Tony A. Smith

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Our Girl

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We had the opportunity to visit with our daughter at our house this past weekend, who will soon be having a daughter of her very own.  While she was here we happened to come across an old box with some of her papers from when she was younger that had something I had written about her when she was only about 3 or 4 years old.  Here is the original paper I had hand written those so many years ago.

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Our Girl

“She came into our lives as a blessing from above.  So tiny, so beautiful.  GOD blessed us with our little bundle of love.  At first she barely crawled, and now look at her run.  At first she could hardly talk.  Now look at her; she hardly stops talking!  Each day we grow to love her more.  Thank you LORD for our little blessing.  Thank you LORD for Valerie.  Brown eyes, brown hair, and that special warm caring smile.

 Each time I look at her, I hear GOD whispering in my ear.  Be good to her, and raise her to learn of me.  Teach her love, patience, kindness, goodness, mercy, forgiveness, and train her in the way she should go.  Teach her right from wrong.  Teach her to love others, to give unto others.  Look at her now how big she is growing, changing every day.  Thank you LORD for our gift from heaven above.  May we love her and show her your ways each day. Thank you LORD for our Valerie.”

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Valerie and Papa

The picture above is of our daughter Valerie and her own grandfather, my wife’s dad.  His name was “Papa”  I can’t wait to have a photo taken with my own granddaughter.  I know people say it often, but it does seem like only yesterday when our daughter was this age.  As a matter of fact, it still seems like only yesterday that I was carrying her to her first bed to lay in after being born in the hospital.  As the days pass, I pray that I will be able to be the grandfather that my granddaughter deserves me to be.  I pray that I will be able to show her the right road to take too, and that we will have many good years together.  If we are together, they can’t help but be good!

I promise again LORD that I will teach her just like I taught her own mother.  I will teach her the road to take, right from wrong, to love others, and to give unto others….. and I promise you I will love her every single day!

Baby Girl Granddaughter

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Well …. we had the reveal party this past Saturday and look what popped out of the box!  Yes!!!! Little girl balloons, so it looks like my wife, Denise and I are going to have a little granddaughter in May.  GOD is great!  Now if I can just remember how to change those diapers….

 HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!!!!!

 

Being Happy

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“Once upon a time, there were four little girls, who had enough to eat and drink and wear, a good many comforts and pleasures, kind friends and parents…. and yet they were not contented…. these girls…. made many excellent resolutions; but they… were constantly saying, “If we only had this,” or “If we could only do that”….So they asked an old woman what spell they could use to make them happy, and she said,, “When you feel discontented, think over your blessings, and be grateful.”

     “They decided to try her advice, and soon were surprised to see how well off they were.  One discovered that money couldn’t keep shame and sorrow out of rich people’s houses, another that she was a great deal happier with her youth. health, and good spirits than a certain fretful, feeble old lady, who couldn’t enjoy her comforts; a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to have to go begging for it; and the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behavior.  So they agreed to stop complaining to enjoy the blessings already possessed.”

Written in the Book – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

True happiness is indeed something that comes from within and does not relate to what we have or don’t have.  It relates to what we make of the day and the time we are given.  I have found in my own life that I am happier when I choose to make the lives of others happier. Everything we have on this earth is a gift from GOD.  The very breath we breathe is a gift.  

This past weekend I was able to see my little grand baby on an ultra sound monitor at only 16 weeks old.  The little baby is 4 1/2 inches long now and weighs in at a whopping 5 ounces.  Yet, as small as our baby is – I saw tiny legs, arms, fingers, and toes moving around and legs kicking like a wild one already. Yes GOD breathes the very breath of life into each of us and what a precious gift a new life is.  I am thankful, and happy I have lived long enough after my widow maker heart attack to be able to see my little grand baby before even coming out of the womb.  

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When I was youngster growing up on the south side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma we didn’t have much in the way of material things.  My brother and I got school clothes once a year which consisted of 2 pairs of jeans, 2 shirts and 4 or 5 pairs of socks.  That was supposed to last us the whole year.  If we got holes in our jeans, Dad ironed on a patch or two to get us through until the next year.  There were many days we went without lunch and breakfast simply because we didn’t have enough money to make it to the end of the week.  I can remember being so hungry sometimes that I even thought about eating the crab grass in our front yard. Dad had an old Chevy that he paid $50 for that hardly ever ran.  Not having much though didn’t seem to bother us. We were content with playing baseball, hide and seek, freeze tag, and enjoying time with our friends.  Even if our stomachs were growling at us begging for food as we sat our desks in school, we were still happy for what we did have. 

