Perhaps you read my post from last week, "Coming Alive Again". In it, I describe a wonderful "mountain top" experience that had me tapping into my God-given bents that made my soul soar. I really felt exhilarated after that trip.
I believe that God gives us those experiences, because eventually, we will find ourselves back in the valleys of life. I just hadn't expected the plunge to be so fast and so far.
Memorial Day Morning - my husband and I discussed that we noticed more "cupping" than usual in our hardwood floors in one area of our kitchen. A trip to the crawl space of our home revealed a dark rain forest steaming below. A water pipe was leaking and had been spraying hot water directly upward, like a whale spout, for who knows how long. In addition to the crawl space, our hardwood floors and sub-flooring in the kitchen were soaked.
Thus began a dizzying week of workmen coming in and out of the revolving door on our home. Two huge dryers and six industrial fans roared continuously on the first floor with a plethora of the same in the crawl space. It was like living on the tarmac at the airport.
It's no surprise that about midway through the week, my composure gave way to a pity party complete with ugly crying. "Really, God?" I queried, "Do I really need this?" I asked angrily.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. (Proverbs 17:22)
This is what God gave me. Did He really want me to be cheerful in the midst of this mess? I was definitely experiencing the second half of the verse - my broken spirit had totally sapped my strength.
Okay God, I'll try it Your way. I thought, how can I get a good laugh out of this?
I have always had a funny bone that was easily tickled. I remember, as a girl, I would break into fits of uncontrollable laughter. I would literally roll on the floor, clutching my stomach, howling with laughter. Afterward, I remember just how GOOD it felt!
God gave us emotions for a reason - to be used. Just as my tears were a cleansing catharsis of my frustration, perhaps laughter could be good medicine as well??
This is what I came up with... I snapped a few selfies as I stood in front of one, of six, industrial fans.
Then I looked at the pictures and that childlike reflex of wanting to roll on the floor with laughter returned. I got so tickled with it all that my husband feared I had gone off the deep end. I then started striking poses, like the super models in front of those fans, only imagine, "Vogue" gone horribly wrong!! LOL.
- “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” - Charlie Chaplin
Could it be that if we choose to infuse a little levity into a situation, it can actually be good medicine and have a healing effect?
Yes, I think so.
I am learning that life doesn't always have to be an "either/or" - either I'm miserable or I'm joyful. Instead, it can be a "both/and" - I can be both downhearted and silly at the same time.
It is possible for conflicting feelings to coexist in us.
Giving way to the ever-offered grace of God can help us tap into a joyful strength when life is at its most difficult.
We still have a long way to go on this project, but I know I need to keep adding a little levity along the way. God gave me laughter, as a gift, and it's up to me to use it. Selfies anyone?
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You that you care about every detail of my life and you care deeply about my feelings. Thank You for the emotions you've given me to be able to express them, often with healing benefits. Help me to not live my life always in the "either/or," but enable me to allow room for the "both/and." Even in my trials and struggles, let Your praise always be on my lips. A cheerful heart is, indeed, good medicine. Let me choose to add a little levity to life when it hands me lemons. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
What about you? Are there two opposing emotions trying to coexist in your life? How can you help the situation by adding a little levity? Have you ever been joyful in the midst of pain...how did you do that? Will you share?
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