First of all I want to thank all of my family and friends who have called, text or messaged me wishing me a happy birthday. I want to thank my beautiful and wonderful sister, Kim Smiley, for all that she has done for me and my family this year and for the Christmas card and birthday card with the throw-back picture of me and my dogs inside. That was a real surprise and a treat and I thank her so much for that.

For my birthday today my beautiful and wonderful wife and I slept in late, she brought me breakfast in bed, which she does quite often. Then we did what we love doing most; going to flea markets and thrift stores looking for bargains and “stuff” to clutter our house with. I don’t blame her for it all I’m just as bad. Especially when it comes to books. I look for great deals in used books. Even though we’ve (I’ve) got more books than I’ll probably ever read. Our son, Josh, will have a great time either giving away or throwing away all of those books after we have gone on to a nursing home or our Heavenly home.

On our journey we stopped at a little Christian thrift store in Florala, Alabama. As we browsed around I had picked out a few books that interest me. By then I was ready to go while my wife was still looking around. As I stood at the counter waiting on my bride I looked at the Christian books and Bibles on a table there. Next to that table was another table with a bunch of Christmas what-nots, ornaments and coffee cups. The nice lady working there told me all the Christmas stuff was free. “Free?” I asked. “Please don’t tell my wife or we’ll be here all day.” Guess what? Yea, she told my wife. But to my surprise she said all the Christian books and Bibles on the other table were free too. So now my wife and I both were plundering through the tables. She explained to us that they were so blessed with so much Christmas stuff that they chose to give away what was left after Christmas. She also went on to tell us the reason the Christian books and Bibles were free was that she would rather give people a message of hope and salvation, which is, always has been and always will be free. We only spent a few dollars there but we also left her with a added special donation to help them with any other needs or expenses.

As we drove home the thought came to me about the day before. I had worked and on my way home I decided to stop at a station and get me a drink and a snack. The young lady working the register apparently was having a bad day. She was trying to wait on customers while trying to get the store owner on the phone because some gas pumps had quit working and one of the credit card machines had quit. There was a few of us customers in the store and she shook her head in frustration. After I paid for my drink and snack I smiled at her and told her that she had a pretty smile. I then turned to the lady standing behind me and asked her didn’t she think she had a pretty smile. The lady behind me smiled and promptly agreed. Even though the young lady wasn’t smiling at the time, I wanted to give her some kind of word of encouragement. All I could think about is that I’ve never seen anyone with an ugly smile. We the customers did get a smile and a “Happy New Year” out of her.  I just hope the rest of her day went well.

Usually the New Year resolution I always make every year is that I make a resolution to not have a resolution. But today on my birthday I have finally come up with a New Year’s resolution that I think I can do for the entire year. That is to give people a smile and a word of encouragement. Wouldn’t that be a great resolution if everyone had that one too? Besides I have always done that anyway, so I think that would be a great resolution to begin with. But now for 2016 I want to up the ante on that.

Over the past few weeks of the Christmas holidays my wife and I both have commented on how people don’t look happy. While out Christmas shopping we noticed a lot of people, customers and employees alike, seem like they would have a frown on their face. So my New Year’s resolution when I see someone without a smile I’m going to start giving them mine. I always keep an extra smile in my pocket in case I give one away. I’m also going to be extra nice and think extra positive this year. That’s just me. I would also like to encourage each and everyone reading this to use this resolution along with any others you may have for this upcoming new year.

Now my favorite college football team is getting ready to play so with that I’m gonna say, I love you, God Bless you, happy New Year, happy birthday to me and a big Roll Tide.