Tag Archives: Laughing

Oh my gosh…that’s hilarious.

You know what bugs me?

When you are with people and you say something really funny and someone says with a very serious, pursed lips, church lady voice…”Oh my gosh…that is hilarious.”

If it was hilarious, you wouldn’t say it was hilarious, you would just laugh.  Actually, hilarity calls for doubled over, can’t breathe, snot through the nose, snorting.

Now I realize it’s tough to get to that level of humor and I don’t fancy myself that funny but a can I get a chuckle?

I think some people are afraid to laugh.

No really.

Some are afraid because they think they might pee their pants. This is a very real concern after 40. I mean, it’s funny in junior high when you are stuck in corner of the bouncy house and can’t get out and can’t. stop. laughing. but peeing your pants after a certain age could possibly be looked down upon.  I get that.

Others might be afraid that laughter is too silly for them.  They are serious Jesus people. It’s not proper.  They are too old for that kind of silliness.

Respectfully, I disagree.

I am super excited and grateful to be on the launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s new book, “For The Love”. I can’t say much about it because it’s not out until August and it’s TOP SECRET…but it has reminded me how laughter is so good for the soul. She is laugh out loud funny and also so in love with Jesus and spreading the Good News. She’s my people. And the other people on the launch team are my people too. We have a Facebook page for the group and let’s just say…hilarity ensues.  (See how lame that looks with the sad little period. Picture me doubled over in laughter and snorting.)

The other day I was getting a pedicure and I was reading her book and I was literally cry- laughing out loud. I kept pulling my foot out away and doubling over in my chair.  Then in the next minute or two I was weeping- crying soulful, straight from the heart tears. Literally, back and forth on the emotions. The laughing and crying just seemed to merge… into me, my life, what I feel, what I know to be be God’s love…it’s both.  It makes you laugh and cry.  There is no doubt everyone in the salon was worried about me.  Nobody said anything which means they were afraid of me. Just ignore her, they were thinking…she will be out of here soon.  Don’t. Rock. The. Boat. She. Is. Nuts.

My favorite image of Jesus is this one:

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I pretend that He is laughing at my jokes.

It’s a card that I keep in my Bible.  On the back it says, “Smile, God Loves You.”

Because why wouldn’t we smile? The fact that He loves me is good, good news.  It’s great news! It’s the best news there is!

When we receive His gift of grace, when we feel His love and taste the freedom that comes from it…we find joy.

Joy is our birthright.

We don’t need to pretend to be pious and always dignified and serious and somber.

Of course, we don’t need to pretend to think something is funny, either.

No more pretending.

I love to laugh and sometimes I pee my pants doing it.

Amen.

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©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

On all days…in all ways…thank you

Lord, I’m thinking of my kids today and I want to thank you for the small stuff.

For the way they smelled as babies. For the way it felt to hold them while they slept…for their tiny hands and feet and for their vulnerability and their trust.

Thank you for being there when I brought my oldest daughter home and had no idea what to do.  For the way we muddled through together, making it up as we went along, knowing that love and some food and some rest would sustain us.  Thanks for the time to linger and just stare at her in wonder and awe.

Thank you for bath times and bed times.  Thank you for books and for snuggling and for laughing and reading together.  Thank you for a peaceful home and healthy bodies. Thank you for the soap you write with on the bathroom wall and for fluffy towels with hoods.

Thank you for the times when you stayed up with me as I stared into the cribs watching their chests rise and fall and praying the next breath would come.  Thank you for sitting with me in the darkness.

Thank you for the messiness and the chaos and the fun.  Thank you for the moments when I knew it was more important to let them eat ice cream than it was to have a clean house.

Thank you for slip and slides and bowling and movies and cookies.   Thank you for birthday cake and parties and silly games.  Thank you for swings and rocks and sand.  Thank you for Happy Meals and Disney World and goldfish and the zoo.  Thank you for sprinklers and picnics.  Thank you for ballet and those pretty dresses!

Thank you for the lazy days when we had nothing to do and nowhere to go so we would walk to the park.  Thank you for the people we met along the way.  Thank you for the times when we were bored and waiting.

