I recently returned from a trip to Michigan in which I met lots of moms - moms from three different Mom to Mom groups. Some were young moms with their first new baby; others had a houseful of toddlers and preschoolers. Some were celebrating their kids going back to school, others bemoaning kids who’d left for college. Yet others were mentor moms comparing notes (and pictures, of course!) about grandchildren. We all had one thing in common. Actually, we all had a lot in common. But one thing that struck me particularly was that we all so desperately need to keep laughing!
I was speaking on the topic “Can You Really Love Your Kids and Your Life—at the Same Time?” As I looked out on these audiences of moms, two things were obvious: First, these moms really love their kids. They really, really do. But also, these moms desperately need to be able to laugh with other moms about the daily “mission impossible” challenges of being a mom. Sometimes it’s a matter of survival. At the very least, it makes being a mom more fun.
As I talked with moms after each session, we found ourselves laughing a lot. Not that we didn’t have serious conversations. Some very heavy things were shared, and I find myself still praying for some of the moms I met. But I also noticed how crucial it was for these moms to hold on to their sense of humor.
There was the one mom who came half an hour early for our Mom to Mom Dessert Night because it just felt so good to get out of the house and let her husband put the kids to bed. She wasn’t in any hurry to leave, either, when the party was over. Even though she spent a good bit of her time showing me pictures of her two adorable little girls. :) And there was the mom who told me “Hey, we’re doing pretty well even though my kids are so close together in age. I haven’t put any up on Craig’s List yet!” Laughter really is one of the best medicines for a mom.
All this reminded me of an older woman I knew many years ago who influenced me more than she ever knew. She was the woman I wanted to be when I grew up. An older woman in our church that most people called Grammy Perkins, she was one of the funniest—and Godliest—women I ever knew. And that, I must say, is one fantastic combination!
She led the Tuesday morning women’s prayer group at our church. And what mighty prayer warriors those women were! I remember my dad often commenting that it was the prayers of those women that got him through the completion of a manuscript he was writing on the Old Testament—and even got it published with a big-name publisher.
Grammy Perkins was also one spunky lady. One of the best stories I heard about her was how she got her driver’s license. As an older woman (I don’t know how old she was. She seemed very old to me—but then I was in fifth grade at the time!), she had never learned to drive. She kept telling her husband she was going to learn. “Oh, Julia,” he’s say. “You know you’re never going to do that at your age. In fact if you got your license, I would buy you any car you want.” That was all Julia needed. Out she went and enrolled in driver training classes—right along with all those teenagers. And, unbeknownst to her husband, she got her license. Then one night he came home for dinner to find her brand new license hanging from the chandelier in the dining room—along with a note on the kind of car she wanted. And she got it!
But what I remember most about her was a little prayer she said she often had to pray: “Lord, fix me up, Lord, fix me up.”
Oh, how often I need to pray that prayer. “Lord, fix me up, Lord fix me up.” As a young mom with small children, as a mother of teens, even now as a grandmother. It’s a prayer I need regularly. And I notice, along with wonderful Grammy Perkins, that one of the ways God works in me, one of the way He fixes me up, is through laughter. Truly, it is good medicine. Often, it is God’s medicine.
I believe it was Charles Swindoll who said, “Of all the things God created, I am often most grateful He created laughter.” I think Grammy Perkins would agree. Especially for moms.
Praying and laughing—perhaps the two most crucial ingredients for a mom. My prayer for you is that you’re doing lots of both!