Friday, November 3, 2017

Reclaiming Laughter

We are plagued in today’s society and our homes by a real travesty.  One that is sneaky and underhanded but devastating nonetheless. Today our homes are in dire need of some humor and lightheartedness.  Dare I even say – we just need to laugh more!

Lest you think this is an easy task for me or even possibly one that I have personally mastered, you must understand that I am type A, only child, goal oriented INFJ who has a tendency to think that laughter is not necessary.  That is until it’s missing for a bit, and everyone is on edge and the mood is miserable.  Then…I stop and try to figure out what’s going on!

This happens in our home when my husband travels.  Certain times of the year he can be gone for several days or even a week or more at a time.  We tend to roll along our merry way for a day or two, but eventually things tend to get a bit tense.  There are three females in the house after all…can I get a witness!  My poor son, y’all pray for him!  Needless to say, my husband who is very even tempered and quick witted tends to keep our home lighthearted and when he’s gone, his absence is definitely noticed.

So what’s a girl to do?  She’s got to be intentional about finding the humor.  Truly it’s everywhere right? When the kids are little it’s easy to laugh at their cute sayings, their play time and imagination, but somewhere between digging out the poptarts and bowls of cereal, packing lunches, and throwing dinner out after practice upon practice-it’s easy to forget to laugh.  As the burdens of adulthood, finances, marriage, and raising children bear down on us, it’s easy to get lost in the responsibility and to lose the laughter.  

So how do we take back the laughter and not let the days weigh us down?

1.     Remember! what does the Bible teach us? 

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: 
but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13

All the days of the afflicted are evil: 
but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15

2.     Reminisce! - take time to watch old home movies/videos, play games etc

When we need a good laugh we pull out the old SD cards and scroll through pictures.  Technology is great – we can take and put up on our TV screen what we have in our hands on our phones or on our computers.  That way the whole family can view.  

We’ve assembled some quick home movies as slideshows, and our favorites of course – we laugh at my daughter’s experience having her wisdom teeth pulled.  Instead of sleeping as I expected she would do, she got to talking a whole lot.  Thankfully she loves laughing with us at her crazy self.  Maybe you’ll enjoy a laugh too with us – if so – click here.  It takes you to my personal youtube channel.  

3.     Recite! - some silly jokes, read a funny story and make it a priority to laugh together each day.

Knock knock jokes may be silly and the kids will roll their eyes, but why not.  

Knock Knock
Who's There?
Moo who?
Make up your mind are you a cow or an owl?

Sometimes I’ll download a copy of a funny meme on one of the socials and text it to my girls. Or hand them my phone when we are in the car together and let them read something I thought was funny. Snapchat while it’s got it’s faults, has some pretty hysterical filters and you can get some funny laughs at of the things you send each other. And I’m not telling you to spend hours a day…it won’t require that, but acting in a purposeful way to find the laughter will benefit our homes greatly. We have plenty of serious topics to work our way through so a light heart can help us carry the load.

My middle child and I were at the post office this week to mail out several packages.  Our post office is small and they know us there pretty well.  My girls have a small coffee business and they have been in the post office many times through the last five years.  We love the folks in this office.  They’re kind, and helpful and friendly.  That day was no exception, and well it was the end of the day and everyone was tired.  My daughter and I were picking on each other and we had our cashier laughing at us.  I remember saying something about “15” and rolling my eyes, and military school but other than that, I just don’t know.  By the time we left my daughter and I had had a great time, the postal workers were laughing and even the few people waiting on us to get finished were grinning.  As we were leaving our cashier asked us to start coming between 10 and 2 each day because that’s when the day gets slow for him, and I laughed.  "No problem, this show could definitely go on the road. We sure don’t have enough laughter in this world anyway.” And he said “that’s exactly right.”

It didn’t cost us a thing to hang out a minute or two longer than maybe we needed to, or to engage in small talk and silliness.  But it brightened, for that moment, a small room that maybe needed just a little energy.  My daughter and I laughed all the way home, and then shared with everyone else.  As Christians, I would pray that our attitude brings people some small happiness in this life.  We must look different than the long faced, sour attitudes of today’s world or they won’t want anything to do with Christ.

You may appreciate another little story.  This one is full of irony in the fact that as I was writing this post, I went to go make myself another cup of coffee.  I do love a good cup of coffee and I love grinding my own beans for a fresh cup each time.  I picked up the grinder to shake out the grinds in the bottom and accidentally pressed the button to grind.  I never knew that it would grind without the lid on, but sure enough it does.  The grounds already at the bottom now were instantly set awhirl straight at my face and arms.  I am now currently covered in microscopic coffee grounds…I guess I needed to exfoliate today after all.  I did laugh – and it was funny.  

Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself too in the process of finding laughter.  We really don’t have to be serious all the time. 

--Victoria is on the road this week managing the Ohio Christian Writer's Conference, so she thought you'd enjoy a revisit to this post from a few months ago!  See you again next week!

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