The Best Expression

November 16, 2018

Isn’t it one of the best feelings when someone’s face lights up when they see you? 

I’ve been thinking about the power of our expressions lately. 

In the past few weeks, it feels like I’ve had a myriad of case studies on the subject. 

I was at the Muskegon Community College Library doing some studying and at the table in front of me this guy walks up to this girl. His face lit up with enough energy to power the computer lab. The guy looked like there was nothing better in the world than seeing her in that moment. I went back to studying and every so often I glanced up and you could see it all over his expression: he was crazy about her. I smiled to myself because that’s cute and it reminded me of what I must’ve looked like on my first date with Josh. 

Last weekend I flew to Pittsburgh. After knowing a woman I had met online for maybe 2 years?… We finally met in person. It was great. We stood there staring at each other for a moment. Both of us with bright faces, happy to finally meet. Her expression said, “well, there you are!” And I’m pretty sure mine said the same thing. Then we just allowed each other to stare at each other for a moment, studying each other’s features, because that’s a perfectly normal thing to do when you meet someone in real life when you’ve only known each other on a screen. So we did. Our faces bright with observation, taking each other in.

Then, (not in Pittsburgh, but in a different setting), I had the uncomfortable situation happen where you realize someone did not want to see you at all. I showed up to see someone and within 1 minute of being there, I realized I was there 2 minutes too long. Yeah. Her expression totally read, “I’d rather not see you, not now and not later today and quite frankly, I’m not sure when I want to see you again.” 😬 Ouch. So, I politely excused myself after a cordially short 5 minute conversation. 

The last situation happened at the airport on the way home from Pittsburgh. At the Grand Rapids Airport, most people wait for their significant other by looping the pickup lane outside. It’s functional, fast, and free. But then you sometimes have the significant others who wait near the baggage claim and pay for parking just so they can see their person a little sooner. Then you have the die hards. They wait at the first possible door where security will let you stand. 

The guy in this picture was doing just that. I always take note of the die hards because it makes me smile when I see them reunited with their loved one. So, I am walking down the hallway and see 3 die hards waiting there. This gentleman had a particularly eager look on his face and with every person passing, his expression said, “you’re not who I’m looking for.” 

I made my way down to baggage claim and grabbed my bag. Soon the tall, die hard is walking around the corner with his girl. 

Their faces said it all. 

Their faces said, “40 something years of marriage never felt so good.”

I don’t know for sure how old they were. They looked to be in their late 60’s and maybe they’d only been married for a year. I could be totally wrong. But it was something about the way they moved together that made me think that they’d traveled the decades side by side. 

Why do I say all of this?

Some time ago, I heard a quote that has stayed with me. It was this:

“Your eyes should light up when your child enters the room.” – Maya Angelou

It’s easy when they are little, because they tend to give you an infectious celebration of squealing proportions when they see you after staying in the nursery for a while or being with another. 

But I’ve realized that as they become teens, they throw no parties at your presence. Truthfully, I’ve been thrilled about my older ones just saying hello after school. 

But it doesn’t have to mean I lose my expression of joy at their arrival. I’m struggling with this. I miss the squealing and grabby hands and “momma, mamma” giddiness. 


But motherhood is a long game for the strong, flexible, fierce and forgiving. 

So is marriage. 

Love lights up your face. 

Whether it’s that young love in the campus library or the friendship love where you study each other after looking forward to finally meeting… or the love of the die hards that wouldn’t want to waste a moment before seeing each other. 

It’s written all over you. 

So, what has your face been saying to others lately? 

I’m challenged to be a die hard for my kids and to have a love that transcends the decades with my spouse. 

Also, I highly recommend studying at a college library, in case you ever forget what kind of young-love expression can power a computer lab…. I guarantee it will make you smile when you see it. We all need a reminder every now and then.

So, for now, I’m going to go say hello to my kids & husband, hug them tight, and have eyes that let them know they are my cherished ones. 

And then I am going to let my husband know that when he reads this, I’m not secretly asking for him to come into the airport to greet me… the best kisses happen outside the airport anyway. 😉

#LightItUp 💕✌️

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