When was the last time you laughed?
Ecclesiastes 3:4 says that there’s “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
So should we make time to laugh?
My Google calendar — all marked in red, pink, green, and purple — shows that I live a scheduled life. This week I showed up for a Twitter party (so fun!) and a weekly Bible study. I scheduled dinner with friends. I faithfully recorded hours spent on writing deadlines and ministry. I blocked out time for a baby shower, two work conference calls, and a couple hours for my annual not-so-fun visit with the doctor.
Imagine if I placed the same priority on laughter.
To live free: schedule in laughter.
How do you schedule in laughter?
Laugh behind closed doors.
Have you ever watched your child laugh with friends? You watch their lighthearted chatter and wish they’d do that more with you. There are times our loved ones think the same thing.
We can’t reserve the best of us for others.
Sure, our home is where stress can be the highest, but it’s also where the people you love the most reside. If it’s been a while since you laughed, surprise your loved ones with that gift.
Slow it down (honestly, it’s more important than most of things that take our time) and laugh with those you love best.
It absolutely changes the mood of your home.
It absolutely changes you as a mom, or wife, or whatever role you play in your home.
Give joy-robbing matters less of your life
You have a lot of roles and responsibilities, but how much of yourself do you offer to them? Do they consume all of your free time — time when you could refuel or time when you cuddle with a child and laugh at silly knock-knock jokes.
- There are things that are non-negotiable in your schedule, but are all of them non-negotiable?
- Do you have to be involved in ten different sports or activities as a family?
- Do you have to be accessible for every need in the community?
- Is every assignment your assignment?
Every six months get alone with God. Put everything you do on the “table.” Be brutally honest with yourself and ask the questions above.
You might be surprised at what your Heavenly Father asks you to remove.
Yes, that was your assignment for a season, but is it time to hand off the baton?
Yes, you started that job/ministry, but have you exchanged stewardship for ownership and you’re not letting go?
Yes, that activity is great for your child, but has the emphasis on activities become less fun and more draining?
Is social media more important than face-to-face?
This is a hard one.
Does social media rank higher than face-to-face time with real live people?
No, Suzie. Of course not!
Except that I am on it during dinner, and I’m on it while I watch TV. And I’m on it when I’m sitting next to a real live person on the couch. I share funny videos, so that makes it’s okay, right? I tell them what everybody is doing on Facebook. . .
Can we be honest?
One day, when you assess everything that matters most, face-to-face time with people is going to rank so much higher than faceless time accumulating trivia and details.
Heart to hearts. Laughter that erupts when you least expect it. Laughter that goes deep, until you cry.
So schedule in laughter by putting down social media. Give it its proper place in your relationships. Give it its proper place in intimate moments.
Don’t let a text, status update, private message, notification take you away from a moment that could lead to laughter. It can wait.
Because part of living free is laughing . . . often.
To live free: Schedule in laughter by scheduling out other things.
Scripture: Is joy scriptural? There are many verses on joy, but I love this image of David worshiping God. I can only imagine the joy in this moment:
2 Samuel 6:14-15, “David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.” (NIV)
Today: Slow down today. Eliminate unessential time stealers or scheduled events that make you and your family exhausted (we don’t have to do it all!). Ask God to show you how to rediscover the little things that make you smile.
Belly laugh. I don’t care who’s watching. Life is sacred. Life goes by fast. Enjoy today.
Just you and God: Medically it has been suggested that laughter plays a role in healing. Spiritually, it also offers relief. Joy is not just a fleeting feeling, but a side affect of knowing Jesus.