Recently we started a new out-reach with our church to do evening encouragements. Normally people do morning encouragements to help get your day going but with Covid still among us and seeming growing for a second wave, we felt like all of our members could use some encouragement at the end of the day so yesterday we rolled out the Nightly Encouragements. The pictures are not mine but found on Christian websites that matched the message of encouragement I am trying to share. Tonight we are discussing the value of laughter. My hope is that if you decide to read on, that you are in some way encouraged to stand firm for another day.
In a time such as this, where we are weighed down with life around us…we need some laughter. We have been told laughter is the best medicine but laughter has many documented medical benefits as well.
But better than that, the bible tells us laughter is good medicine…
The benefits of laughter make us glad….brings us joy…and make us smile..
When we are filled with joy, we are kinder people. When we are filled with joy, we reflect the love of Christ. So, let us always be filled with Christ and reflect His grace.
Even when times are tough, things look bad, you can’t see a way out…remember God is always there. He is our rock that we stand on, our hope that we cling to and our peace that knows no other understanding except Christ alone. I leave you with this prayer in hoping a bountiful measure of blessing gets poured on you and your family.
Good Sunday morning friends. After a couple of dreary days here in the midwest, today promises to be bright and beautiful. And like the dreariness of these past two day, we ourselves can become dreary with self pity if we focus on this current obstacle surround the entire world. With each passing day it gets harder as our thoughts dwell on ‘will this ever end?’ and I promise you it will. Sometimes we need to change our perspective of how things seem to be and lift our heads to His light and let the light of His presence engulf us and bring us peace.
2 Corinthians 4 reminds us not to lose heart,
and to focus on what is not seen. And what is not seen is more beautiful than we can imagine. We have been taught that God always has us in His hand and while He does not cause difficult situations, He will use those situations to show us His infinite power and love. So I challenge you today to
relax in the brightness of His Presence
enjoy the fruits of His Love
Breathe in deeply and smile
and if you are able, take in a calming sip of laughter
Its all about perspective. So climb to the top of the ladder and see your life in God’s Presence.
And always remember, now more than ever, to be kind.
What a fun day today was. As I had said in yesterday’s post, today was probably going to be too busy to get to write anything but when I saw Nancy Merrill’s weekly photo challenge was SMILE, how could I resist with all the marvelous smiles I saw today from our new clowns. Yes, clowns. I am a member of a wonderful clown troupe that does many activities to help the community smile. We go play in parades, we do walks for community awareness situations, we have caring clowning where we visit local nursing homes to bring a little cheer for some sad folks. All the while, creating smiles wherever we go.
Today was the summer Clown Class, how awesome is that. We taught new clowns the history of clowning & the main types of clowns.
Yes there are types – White Face, Auguste and Hobo Clowns and they each have their own specific costumes styles and behaviors. You see, not all clowns are in the circus. Today we also had fun learning to make balloons…
how to do basic magic tricks…
how to be in a parade or do “walk arounds” in a crowd for fairs and festivals and even to create skits that makes the audience laugh or bring an important message. Just putting on silly clothes and slapping paint on your face does not make you a clown. A true clown has a purpose to entertain, encourage, show kindness and bring laughter and it is not all that easy. True clowns work hard at their craft to hone in their specialty to bring that much needed smile to someone, in hopes that for 5 minutes those people have forgotten the pain or frustration of their situation.
So now when you see a true clown that is trying to bring a smile to person or entertain crowd with laughter and kindness, remember the work they have put in to help you smile. The goofball at Halloween that thinks he is funny dressing up like a clown and scaring people is entertaining himself not thinking of others or trying to bring a smile to a saddened face with bring laughter to a crowd the correct way.
I am an Auguste clown and my specialty is face painting. I am not that great at it but the children don’t really care. They are soaking up the caring gentle nature I try to bring to help them laugh with their friends. I have posted my picture before but in case you missed it, here is Skeeter C Clown. The C stands for Christ as I always try to always bring a Christian nature to my clowning.
So as I close I always remind my readers to smile and be kind. Kindness reflects the love God intended us to always share by turning the frowns of this life upside down.
How can you write about yourself. With Ritu calling today’s prompt from Linda’s Just Jot January prompt, she chose “self “as our prompt word to write about.
I fully agree with Linda’s take as self is many parts of you. So for self I chose to write about my alter ego self of Skeeter C. As a face painter, Skeeter does functions with the church, community and PUNCH to help promote kindness and the love of Christ.
Skeeter has an alter ego herself that is Scatter C but I don’t have pictures of her. Scatter likes to go to hospitals and visit those who will tolerate her scatter brained self. She really was standing behind the door when the brains were handed out. Oh my, that was not a kind thing to say. Sometimes truth hurts, Sorry Scatter. Both selfs like to promote kindness, gentleness and encouragement. Having been on the opposite end of those attributes more times than they cared for they can really see the value of kindness and how if everyone could be kind there is an opportunity to engulf the world and maybe soften the hurt and sadness of it just a bit.
