Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 88,329 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite?
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • A Warm Welcome to Roger Bruner!
      Is there a story behind your book The Devil and Pastor Gus?Absolutely! About thirty years ago—maybe forty—I wrote a little play called “B.L.Z.” When I say “little,” I mean little. Just a few pages. In this play, the Devil is disgusted with the fact that his son, Junior, always messes up his evil assignments by doing good instead and sends him to earth on one […]
    • The Devil and Pastor Gus
      Back Cover Blurb:Fifty. Half a century old. Closer to the grave than cradle. And what does Pastor Gus Gospello have to show for his fifty years on earth? Not much. Shepherd of a small church. Married without kids. Faithful keeper of God's commands. Well, most of them, anyway. Gus longs to make a difference for God to have an eternal legacy. Now, as he c […]
    • Cut It Out by Terri Gillespie
      Back CoverThe Hair Mavens are back! Women are flocking to the newly remodeled Hair Mavens Salon. But the salon isn’t the only thing that has changed—two more mavens arrive and create chaos for the ladies; and if that weren’t enough Katya is about to bring on something new that will change all their lives. KATYA: The former mousey Kathy has transformed into t […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • The December Clash Victory Goes To...
      KINSALE KISSESCongratulations, Elizabeth Maddrey! Kinsale Kisses received enough votes to claim the win! This clash received more votes than any other clash in COTT history. So we offer a big thank-you and a standing ovation to each of our contestants: Rachel A James with The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia, Heather Gray with Queen, Julie Arduini with Entruste […]
    • December Clash
      It's the most wonderful time of the year!This is our last clash of 2014, but the year isn't over yet! The Christmas season is in full swing and that means books, books, and more books! Whether you're looking for something to curl up with in front of the fire, or something to gift to your best friend, we've got you covered. Come "peek […]
    • Patricia Bradley in the Spotlight
      Former Clash Contestant Patricia Bradley is in the spotlight today! A popular romantic suspense author from Mississippi, her latest book "A Promise to Protect" released this fall and garnered high praise from readers. It's the second book in her Logan Point series, with the third releasing next summer.A Promise to Protect:In a steamy small tow […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
    • Are You Teachable?
      What? You think you know everything? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one knows everything. Oh, there is one, Hashem. He's omniscient. But no one else is. Even Yeshua (Jesus) isn't. He doesn't know the hour or day he will come again. Some people rejoice in learning something new. I tend to be one of those people. I read about […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Book Review: Colors of Feelings LaToya Watson Children's Picture book
      Colors of FeelingsLaToya WatsonChildren’s picture bookPublish AmericaISBN 9781630844202$5.99 ebook; paperback and hardcover editions availablec. January 2014Buy on AmazonColors of Feelings is a great book about children who experience different feelings for each color of the rainbow.My review: Darling large format picture book with a four-stanza poem on the […]
    • CrossReads Book Blast: In the Cleft: Joy Comes in the Mourning by Dana Goodman
      In the Cleft: Joy Comes in the MourningBy Dana GoodmanAbout the Book: Author and Counsellor, Dana Goodman, shares her painful journey through heart breaking tragedy. After losing her 12-year-old son and 30-year-old husband to cancer, she must put back together the broken pieces of her life and her faith. Drawing hope from Christ, she describes how even the w […]
    • A special Memoir of a Daughter, Bethany's Calendar by Elaine Marie Cooper
      My dear writing friend Elaine Marie Cooper, whom I've also been blessed to spend face-to-face time with shares from her latest book. It's a family story, a family history of a sort, a saga like no other, one that no one hopes to encounter. Read Bethany's Calendar and find peace, hope, and love.~LisaAbout the Book:In January of 2002, Elaine’s w […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • Book Review: Alzheimer's Prevention: Protect Your Brain for Life by Dr. Melody Jemison
      A very thorough book written by Dr. Melody Jemison. Jemison lists multiple things you can do to prevent the progression of Alzheimer's.  The author references a variety of studies. It's never too early to start putting these measures into place. In fact, the earlier the better, as taking the recommended supplements or establishing suggested regimen […]
    • Book Review: The Heart of a Gypsy by Roberta Kagan
      During Nazi Germay Christian Stearn, a freedom-fighter is rescued by a band of gypsies involved in the resistance after being captured by  the Nazis. Christian immediately falls in love with Nadya the beautify gypsy girl who helps orchestrate his rescue. Christian then joins forces and works with the gypsies.The author uses the story to help educate readers […]
    • Book Review: Hearts Awakening (Hearts Along the River) by Delia Parr
      Ellie Kilmer is a spinster with no money and a plain countenance.  Her only hope for supporting herself is to serve as a housekeeper on Dillon Island for widower Jackson,  a widower with young boys.  Jackson makes a marriage proposal to Ellie, but it will be in name only and he’s mainly after a cook and caregiver. The more Ellie gets to know Jackson the more […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

Laughter—God’s Gift

Posted by elainemcooper on November 2, 2012

By Elaine Marie Cooper

Author’s Note: This blog posted over a year ago on another site. With all the stress of elections and storms, I pray that you can take a breather and find a moment to smile. Perhaps even laugh. :)

When I was a little girl (but old enough to read) my brothers, sisters, and I looked at a wedding invitation sent to our parents. As each of us read the beautiful font announcing the happy occasion, we each fell on the floor laughing. So what did we find so funny? It read:

Announcing the marriage of Onessima Boelke to Valentine Putz.

