Saturday, January 21, 2012


My children play hard. Laugh hard. Their made-up games occurred indoors many days in a row, giving me a close-up view of childhood. The main ingredients? Thrill and delight. They love being together, that's the delight, and they love being thrilled. Locked in a dungeon, or hiding in a cave and waiting for a bear to arrive. Or being a bandit running from a sheriff. Or a hiker hiding from a wolf.

Along with the Holy Spirit, they opened my eyes this week. My word of the year? I chose balance. I perceived an imbalance, thinking it pertained to time management. Wrong.

There's an emotional imbalance in the adults here. We don't live for thrill and delight, the way our children do. We don't laugh enough, often exuding stress instead. Our children live happy in spite of us, most of the time. Their delight in each other is their daily salvation.

Not long ago Peter remarked: "Mommy, you aren't as happy as you were before Beth's arthritis. I remember you used to turn up the music and dance with us." He grieved when he said it; he wasn't accusing me of wrongdoing.

A few days later he found a photo of Daddy, laughing. "Will Daddy ever be that happy again, Mommy?"

Don't get me wrong--I delight in the Lord; He gives me joy. But laughter is pain medicine too. Laughter bonds. Laughter starts in fellowship.

So my revised, narrowed-down word for 2012? Laughter.

I'm going to participate with my children in the thrill of chase. As an act of love, I'm going to make them laugh every day, regardless of whether I feel like it. I'm going to be obedient to the Holy Spirit's promptings in this, leaving the rest up to God.

Children need to hear laughter from Mommy and Daddy. Play signals wellness. It's an outward sign that everything's going to be okay.

photo credit


Sandi said...

Great post. I can get to serious and forget to laugh sometimes. My 3 yr old goof is good medicine for his family. He has a way of findng funny in just about anything and already at three.

Last night was puzzles with music that ended in a family dance competiton...we had a blast! Just glad there is no video of it :o)

Sandra heska King said...

Perfect word. Praying for the gift of laughter in your pain.

Christine said...

Sandi, Three year olds are such a gift! I agree!

Thank you, Sandra!