Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bad day therapy

Here, in my neck of the woods, beach therapy is always an option. Doesn't matter how cold it is, or how cloudy, you are guaranteed to see people in the water in swimsuits, in flat out denial that summer is over.

And yeah. I will happily partake in the denial when things start to go south on me. Even when it is foggy and grey.

I think the spiral started with my caramel apple crash and burn. Then one of the kids got the stomach flu. My body has been toying with the idea of getting it ever since. Next in line was emotional WWIII with the other one. The order of events was: disobedience, disrespect, yelling (both of us), tears (both again), and calling for the guy who talks everyone down (husband/dad). Bad times. So bad, in fact, that consequences were in order. We had to cancel Saturday's trip to the pumpkin patch, just as much a disappointment for me as for them. Bad got worse when my husband got the flu, which meant cancelling the babysitter and missing a very big, special party for some of our favorite people on this earth. A party we've been planning on for months. Memory making and special outfits and toasts were in order. It's killing us that we missed it.

So do you blame me for choosing to avert my eyes from the frustration heaped on this week, and wanting to just stare off into the horizon? I took a few of my favorite things.

My tea, obviously. A box of Reduced Fat Cheez-Its (far superior to the regular ones, FYI and you're welcome). And my favorite kids.

One thing I'm learning from this book (that is really starting to mess me up) is that I'm meant to laugh. Jesus didn't come to make everyone straighten up and be serious. I mean, did we think that we had more of a sense of humor than He does? Didn't He create laughter in the first place? Why does this come as a bit of a surprise to me? Of course! He intends for me to laugh all the time. Just look at the way he's made animals, and my children, or aligns crazy coincidences, and inspires silliness.

This was one of my views as I sat on the sand. I've seen this "guy" a hundred times, and have never realized that God is trying to get a laugh out of me from it. I think He thinks it's hilarious. And isn't it, really?

At the beach, the kids and I wandered off to explore the tide pools. On the way back, when we rounded the bend and could spy our towel in the distance, we were shocked to find it covered with seagulls pulling the bag of Cheez-Its out of its box and shaking it upside down. I sent the kids shrieking and scrambling in their direction, which flushed the birds up into a beautiful spiral of wings. We laughed. And we were meant to laugh.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22 

If things go south on you this week, and if you can't make it to the beach, look for laughter. You sorta have to be open to it, don't you? Sometimes, I will let my crushed spirit dry up any chance of laughter in me. I will squash all hints of a cheerful heart, snapping, "It's not funny!" to the world. I think that's called pouting. Yuck!

Tonight, I thought of Heather, and what I believe she intends to inspire with her Monday linky. It's not called "Life is Lovely." Because life is not lovely all the time. Sometimes there are disappointments and hurts beyond measure. Mine weren't too bad this past week. But I still had a challenge before me: Do I feel sorry for myself with my crushed spirit, or do I let Jesus lift my head and lead me back to a cheerful heart?

If I can allow Him to, I'll contribute to a life made lovely. He makes it lovely, because He loves me.



  1. Great post! I am so sorry you have had such a rough week and i'm glad you were able to get out and enjoy at day at the ocean (even if it's cold) and a good laugh. I believe laughter is the best medicine!

    Lots of hugs and many prayers for a better week!

  2. the best thing when things are going south is to pack up and get outa there!
    doesn't matter where ya go...

  3. I am sorry for the blues going around. We've had those days too. Going to the beach was our cure all for everything when we lived in San Clemente. I hope things are looking up and that you're finding your laughter again.

  4. your perspective is so refreshing! true, life doesn't always seem so lovely, but our attitudes and faith can allow us to let God show us the lovely in anything. i truly hope you do not get sick, leslie! have a wonderful week.

    ps. and i'm totally guilty of the..."it's not funny", bit. oy.

  5. A great escape. Sorry you had such a rough week but glad you ended it with some laughter.
    Hope everyone is feeling better ;)

  6. That is such a beautiful reminder, I think we all need beach therapy/Jesus therapy constantly! So sorry your week went south, but I'm so glad that you were able to be encouraged and find laughter right where you are. I've been reminding myself of the passage in the Psalms about how David encouraged himself in the Lord...he didn't wait for better circumstances. Praying you have a better week friend!

  7. Ken Davis(Christian Comedian) once said : if you dont think God has a sense of humor, just look around you.(Meaning at the people around you).
    Love the photo of the "man in the rock."
    Love and miss you, too. Wish we could escape to the beach together again:(

  8. Love love LOVE this! Thanks for sharing it :) xoxo

  9. Oh yes, Leslie... I needed this. He does want us to laugh and I do believe He has a great sense of humor. I have to remind myself of this(my husband reminds me when I forget;) Sometimes i can be a little up always helps to laugh. Makes me feel better, just writing it.

  10. i wasn't averting the frustration. i was fixated on it! BUT sat. we took a hike to mariposa big trees {yosemite}, and sun. saw footloose with my husband {was not good}, today a walk with my kids. just breath. sometimes just breathing in something other than the frustration brings clarity.

    now, i need to go check out this book that is messing you up.

  11. Wish we had a near by beach that I could collect my thoughts at as well. Hope you have a better week!

  12. love love love. and love you and your sweet heart. Ive missed you sweet friend! :) blessings to you.... cant wait to "catch up" on your life. and such a good reminder about MAKING life lovely when the day just isnt. thanks! :) love!!!

  13. I love that "guy" and he made me laugh when I finally noticed him!

    I have been very ill the past year, and laughter doesn't come easily, but I am working on it. My husband is reading that book, too... on his second time now, and he loves it! :)