Category: I Have Laughter

Day #28: I Have Laughter

I can’t close the month without mentioning Disney.  From Disneyland in my childhood to season passes to Disney World as a Florida resident, Disney has been a special place where I’ve laughed and made many a happy memory with family and friends.

I once read that you need to hear five positive comments just to balance out one negative statement.  I wonder if our memories work in a similar fashion?  I wonder if that is why the Bible places such a strong emphasis on remembering?

When I first began studying spiritual direction I walked through a season of re-framing; looking at my identity in Christ, the areas of my life that I needed to open to God, places of woundedness where I needed healing, places where I needed a deeper repentance and memories that needed to be brought into the light of a larger story.  I found it interesting that when I turned my gaze toward the past, the memories that were most alive, closest to the surface and incredibly influential in shaping my perspective were the painful memories, the places of fear and injury.  But in the act of redemptive remembering I’ve found that behind all those painful recollections there were many places of joy and goodness and truth that were hidden away and overshadowed.  There were other themes at work shaping my life and those things need to be remembered, to be called out into the light and actively invited into my perception of reality.

When God put this month of laughter on my heart I didn’t know that February was going to be such an emotionally intense month.  Yet, God knew and He called me to remember.  I’ve barely scratched the surface of recalling all of the ways that God has been good to me, from remembering that squirrels are funny creatures to remembering that God is full of laughter and grace for all my awkwardness as His ragamuffin daughter.

There is pain in this world.  There are dragons that breathe fire and lies and are bent on destruction.  But nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  I have laughter and I know that you do too.

So thanks for sharing this journey with me.  The journey isn’t over yet and neither is my need to recount God’s grace in my life.  Keep looking for “I Have Laughter” posts tucked into my blog here and there and keep sharing your stories.  It is good to remember together.

Day #26: Creatures Great and Small

Pets make me happy and have brought lots of laughter into my life.  I’ve had fish, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, a guinea pig and a hamster (that I barely remember).  There were also the Peacocks and Guinea Hens that made themselves at home at my house in Florida. (They were much more welcome than the opossums. Can you tell I lived off a dirt road and not in a subdivision?)

Then there was that time when we lived in Missouri that I brought home a pencil box full of fuzzy caterpillars.

This was in the days before plastic pencil boxes.  I didn’t realize that the caterpillars would be able to push the cardboard lid open.  I had filled their box with yummy leaves so I thought that they would be perfectly happy to stay put, but no, the little rascals had to go exploring.  I sure hope my mom can now laugh about that time there were fuzzy caterpillars loose throughout her house.

Should I mention the time that I brought home the little frogs that I caught at school?

Maybe the frogs, lizards and various other critters that I brought home should go unmentioned.

Day #25: Flower

If you know me well, you know that broccoli is not my favorite vegetable.  I applauded President Bush when he said, “I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

One of my “I Have Laughter” memories is of the time when my little cousin was just starting to be introduced to different vegetables.  He looked at the piece of broccoli, picked it up, smelled it, called it a flower and set it aside.  I sure wish I’d thought of that!

Today I”m still not a broccoli fan, but I do eat it to be polite.  And every time I find it on my plate I enjoy a silent chuckle over this memory.

Day #24: O’ Opossum

Well, I would generally tell you that opossums are no laughing matter.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that they are always looking around with cunning and evil intent.  OK – that’s not entirely true, but obviously I hold a grudge.

I remember the first time I saw my cat Nora pouncing on top of the air conditioning vent floor grate.  It was funny to watch, until I looked down to see what she was playing with and jumped.  There were two beady eyes staring back at me.  The opossums had moved into the central air and heat ducts.  For as long as I owned that home they were the bane of my existence, moving into walls and chewing through the wire wrapped and reinforced duct work on a regular basis.  I even caught this one hissing at me from the tree in my front yard.

But there was that time when we all laughed at the opossum.  You see, my mom came in the house to tell us how she had seen a giant rat.  It sounded a bit like a “big fish” story.  I’m afraid we gave her a really hard time.  I mean, no rat could ever live up to that description.  (And I saw The Secret of NIMH).  The next day she saw the “rat” again, but this time she was wearing her glasses and realized it was an opossum.

