“Faith Leads to Joy”

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Dear Reader:

When I heard Jakie laughing out loud (while staring into Mandy’s eyes the other night) I knew in my heart that joy and laughter come pre-packaged.

Young mothers watch intently for that first smile from a newborn. Days and weeks go by and then in the early morning hours (one day) when the sleep-deprived mother goes to feed or change her baby…it is there…the smile.  The baby smiled! She smiled….He smiled….and suddenly the lack of sleep and circles under the eyes no longer matters….the baby smiled!

In a blink of the eye-happy cooing and laughter follow the smiles’ footsteps. One minute a child doesn’t exist and the next we hear that child laughing and we know that God loves to hear His children laugh…young and old.

Yet…too many of us, who profess to be religious and believers in God, live life too seriously…because we take ourselves too seriously. We think that laughter and levity are something we can indulge in ….only after we have done our “homework.”

One day we wake up and realize that we let life slip through our fingers, along with its joys and happiness, because we felt like we didn’t deserve joy until we had completed this or that serious project.

Tim Hansel, in his book, Holy Sweat, gives this example….

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin-real life <with all the joys, contentment, and peace we dream about>….But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then the good life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. -B. Howland

Nothing is sadder than wasting one’s life while waiting for the good times to come. We are living the good times right now, every moment of every day. When we wake up, look around, realize we are still breathing and on this side of the ground…we have the opportunity to bring a smile to someone’s face and happiness to their heart.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I have started back with my morning mantra “Today is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Which is followed up by my own personal accolade “Wow…another day…I owe You a “Big One” God!”)

God wants us to laugh, tell jokes, bring joy to our fellowman…last week when I was presenting at the Charleston Retired Educators quarterly meeting…Miss Effie and her “buzzard” story had everyone laughing, forgetting their worries momentarily, and enjoying the moment.

If we believe in a Divine Creator…then shouldn’t we believe that God is the source of all joy?

During my early treatments for “little c” I received numerous books from friends on healing…one was on humor and healing. The last chapter dealt with humor and dying. One of the classic jokes was saved for the last page….an “oldie but goodie.”

I laughed until I cried…so to end today…let me share a little laughter with you. Take it from me….it truly is the best medicine!

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( Joan sent this original painting yesterday…she calls it her “Owl With An Attitude”) I fell in love with it….it does look like the owl is getting ready to share a joke with everyone….and here it is!)

“Up on the Roof”

Jimmy and his brother Ralph both lived in the same town. Jimmy lived with their 90 year-old mother, and Ralph lived across town with his 12 year-old cat, Silky.

Ralph was obsessed with Silky and treated her like a queen. The two were never apart. But one day, Ralph learned he had to go to England on business. Cats had to stay in quarantine for two weeks in order to get into that country, so it was simply impractical for Ralph to take Silky with him.

Ralph asked Jimmy to care for his cat, and Jimmy agreed. So Ralph brought Silky over, spent an hour explaining the nuances of servicing the aging feline, and departed forLondon.

Every night Ralph would call and ask “How’s Silky?”. The first four nights, Jimmy, holding in his growing irritation at his brother’s cat-obsession, answered, “Silky’s fine,” but the fifth night, in response to the question, he blurted out, “Silky’s dead!”

Hearing that, Ralph almost died of shock, himself. When he recovered, he said to his brother, “Jimmy, that’s not the way to break news like that to someone. You don’t just blurt out information like that. You have to prepare a person.”

 ” Tonight when I called,” Ralph went on, “You should have said, ‘Silky’s fine, but she’s up on the roof.’ Then tomorrow you could have told me, “Silky fell off the roof and I took her to the vet’s.” Then, the next day, you could have said, “Silky didn’t make it, Ralph, she’s dead,” and I would have been able to handle the news.”

“By the way, Jimmy,” Ralph asked, “How’s mom?”

 “Oh, she’s fine,” said Jimmy. “But she’s up on the roof.”

So until tomorrow…Help us realize Father that You love to see a newborn smile, hear children’s peals of laughter, and enjoy a good joke! (After all You did create us!)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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8 Responses to “Faith Leads to Joy”

  1. Sis Kinney says:

    Good Tuesday morning to you, Becky!
    Love the owl painting! I think owls are “in” this year – I see them everywhere!
    Also love, love, love little Jake’s bald head! All of my babies were bald, too, and there’s just something about a baby’s bald head!
    A great laugh to begin the day! We DO need to laugh and smile more!
    Have a terrific Tuesday!
    Sis
    PS – I also think it’s wonderful that there will be surcies spread throughout Europe in the coming year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Baldies are the best! i got a ping-back from Anya’s comment…which means others want to share the surcies and are asking permission….it is already starting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Like

  2. Jo Dufford says:

    Thanks for helping me start my day with a feeling of joy and laughter. As I read this story today, I could almost hear you telling it. No wonder, you are still in such demand to tell your stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Becky Dingle says:

    So glad Jo the little old story could bring a smile to your face and joy in your heart….that makes my day!

    Like

  4. Honey Burrell says:

    How very precious baby Jake is! I’m looking forward to lots of joy and laughter with you tomorrow!
    Have a joyful day, Honey

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Becky Dingle says:

    You too Honey….as soon as I finish up with my doctor’s appt this morning…it will definitely get joyful-er! Always so relieved each month as I anxiously await blood results and exam.

    Like

  6. Brooke says:

    There truly is nothing better than a good laugh!! We have had many, my friend! Love Joan’s picture! He looks like an owl with an attitude to me.Ha Ha!!! This is just what I needed today!!! Thank you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Becky Dingle says:

    Isn’t it the cutest thing? I just love it! Great talking with you today!

    Like

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