In Others’ Words: Progress

red boot laughter 8.21.13

Sometimes progress is hard.

It’s tears.

And throwing myself on the floor in a virtual old-fashioned wail of a temper tantrum.

And sitting in silence because there … are … no … words.

And venting the emotion that won’t be exhausted no matter how much I hash it out. Again and again and again.

But sometimes, oh hallelujah! Laughter is progress.

Realizing I’m no longer who I was. Realizing God was working in me — and loving me — when I was who I was back then.

Realizing letting go … and saying no … and believing I’m right no matter what someone else might be thinking … can be the very best choice.

Laughter is my favorite sound … but I love it even more now that I embrace it as a sign of progress.

In Your Words: When has laughter meant you were moving forward? 

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  1. August 21, 2013, 5:41 am   /  Reply

    When has laughter meant I was moving forward?

    OMGosh–every day of my life, Beth. Keeps my feet moving foward toward the next banana peel. 😀

    • August 21, 2013, 10:09 am   /  Reply

      Great visual, that, Anne.

  2. August 21, 2013, 5:41 am   /  Reply

    When I can laugh at myself and not feel so uptight about silly mistakes I’ve made, I know it’s progress. I love that photo of you, Beth! 🙂

    • August 21, 2013, 10:09 am   /  Reply

      And Jess, I love your laugh. I can still hear it echoing in my heart from last year’s ACFW conference!

  3. August 21, 2013, 6:11 am   /  Reply

    I learned a long time ago, you can either laugh at a situation or you can spend hours and hours and days and days wallowing in embarrassment and pity. I decided to choose laughter. And I love that photo too.

    • August 21, 2013, 10:09 am   /  Reply

      You know, Pat, when I look at you, I see a wise, mature woman — and one who has chosen not to let life beat her down. One who has chosen laughter and love. And faith.

  4. August 21, 2013, 7:02 am   /  Reply

    The last time laughter moved me forward? This morning.

    Last night our coonhound, Duke, developed a bad case of bloat caused by gastric torsion. It’s serious in dogs, and often fatal. We lost a lovely, gentle old Rottweiler to it last year, and nearly lost a lovely and demented Australian Shepherd to it a few months ago.

    Duke needed to go to the vet, but it was long after hours. I didn’t think he’d survive the long drive into Albuquerque, with many miles over dirt roads.

    So I kept him walking. And walking. And walking. It’s what you do with horses, when they have gastric torsion. Under a full moon, with thunderstorms flickering against the distant loom of mountains. Every so often he’d get on his hind legs, and put his paws on my chest…”Please, Dad, make me better!”

    Eventually he got too tired to walk, but he lay down in a ‘normal dog’ position, so I decided to let him rest. I checked on him every few minutes through the night.

    It was a very still night, and reminded me of nights I spent praying in a Catholic church, with the vigil candles burning. Their flames would be very still, and in the silence one could hear the hiss of the wicks,

    And then I heard him laugh. “Whooo HOO HOO whoo!” Coonhounds have a unique voice. Drives the other dogs crazy.

    The bloat’s completely gone. We’ll take the win. And I love hearing my buddy laugh.

    • August 21, 2013, 10:08 am   /  Reply

      Joy comes in all kinds of victories, Andrew.
      And Scripture says a righteous man takes care of his animals. (Proverbs 12:10)
      Well done, my friend. Well done.

  5. August 21, 2013, 7:02 am   /  Reply

    Yep, I’ll chime in too. That is a GREAT picture of you. When has laughter meant progress? I’d have to agree with Jessica and Pat—when I can choose laughter over despair. Or when I can laugh about my luggage taking a three hour trip without me, and sitting next to an inebriated man on an airline flight. Having friends to laugh with me makes potentially frustrating situations a little easier to laugh at. 🙂

    • August 21, 2013, 10:06 am   /  Reply

      Oh, I remember laughing about the whole “Where is my luggage?” snafu — and working it into a storyline too, my friend. You still going to use that? Because if you aren’t, I think Susie May called dibs!

  6. August 21, 2013, 7:20 am   /  Reply

    Why didn’t I think of this, Beth? The older I get, the more I appreciate laughter, but it never crossed my mind it was a sign of progress. Thanks to you, I just started appreciating it a whole lot more.

    • August 21, 2013, 10:06 am   /  Reply

      See, we help each other.
      You teach me new things and I teach you new things.
      It works for me.


  7. August 21, 2013, 8:02 am   /  Reply

    Love this, Beth, and like others have said, love that photo of you.

    I love laughter, too, but I never actually thought of it in this way. It’s so true, though! I remember one night hanging out with my sister about a year after I’d graduated from college…I’d gone through a HARD year…made all the harder by my own stubbornness and refusal to sorta internally let go of something I knew God was telling me to let go of. But this one night with my sister, we were recapping the year behind me and I just suddenly burst out laughing about the whole thing…and my own emotional silliness…and my sister goes, “Finally, you’re okay again and I can go back to being the little sister in this relationship!” 🙂 You’re so right–that’s when I realized I was making progress.

    • August 21, 2013, 10:05 am   /  Reply

      What an absolutely tremendous story, Melissa.
      I am smiling after reading it.
      Perfect example of how laughter is progress.

  8. August 21, 2013, 8:15 am   /  Reply

    Laughter is healing and releases stress.

    • August 21, 2013, 10:04 am   /  Reply

      Amen to that.
      And I am thankful for the laughter — and the healing — we have shared together.

  9. August 21, 2013, 9:21 am   /  Reply

    Oh, my goodness! Do I love to laugh!!! Laughter has indeed moved me beyond my box of self-pity and hard times of yesterday. I’ve always had a sense of humor, and I’m thankful I have friends who “get me.”

    And I love your picture! (Now. May I borrow your red boots???) 🙂

    • August 21, 2013, 10:03 am   /  Reply

      I would happily lend you my red boots, Cynthia — but I have a feeling we don’t wear the same size! Now, why did I have a sneaking suspicion you were a laughter-loving gal too?

  10. Lisa Harness
    August 21, 2013, 10:12 pm   /  Reply

    Laughter is the best medicine! It moves me forward everyday–it is a beautiful sound. Laughter in memory also, brings progress. The most wonderful laughter of all–sweet grandbabies. Beth, I do love the picture.

  11. August 22, 2013, 7:00 am   /  Reply

    Oh, yes!! My best friends are always the ones I laugh the hardest with. Even my kids can make me hysterical! I’m talking, tears down the face and can’t stop!

    Laughter is progress. 🙂

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