I quickly averted my gaze for I did not like what was staring back. I've never liked seeing myself in a mirror.
But in those few seconds, something caught my eye so I glanced back for a closer examination. I realized that the lines I was now scrutinizing were etched in frown lines.
I ran a simple test and smiled a goofy smile and the lines disappeared. I frowned and there they were.
Making a complete fool of myself in front of my little girl, I thought to myself that I really need to smile more. I realized that for the frown lines to be leaving their mark, I must be furrowing my brow and hanging my lips down a whole lot more than turning up the corners of my mouth.
I know I take myself too seriously too much of the time.
I know I let the mundaneness and the stresses of life dictate.
I know I have told the kids a thousand times to pick up their things or finish their work or come set the table and I huff and puff and mumble how nobody listens to me. The milk spills and the bills flow in wave upon wave and the washing machine breaks and my immediate thought is how inconvenient life can be. How it interferes with my plans.
I feel the weight of raising these children up right and fear that most of the time I am failing.
I think that I need to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, Christian.
I think of the missing family member, and the marriage imploding, and doctors that can’t do anything with me and I just have to wait until I get really bad and start to faint and then they will see if they can fix my heart, and another MRI scheduled that I'm trying not to worry about.
And I say it, with tears welling up, that life's not fair, even though I know that it has nothing to do with fair.
Oh, don't me wrong, I really do love to laugh. A good hard belly laugh with tears streaming down till it hurts kind of laugh.
It is just that the seriousness of life too often takes over.
Or, rather, we fix our eyes on the things that can be seen in this life, instead of the unseen things that are eternal.
The writer of post over at The Rabbit Room caught my attention with these words about Abraham and Sarah:
‘ . . . the joyful laughter of a couple who understand how outlandishly they have been blessed . . . They laughed sardonically when they heard the prediction. They laughed for joy when the prediction came true. So they named their boy “Laughter.”’I read this post just days after seeing my reflection in the bathroom mirror. And I recognized the truth that, yes, I take myself far too seriously.
The writer quotes G.K. Chesterton:
‘It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. . . . For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.’That’s me!
It is easy to be heavy. It comes naturally for me ~ the frown lines etched in aging skin reveal all.
How often I fail to see the hilarity of the Gospel in my life.
‘There’s a deep pleasure in the gospel that nobody talks about very much, and it is the pleasure of saying, “Oh, What a fool I have been! I was so sure I knew how this thing was going to turn out. I shaped my life around a foolish assumption that the world was telling me the truth about itself and my place in it. I was so wrong! Halleluiah! I lived in fear of things that had no power to harm me! I thought I had to exert my will and get my way! But now I don’t have to anymore. Halleluiah!”’I was/am nothing and yet, God by His unbelievable amazing grace has saved me. He called me ‘out of darkness into his marvelous light.’
It is the season of waiting.
We have so much to rejoice over. To laugh at the impossible because of a babe lying in a manger. God in a manger. God with us.
‘[T]he Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’Oh, to laugh.
To laugh like the 90 year old mother of nations. The mother who laughed at the prediction. And laughed again when the promise came true.
I have more reason to laugh than to just change my frown lines into laugh lines.
God has done the impossible.
The shoot has come from the stump of Jesse. The root out of dry ground.
He knew mundane and He knew brokenness and pain. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
He has welcomed me into His kingdom.
He has told me to ‘count it all joy . . . when you meet trials of various kinds’ that the testing will develop perseverance to bring me to maturity.
And so we wait.
Wait for the Greatest Advent ~ His coming again!
And in the waiting I will laugh!
And how it will light up my countenance and restore joy in my heart.
*A post from the archive with a 'Five Minute Friday' editing.
Linking with Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo's place. This week the prompt is: Reflect
Officially, the rules are:
2. Link up at Lisa-Jo's and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community...