Monday, December 23, 2013

The discipline of laughter

A friend and I have the pleasure of taking a wonderful woman out to lunch once a month so we can all visit. (I wish I could say this wonderful event was my idea, but my friend gets complete credit.) This woman is a sort of honorary grandmother to our children and we love to spend time with her. Changes in all of our schedules means that we hadn't seen her as often, so we started the monthly lunch date.

As we were chatting, she shared a story of her childhood with us and as she was doing so described her mother. The description was wonderful... she was a woman who was always laughing. It was then that she added as a little aside something I think is terribly profound. After she described her mother as a woman who was always laughing, she said, "It's a good discipline."

Think about it. How often do we think of laughing as a discipline? (Of course I'm talking about laughing as joy and not laughing at someone or something in cruelty. Do I need to clarify that? Probably. Love the internet.) I really think we should add it as one of the spiritual disciplines in our lives. If we could learn to laugh it would show that we are truly learning how to rejoice in all things. We would be practicing thankfulness. We would be focusing on the abundance in our lives instead of what we perceive we are missing.

Of course there are times in our lives when we will be weeping and mourning. There is a season for that as well, but far too often I find I go through life as though the weeping and mourning is the default setting. Or more often, I have become so focused on what I need to do, or how things are not working out according to my plans, or I just feel out of sorts. I would love to be described by my children as someone who was always laughing, but I fear I have a long way to go.

So who wants to join with me to practice the discipline of laughter? Don't we all want our homes to be filled with laughter? I know sometimes, especially if you are raising children from hard places, that laughter can seem especially absent. Perhaps this is why I love the idea of it being a discipline. I still need to laugh with my other children and be joyful for them, even if that is not what is in the front of my mind.

It is slightly ironic that I had planned several days ago to write on this topic today because I'm getting a little practice right off the bat. Please pray for A., she was in a skiing accident a couple of hours ago and there is a likelihood of her having broken both of her legs. She has been transported to a nearby (to the ski resort) hospital and J. has left to drive up to meet her. Once she has had x-rays we will know more, but in the meantime, please pray that her legs are just bruised and not broken. I wasn't overly fond of the year 2013 and it looks as though it will be going out with a bang. Edited to add: A.'s legs are NOT broken! Hallelujah!

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