Pictured is my granddaughter, Jada, laughing very hard, while enjoying some time at the playground near her home. .  

I remember her coming to the birthday party. Every time we had a birthday party for one of the boys, she and my Grandma made the trip over. This time was different though. This time a tear made its way down my cheek as she walked through our door. This time she walked into our home without my Grandma. Her sister had died just months before, and for the first time, she arrived without her best friend. 

It was hard for me not to have my Grandma there, but I knew it was even harder for her to be here without her. With both of their husbands in heaven, these two had become almost inseparable. They met for lunches. Trips to Frankenmuth. Visits with their children. And yes, birthday parties. 

As I sat down at the table with my Great Aunt Marney, we began talking about Grandma. And during that time of sharing, her response to one of my questions has always stuck with me. I asked her what it was that she missed the most about her times with Grandma.  And the biggest smile came across her face, and she said “laughing”. Really, laughing? I thought about these two sisters, best friends, and was intrigued to find out more about their laughing. I mean, I knew they always had smiles on their faces when I saw them. They were obviously “filled with the joy of the Lord”. I had to further investigate; I wanted what they had. 

As the smile continued to spread across her face, I caught a glimpse of liquid in her eyes, and she began to tell me more. She told me how they would start talking, and they would finish each other’s sentences. How one of them would start to laugh, and as if laughing was the most contagious thing on the planet, it spread to the other. They would laugh with one another until their “bellies ached”…about nothing in particular…just “giggle and laugh”. 

“I miss laughing with my sister”, she said, as her eyes now looked beyond the walls of the house, obviously envisioning times gone by, when she was seated at the kitchen table, finishing her sister’s sentences, and laughing until their bellies ached. 

Laughter is one of those things that truly can make us “feel better”. Studies have even shown that laughing has positive impacts on our physical and emotional health. It’s a stress reliever. It fights depression. It lowers blood pressure. All of that shouldn’t come as a surprise, since scripture tells us, “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). What a gift God has given us in laughter!

When was the last time you laughed, the type of laugh that can’t be contained? The type of laugh that my Grandma and Aunt Marney experienced. I encourage you today, and every day, to find a way to laugh. Find those people who bring it out in you. And let out a laughter that allows God to wash over you with His joy. A laughter that is healing. A laughter that is healthy. A laughter that is contagious, and perhaps a laughter that even gives you a belly ache. 

Enjoy these scriptures and quotes on laughter:

We are filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. (Psalm 126:2)

A good laugh is sunshine in the house. William Thackeray

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. (Proverbs 31:25)

From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere. Dr Suess

A time to laugh and a time to cry. (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. Lord Byron

He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. (Job 8:21)

A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around. Carolyn Birmingham

Misty Cramer, is an author and speaker who enjoys laughing, and whose desire is to encourage others, as she shares the hope Jesus provides in the midst of life’s darkest challenges, as well as it’s brightest triumphs. If you would like to receive “Wednesday’s Word”, as well as other encouragement, you can subscribe to her website, and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

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