So I bid you, along with Skeeter C and Scatter C to be kind. If we can turn more frowns upside down and put more sparkles into those sad eyes, think how much fun that would be. Oh, and the “C” in their name stands for Christ as He is the center of what they do.
Well its been and interesting 6 weeks since my last surgery but today I was given permission to get out by myself and maybe go driving. How marvelous since I have been house bound other that my daughter taking me to Dr. visits.
Intellectually I knew this was short term and having gone through it before in August I knew the drill. But it is still nice to know you are healing enough to get out again and today is a pretty day. The sun is bright against a clear sky but there is still the residual snow linger from 2 weeks ago, but roads have been clear since the Monday after the 14″ Saturday.
So where to go on my first day of freedom. Hmmm. Looks like the birds are telling me I need to go back to the store, so I guess I will go to Lowes after lunch.
The kitties next door watch the birds as they feed. Mimi watches the birds, the squirrels and the cats in the window. I watch Mimi and the birds. So I guess its a community watch of sorts.
Enjoy the beauty around you. There is always something in nature and life worth watching, you may just have to look for it. And remember to show kindness in all things, whether it be a kind word, a gentle touch, or even a bright smile. That may be just the thing someone needs to lighten their day. May the end of this post make you smile and remember all of natures smiles with you.
It has been proven that a smile can turn a frown totally upside down. Smile often. To some it makes then smile back at you and to some it makes them wonder what you are smiling about, which makes them smile because then they think of thing that make them smile. It’s fully contagious.
My mother’s mother was a real southern jewel. She was a beloved 2nd grade school teacher and even on her meager salary she would find a way to help buy one of her students a pair of shoe or winter coat if needed. As pitiful as we pay our teacher today, back in the 40’s I can only imagine. She retired when I was in early high school when she said she turned 65 but we all knew she was probably older but refused to admit it. The courthouse that had all the birth records of her home town had burned down along with many records of the area. But her retirement was a big shindig where all the school attended along with former students, the local paper and of course family.
Her name was Charlotte but everyone called her Lottie or Miss Lottie, even her grand children. But she was NOT a grandmother. Don’t get me wrong, she loved her grandchildren and called us her grandchildren but she was not a grandmother. “The very idea!” I think that was her favorite saying. She had lots of great sayings but coming from the south, we do come up with some interesting ways of putting things. Sometimes words didn’t even need to be said, you just got “the look”. How many of us remember “the look”. I don’t think I ever mastered it, my kids could see right through me. But Miss Lottie’s was so strong you could feel it from the back, your hackles would rise. You didn’t even have to see it, you just knew you were getting it. Such fond memories.
Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t discount those memories you had with you grandparents as you never know when you may need one of those memories. One that tickled me the most were her clothing sizes. When she was young and thin I am sure she wore a size 12 but not in her grandmotherly state. So when we bought her clothes, we cut the tags out and told her they were size 12. And as we get older our feet spread and we gain a little weight, our shoe size changes. It’s part of aging I guess, at least that is what I have noticed, but I spent 40 years on a concrete manufacturing floor which probably didn’t help.
My grandmother loved this type of house slipper that looked very similar to a Japanese style slipper. I remember they were dark blue in color with darker swirls in the fabric and it was the only kind I saw her were. But she insisted she wore a size 7, yea, no. She was easily in an 8. But she would buy the 7, they would be too tight and bind her feet. So she would take her brand new slippers and cut them to allow room for her foot. I remember asking her one time(and only one time) why she did that. Her answer was that her feet swelled at night and she needed the extra room for the swelling. I returned with the question of why not buy the next larger size. Well, not only did I get “the look” I got “The very idea! Then how are they going to fit when my feet are not swollen?” Indeed, I thought quietly to myself as I nodded approvingly to her statement.
I laugh at myself now as I remember this story because I am using her “technique” until the swelling goes down in my right foot. After my first surgery, I was fitted with orthopedic inserts for my shoes to start using once I started walking to add the extra support I would need for my feet. The inserts do take up room and it is no issue with my left foot as it has minimal swelling left. But the right one is still pretty swollen and my foot would not fit in the shoe. So, Miss Lottie, I am using your method and it seems to be working fine. I removed the laces and the tongue and then slit the top just like she use to.
So the moral of the story is don’t fully discount the stories of your grandparents as they may be beneficial to you one day. Life is always a journey and memories sometimes are the things that help us make it through.
And in closing I remind you of the joys of laughter in helping you heal. Share your joy, laughter, kindness with others this holiday season. This can be a difficult season for some so always be kind. Reach out with a gentle touch to show others you care. It may be the only kind thing that person gets that day.