We looked at each other through our jovial tears, and said, “She’s going to become Onessima Putz!” Peals of laughter ensued. We even managed to draw my mom into the humor of it. That, in and of itself, was the best part since Mom was not easily humored. It was a moment of pure hilarity that I have never forgotten, mostly because Mom did not often laugh.

But that memory always reminds me of the importance of having a sense of humor—even when circumstances are difficult.

Anyone who has read any of my posts or interviews before knows that my husband Steve and I have endured major stress in our lives. Yet somehow, laughter has become a welcome friend even in the most dire of circumstances.

I will never forget an evening at home when my daughter was ill with a brain tumor. While the setting was not funny in the slightest, what ensued still makes us laugh.

We often read chapters from James Herriott’s books to our daughter Bethany since she really enjoyed the tales of the Yorkshire veterinarian. His stories described his large animal practice during the 1930’s through the ‘60’s. This one particular evening, my elderly mom was reading a chapter to Bethany and the story concerned artificial insemination in cows. So picture a woman in her 80’s reading to a cancer patient about a sensitive topic not often discussed in such detail. I think we all nearly landed on the floor, weak from laughter, listening to my very proper mother trying to get through the reading. And yes, even Mom ended up laughing!

It was a moment of joy that relieved our stress.

So isn’t that what humor is? The opposite side of pain that relieves the tension in our everyday lives?

Consider some of the physical benefits of laughing (courtesy of http://www.humor-laughter.com):

- Lowers the levels of cortisol in our body. Cortisol suppresses our immune system

- Acts like exercise in stimulating our hearts and lungs. Improves our breathing capacity

- 15 minutes of laughter equals the benefit of 2 hours of sleep

- Laughing for 15 seconds adds two days to your life span (I have NO idea how they figured that one out)

- Laughter causes endorphins to release into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise (I, personally, would prefer to laugh than exercise—but that’s another topic).

A study by the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore states that laughter along with an active sense of humor may help protect you against a heart attack. They quote the old saying of “laughter being the best medicine.”

So what does the Bible say about laughter? Well, it first appears in Genesis. Both Abraham and Sarah are caught laughing when God promises them a child in their old age.

Abraham fell face down; he laughed and said to himself. “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” (Genesis 17:17 NIV)

Then the Lord appears in a visible form to Abraham and, within earshot of Sarah, promises that by next year at this time, Sarah will give birth to a son.

“Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of child bearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’” (Genesis 18:10-12 NIV)

Notice that this particular laughter was at the irony of the situation. It was also rooted in pain, as both Abraham and Sarah had long hoped and prayed for a child. I suppose they laughed so they wouldn’t cry.

But as God is in the business of keeping His promises, Sarah did give birth to a son in her old age. The laughter this time was joyful.

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”(Genesis 21:6 NIV)

It was a release of heartfelt happiness born after so many years of barrenness. I’m sure if she was able, she would have rolled on the floor laughing. But you never know—any 90-year-old woman who could give birth may have been doing an out-and-out belly laugh!

Laughter in the Bible is often described in its contrast to painful situations. In Psalms126:2, it describes former captives who are now released, returning to their home and filled with mirth:

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.”(NIV)

Again in Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes, laughter is side-by-side with pain:

- “Even in laughter, the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.” (Proverbs 14:13 NIV)

- “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” (Job 8:2 NIV)

- “A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV)

I cannot imagine getting through the difficulties in life without the comfort of humor. It can be found in even the most desperate of situations, if we pray for the eyes to see it. I thank God for His joy.

So when was the last time you were consumed with laughter? Life is filled with stress and certainly there are times when laughing is inappropriate. (Think of a certain candidate in a recent vice-presidential debate…) But could it be that humor is a gift to us when times are tough? When we are beset with financial worries, concerns about our children, fears over a loved ones’ health—maybe God’s remedy to help us cope is as close as a giggle, a smile, a laugh-filled moment.

If anyone wants to borrow the hilarious movie, “While You Were Sleeping,” you can. I own two copies. I have watched the first one so often, I was afraid I’d wear the DVD out so I bought another when it was on sale. I know I can always count on a good laugh when I watch it.

May your life be filled with joyful laughter.

photo credit: maureen_sill via photopin cc

About these ads

2 Responses to “Laughter—God’s Gift”

  1. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav) said

    As Jo Ann Pflug said of her given name, Putz is a name you change from, not to. :D If ever there were a demonstration of the need for the following verse, this post is it:

    (Zephaniah 3:9 NKJV) “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.

    • You are so right, John! Even after so many years, the names still stand out in my memory. :) Thanks for sharing that awesome verse from Zephaniah. Difficult to imagine that someday ALL will call on the name of the Lord. What a day to rejoice!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,246 other followers

%d bloggers like this: