My favorite past time at the moment is making Levi smile.

I got word from Jenny that he’d started while I was away in Switzerland – an interesting coincidence (more on that in a minute). His first few smiles were for his Grandma Jo-Jo, who was up helping Jenny in my absence. And it’s not surprising: Joanne is one of the kindest, most loving people I’ve ever known.

So upon my return home I was only too excited to get right in Levi’s face and start cooing and awing and blowing bubbles – acts which would be foolish to anyone else, but perfectly acceptable to a 6 week old. (Or perhaps he’s smiling because it’s foolish?).

The first time he smiled at me, the world stopped spinning.

And I wanted him to do it again.

And again.

Now I’m hooked on seeing him smile at me. The more frequently I get up close and make funny noises, the more easily he smiles; his interactions can almost be predicted (thus how I’m able to get a super adorable shot!).

But I realized, it’s not just Levi I like making smile.

While in Switzerland, I often speak on “Evangelizing through Smiling,” as the Swiss are incredibly “frowny” in public: but the moment you hold a smile on the street, they start smiling back.

And open up.

Isn’t it interesting that God put one of our greatest tools for affecting the condition of peoples’ spirits right on our face?

Try smiling today. You might be surprised at how much you receive, too. ch:



Sarah Novak · 4 Nov ’11 at 6:55 am

So I read this with Adoniah on my lap, dancing like a crazy baby to Hillsong, and as soon as she saw Levi she started pointing and trying to climb through the computer. She laughed and smiled, and as I scrolled down to read, she got angry at me and tried to get back to the baby. She was, of course, happily rewarded with that baby face again at the bottom…so even for babies, smiles make all the difference.

    Christopher Hopper · 4 Nov ’11 at 10:17 am

    Awe, this is a great story! Wish you could have videoed it and posted it. πŸ™‚ Glad Levi could make another cute baby’s day.

Christian Fahey · 4 Nov ’11 at 7:23 am

Beautiful pic. Beautiful child. And inspiring post, C. It reminded me of an old proverb (“the light of the eyes rejoices the heart”). Interesting that people have found that by making an effort to smile, not only does it make others feel better, it actually lifts their own spirits. Very cool!

    Christopher Hopper · 4 Nov ’11 at 10:18 am

    It’s the gift that gives to both parties.

    Hey, was thinking of the people who smile easily while writing this: you came to mind. Thanks for always being so warm toward me. You always have. That reminds me a lot of my dad, Peter.

      Christian Fahey · 4 Nov ’11 at 11:02 am

      It’s easy, C. I love you. And I know what God has put inside you. To be compared to your dad is stunning. He’s a GREAT man. Really. Thanks bro. πŸ™‚

        Christopher Hopper · 4 Nov ’11 at 11:11 am

        You’re welcome. Love you, too. And thanks for knowing what’s insider me. #honored

Beth Walrath · 4 Nov ’11 at 8:21 am

This face like the rest of your adorable kids melt my heart.

Brightening one person’s day can have the domino affect. So in reality we have the power in us to make the whole world smile. ????
That sounds like a good goal. Thanks for sharing a beautiful heart melting pic & inspiring post!

    Christopher Hopper · 4 Nov ’11 at 10:19 am

    I noble goal indeed! What a great ambition to have. Thanks, Beth!

Susie · 4 Nov ’11 at 1:09 pm

When you were talking about how Levi is predictable and you would do things just to make him smile, it just makes me think of God’s love for us. How He longs to see us smile and to be happy. He constantly doing things and putting ppl in my life to make me smile. Little things like painting a beautiful sunrise or sunset, songs that I needed to hear at that moment, books, words ppl say, good conversations, the love of ppl in my life, etc.
I love how God is an innovator in His love for us. We may not always see it because He’s constantly changing and He speaks in different ways to different ppl. I believe that’s another reason we need to have a child like faith because as children we notice the littlest things more than most adults…colors are more vibrant, you prejudge ppl less, etc. That’s why I love my relationship with God…He loves me and I love Him and He does little things and puts ppl in my life to see me smile. I loves seeing His children smile.

Okay maybe I should just create a blog post on this instead of taking up your comment section. Haha…I’ll see you Sunday! πŸ™‚

    Christopher Hopper · 4 Nov ’11 at 4:33 pm

    “I love how God is an innovator in His love for us.”

    Girl, you can take up all the comment space you want when you leave one liners like that!

      Susie · 5 Nov ’11 at 7:15 am

      Hahahaha, sometimes I think I’m brilliant, but those one liners are strictly the Holy Spirit..He makes me sound brilliant. Lol πŸ™‚

wil · 4 Nov ’11 at 4:57 pm

Hi Chris,

Nice blog you have here! This may sound kinda weird, but I was trying to send Joe and Nat a picture I took for them when they were scubaing. Nat gave me an incorrect email and I was going to give up. However, I went through all the trouble to scan the film so I thought I’d try Googling them up. Low and behold, I stumble across your blog πŸ™‚ Anyways, if you get a chance, can you please help me forward this picture to Natalie or Joe?


    Christopher Hopper · 5 Nov ’11 at 6:35 am

    You got it, Wil. I’ll actually be seeing Nat this morning.

    But there’s a more important topic here: will you take me scuba diving when I hit Hawaii next year?

Jennifer Hopper · 10 Nov ’11 at 9:15 am

He is SO adorable!
Great point about smiling! Love Jenny

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