May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. 

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

-Numbers 6:24-26 NLT


I am praying that blessing over all who read this blog as well as all my family and friends who do not bother to read my blogs. To think of the Lord smiling on me is so beautiful! That thought alone should be enough to make me able to smile at everyone I see even on my hardest days. 


I love teaching music in a local public school. I see students ages preschool through eighth grade every day. My students are precious to me. I love to see them learn, watch them grow, see their faces when they are excited about an activity we are doing together, and to hear them make music. 


Regardless of your political views or feelings on the subject, the whole situation with COVID-19 is making things difficult for all teachers and students this school year. This past Monday – 10 days into the school year – I became the traveling music teacher on a cart due to the influx of active cases in our county. Monday morning I was a bit frazzled as I worked to find a cart, figure out what supplies I would need immediately, and get my lesson plans converted to this new hiccup. 


This may not seem like a huge deal to someone who is not an educator, but it really is… especially when you have very little time to mentally prepare and you have in-person and virtual learners thrown together. By the time I was ready to begin teaching for the day, I was aggravated. I felt a bit emotional. I even felt a little bit like a homeless person as I gathered belongings to roam around the building all day long (when I have a beautiful classroom sitting down the hallway). I had talked myself into a down and out place.


Feeling defeated and disgruntled, I walked into a classroom of 2nd graders. Immediately, I felt their mood. They were just as defeated, disgruntled, and down as I was! For me, that mood opened my eyes. I realized that I had to be a bright spot in their day and try my best to turn those downcast faces into happy smiles. I still taught my content about tempo being the speed of the beat, but we danced a bit more, acted a little more goofy than normal, and cracked a few more jokes together. I don’t know that I made a difference to the students, but I tried my best. I know that smiling and laughing made a difference in ME. I left feeling I had more purpose. My teacher evaluations may not be as stellar this year as in years past, but I am determined to be a positive influence, a bright spot of sunshine, and stress-reliever for my students because they need that!


How does this relate to the Bible and the Christian walk? A smile, a kind word, and a simple conversation can make someone feel so blessed and SEEN. How many times have I been too business-like in my daily life? I am sometimes too serious with my own children because I have an agenda. We all have the tendency to avoid talking to strangers when out somewhere, but sometimes all a person needs is some kindness. A smile can lead to a conversation. A conversation can lead someone to Jesus Christ. What about at church? We have a tendency to walk up to the same people at church every Sunday – the people we know, the people we have things in common with – our friends. I try my best to say hello to everyone and make all feel welcome, but I need to make more of a point of this. 


There is nothing better than a heartfelt smile.

Share it today. It’s just one tiny way you can share the light of Jesus with others. Later, you can think back and pray this blessing over the people you saw that day. Let’s pray it now:


May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. 

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

-Numbers 6:24-26


Emily Kilby
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