Monday, January 21, 2013

My Indian Name is "Laughs-A-Lot"

So the non-PC title notwithstanding, I'm happy to declare that I have a growing reputation for laughing. A lot. While I was sick and out of work for an extended period of time, one of the first things some of my co-workers said when I returned was how good it was to hear my laugh again. I attribute that to the steady stream of humor in my Outlook inbox (some intentional and some not so much). It seems others believe it's more to do with how easily amused I am.

Friday night, Dan and I went to see Brian Regan (Google him) at the Chicago Theater. I had bought tickets for Dan's birthday and we were excited to see him in person after countless nights watching his bits on youtube with the kids. That's the beauty of Brian Regan - you can watch him with children in the room, because he's one of the few remaining clean comics. He had new material on this tour and it didn't disappoint. I'm sure I was heard snorting a few times (can't help it) and literally cried my mascara off in laughter. The opening act was great too. My favorite line of his was "I can solve all the traffic problems in Chicago with one word..."Goooo!"

I continued to smile from ear to ear on Saturday while walking through the Peanuts exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry with Caitlin. Some of Charles Shulz's best comic strips were plastered on the walls in the mouths of Lucy, Linus and good ole Charlie Brown. The smiles continued at not one, but two, baby showers at church later that afternoon.

Sunday was full of joy too while our church celebrated our 60 year anniversary with grateful testimonies and songs of praise.

Today was more like Friday night as I wondered again why I put mascara on. Dan and I had the privelege of attending Lou Malnati's annual manager holiday party because one of our friends was being honored for 30 years with the company. They were gracious enough to include those of us who had worked with him back in the beginning. After a series of video clips that rivaled the best late night comedy show efforts and a "Malnati Idol" Karaoke competition that put local venues to shame, I was undone. I can't do the performances justice with mere words, but I can tell you I was the one laughing hardest and loudest in the room.

On the coldest day in about a year, in a long season of winter in Chicago, it's good to have occasion to laugh. I'm grateful God wired me that way and gave me the fellowship of those who bring it out.

"A joyful heart is good medicine." Proverbs 17:22

Monday, January 7, 2013


While I continue to be grateful for the celebrations I enjoyed over the weekend, it seems they may have contributed to a setback in my recovery. I had to leave one of the church functions I mentioned in my last post early yesterday. I never made it to the second one, because this illness, whatever it is, has decided it's not finished with me yet.

That kept me from more visiting with my brother-in-law and from spending time with my husband who took a vacation day today (but in his kindness did some more laundry to keep us going a few more days). This illness has kept me from a lot of things that I had hoped to achieve during a long holiday break and it's tempting to think about regrets and what could have been. But a few days ago my amazing husband said something that has stuck with me. I was bemoaning the lack of progress made on home projects, the inability to go on a date (or two!) while we were both off work and had gift cards to spend, and the lost opportunity to invite friends over during a week we had nothing else planned. And his reply was "I guess that wasn't God's will."

Now depending on your faith and your current struggles, that can be the knife in the back or the balm in the wound. For me it was definitely the latter. Because there is nothing so comforting as being reminded that the all wise, all powerful, all merciful, totally compassionate and ever present God is in charge.

Of course that's only comforting if you know Him to be wise, powerful, merciful, compassionate and there.

I may never get the "why me?" or "why now?" questions answered but I get something infinitely better. Assurance that whatever my circumstances may be, they are still in the hand of a God who loves me and knows far better than I do what's best at any given moment.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


So...interesting week so far. This being the first week of the New Year I must admit I had different expectations of what the week would hold, but that's because I keep forgetting that God laughs while I make plans.

New Year's Eve was the quietest yet, with me on the couch for the fourth consecutive day. I made it out to the doctor's office to confirm I either had the worst personal virus in five years or an infection that somehow steered clear of my lungs. Either way, I got an antibiotic prescription, stocked up on kleenex with lotion, cough drops, ibuprofen and DVD's and settled in for the night. The twins left for a sleepover much to their big sister's delight and Dan and I loaded up the new bluray player with our library rentals. Eventually, Caitlin emerged from her batcave (aka the basement where the Wii and her brand new laptop reside) and informed us we missed the count down to midnight. Oh well. We hugged each other and went to bed.

New Year's Day was much the same. So was Wednesday. And Thursday.

On Friday, I finally started to feel better, which is good because the laundry was mounting and the food in the house waning. That night we got together with the Eder side to welcome my brother-in-law visiting from Florida. By 9pm I hit the brick wall hard.

Today I got to see my goddaughter compete in a gymnastic meet, have lunch with great friends and then go on to a 50th birthday party for my brother-in-law (this is the part where I'm supposed to mention that he's older than both Dan and me). It was a wonderful day. Not because anything super spectacular happened but because it was spent with people I love. I'm getting better at being in the moment (maybe because I spent a week on the couch, but still). It's so rewarding to just enjoy time together.

Tomorrow is a busy day - there's a farewell luncheon for a great couple from church that are moving out of state and an annual evening event for all the ministry leaders. These occasions will be celebratory too - more so than watching a ball drop in Times Square on New Years Eve - because they will be spent with people rejoicing in all the ways God has blessed us this past year.

And because we can trust God to give cause for more celebrations in the year to come.