Don’t Forget to Laugh Together

sherriseligson.com When my kids were younger, I remember constantly having many things on my mind.

Simultaneously.

Today’s “to-do” list, dinner and lunch menus, where is the toddler?, soccer practice time change, gather the kids for read-aloud time, where is the toddler?, stop the dog from barking, fill the dishwasher and get it started, where is that toddler?

Life was busy, and my mind was as full as our overflowing laundry hampers.

So I would often get into a plow-it-through mode. Just keep moving through the day. Force yourself to get to the next task.

And that make-yourself-do-it attitude showed in my countenance and my heart. On days like that, I never felt fulfilled or even happy. I rarely even felt accomplished, even though I might have completed lots of things that day. And I could see that reflected in my kids, too.

They approached chores with sighs and frustration. They would sometimes bicker (yes. yes. my kids were not perfect). They certainly weren’t cheerful.

And neither was I.

The one thing that would snap me out of these drudge-filled days was God’s word. I know. This might start sounding like one of those exhortive essays telling you the answer is always to “Read the Bible and pray.” But though that may sound repetitive and cliché, I can’t tell you how true it is. In Christian circles, we have become numb to reading the Word. We hear it so often that it can become like white noise…background info.

But let me tell you. God’s word is true, alive, and pertinent. It is VITAL to true living.

And it imparts joy.

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And this is yet another area where God’s word gives us truth! Indeed, I can tell you that laughter should be a critical part of our days. Many scientific studies have affirmed that a hearty laugh will make you feel better and improve your quality of life. In 2014, a study showed that people who laugh more often have better short-term memory and are less stressed. Laughter has even been shown to protect against heart disease.

But this is not new information. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

And in Proverbs 15:13, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.”

Good medicine and a cheerful face. Not a crushed spirit and dried-up bones.

During the course of your day, stop once in a while to take a moment or two to laugh with your children. Watch a YouTube video of baby animals. Grab a joke book (if you don’t have one, get one) and take turns reading jokes to each other. Teach your kids pig Latin or see who can balance a spoon on their nose.

Make an effort to laugh together, and you will be surprised at how quickly it will change the tone of your household and the countenance of your heart!