The Gift of Laughter

The Gift of Laughter

From the Authors Our Story

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
They are a garland to grace your head
    and a chain to adorn your neck.
~Proverbs 1:8-9

Mom and my daughter.
Mom and my daughter.

When I was growing up, my mom had a notepad with the quote, “Blessed is he who can laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be amused.” Not a direct quote from the sermon on the mount, but definitely something our family lives by.

From an early age, my parents taught me to never take myself too seriously. There are times to be serious, times for grief, times for tears- but we must never forget, that at all times, life is a gift. So, they taught me to laugh as often as possible, even when laughter didn’t seem the likely outcome of a situation.

Proof of this arrived again last night when my mother texted me,

“Dad and I just came in from a walk. Something was poking his foot in his shoe. By the time he mentioned it we were a mile and a half from home. He removed his shoe to reveal a bloody foot. He found a sharp object had broken through his sole. I ran home to get the car. Wheezing and coughing up the hill.”

Now I know some of you read the message of the text and think my mom was worried, or even annoyed. But I read it and could already hear the laughter in my mother’s voice. Of course the double smiley face she texted next was confirmation of this.

These texts were followed by a wheezy phone call in which Mom reassured me that Dad was indeed fine.

Dad and my oldest son.
Dad and my oldest son.

While we were talking, Dad, who couldn’t come to the phone because he was soaking his foot, hollered to tell me about his ruined hanky and that the ability to feel pain evidently diminishes with age.

Mom thought she better tell me the whole story to explain about the hanky. Upon removing the sharp object, Dad used his hanky to blot his heel and then put his hanky in his shoe to cover the hole. He walked on for a while but then stopped to take a look. The bleeding had slowed but had not stopped. Hence the ruined hanky. At this point, Dad handed mom the car keys and she started jogging for home.  Mom had to run up a hill to get to their house (it is one of those hills that I would never choose to run up). It was while she was jogging up that hill that she was passed by a man walking his dog. And this is where her giggles erupted in her retelling. “But in my defense,” she added, “it was a big dog, and I’m pretty sure he was helping to pull his master up the hill. I didn’t have any help like that!”

After my phone call, my husband asked what all the laughing was about. And when I said, “Dad cut his foot.” My husband gave me a very confused look. I’m sure he was thinking (and rightly so) how is that funny?

Enter the gift of laughter. Choosing not to be angry, or frustrated. Choosing not to think that the world is out to get you or that you should give up. Instead, the ability to not take yourself too seriously. *

We all have different gifts from our parents. Gifts we treasure, and even ones we’ve maybe never noticed. And maybe, if we are lucky, gifts we can pass on to our children.

May the Lord open your eyes to the gifts he has placed in your family. May you be blessed to give new gifts to your children, that your ceiling would be their floor to start on and reach higher from. And may you know that whatever challenges may come, you do not need to take yourself too seriously. In Jesus name, Amen.

~Lindsay

*It was at about this point that my youngest son came along and pounded on the keyboard. The end result being that the ‘d’ key no longer works. I think that peanut butter may somehow be involved. Any ideas how to get peanut butter out of your keyboard? ;)

 

The Mundane

The Mundane

Children Encouragement From the Authors

 Now if we are children, then we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:17 (NIV)

"Cinderella"
“Cinderella”

This is one of my mom’s favorite pictures of her granddaughter*. We call it the ‘Cinderella’ photo. We were at the children’s science museum. And what does a 3-year-old wear to the science museum? The same thing she insists on wearing everywhere else- her princess dress. And what does a little girl want to do at the science museum? Well, everything. Which includes washing the dishes and sweeping the floor. So- ‘Cinderella’, because she is a princess doing the dishes.

Isn’t it a cute picture? Is your cute-o-meter on overload? Or am I just biased?

Now here is something I tend to forget while I am doing the dishes and sweeping the floor. I’m a coheir with Christ.

Do you know what that means? I am a sister to the prince, a daughter to the king. I. Am. A. Princess! I might not rock a lot of Disney Playwear like my daughter, but whether I look the part or not, I am a princess. Not the snooty kind, but the beloved princess. The apple of her Father’s eye. Yep. That’s me.

