Thursday, April 30, 2015

Funny Girl

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who discovered that if you make a person laugh, they tend to like you more. (Flattery didn't hurt either, but laughter was truly infectious.) She made a lot of sweet little friends and pretended that boys were icky. Later on that girl grew into an awkward, knobby-kneed teenager. And while her sweet little friends began to blossom around her, she realized that if she wanted any attention from those icky boys, she'd better keep them laughing.

Spoiler alert: that girl was me.
[insert surprised gasps from the audience.]

I was able to catch a man with my hilariousness, thank goodness. (Hope for knobby-knees everywhere!)
I've grown to care less about care a lot less about the way I did or did not fully blossom, but I'm still a goof. You see, I've been training since youth, and old habits die hard.

I'm pretty unapologetic about my silliness. I yam what I yam, I guess. I'm a happy person by nature, and I genuinely love to see other people respond in happiness around me--Because joyfulness is what brings me peace. Because joyfulness is what gives me strength--it energizes me.

The trick to being a funny girl is that you need to know when to turn the humor off, and this is the area where I struggle. I often tell my children "there is a time to play and a time to be serious." Oh, how I wish it was always play time. For reals. Because sometimes life gets really hard, y'all.
And in those serious moments, I tend to use my humor as a defense mechanism, which more often than not leaves me with my foot in my mouth. Honestly, if I had a nickel for every time I've made a "joke" and then immediately wanted to suck the words back in...let's just say I'd have a lot nickels.
And I don't want nickels. I want people to live joyfully.

And with that, it's time to be serious.

I saw a post from a sweet momma who was voicing her irritation at a certain "joke" that has become pretty commonplace among the parenting circles. There's all kinds of variations, but they all come back to "if your kids are alive, then you did your job."

It pains my heart so deeply that I know several women who have lost their babies. It's unimaginable to me. I literally can't find the words...
And yet I use my words so hastily sometimes.

I think one of my toughest challenges I face in motherhood is that I seriously don't know what I'm doing. Straight up. I feel no shame at all in admitting it.
Sometimes, the kid has a problem with a friend from school and I'm answerless.
Sometimes, the kid gets sick in the middle of the night, and I'm checking Dr. Google and giving myself a heart attack because I don't know how to help them.
Sometimes, a child blatantly disobeys me and I don't know how to discipline them, because despite my own ignorance, I have birthed children who are super smart and outwit me all the time.
Sometimes, I walk outside and my super smart children are literally wallowing in the mud with their good clothes on and I don't know why or how it happened.
Sometimes, they get themselves into predicaments where I am utterly useless and I can do nothing more than fall on my knees and cry out to God to help me.

But oh, do I love them.

I'm sure I've shared this multiple times on this blog, but after I had my first child my mother-in-law gave me the best advice I've ever gotten. She said, "Just love them, and you'll do fine."
There's the answer, by the way. Right there:

At the end of the day, if your kids are ALL LOVED, then you did your job.

(Man, I wish I knew how to work graphics. Somebody please make that into a poster.)

We cannot completely control our babies--even the Creator gives his children free will. And no matter how hard we fight it, we cannot keep life from happening to them.
But we can love them. We can love the snot out of them.

Not in a coddling way, but in a way that shows them how grow-ups ought to act and ought to love.

To love people enough to give them grace when they use their words hastily--in the kind of "forgive them Father, for they know not what they do" way.
To love people enough to be humble, to admit wrong-doing, and to make an effort to correct your actions.
To love in a way that puts others first--before your pride, before your comfort, before your needs, before your "habits."

And maybe way at the bottom of the list: to love people enough to laugh at their corny jokes, even if they're not super funny.

Because if we loved people like this, the world would be a lot more joyful.

(Ephesians 4:29 ESV)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Here's hoping your words "fit the occasion," friends, and that you are able to live joyfully today.

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