Laughter is the best medicine

img_0832This silly picture was taken five or six years ago.  Ron and I had put in long days on a big project.  Weariness set in and he said something silly.  I responded and we both laughed for a long time.  He wanted to document our silliness with a picture.  Often the best solution for a problem or the best medicine for a nagging emotion is to laugh.  Laugh big and hearty.  Laugh with your whole body.  Laugh until every part of your being is relaxed and tingling.

Don’t question laughter.  It’s a mechanism that God put in place to help us cope.  It is just as important as crying.  Sometimes with even the deepest sorrows swirling around us – sometimes that’s when God wants to us to laugh.  Our society has grown so accustom to sadness, to anger, to frustrations that I often hear people say they don’t feel comfortable laughing.  I believe we should never question laughter.  It comes from God.  It is a pure medicine.  It will encourage you, strengthen you and help you to be positive about life.  So go ahead and ….. laugh!

To help you laugh, here’s an article that I published with Today’s Christian Woman.  One group of ladies told me they read it at work and filled the room with snorts, giggles and loud laughing.  Sounds like a productive day to me.

Just One of Those Days

Everything was going wrong, my husband was no help.

I discovered the power of love even on the craziest day.
by Debbie Jansen

Like most busy women I designate a day each week for annoying chores that build over time. Because my work schedule is flexible, my catch-all day is Tuesday. It’s crammed with running to the post office, grabbing dog food at the pet store, stopping at the outlet shops, and my favorite(not) tackling the toilets.

I hate Tuesdays. Not because I do all the things I dislike, but because it’s never a day that makes me proud. I’ve never felt fulfilled because I remembered all the letters or bills for the post office or that I finally removed the rust from the bolt on the toilet. The humdrum of the day escalates to guilt because my list of duties is never completed. There’s always an interruption that steals too much time and shreds my list in a dust storm of activity, leaving an even bigger mess behind.

Last Tuesday was no different. I opened my eyes just as our cuckoo clock tweeted six times. I wondered if hearing the cuckoo first was an ominous commentary for my list-filled day. I tried to move out of bed but my arm refused to budge from a rotator cuff injury.

Great. The pain is getting worse.  I guess I’d better call the doctor.  This new interruption was going to throw off my whole day with an already-full list.

With only one eye open I stumbled into the bathroom. My husband, Ron, had changed the light bulbs from a safe 60 watt to what felt like a spotlight 380 watt. I clutched my eyes trying to spare myself from being blinded. I should remind him that at our age there are a few things I prefer to leave unlit.
I squinted one eye just long enough to retrieve my toothbrush, then smacked off the light and retreated back into the darkness. I felt around for the toothpaste, unscrewed the lid, and squirted at my toothbrush.

This is pretty cool. I’m good in the dark.  I happily brushed my teeth for about three seconds before the terrible taste alerted me that something was terribly wrong.  I flipped on the light, blinded myself again and squinted at the tube on the counter.  Horror swept over me. “Preparation H!” I screamed spit, filled my mouth with water, screamed and spit again.

Our dog, Toby, ran in to see what he could do to help. His pawing and wagging tangled in my robe, and in the frenzy I fell on top of him as he yelped and bit my ankle. One hand went in the toilet, the other hand still grasping my toothbrush jammed into the trash can, and my head popped the side of the cabinet.

“Debbie, what’s going on?” Ron (the ever even tempered guy) calmly walked into the bathroom.
The pain throughout my body didn’t equal the terrible taste in my mouth and all I could do was spit and yell for more water. I tried to get up but couldn’t get a grip on anything. Water puddles mixed with Prep H were spattered around our tiny bath.  Instead of getting involved Ron stood there, hands on his hips, and shook his head.

“Water!” I yelled, as I tried to get untangled from my robe and the dog, and get my hands out of the toilet and trash can.

Ron filled a glass and lifted it to my lips. I wanted to sip and spit but he continued to lift it higher. I didn’t want to swallow this stuff. Good grief, what will it do to my insides?

I shook my head to get away from the flood of water. Was he trying to drown me? I pushed at the glass, which spilled water everywhere and then crashed to the floor. I finally freed my hand from the toilet and shook a fist at Ron. I would have given him a piece of my mind, but I was too busy spitting Preparation H.

“I don’t know what you want!” he said disgusted.

“I want a clean hand!”

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

Once I was on my feet with clean soapy hands, I opened a new toothbrush. I thought about French kissing Ron just so he’d know the desperate feeling I had. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to taste again.
I trudged downstairs, spitting, limping, and holding my bad arm. I picked up the dreaded list and wondered if my catch-all day held any more surprises. Ron held out a peace offering of hot coffee and a donut. Not knowing how it would mix with Preparation H, I passed on the donut. I sipped my coffee and wrinkled my nose at the weird way my tongue felt. Perhaps I should call a pharmacist and see if I’d done any real damage.

My head ached and the bruise on my cheek had turned into a hard bump. I found a plastic bag and went to the fridge for ice. For the last few days I’d been collecting food to be repackaged and stored. When I ran out of room on the counter, I placed a few items on top of the refrigerator.

I opened the freezer door and felt it drag. I looked up just in time to see a bag of flour heading toward me. It hit just the right spot and exploded on impact. I was covered with pure, white flour. Not just the all-purpose kind. This was the over-sifted cake flour that’s so fine it floats and sticks to any visible surface.

Ron burst into laughter. His howls echoed in the hallway. He slapped his knees and held his stomach. He pointed in my direction and then bent over laughing. I opened my mouth to yell at him, but instead I sucked flour in my mouth, which mixed with the remaining Preparation H. The taste was awful, but this time I couldn’t spit. Preparation H was doing its thing and every pore had dried up.

I slid down the side of the refrigerator and sat on the floor, covered in white and unable to speak. I tried to cough the flour out of my mouth, but every time my head moved I was showered with flour from my hair.

Ron was still guffawing when the tears began to fall. Like little rivers washing away the white, they rolled down my face and puddled onto my flour-covered chest where they left a pasty glob.
Ron came over and knelt beside me. “Aw, honey. It’s okay. I’m sorry. I just wish you could see yourself.
I coughed again. Ron laughed again.

“Wanna trade places?” I squeaked.

Ron shook his head, poured me a glass of water, and sat beside me.

After a few moments, we started to draw pictures in the flour and laugh about how crazy life had become. The laughter turned into sobs as I cried about the problems we faced. He admitted he was struggling with job issues. We worried about our kids and my aging parents. I shared my concerns and he sympathized. He shared his concerns and I promised to pray. Surrounded by a cloud of white flour, we experienced the deepness of our love. While life is painful and sorrow is certain, we knew that our love for each other was a life preserver of hope. In order to survive we must cling to each other. I put my head on his shoulder and he prayed.

We worked together to clean up and I made a new pot of flour-free coffee. He left for his meeting, and I decided to put off my Tuesday chores for another day. I grabbed half a donut (okay, a whole donut) and headed for my office. I opened my Bible to 1 John 4:12 and read: “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” Could it be that today’s insanity wasn’t just about my clumsy behavior? Could it be that God used this “white Tuesday” to perfect his love in us?

Toby trotted into my office with something in his mouth. He dropped the half squeezed tube of Preparation H at my feet, cocked his head, and wagged his tail. I shook my head and laughed. As I picked up the tube, I felt confident that God’s love is all around—even on White Tuesday.

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