And that’s you too!!**

I don’t know if you have a daily devotional (I would recommend getting one, though). But I tend to get my ten minutes in the morning, and then I’m like, “Thanks, God. You’re the best. Help me today!” and I’m off to the races. The dishes, laundry, feed children, wash something, get to work, is the curling iron still on?, overdue books, when was that bill last paid?… and on we go. Drowning in the mundane.

You are a princess. Nothing you do is mundane.

God is not in the background all day. He is with you. Every moment you draw breath is shrouded in glory and holiness because God is dwelling with you, and you are his princess. The trick is pulling God past the morning devotional, and into the rest of the day with you. No, that’s not quite it, because He is always with you. So, I suppose, it is becoming aware that He is with you. It is making your meetings with God more than just a moment in the morning, but a continual conversation throughout the day.

When I see this picture, I don’t see a silly little girl. I see my princess. I know her strengths, I have plans for her future, I want to be there with her in that moment, and I want her to know how very much I love her.

And that’s how God is looking at us.

He wants to be a part of everything. The amazing, the hard, the mundane.

Jesus came as Emmanuel, God with us. And He still is today. The God who was, and is, and is to come with us!

Thank you, God, for adopting us. Thank you that you want us in your family, and that you have a purpose for us. Thank you that you love us so much, and that You just want to be with us. Open our eyes again to how You are in every circumstance, big or small, easy or hard. Bless us to feel You along side us throughout the day. And help us to trust more in Your Love. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*Let’s be honest, EVERY picture of a grandchild is a grandmother’s favorite picture!

**Unless you’re a guy… then, you are, obviously, a prince. Swords. Dragons. Still very cool.

Book Update

Book Update

Book 1 From the Authors

proclaim

I want to give you an update on our children’s book. We are formatting the text and images for print. When I say ‘we’, I mean ‘my mom’. It is on mom’s shoulders right now. She is our tech wizard. She makes computers do things, and explains them to me… and while I nod and smile as if I understand, half of what she says sounds like gibberish. So the short version is: Mom has to convert our images into a higher resolution to make sure every page follows a certain set of criteria so our book actually looks like a book rather than a blurry, pixelated mess.

It’s a lot of work. But she is a positive worker. She said she only needs to find the ‘key,’ and then everything she has learned will fall into place. She also smiles and says she’s learning a lot.

This is a better attitude than mine. I recently went through ‘a series of unfortunate events.’ Each event alone would be bearable. But all together, they became too much for a young mother of three to handle. My life had become a crazy sitcom episode! But thankfully I have Jesus. Because at my low point, when I was driving and trying not to lose my cool, I leaned on God in prayer. And in my prayer I felt as if God was waiting for me to throw back my head and laugh at the ridiculousness of life. Not that he was belittling my life, or my circumstances, rather, to laugh with joy because of who He is. Because He is with me. Because none of the ‘stuff’ in life is ever going to be bigger than He is. As the words of my prayer winged to God, I turned on the radio and, I kid you not, these were the words I heard.

I just wanna make you laugh
I just wanna see that smile
We’re only here for a little while*

Now, I know. Coincidence, right? I think not, for I was awed in that moment. I was comforted in that moment. I felt unexplainable joy in that moment. And when you have these ‘moments’ often enough, you learn to listen for His voice. Remember the story of Elijah**? God was not in the fire, He was not in the earthquake, or the rushing wind. He was in the gentle whisper. All I’m saying is that if we are in relationship with Him, and waiting for a gigantic sign from heaven, we might have to wait a very long time. But if we are listening for that gentle voice, we will receive the comfort we need in countless moments.

My prayer for you this week is that you would receive comfort from the One who made you. That you would be blessed to feel His Presence when you draw near to Him. That whatever you are working on would find success. That you would be renewed to do the work set before you. And that you would bless others as you work. In Jesus’ strong name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*These lyrics are from a band called O.A.R the song is titled “Peace.” It is currently a pretty popular song on the radio.

**1 Kings 19, you should check it out