Dear opossums, I’m sorry for holding a grudge, but it really is rude to move into someone’s house without asking for their permission.  Also, hissing at people is not generally accepted as a friendly overture.    Maybe next time try this face instead.

Day #23: Zoop, Zoop, Zoop

Yesterday I mentioned how I grew up watching the Muppet show. I also loved watching the reruns of Walt Disney’s Zorro (1957-1959).

My dad and I used to play this game where we would be Zorro.  At pretty much any time we would sneak up on each other and zoop, zoop, zoop – we’d make the sign of the “Z” on the other person with our finger.  (Sometimes tickling would follow).  It was kind of like being it – who made the sign of the “Z” last?  If I was feeling down it often helped trade tears for laughter when I was suddenly “zooped.”

My funniest Zorro memory was when I turned on the TV in Frankfurt, Germany and there was Sergeant Garcia running through a Spanish hacienda screaming in German.  Maybe it was jet lag, but I just couldn’t stop giggling.

 

Day #21: Hawaii Chair

Before I was diagnosed with Celiac disease I constantly wiggled my legs, bouncing them up and down while sitting.  It was nearly impossible for me to sit completely still so I thought I might need one of these Hawaii chairs in order for my body to keep up with my legs.  Thankfully, the elimination of gluten from my diet has stopped the restless bouncing of my legs and I’m safe from what could have been a disastrously hilarious scenario.

Day #20: Heigh Ho – Buffalo!

As a recap, I’m spending February posting about things that bring laughter…the life that I have lived, the joy I have found, the things that make me smile and proclaim “It is good.”

Feel free to join the “I Have Laughter Experiment” at any time by sharing what things bring you laughter and joy.

I’m about to give away my “Two Truths and A Lie” clincher statement.  No one ever thinks that I’m telling the truth when I tell them I’ve been chased by a buffalo.

When I worked on Catalina Island I got to take my horse out through the interior, which was great, but occasionally it came with some unique challenges.  The island is home to a herd of American bison that were brought over for a film and released into the wild in 1924.   They can be aggressive during mating season and every now and then we’d top a ridge and discover that we’d come between a male and his herd.  This is never a good idea.

Did you know that buffalo growl?  They do and it’s a fearsome sound.  Apparently, it’s especially fearsome if you are a horse.

I remember one time that we came upon a herd and I suddenly realized that they had circled behind us and we’d just been cut off from going back the way we came.  The bull growled and started to charge and my horse went the only way he could, straight up the side of the mountain, hopping and jumping all the way.  I remember thinking that if I fell off then I was toast.  Thankfully we made it back to the ranch alive, if not a little worse for the wear.

But now I have to laugh.  I mean, who else do you know that’s been chased by an angry buffalo and lived to tell about it?

Oh…and then there was the time that I was late for work because a buffalo decided to take a morning snooze at the bottom of my porch stairs.  I had to call for help to chase him away so I could leave the house.

No really, the buffalo made me late.

Day #19: Uncooperative Ducks

The way I remember this story:

Bad ducks.  They cost me a cupcake.

The way the story actually goes…

My brother and I were sitting on the back porch at our mini picnic table eating our lunch.  My mom told me to eat my whole sandwich, including the crust, if I wanted to eat the special cupcake we had gotten at the bakery.  Then she stepped inside for something.  When she looked out the window she saw that I had walked out to the middle of the yard under the tree and I was tossing my crusts into the air calling to the ducks the way we did when we fed them in the park.  Clearly I expected the ducks to swoop in and gobble up the evidence.  It was win-win.  I headed back to my seat to wait for my cupcake.  Then my mom came back out and suggested we take a walk around the back yard.   I did not think this was a very good idea.  The ducks hadn’t showed up yet.  Apparently it takes awhile for them to travel from the park to my backyard.  I was quite put out to discover that my crusts were still there on the ground right in plain sight.  Bad, bad ducks.  I did not get that cupcake.

Dear ducks, I want you to know that all is forgiven.