Last week I posted a challenge that was actually started on facebook to remind us the wonderful things we can be thankful for. In the US, November is a dual thankful month for us as we celebrate Veteran Day at the first of the month and Thanksgiving at the end of the month. So I am doing a daily thankful challenge but posting it only once per week each Sunday. If you want to check last weeks post out, it is located here. And if you would like to join in on the fun, I would love your thoughts.
Since pictures are so powerful in connecting our brain with our heart, I thought I would add pictures with my daily challenge.
Nov 5 – I am thankful that now with the weather turning wet and cold, I have a warm and dry house to live in.
Nov 6 – I am thankful that all the the medical testing I have been getting are showing good results.
Nov 7 – While the medical test were good, my BMI was high. BMI for those who may not know what it is, it means I am overweight. That means I have plenty of food on my table and for that I am truly thankful as there are some who do not.
Nov 8 – I am thankful for the laughter I have in my life as laughter can remove a lot of hurt in this world.
Nov 9 – I am thankful for the basic good health I have. Being in my mid-60s, I am on no daily medication other than a multi-vitamin. God has been good to me.
Nov 10 – I am thankful for all the military men and women who have served and sacrificed themselves for my freedom.
Nov 11 – I am thankful for friends and neighbors who do little things that mean so very much when you need the help.
And as we share in the thankfulness of this month always remember to be kind. Kindness is a gift from God that should be spread thick like jam on toast.
Plus there is the internet card variation which can add in animation. But I am choosing the Get Well version of a card sent through by the proverbial ‘snail mail’ system. It takes an extra effort of someone to go purchase, write in and stamp an envelope to someone who is under the weather and this always brighten their day. I remember when my grandmother was in the hospital for gall bladder surgery. She was a school teacher and loved by many, so we took the cards and taped then to the wall. She had a full wall of cards and drawings from children to cheer her up letting her know just how much she was loved.
As I have been healing from my foot surgery, I too received some wonderful cards from friends that cheered my day.
I think it is important to remember those who are healing, whether it be from sickness, surgery or healing from the loss of a loved one. These are all issues that are painful and knowing someone cares always make it better. Sometimes a card or silly note that makes you laugh can be the best type of medicine for healing.
Go the extra mile – remember a friend or family member and give them a smile.
And in closing as always, remember the value of kindness and carry it as you go.
Do you have a favorite part of your life you like the ‘best’. Something that makes you feel this is good. Above is Skeeter C. Clown, the C. stands for Christ in hopes of being able to share God’s love where ever I go play. This is my favorite part of me. Nobody knows who I am except for those who already know me. I belong to a small section of my large clown troupe that does ministry at hospital and nursing homes. What a blessing to be able to share joy to those who feel trapped in poor health either momentarily or permanently. I feel that if I have brought a smile and 5 minutes of forgetfulness of their situation, then I have done my best.
There are a lot of ways we can bring our best to anything we do. Some of the photographers who’s blogs I have read are magnificent. Some of the words of encouragement I have read in blogger’s post or even the encouraging feedback I have received reflect the best of us. One tip I got when first starting was ‘Be yourself’. One tip I read on Shelley’s Quaint Revival post today that she received from John of The Sound of One Hand Typing‘s helpful tips was “Write what you like and like what you write. If you don’t like what you write, few others will.” This is very sound advice. Not everybody is going to like you and what you say every time. I have had some negative responses because I am true to me. I don’t take the negative to heart. We are all different but we can all be our best and when being our best, we will grow.
There are days when we ourselves are not our best and those days we can create garbage – but that is for tomorrows discussion. But I fully believe, even though we may think the ‘today’s post was not my best’, there may be someone out there that liked what you said and just maybe you brought a smile of encouragement to help them through what they may be going through at that time. Even when we are posting a not so happy subject it could be the best post that day of your group of friend bloggers because it rang true with lots of people. you never know.
I am a newbie at blogging but not at life and I believe the same principle holds true and it goes along with something I was preached to as a child – If you can not say anything true, say nothing at all. If you can’t say anything nice then leave the room.
I am finding in blogging that we are all reaching for new friendships to share the things we are interested in, whether it be in art, photography, science, religion, the list goes forever. People enjoy conversation in like minded things. And through the advancement of computer technology, we can now reach around the world. But if we fail in being kind, respectful, honest and encouraging then we will fail at being our best and probably will not do well at blogging.
For anyone that is newer than me, the blogging challenges help you figure out what you are doing and Shelley’s has been good for me. It probably would be for you as well. Come join along. There are many other challenges and prompts to help you learn and grow in the blogging world so join in those as well. Ones that I enjoy are Linda G Hill’s One Liner Wednesdays and Stream of Consciousness Saturdays. Others are Norms 2.0Thursdays Doors which I hope to play in once I get back to walking correctly. There are other photo challenges I hope to investigate as well.
For mow enjoy the beautiful sunset I had today as I was writing this. And remember above all else Be Kind.
Excuse the bucket wall along the back steps – It keeps the small dog safe.