me about a time when a smile given made a deep and lasting impression on you? Or when you may have shared a smile or two - just because someone else needed it.
All comments will be included in the giveaway, today!

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First the recipe.  Here it is, as promised. 

 Upside-Down Orange Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. shortening
3/4 cup milk
2 T. butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. grated orange peel (optional)

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in milk just until moistened.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently 10-12 times.
Roll into a 15" x 12" rectangle.  Spread with softened butter.  Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over butter.  Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from the short side.  Cut into 12 equal slices.  Place, cut side down, in a greased 9 inch round baking pan.
Combine topping ingredients; pour over biscuits.  Bake at 450* for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes; invert onto a platter and serve warm.
Yield: 1 dozen.

** Recipe from Taste of Home.
((By the way.  These are so delicious! I had to bake something for my own birthday.))
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And now, for that long awaited Giveaway!!  I'm really excited about this.  Because it is something from me!!
I've chosen to giveaway one of my signature Pocket Pouches...unique to A Bevy of Old & New (formally known as Bags by Bevy).

No two bags are alike.  And.  So what you'll get will be VERY similiar to this one, here in the photo - but not exact.  The reason I'm showing you this bag - is because I'm still working on the one for the giveaway.  I've had a VERY busy (birthday) weekend.
Tucked inside, the pocket pouch, as part of the giveaway, will be a few "bottom-of-the-bag" type goodies, just like the items floating around in the bottom of yours. ;) 

So that's it!!  I hope I brought a smile to your face today! 

Please share your thoughts and comments regarding this topic.  It's "open mic" time! Tell me when a particular smile has made an impact in your life.  And your comment will be included - as I mentioned - into today's giveaway.

The giveaway ends WEDNESDAY (June 13th) at 10pm, EST.  If you comment anonymously, or don't have your own blog, please be sure to include your name and an email so I can contact you.  The winner will be announced sometime Thursday - the 14th of June.  Thanks for entering.
This Giveaway is now Closed!
Please note...
If you're at all interested in "sponsoring" Mugs & Muffins by donating a unique item (handmade) for a giveaway - please email me. This would be one way to get your name/item out there.
Or.  If you're at all interested in being a Guest Post writer.  I would love to hear from you!!  You don't need to have your own blog to contribute.  You're still welcome...
That's what this is... a circle of ladies, in community.  Learning and sharing with one another.  I hope to hear from you.
Thank you, so much.


  1. When I was young and worked at Clemens markets, I used to TRY to make people smile. Many moms would come in tired, and frazzled, and I would smile, and compliemnt them, and just try to give them a little something to make them feel good. Well, fastforward, and I remember all too clearly the day not so long ago, that I was that frazzled mom in the grocery store, and a young girl would NOT just check out my groceries and let me on my serious way. She smiled, asked about the kids, and her light hearted spirit and smile turned my grumpy mood right around. I was thankful for that momemt, for the girl, and that someone was carrying on the smile giving. She reminded me of how important they truely are.

    On another note, wow! Wonderful wisdom from Susie. Words to take to heart. 15 minutes, not too overwhelming, right? Gonna try that today.

  2. I was thinking as I read this about two things...
    I read somewhere, awhile back, that women spend a fortune on beauty...on being beautiful, adding more beauty.
    And the least expensive "cosmetic" at their fingertips is...A smile.

    Then somewhere else, I read how, a mama wanted to have a sweet smile for her man and her children, least they think this job is exhausting and overwhelming.

    And that they are the cause of so much angst and tiredness and grumpiness in the mama.

    And that really stuck with me.
    I want my smile to reflect the joy and peace that comes with the gift of being a wife, a mother, a homeschooler and a believer!

    Great post, Bevy!
    The recipe looks delicious and the bag is beautiful!

    I'll do some pondering to help you with a giveaway.


  3. thank you for thoughts agian on hospitality. its something im striving to do more of!

  4. I really enjoyed reading what Susie had to say. I have some habits that need changing and I know I can do 15 min. at a time. I can't wait to give it a try.
    As for your smile, it has brightened my day many a time. And the sweet, gentle spirit behind it lets me know it's genuine. ;)

  5. Before I started to work at "our bookstore", but after I had submitted my application, I stopped by to buy something and KS was my checker. She smiled at me as though she'd known me for years, and at that time I hadn't even met her! Smiles DO make a difference! Hopefully I make our customers feel as welcome as she always does.

  6. I'm loving these stories shared. These thoughts. Thank you!!

    Keep them coming. Spread those smiles. ;)

  7. Working in a library you meet all kinds of people. Some are happy to have found the book or DVD they've been looking for. Some are frazzled mothers of pre-schoolers trying to make it through the day. Some are angry for one reason or another and take it out on you. I try to give everyone no matter how they are feeling a smile. It's not always easy, but I often hear comments from the customers about what a nice smile I have so I must be doing something right.

    Since I am the one who works and my husband stays home because he is disabled, he is the one who greets me with a smile when I come home from work. It makes me smile back. His smile is so special to me.

    Thanks for this post, Bevy. I'm really enjoying your Mugs and Muffins series. Your recipes are really good too!

  8. A smile..INDEED is one of the greatest things to "wear"!

    Another wonderful post in the art of hospitality!

    I'm taking notes on this and promise tomorrow to show my family my smile:)!

  9. I love that quote about taking things 15 minutes at a time. It's comforting to realize that we only need to be concerned about *this* moment....the future doesn't exist yet and yesterday only exists in our memories!

    LOL...it's amazing how much it depends on a Mama to set a joyful tone for her family - I've discovered (the hard way, lol) that the atmosphere of my family's days totally depends on whether *I* start out our mornings with a joyful smile or a grumpy mood...my kiddos' moods tend follow. Thank goodness for coffee!! ;)

    I'd love to enter your giveaway - your pocket pouch is so pretty!

  10. I have six kids. I really enjoyed your post about smiling. It is hard to smile when youre worried about the future. About finances. When youre feeling overwhelmed after the third load of laundry,and doing vbs all morning,and coming home,n the kids are ready for lunch,and youre still refocusing. There are so many times its hard to smile. But so many reasons why you should. This is an ongoing challenge for me,and I am encoUraged to take 15min. At a time. I am also reminded that we have One who understands,and who is only a breath /prayer away. I am so thankful for that. Im new to your blog. Thankyou for your encouragement. You do really nice work. Blessings for a smile filled weekend. Christina

  11. I came across your blog through another blog and I so thoroughly enjoy it!!
    I am a wife, a mom of 2 sons and a grandma to 1 granddaughter. Our youngest son is 23 and has severe cerebral palsy. He is in a wheelchair and needs our complete care. With that said we don't get too many invites to other homes so we don't get to be on the receiving end of hospitality too often.
    However a smile does make a huge difference when we are out and about with him. In fact just tonight we were at the Good's store and I can't tell you how many people smiled at us and made us feel very welcome. As we were leaving and loading our son into our van another family pulled up and were getting their daughter that had a lot of the same needs out of their van. Along the side stood their young son watching us get into our van with a huge smile on his face. I smiled back and waved and he smiled even larger as if we just both had this understanding between us. I know his smile and all the smiles I received tonight has definitely made a difference for me and I really hope my own smiles that I gave back to all those individuals touched them as well and gave them some joy.
    Keep up the great work with your blog and continue to bless so many people!!!!!!!!
    Melanie mpoe@ccsites.com


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