Podcast Episode 147: Light Up

Author Toni Morrison, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, once said, When a kid walks into a room—your child or anybody else’s child—does your face light up? That’s what they’re looking for. My children used to walk in the room when they were little- I looked at them to see if they’d buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or their socks were up—and so you think your affection and deep love is on display because you’re caring. But it’s not. When they see you, they see the critical face. “What’s wrong now?” But I tried from then on to let [my] face speak what’s in [my] heart—because when they walked in the room I was glad to see them. It’s just as small as that.

And children aren’t the only ones who need your face to light up when you see them. Everybody needs to be seen and celebrated.

It takes some intentionality, for sure, to let your face register what your heart is feeling when you encounter a person who’s significant to you. Especially on a hard day, or when you’re distracted by a mind going in a million different directions with all the stuff you have to do and all the problems you need to solve and all the worries of your mind.

But would it be so hard to “light up” when you encounter a friend, a family member, maybe even a stranger who appears to need a little lift?

Find out in this episode—along with answers to burning questions like, “Why would anyone greet a spouse at the door dressed in Saran Wrap?”


“Does Your Face Light Up?” Oprah’s Lifeclass. Oprah Winfrey Network, 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jw0Fu8nhOc

“Greeting Your Spouse with Warmth and Enthusiasm.” Marriage Missions International. https://marriagemissions.com/greeting-spouse-warmth-enth

Kris, Deborah Farmer. “Does Your Face Light Up?: Five Words That Changed My Teaching and Parenting.” LifeCompass Blog, September 10, 2019. https://info.montroseschool.org/blog/does-your-face-light-up-five-words-that-changed-my-teaching-and-parenting

Morgan, Marabel. The Total Woman: How to Make Your Marriage Come Alive! Fleming H. Revell Company, 1973.

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