Readers, I think we can all agree that we are in the midst of a deeply complicated season in our lives. What is even happening in our world? While I think it is imperative that we discuss the hard things and pray without ceasing, I believe our brains need an occasional reprieve for the sake of our collective mental health. We must grieve when it is time to grieve, and it is certainly time to grieve and ache. Still, we must find moments of joy and laughter in every season. Our souls need laughter to be healthy.
Today, I want to share a few gems that I’ve enjoyed in January. They have equipped me to love others well by making me feel just a bit lighter. I have been able to smile at the children in my care and have been encouraged enough to encourage little ones. Teaching and mothering are important work and should always be seasoned with joy. Our classrooms, our homes, and our communities need joy. Allow me to introduce you to the audiobooks that have lightened the weight of the world on my shoulders and have allowed me to carry on with a happy heart even when everything seems to be crumbling around us.
Have you met Sophie Hudson and Melanie Shankle? First of all, they are absolutely hysterical. They make me laugh out loud. Second of all, they have a podcast if you aren’t a book reader. I highly recommend the Big Boo Cast which has been going strong since 2007 and still releases fresh episodes on the regular. You will smile and laugh! I guarantee it! Third of all, (does anyone ever say “third of all”…not often enough), you need to listen to their books as audiobooks for the very happiest multitasking experience! They narrate their own books with the perfect delivery of every line. I laugh out loud every few minutes and I’m not one to enjoy funny books or shows very often. (I’m a little bit boring, maybe?) They aren’t comedians. They are regular women who tell regular stories but their senses of humor are spot on! The storytelling and encouragement are so seamlessly woven together that I hardly notice when they’re teaching me a life lesson or motivating me. It’s just too good!
Sidenote: Also, this is not an ad. If you’ve been a reader of mine for any amount of time, you’ve probably learned that I’m rarely ever trying to “sell something.” I’m not a sales person. It is not in my skill set, really. I just share the things that I genuinely enjoy. I usually forget to link anything to my Amazon page. My motive for sharing all of the things is simply to spread joy. Carry on, good readers.
I’ve read several of Sophie Hudson and Melanie Shankle’s books in the past, but these are the three I’ve enjoyed (am enjoying the third one still) this January.
Lean in, dear reader friends. I don’t shy away from deep conversations. As a self-proclaimed world changer, I love the depth and nuances of hard discussions. I’m honored to sit in on a discussion that will make a difference any day of the week. I don’t always enjoy the hard things, obviously, but I think listening and praying and discussing are crucial components of the Christian life. I don’t want to make light of any of our current situations in the slightest. I don’t want to overlook the very real problems happening around the globe. I’m not trying to sweep anything under the rug. What I am saying is this:
We must refill our pitcher with goodness if we are going to have any goodness to pour into the world. We must take moments to smile and laugh even when we are doing the hard work of reconciliation and peacemaking in a crisis or two or ten as it may currently be. Laughter is Kingdom work when you are called to spreading love to others. And spoiler alert: You ARE called to spreading His love to others. Take a minute, from time to time, to refuel your soul with laughter. It is important to laugh and smile, even in the darkness.
Especially in the darkness, cling to what is good.
From my heart to yours,
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.Philippians 4:8