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Sometimes when we start feeling down about ourselves, about what we don’t have, or how our life is going, it is best to start thinking about what we do have and in how many ways we have been blessed.  It might be time to look for ways we can be a blessing to others who cross our path.  That’s the path where true happiness can be found. It won’t be found covered up with things, but is waiting for you to find it where it’s been all along.  

Grandpa Thanksgiving

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My wife Denise and I just found out we are going to be grandparents this summer. This has been the best Thanksgiving gift we could have ever received.  GOD is great and we can’t wait to see the new little blessing that is on the way.

This is our first one on both sides of the family so I am sure the little one will get an avalanche of spoiling. I am not quite sure I can wait until summertime though! There are so many things running through my mind about what I want to tell, teach, and do with our new grand baby.

Whether it’s a girl, or whether it’s a boy it makes no difference to me.  We are supposed to have some sort of a reveal party where that information, I guess is revealed? Something about blue or pink balloons popping out of a box. I know GOD has great things planned for this little one!

Someone asked me what I want to be called?  I don’t know, but I have a few months to think about that one.  I suppose I’ll be called whatever the grand baby ends up calling me.  They say the grand babies end up calling the grand parents whatever the first one starts calling them. That’s what happened with our daughter too.  Whatever happens, is fine with me.

We are looking forward to this new adventure in our lives.  I am sure it will be a great ride!

Something to Smile About

Give Me a Reason to Smile

   Kittens

  Puppies

  The smell of fresh baby powder

  The smile of a newborn baby

 Mom seeing her daughter for the first time in her wedding dress

A dad seeing his son graduate from high school

A red rose in full bloom

Lush fresh-cut green grass

Dark chocolate

Forgiveness

Pure love

A baby’s first steps

Bright orange sunrises and purple sunsets

Rainbows after a rain

Letter from a friend

Breakfast in bed

A cat playing with a shoestring

Playing my favorite songs on the radio and singing along in the car

Eating a full plate of spaghetti with my favorite homemade sauce

Cherry cheese cake

Popcorn and a movie at home

Talking to old friends on the phone about our days of childhood

Going barefoot in the summertime

Jumping in the pool on the first day of summer and making a big splash with a cannonball

Someone who says thank you

Raindrops on an umbrella

Cloudy days that make me stop and think

Wise words

Grace

Goodness

Tears that heal and cleanse after it rains in life

Chocolate chip cookies

Hugs

Flying kites on a sunny and windy day

Pizza

Old cartoons

Mexican food with lots of hot peppers

A day at the beach and feeling the cold sand squish between my toes in the heat of the day with gulls flying high above

Colored water fountains at night dancing to music

The smell of hot dogs, mustard, and relish at a baseball game

Hearing the announcer at a pro baseball game say “Let’s Play Ball”

Birds singing in the morning to each other

Closing my eyes and feeling the gentle warm breeze brush against my face as I hear the leaves of the trees rubbing against each other nearby

Seeing the pinpoints of bright light against GOD’s black blanket on a clear night

Blowing soap bubbles with an entire bottle of liquid soap to see how big I can make the bubbles

Spending time with my best friend

Salsa and chips

Hope of heaven and what is yet to come

A glass of cold ice tea on a hot humid day as droplets of moisture run down all along the outside of the glass

Reading a good book I love

Succeeding

Making someone else happy

Building a snowman and making angels in the snow

Listening to the waves crash along the shoreline at the beach and then wait for them to return with reinforcements

Sound of silence after someone has stated something of profound truth

Being alone if I want to be and with people if I want to be

Those moments of calm after a storm and just before

The learning that results in the storms of life

Knowing GOD is with us always and will never leave us or forsake us

Knowing the answer to a question

Relaxing after a long week

Flickering Flames

Flickering Flames

IF

IF

IF

If I can throw a single ray of light across the darkened pathway of another;

If I can aid some soul to clearer sight of life and duty and thus, bless my brother;

  If I can wipe from any human cheek a tear, I shall not have lived my life in vain while here.