Thank you for princess dresses and sippy cups.  Thank you for Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine and Legos.  Thank you for pizza and pancakes.  Thank you for art supplies and tie dye and pottery and friendship bracelets.  Thank you for baseball and football and bikes and scooters.

Thank you for books – picture books and chapter books.  Thanks for the kind you could chew on and the one that had the fuzzy dog.  Thank you for Junie B. Jones and Ramona and Hank Zipzer and the Magic School Bus.

Thank you for long nature walks and leaves scrunching under our feet.  Thank you for fluffy white snow and snowmen and sledding and hot chocolate.   Thank you for hot summer days and lemonade stands and garage sales.  For convertible rides and fireworks on the Fourth of July.  Thank you for the pool and the twirly slide and slurpees at 7-Eleven.

Thank you for little eyes that look up to me and little hearts that are open.  Thank you for the funny words kids say and the stories they tell.  Thank you for making them all so different and all so special.

Thank you for their resilience Lord and for their understanding.  Thank you for their acceptance of a mom who is not perfect, who struggles, who doesn’t like to clean or cook, who sometimes cries and gets her feelings hurt.  Thank you for putting it in their hearts to love and understand me.  Thank you for the times when they know to give me a hug or a smile or to say something funny.

Thank you for the past with these beautiful little people.  And thank you for the future, whatever that holds.  I’m hoping for more laughter and funny pictures and warm memories…more creating and dreaming and painting and getting dirty.  More time together.

See Lord, when I’m hurried and rushed and I say “Thank you, Amen”, I really mean all of these things and more.  The list is extensive.  I know you understand.  I think that’s why we celebrate Thanksgiving.  It’s a day to take the time to thank you for the small things.  It’s the day we realize the small things are actually the big things.  The small things add up to be our life.  So next time I say, “Lord, thank you for all my blessings”, please know I really mean it…in all ways, on all days…thank you.

 

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

Your life…a movie?

I read somewhere to think of your life as a movie and to think of God as the audience.

Uh oh.

Really? 

Well, I can see that.  I do know He is watching and I do hope He is pleased.  I guess it’s a reminder.

I wonder what genre my life would fall under.  Is it a drama…a comedy…a tragedy?

Is He falling asleep with boredom?  Is He laughing? Is He confused, wondering “Why would she say that?” Is He angry, thinking “Seriously, she’s doing that again?  When will she learn?”

Is He frantically trying to rewrite the script?  Does He need an intermission? Is He embarrassed? Shocked? Annoyed? Does He get annoyed?

This really has me thinking. 

If this is my movie and I’m the main character, then is God the director?  Is He the director and the audience? 

Who is in charge here?

The more I think about it, I like this idea.  In a movie, there is usually a small core group of people that are integral to the story.  These are the lifelong friends, the family-people who the main character knows intimately. 

Sometimes we get so focused on other people and what they are doing and their opinions, it’s not productive.  If it’s my movie, I get to decide who the core people will be.  If I remember I’m the main character who is hopefully by the end of the movie, going to evolve and grow and be happy, then I can stay focused on my journey. 

I went on a retreat once and I had to write a witness talk.  This is where you write down the details of your faith journey and then share it with the group.  I loved writing the witness but when it came time to say it out loud, I could barely get the words out.  I was reading it to my husband and he said, “Sue, I can’t hear a word you are saying through the tears.” 

I practiced and read it to a group of about 20 women.  The other women in my group did the same.  It was a defining moment for me.  The writing, the telling, and the listening were so powerful, if I wrote my witness story now that experience would be in there for sure.   

It’s a moving exercise to look back on your life and pick out the defining moments.  It’s fascinating and very reassuring to recognize God’s presence all along your journey. 

Try it.  What’s your story?  What’s the general theme?  Who are the main characters? What role does your faith play in it?  What are the conflicts?  When have you changed?  What are the defining moments? Where’s this headed? What about the ending? 

C’mon, it’s your story…what do you want it to be?

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved