Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Laughter’

God’s Laughter

The laughter of a child

The laughter of a child (Photo credit: cams-not-in-lux)

I laid in bed and listened to the rain

like a roaring, whirling sound

it came

pounding on my roof

with many intricate patterns

set in motion by an unseen force

I’ve heard people say

rain is God’s tears

But what if the rain is laughter instead?

God’s laughter

Laughter that drenches

like rain

Rain that envelopes

and fills up the crevices

brings healing to the dry

and satisfies the thirst

rain that at first seems unnecessary

wet, cold and inconvenient

but then as I really listen

I hear the marvel

the complexity

the supernatural lilt and cadence

of heavenly laughter

billowing down

chasing me

bringing life

energy and hope

a breath of fresh air

and a kiss of assurance

Laughter that has not given up

or abandoned

laughter that seeks, reaches and pours

gloriously overflows

drenches and lavishly gives

And I smile as I listen

straining to hear more

more of this strange laughter

Laughter that takes a breath

pauses and almost stops,

then comes around again

whispering in the thundering clatter

“All is Well”

giving reassurance

and finally

gently lulling me to sleep…


Anniversary Week

31 years ago tomorrow I walked down the aisle at 20 years old to say “I do” to Greg. One of my favorite memories from that crazy day is the song that Greg and his two brothers sang to me, “What a difference you’ve made in my life”. I found a version by B.J. Thomas – and although it is not the same as the karaoke version we used back in 1981 it is still a fun memory to hear it played today.

Marriage has its ups and downs and we certainly are not a perfect couple by any means. We are flawed human beings who have done our best to stay current and adaptable to any and all situations that life has thrown at us. There were misunderstandings and people who have come and gone in our lives. There have been weaknesses and shortcomings in both of us, but they have also been the glue and bonding that have become a key element in keeping our marriage, love and friendship alive.

I have changed much since I was 20. I’ve discovered things about myself I didn’t know or couldn’t reveal when I was younger.  I’ve experienced things along the journey that made me stronger and made me want to be a better person.  And there have been those that have planted seeds of freedom and courage in me.  Some of those people are still with me today – but most are not.  The one thing that has stayed constant is my relationship with Greg.  He has stood by me and truly been a best friend.  He has allowed me to grow and express myself.  He has given me wings to do the things I feel called to do.

Humor and laughter have remained a constant thing in our marriage.  We have always laughed and still laugh many times a day.  We have found a new-found communication in the last 4 years or so and we talk about things for hours now, instead of just brushing them aside.  We have favorite programs we like to watch in the evening – and we love to walk and talk.  We share a love for coffee and puppies.  And we both agree that our two “children” are the best looking, brightest and most adorable – EVER!

Our solid foundation has been a faith and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  This has kept us strong and in tough times has given us strength to make the right choices and do the right thing.  And we have found that God’s grace renews everyday – is fresh every morning.  So glad for this!

We look forward to 31 more years together.  Still doing life together and enjoying each new day.  Supporting and encouraging each other’s strengths – but standing by the weaknesses.  Being true to our vows and believing the best in each other – always.

God Bless

Using Laughter

As far back as I can remember – laughter has always been a part of my life. Even today while relaying a very funny story to my husband as we were traveling to an appointment out of town – I was reminded that humor plays such an important role in relationships. Without it, our relationship over the years would have been much too serious, too dry and stale – as humor seems to work like a balm of soothing medicine – breaking down misunderstandings and helping us from becoming too inwardly focused.

I’m sitting in a crowded Starbucks this morning while writing this. I forgot my earphones which turns out to be a rather fatal flaw in my attempts to fully concentrate – as I am sitting rather close to another table where two young men are talking really loudly about scripture, the bible and what they are learning about both. Normally it would be a curious thing for me to observe and silently witness those around me as I am a captive audience in a small room with many people – even humorous if you will – but today as I try to write it does not seem very humorous. In fact – the more intent I am about keeping to myself – the more they seem to talk even louder – as if, somehow – they are trying to witness to me and everyone around us. Funny. I’m afraid to raise my head up from my keyboard – even though it would be amusing to stop, and look right at them and say, “You needn’t try so hard – it’s okay – I’m already in”

Life has so many of the humorous “moments”. Laughter breaks any tension in a room – between people and removes awkwardness in a second. My students are so funny and I have spent much time over the years in my music studio just laughing. Yesterday one of my teenage male students was there with his guitar practicing with me for an upcoming recital in a couple of weeks. He was telling me a funny story about his brother and I’m still giggling about it today!

Another side note – I have a portable case and keyboard for my iPad 2 that I am typing from. It is wireless and for the most part works. However, once in a while I will strike a key and I get it repeatingggggggggggggg like this. So frustrating – not sure what I’m doing wrong for it to have that function and it takes SO MUCH TIME to go back and keep correcting! Once the repeating letter seemed to have a mind of it’s own and went for 6 lines before stopping!! Yikes. Not a good feature. But you’ve got to admit – it’s funny.

Well that is my blog article today. Between the distractions of the two young men trying “get me saved” and my portable wireless keyboard – that’s all I’m good for today. Both these things will make a great story to tell Greg later – can’t wait 🙂

God Bless

Finding My Sense Of Humor

A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.
Hugh Sidey

one of the most laughter inducing photos i've ...

Image via Wikipedia

I totally agree with the above quote.  Ever know someone who wasn’t on the same page with you – as far as humor goes?  Instead of smiling, or laughing and seeing the joke – they criticize and try to “correct” you?

Ah – the value of seeing the lighter side of life!  Sometimes the ones that have the best sense of humor are those that have been through much in their lives.  I’m reminded of stand up comedians – and very funny entertainers.  Usually there is a story there that propelled them into channeling hurt and frustration into laughter and making people laugh.  And usually it is those that have been through the most in life – that have the best grasp on it.

I don’t know why we are made the way we are – we all have different personalities, work ethic, family traditions and backgrounds – and yet, somehow we all have the ability to laugh and feel joy.  And when we lose that ability to laugh – especially at ourselves, we lose real meaning and our lives become very heavy indeed.

I believe that God created each of us with that special gift of laughter and conversation – unique to human beings – so that we could express and experience His nature to the full.

Do you ever find yourself losing your sense of humor?

If so – you are not alone.

There are MANY things in this life that will rob you and me of that joyous laughter and appreciation for the little things.

Life is hard.  There are bills.  And worries.  And illness.  And teenagers.  And aging parents.  And more bills.  And relationship problems.  And on and on and on and on it goes.

We can’t change them.  They just are.

But true joy comes from knowing Jesus as your personal Savior.  We were hopelessly lost in sin and death – and then Jesus…

That’s enough to bring a smile and a laugh – but if it’s not enough for you – try taking a walk today and looking around at the trees and nature.  Take a deep breath and whisper a prayer, “Thank you Lord – for all of this BEAUTY today – thank you for providing a release from stress and the burdens of life – and help me to find that laughter and deep joy that only comes from you – help me to find that laughter again – help me to find that much-needed humor that YOU created for me”

It may not change any of your circumstances – but it will change YOU!

I am praying for you today.

Laugh at something or someone today.  Take a chance.  Have a belly laugh.  Laugh down deep – laugh until you cry.  You will be glad you did.

God Bless

What’s Your Name Again?

Beatles, The - 28 - 1966 - Michelle

Image by Affendaddy via Flickr

I hate to admit this – but I can’t remember your name.  Actually – if I’m really honest about it – it has always been this way with me.  I don’t do it on purpose.  I know everyone loves the sound of their name spoken by another person.  I just don’t think that person will be me.  Sorry.  I like to think of it this way:  I have a lot of other ‘stuff’ floating around up here – so I cannot be saddled down with a lot of trivial information, like phone numbers and names.

I think it’s a hereditary trait – I really do.  My maternal grandmother could never remember any of her grandchildren’s names.  I was somewhere in the middle of the bunch – therefore most forgettable, I’m sure.  She would go down the list, ‘Phyllis, Cora, Wendy, Joanne, David – WHO ARE YOU???’  Yes – I was even called, ‘David’.  Nice.  My cousin Joanne recalls being referred to as, ‘Wendy, Cindy, Joanne’ for most of her life.

Well – now that I’m of a ‘certain age’ I can identify with my grandmother and know how hard she struggled with our names.  I have found myself calling after my children – getting it horribly wrong and wondering why I CAN’T REMEMBER THEIR NAMES!  And like Bill Cosby said of his own father, ‘You live here and I’ll find out your name!!’  *Sigh*  It is so true.  I have called, Shawn – ‘Greg’  –  and Greg – ‘Shawn’.  I have even called Ashlee both ‘Shawn’ and ‘Greg’ before her own name.  One time Ashlee looked right at me and said incredulously, ‘Did you just call me Greg?’   Uh…maybe.

We recently started attending a new church.  There are only about 50 people on a Sunday morning – and do you think I can remember everyone’s name?  Of course not.  It’s a HUGE struggle – I’ve never been good at face and name association.  You know the kind – try to find something that they remind you of – or repeat their name like three times during a conversation and you’ll be set!  Not me.  Even after that – I usually repeat their name WRONG.  Good grief.  One very friendly and understanding lady – who has forgiven me and is in fact in our small group doing life with us every week – was Michelle Oakes.  I could NOT remember her name – even after about 3 weeks!  How embarrassing.  Well she was really sweet and said to me – ‘just think of the Beatles song’ – and that did it for me!  I never forgot it after that.  I just think of the song.

What if there is NO SONG that goes with their name?  Oh my.  That can’t be good for me.  And what if they don’t look like anything that you can do a word association with?  Names are a funny thing.  And over time – everyone starts to look the same.  It’s really bad.  I have this horrible fear that someone from my past will walk up to me and say, ‘Hi!  Remember me?’  and I will have NO IDEA.  My only hope is that I will not look familiar to anyone either.  Or that they will just keep talking and I will eventually figure it out.  Oh my husband will come up to me and save me – and then I can introduce him by saying, ‘Oh have you met my husband, Greg?’  And then they will be FORCED to say their name.

We just finished reading, for the 10th time or so, ‘The truth will set you free but first it will make you miserable’ by the late Jaime Buckingham.  He told about a childhood friend from the mountains of North Carolina where he had spent his boyhood.  The boy’s name was Kenneth Sumi.  He said that being back in those hills was like reliving his past and reminded him of his old friend with red hair.   Even though it had been 50 years – every man with red hair reminded him of that boy.  And so every one that would approach him with red hair would invariably walk right into the ‘Well if it isn’t Kenneth Sumi!’ – it wasn’t of course – it never was.  But that’s what he could recall from his past and it wouldn’t let him go.

I’m afraid I do that too.  I see people from my past – and the way they looked back then – and then try to make it work for the people around me.  It is not based on anything real – only memories.  It’s a scary slippery slope of constant embarrassment.  I think of all the times I was sure of whom I was talking to – only to find out that I was completely wrong. And I dread someone saying, ‘You don’t remember me, do you?’    Uh – actually…..No.

Here’s to reality and things coming back to bite – BIG TIME!

What’s your name again?

God Bless

…And Now We Interrupt your ‘Something Box’

Cropped screenshot of Burt Lancaster and Debor...

Image via Wikipedia

For years I have known that there are very different ways that people see things – or hear things.  But none is so clear to me than when constantly around and living 24/7 with a man.  I have a husband AND a son – so I know what I’m talking about.  I’ve even written on the two subjects over a year ago – highlighted below in this article.

Men have an undisputed ‘Nothing Box’.  A place where they go in their head to do – NOTHING.  No one is in there.  No one.  As in No one – Nada – Nothing.   Zip.  Zero.  NOTHING.  It’s where they ‘zone-out’ – put a pause button on life and just do – nothing.

Women have a ‘Something Box’ – decorated anyway we want – and we can invite anyone into it to have deep meaningful conversations – listen to music or do whatever we like – with no interruptions and no distractions.  At least most of the time.  It is pretty and surrounded by our own thoughts – our own wishful thinking and a place where we win every argument and solve every problem.  A place where everyone loves us and we are queen of the universe.

But because men and women think very differently – herein lies the problem:

1.  Men go occasionally to their ‘Nothing Box’ – but usually for short spurts of time – not the whole day – and when they emerge from their ‘box’ they are ready to do life again and engage in conversation.  RIGHT NOW.   As in enter into social niceties and give you their full attention.  And you best be ready.  Men have fragile egos – and like lots of attention.  Especially my man.  It’s just true.

2.  Women live in their ‘Something Box’.  Yes it’s true – but don’t tell anyone I said so.  Shhh.  It is a secret.  We can get away with living in it and not have the men know about it – because we can multi-task.  And we do it well – fooling our male counterparts – because they are not like us – and because they can’t do this – they don’t think we can either.  It is easy to fool them.  But we are not men – nor do we think like them.  We stay in our ‘box’ all the time.

It is the way it is.

Here’s another problem:

Besides being male and female – we all process information differently.  Some are very visual – like my husband.  He gets visual stimulation and processes it as he sees it – much like looking at a picture of a map – rather than the written directions to get where he is going – and he does not always pick up on audio cues.  A commercial on the TV will stop him dead in his tracks and hypnotize him.  I’ve never understood that.  I don’t get sucked into anything on TV unless I can start from the very beginning.  It simply doesn’t interest me.  Another thing I’ve observed from my dear husband is that fact that he gets VERY distracted to outside noise and stimulation.

For example, when we are in a restaurant that has a TV on in the corner – he HAS to look at it.  Or if a couple behind him in a booth have a conversation going – he can be looking right at me – but he’s so caught up in the conversation behind him he has a hard time focusing on what I’m saying.  But he can tell you EVERYTHING about their conversation.  I’ve never understood this – because I simply don’t hear it.  I can hyper focus on the person right in front of me – and there can be loud BLARING music going on around me – and maybe even a sirens, smoke and FIRE – and I probably wouldn’t notice it!

You see – I’m the opposite – I am an auditory learner – and more precisely, a kinesthetic learner – meaning that if I hear something I will probably always remember it – and I climb inside of music and conversations to really feel it. I love to feel things – deeply.  I love meaningful conversations –  I can hyper focus all of my attention to do this.   Also – I can recite lyrics to songs from my youth – and pretty much know every song that I’ve heard (within reason).  Not so my ‘visual’ husband.  He’s like, ‘are those REALLY the lyrics? – I never knew what they were!’  Incredible.

So – it is what it is.

My visual male counter part – emerges from his ‘Nothing Box’ –  sees the world and processes all the visual stimulation out there.  Especially true when we’re driving in the car.  Greg is excited about what he ‘sees’ and loves sharing it with me.   He’s cute – like a little boy.  🙂

Problem:  I’m always in my ‘Something Box’ listening to music on the CD player – thinking deeply about something on my mind that’s troubling me, writing a new blog article, solving theater problems, etc. – and all of a sudden – Someone is interrupting my thoughts and BURSTING INTO MY SOMETHING BOX  – by pointing and saying in a LOUD voice – ‘LOOK AT THAT OVER THERE!!!  Are you looking?  You’re MISSING IT!!’

Greg does not understand – that I am the kind of person that takes everything in at once – processes it quickly – and I throw out what is not necessary to my life at the moment – I save the most critical and important things in my head to think about and work on – in my ‘box’.  I cannot be distracted and pulled in another direction – it does not work that way.  He gets very frustrated with me.  He ‘sees’ it and responds – I ‘feel’ it and contemplate.

But – it is what it is.  And it is something we’ve had to deal with over the years.  I have learned for example that I must stop what I’m doing when Greg comes into my office – even if I’m in the middle of a deep thought – or writing an article.  I need to put a ‘pause’ on what I’m doing and turn in my chair and look right at him – so he sees that he has my FULL attention – which is what he wants from me all the time.  I have learned that this is the best thing to do so that he will see that I’m making the effort to understand and give him the attention that he requires – even if it means stopping what I’m doing.  Better yet – I get out of my chair and go over to him – engage him with great eye contact and touch him – kissing him is better and giving him a warm embrace.  That seems to do the trick 🙂

This makes him a little more understanding when he tries to interrupt my thoughts in my ‘something box’ – as I know he will,  so I will see him and pay attention.  And I try to be understanding when he does not hear me and doesn’t pick up on the verbal and non-verbal cues.  It’s okay – I know he’s in his ‘box’ again – and all will be well when he comes out 🙂

And he in turn has learned to listen WAY MORE than he ever did before – realizing that I don’t need him to see me – but I need him to hear me – and to feel it with me.  So that’s exactly what he has attempted to do – and to his credit – when he comes out of that ‘box’ – he does just that!

Here’s to you and yours as you find that balance with each other and try to have patience for the men in your life with their ‘nothing box’ and the women with their ‘something box’ – as you try to navigate through life – together. 🙂  Good luck!  You’re going to need it.

God Bless

Best Friends

Cover of "Best Friends"

Cover of Best Friends

Greg and I LOVE this movie made in 1982 with Goldie Hawn and Bert Reynolds.  I double dog DARE you not to laugh right out loud as you watch this crazy ‘wedding vow’ scene below with the minister they could NOT understand!  ‘I Dee and Doe’ – is our favorite part!  Makes me giggle every time!!  Enjoy!


God Bless

Laughter – Truly The Best Medicine


Image via Wikipedia

The happiest people in the world have learned a valuable lesson.  They know how to laugh.  It doesn’t mean trouble doesn’t happen to them – nor does it mean that they never fall onto hard times – have tragedy strike them – or the unexplained circumstances befall them – it means that they have learned the secret of true joy.  They have learned to find humor in everything and also be able to laugh at themselves.

I am blessed – I have many friends who bring laughter to me on a daily basis.  I will wake up some mornings and have those that have messaged me with notes of fun, mischief and good humor – and I know it’s going to be a good day – filled with fun.

There is so much said on the subject of laughter – the many health benefits and the fact that it keeps you ‘young at heart’ and looking and feeling youthful for years to come – and we can all use that!!

My husband and I laugh ALL THE TIME.  Everything is funny to us.  Not that we don’t have our serious ‘talks’ and ‘moments’ like everyone else – but we also laugh much of the day.  My children are filled with laughter and a healthy sense of humor – all the time!  We all love to laugh!  I have many stories about both of them – and there is no one that can bring me such laughter like my husband and kids!

I am doubly blessed with a circle of friends that are great fun too.  Always a funny comment and word of fun and encouragement – let’s face it – life is serious enough just left on its own – sometimes we NEED laughter just to make it through the day.

I believe a great many of the world’s problems would be lightened if people would just LAUGH – and find the humor in situations.  We as a nation have become much too serious – and I am aiming that remark at you and me.  If we didn’t take ourselves so seriously – the stress would be lifted and a good many health problems would decrease too.  Laughter really does act on a person’s overall health like a tonic.  Want to increase your life and have better health?  Learn to laugh – not just a chuckle or too – REALLY LAUGH – BIG BELLY LAUGHS – many times a day.

Try bringing laughter to your own circle of friends.  Make someone laugh today – it will make their day – and yours too!


God Bless

Bill Cosby At His finest!

I came across this video today as I was browsing through blogs – and you HAVE to watch this – it will tickle your funny bone!! I LOVE people from the south!!

Laughter, Listening and Liking each other in Marriage

I posted something today on my facebook page about laughter and it got me thinking about marriage and laughter.  There are many reasons why a marriage fails – even those that start out with good intentions.  Oh sure, there are outside forces that hit you blindsided – we all know about those things – and finances (or lack of them) can also be a key contributor to failure.  But more than these I believe that at the very root of the issue is this:  Married couples forget to laugh. Now I’m not talking about the little chuckle you get from something funny one of your kids did today – or a funny email or status update on facebook from one of your friends – or even a great humorous story – I’m talking about laughing with each other – sharing a joke together – or a secret and poking fun at the other and finding it so funny!  When was the last time your spouse made you REALLY LAUGH? When was the last time – YOU were funny and not so serious?  Life is serious enough without adding to it – and sometimes you just need to take a ‘chill pill’ and just laugh.  Laugh at the absurd – laugh at the ridiculousness of your situation – laugh at the irony of life – enjoy your spouse and find something together to laugh at!  A healthy married couple smiles and laughs all the time.

Another reason marriages are in trouble is this: Married people forget how to listen. You’re so used to that person – after a while if they’re not saying anything worth listening to – we tune them out. It is an art form to learn how to listen well – but well worth it.  We were a marriage that had forgotten how to do this – I didn’t feel I had my husband’s full attention anymore – he had forgotten how to listen to me and meet my emotional needs.

Develop a healthy sense of humor with your spouse and listen to them – really listen. If you listen long enough – believe me – you will bond with them again – you’ll be able to share secrets and find that laughter too.  It will be there – decide that YOU will not wait for them – decide that you are going to turn your marriage around.  Get your ‘mischievousness’ on!  You will ignite something in your spouse – a passion that you forgot was ever there.

And finally – I think the reason that marriages are in trouble is this:  Somewhere along the way – you forgot to like your spouse. You say, “Oh – but you don’t understand – I wouldn’t ever think of leaving them” – You may even say that you ‘love’ them – in the traditional Christian way (of course) and if push comes to shove and they really tick you off and you’re at the end of your rope you might consider murder – but NOT divorce – NEVER!  You say, “Not me!   This would never happen to us!  But I don’t have to like them – I’m committed.” HOGWASH!!  You are setting yourself up for a failure with this attitude.  What if someone comes into your life that really likes you – admires you – and treats you like your spouse doesn’t? There’s a fine line between tolerance and indifference – don’t be foolish.  It happens all the time.

I like my husband.  I didn’t always feel this way.  Oh I suppose I got used to him – he is an excellent man in every way – good father – wonderful friend to many – but for me – I had forgotten to like him.  So like many of you out there – I had a choice to make.  Do I want to start over and learn how to like him again – find the laughter and the reason that I picked  him in the first place?  Can it be done?  We’re used to each other – but do I really like him?  It took many months of talking and really listening to each other to discover that we were solid as good friends – even if we hadn’t been married to each other.  We had to rediscover that again – we had to ‘date’ again to make that connection – and we DID!  And you can too.  I can honestly say now that I not only love Greg – and am committed – but I also like him.

I found this very cute and humorous video on marriage from the comedic and married team of Stiller and Meara – married over 50 years.  It’s adorable and has some great truths in it – they use laughter in their relationship and they have also found that they actually like one another after all the years together.

God Bless

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