The Need for Belly Laughs

A few of my girlfriends and I reply to a weekly email thread in which we share our response to “What’s Saving Your Life Right Now?”  Here’s the background on this awesome idea;

The idea comes from author Barbara Brown Taylor. In her memoir Leaving Church, Taylor tells about a time she was invited to speak, and her host assigned her this topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now.”

Most of us know what’s killing us, and can articulate it, if asked. Some of us are overwhelmed with hurry and worry; some of us face crushing poverty; some feel utterly paralyzed.

But few of us stop to note what’s giving us life. Taylor says it’s too good a question to not revisit every once in a while: what are the things—big or small—that are saving us?   (well explained from Modern Mrs. Darcy)

I started to notice a common theme as several times laughter would be the saving factor for many of us.. Laughter sure can lighten the load on hump day in the  middle of a crowded and chaotic week. Laughter can soothe your soul and remind you of so many joys surrounding you.

Laughter was a big draw that brought me to my husband in our early years. We met 11 or so years ago when a big group of 30 of us went out to dinner after church. We happened to sit by each other and the whole evening I thought he was hilarious. I loved how transparent he was in telling embarrassing stories about himself, including others in the conversation, and making me laugh with that ridiculous shaking laugh that sounds like a walrus coming out of me.

Lately we’re walking again in that silly laughter. We have been in a stressful season from worklife, parenting, health issues, family dynamics and otherwise day-to-day probably similar to your household. Monday night we were able to escape for a quick happy hour after dropping our teen off for a Young Life meetup. I don’t even remember what was said, or how we got so carried away, but we found ourselves giggling like school girls. It was fun to look across the table and be reminded of that man over there that loves me well, that still makes me to the walrus laugh, and we still find things saving our life and making us belly laugh even after all these gray hairs we are collecting together.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.  Job 8:21

I don’t pretend to know the tough road you’ve been walking. I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to take on a mile in your shoes. I do know that the Lord wants to walk there beside you. I do know that He brings others alongside us to take the journey with us. I do know that He brings us laughter and joy to carry us a little lighter. Just as a Father seeks to bring a smile to his kiddos, so does our heavenly daddy want to see us enjoy and delight in him.

If you are looking for a good read to add some laughter and joy look no further than And still she Laughs by Kate Merrick. Merrick shares the raw story of losing a child to cancer, walking through her personal grief, and finding joy, faith and perspective despite and inside the darkness. I devoured this book in two days and quickly passed it on to several friends walking in hard seasons. I appreciated the author’s honest storytelling while still giving readers purpose and tangible ways to find perspective of life within harsh seasons. Seriously, you will feel as though you’ve made a new bff in Merrick. (Here’s a quick trailer on the book and such…)

What good gifts has he placed in your day today? What is saving your life this week? Where do you find laughter that brings about that embarrassing laugh that you don’t always let out?


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