  If I can guide some erring one to truth, inspire within his heart a sense of duty;

  If I can plant within my soul of rosy youth a sense of right, a love of truth and beauty;

  If I can teach one man that GOD and heaven are near, I shall not have lived life in vain while here.

  If from my mind I banish doubt and fear, and keep my life attuned to love and kindness;

  If I can scatter light and hope and cheer, and help remove the curse of mental blindness;

  If I can make more joy, more hope, less pain, I shall not have lived and loved in vain.

  If by life’s roadside I can plant a tree, beneath whose shade some wearied head may rest;

  Though I may never share its beauty, I shall yet be truly blest

  though no one knows my name, nor drops a flower upon my grave, I shall not have lived in vain.”

 

Francis of Assisi 

This poem written by St. Francis of Assisi some eight hundred years ago still holds some very deep meanings for life. When I hang up my spurs for the last time, I want to be able to say I have made a difference in the lives of others along the way.  Nothing else seems to make sense. If I have made an honest attempt to serve and honor the GOD who made me, and to make a difference in the lives of others, then my life will have been worthwhile. So as Francis of Assisi says in his poem; go out and plant a tree in the shade somewhere for someone else to rest under. They may not name the tree after you, but others will be glad you planted it! 

CHRISTMAS IS OVER

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Christmas is over!  The last of the car doors slam shut with one final thud.  She watches close as they back slow out of the narrow concrete driveway.  Little Molly and Jimmie start to scuffle in the backseat as Jimmie yanks a piece of Molly’s long brown braided hair.  She has just spent a wonderful Christmas with her four grown children, their wives, and seven grandchildren.  Tires snug tight against the drive and turn inward as the hot rubber lets out one short and soft squeak.  Time and wisdom has marked her face with the wrinkles of many Christmas days spent together.  She waves, sad that the family must leave at the end of this very special day.  She continues to wave her limp wrist hand until they are out of her sight.

Smoke from the exhaust slowly dissipates as she turns and trudges towards the front door.  Her head is bowed down and arms hang low to each side.  She clutches the handle of the screen door and she feels pinprick like pain in her arthritic hand.  The hinges of the door creak as she enters.  Alva turns, staring back through the woven wire in the screen into a past moment of time.  Time has once again evaporated like the exhaust. Christmas is over and so she is alone again.  Her husband of thirty-five years passed away three years ago this last spring.  She must continue to face this day and this life alone.  It’s especially difficult after Christmas when everyone has spent such a wonderful time together.  Then it hits her hard again.  Christmas is really over!  Tears stream down her face on both sides as she stands alone staring through the screen door frozen by thoughts of time spent together with her dear husband.  She recalls their many years together and all of the many Christmases gone by with the family.

Then her face brightens as she raises her arm and wipes the tears from her face with the sleeve of her dress.  Alva recalls the many happy times she has had with her husband and family together.  She smiles and thanks the good LORD for those many times that he has granted in her life.  Yes Christmas is over and she is thankful for those times gone by. She pushes the door shut and clutches the memories in her heart.  She holds on as tight as she can!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS STAY WELL

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I have been feeling a little sick lately with a cold or flu that just came on me. I am not exactly sure what it is.  My eyes feel like someone took a drill and drilled all around my eye sockets and now the irritating coughing thing has started. I don’t mind the coughing but the eye drills bother me.  My mom recommended some zinc tablets which seem to have helped and I have of course tried some of the old chicken soup to try to knock this thing down. If any of you have any remedies that have worked for you, let me know!

Earlier in the week I visited Rhema Bible College and church campus near our house here in Oklahoma with my family. Every year they dress up the campus with some outstanding displays of Christmas lights.  I just wanted to share a few of the photos with you that I took.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! May you have a very blessed time of celebration of our LORD’s birthday!

TIME TO RELAX

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It’s getting to be that time of year when you can sleep in a few days with the holidays on the horizon! Take a cue from this little guy who has already started his holiday slumbering. This is a photo of my daughter’s cat. His name is Teddy and he is quite the talker. He always answers when you speak to him. Except when he’s sleeping of course!

So take a lesson from Teddy and sleep in at least one day over the holidays!