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

    • 91,529 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

    • Confessions of a Ninja Mom by Anna M. Aquino
      Back Cover Blurb: Being a ninja mom means you love your family, and you are able to raise your kids the way God intended them to be. Affirming you?re a ninja mom means you?re okay with the role God has given you, and you do it with excellence. So join me in my declaration: You are a ninja mom. I am a ninja mom. Together we ARE a powerful force! Join the ninj […]
    • Texas Author Caryl McAdoo
      Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Caryl! Is there a story behind Sins of the Mothers?     Only in that I realized as an adult that I had to deal with the ‘sins’ of my mother and think to a certain extent, we all do. Please don’t get me wrong. Mama was a saint of God and a powerful intercessor. I can’ even imagine the hours she spent on her knees on my beha […]
    • Sins Of The Mothers by Caryl McAdoo
      Persistent faith brings redemption and reconciliation. Propelled by blind love, Mary Rachel Buckmeyer defies her father to elope with Caleb Wheeler. The newlyweds run off to California then partner with his cousin in his dry goods business.Unbeknownst to the young bride, her new husband sends his kissing cousin ahead. He wants his love and his new wife’s mon […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • April New Releases
      Hostess: Michelle MassaroWriting Gladiators.... Step into the ARENA!Welcome to another Clash here at Clash of the Titles! Below are FIVE New Releases, hot off the presses in April, for your entertainment. They all look wonderful to us, but YOU will decide which one takes Top Honors this month.Please check out the covers and descriptions below and vote for th […]
    • Introducing Biblical Fiction Author Stephanie Landsem
      This week Clash of the Titles is proud to feature Stephanie Landsem, author of The Living Water biblical fiction series. She will carry you back into the times of Jesus and explore beautiful truths that resonate deeply with readers.Let's hear from Stephanie about her books and how she handles the interesting challenge of writing about Jesus. 1.) What wa […]
    • Series Feature: The Hawk and the Dove
      Welcome Penelope Wilcock!Clash of the Titles is proud to feature The Hawk and the Dove series by English writer Penelope Wilcock! With the first books written in the early 90s and the remainder published 20 years later, the Hawk and the Dove  series has captivated readers for decades. Set centuries ago, these books offer an authenticity not often found in hi […]
  • 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: Jordan's Shadow by Robin Johns Grant
      Jordan’s ShadowRobin Johns GrantCan’t stop reading!February 2015Print 12.99E book: 2.99Buy on AmazonFrom the Publisher:The Crosby family has a frightening problem. Is it psychological? Supernatural? Or something entirely unexpected?In 1984, seventeen-year-old Rose and her fiancé discover an injured girl with no memory. The girl, Jordan, is in Rose’s life for […]
    • Book review: Historical novella Acres of Dreams by Sharon McGregor
      Acres of Dreams book reviewSharon McGregorShort Historical InspirationFrom the Publisher: Katy is a nineteen year old girl sent to Canada by her family in the late 1890s to find a suitable husband. Katy has other plans however--she wants a career, not marriage. During the round of social activities arranged by her sister, she is drawn against her will toward […]
    • Emma Right, Children's books, Kindle Fire giveaway
      Synopsis Of While Princesses Sleep, Book 1 of the Princesses OF Chadwick Castle Seriesby Emma RightWhile Princesses Sleep: Princesses of Chadwick Castle Adventure, Book 1 (Princess Castle Adventure Mystery series) is a tale of two royal sisters who are princesses.1. While Princesses SleepThe Princesses Of Chadwick Castle Adventure is an eight-book series set […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • Book Review: Land of My Heart (Heirs of Montana) by Tracie Peterson
      When Dianne Chadwick’s father is killed during an altercation in front of his store as conflict between the north and south rises, she and her mother decide to move their family to Montana. They believe it will keep their boys away from the civil war conflict. But the attempt to bring safety and security is short lived when Trenton the eldest chooses to join […]
    • Book Review: 1929, Book One (The 1929 Series) by M. L. Gardener
      When the stock market crashes in 1929 it crushes the wealthy lifestyles of three young couples whose lives are intertwined. This riches to rags story captured my interest and I hung in there for the entire book because it started off well. Jonathan Garrett the husband of one of the couples feels responsibility for their circumstances as it was his brokerage […]
    • Book Review: A Painted House by John Grisham
      I have actually read this book before but didn't review it. It's just as good the second time round and a deviation from Grisham's usual legal mystery/thrillers. Frankly, I feel it's his best work. The first person narrative and southern setting reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird though the plot is quite different.At the heart of the sto […]
  • 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 1,247 other followers

%d bloggers like this: