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

    • 92,035 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

    • Interview with Iowa Children's Author Stenetta Anthony
      Thank you for joining us today, Stenetta. Is there a story behind your book The Love Story?Yes. Several years ago, my church’s nursery department, request that staff develop a curriculum which focuses on a specific biblical character of our choice. The person I chose was Jesus. After writing the story which was to be included in the curriculum, I read the ch […]
    • Mary Potter Kenyon's Memoir: REFINED by FIRE
      Back Cover Blurb:In the midst of the darkness of loss, I found light. Admittedly, in those first weeks, it might have been but a single small spark I sensed deep inside of me, but that spark guided me in the twisted, dark journey of grief. As I stumbled over the roots of hopelessness and despair, that light grew to illuminate my path, a path I sometimes felt […]
    • Interview With Iowa Author Mary Potter Kenyon
      Hi, Mary. Thank you so much for joining us today. Can you tell us the story behind your book Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace?I took the “refined by fire” from the Bible because God’s word became so important to me after the unexpected death of my husband. Not only that, but I became a different person. I was truly “refined” through the multiple […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • COTT Presents Sedona Sunset
      Welcome, readers! As summer moves into full swing and fireworks can be heard ringing through the skies, we’re still cranking out a steady stream of must-read books! Today we are taking a closer look at one of our recent competitors, Sedona Sunset by Tanya Stowe. About the BookAfter an auto accident leaves her crippled and takes her mother’s life, Lara Fallon […]
    • Sizzling Summer Champ
      I know, technically Summer just Started, but...Thank you all for participating in our special May releases Clash of the TitlesWe appreciate the efforts of all of our fans, and particularly our authors this month,   Rachel James      Jennifer Rodewald          Heather Day Gilbertand                  Sarah Loudin Thomas~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ […]
    • It's a New Sizzling Summer Reading Clash of the Titles!
      Looking for some awesome take-me-away Summer Reading?Check out these new releases and I dare you to tell me which one you'd put on the top of your reading list. We offer contemporary and historical romance, a little fantasy, danger, mystery, suspense!Vote for your next most likely read, and leave the author a word of encouragement,then share with your f […]
  • 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

    • Delightful Short Pet Read
      I've been privileged to work with many authors on a vast array of projects, everything from short horror, flash fiction, quick little reads to epic historical novels. Eliza Earsman has an interesting history, besides a growing list of lovely tales to read. Manley, the rescue cat, is a charming tale at a sweetheart price.About the Book:Manley was in a ba […]
    • Penelope Marzec and Patriot's Pride historical fiction
      Margaret, the heroine of Patriot’s Pride, first appeared as the indomitable younger sister of Agnes in Patriot’s Heart. Margaret and her pet pig, Jonas, stole many scenes in Patriot’s Heart. I knew I had to give Margaret her own book and I am delighted I was able to do so.One fact, which initially inspired me to write the book, was the impressment of America […]
    • New Novella by Canadian Fav Sharon McGregor
      Fiona’s Knight of DreamsSharon McGregorJune 2015 Prism Book GroupHistorical romantic novellaAmazon Kindle.99 The good ladies of Timber are ready to find a wife for their new single minister. Charles has ideas of his own when he meets Fiona, the lovely accident-prone and outspoken part-time librarian. Fiona, on the other hand is holding out for a knight on a […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • The Color of the Season by Julianne MacLean
      NOTE:  Due to a serious need to cut back on my workload, this will be my last official book review on this blog.It doesn’t seem possible that the evening can get any worse for police officer Josh Wallace after he is dumped by the girlfriend he planned to propose to, but it does.  Josh and his partner are shot while chasing a carjacking suspect. While on the […]
    • Book Review: Swept Away (Trouble in texas Book 1) by Mary Connealy
      Ruthy MacNeil is rescued by Luke Stone after she nearly drowns fording a flooded river with a wagon train. Her step family doesn’t survive and she is finally free of their mistreatment. Luke surived the horrific ordeal as a prisoner of war in notorious Anderson prison during the civil war, only to learn that his father has been killed and the family ranch st […]
    • Book Review of Everything She Ever Wanted by Ann Rule
      When Pat Taylor wed Tom Allanson he had no way of knowing it would destroy his life in just a matter of weeksIn fact, Pat destroyed a lot of people’s lives. The attractive Southern belle was spoiled by her mother and she expected to live a lavish lifestyle at any cost. Nobody crosses Pat who was fascinated with Scarlett O’Hara. Pat could pour on the charm, b […]
  • 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

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: