In Others’ Words: Laughter


“Reclaiming the belly-laugh can cure a world of woes.”

~ Jamie Sams, Native American writer & artist

Laughter is my all-time favorite sound. (I know I’ve said this before. No apologies for repeating myself.)

Laughter is healing. Laughter is hope-filled. Laughter broadens my shoulders, helps me (wo)man up and carry the demands and troubles of the day. Laughter reminds me that, yes, there is more to life than whatever is looming over me, blocking my view of tomorrow. Of eternity.

In Your Words: When was the last time you had an all-out belly-laugh? What makes you giggle, chortle, guffaw, snort — pushing back the woe-is-mes and making room for hope?




photo by Lisa Anne Meeter
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  1. January 11, 2012, 5:55 am   /  Reply

    I laugh at a lot of things on a daily basis – my usual beverage spills, funny coworkers, hilarious texts from friends. But I’d have to say that last time I all-out belly laughed was over New Year’s with my family. We’re a crazy bunch (as I’m sure most families are) and we always end up around a table playing games late at night…which is when the belly laughing happens. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 7:13 am   /  Reply

      Family game nights — the best.
      Our family just discovered a new game: Quelf. An absurd how-did-they-think-this-boardgame-up kind of game. And the laughter abounded. We will be playing this one a lot!
      When my kidddos were younger, card games like UNO used to cause my daughters to dissolve in tear-laced giggles.

      • January 11, 2012, 2:37 pm   /  Reply

        Yes, Quelf is awesome! We’ve played that a few times. This past New Year’s we tried Buzz Word and another one which I can’t remember the name of, but wish I could because it was such a blast…

        • Beth Vogt
          January 11, 2012, 2:39 pm   /  Reply

          Ah, Quelf! Absurd beyond belief … so many reasons to laugh! Maybe I should post the photo of the mask I had to make . . .

  2. January 11, 2012, 6:24 am   /  Reply

    It was close, but not quite a belly laugh…last night when I was tucking my middle daughter into bed we were cracking up about something. It felt like a real bonding moment. 😀
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 7:14 am   /  Reply

      True, Wendy. Laughter is bonding.
      Whenever I speak to a group, I always feel like if I can get them to laugh with me (not at me, preferably), 🙂 then a wall comes down and we connect.

  3. January 11, 2012, 6:47 am   /  Reply

    My last tear-dripping belly laugh came when my 15-year-old grand-daughter needed to leave our restaurant booth, where she and her dad and I had just found the best ever Chinese restaurant. (They even played Christian music.) When Brittney came back, I slid over instead of her having to crowd past me. As she sat down, a smile lit her face and she said, “I didn’t know restaurant booths used seat warmers.” Yup, one of my roles in life.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 7:14 am   /  Reply

      A marvelous role in life, Dee.
      Love and laughter with your grandchildren.

  4. January 11, 2012, 7:17 am   /  Reply

    I agree! Honestly, a day doesn’t go by without laughter in my home, whether it’s something my kids did that was funny or laughing at myself (and letting the kids laugh at my expense) but the most belly laughing I have is at night when it’s just me and hubby. Which proves, you can be married a long time and still find each other hilarious! So great for a marriage and family.

    Excellent post!

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 8:43 am   /  Reply

      I’ve told my daughters for a long time: Marry someone who makes you laugh.
      My husband can make me laugh like no one else can!
      And I always say by living with me, he sharpened his sense of humor.
      Interpret that however you want.

  5. January 11, 2012, 7:19 am   /  Reply

    Laughing so hard til you cry has to be the best medicine in the world. Just thinking about it makes me feel better. A friend and I shared that kind of laughter yesterday over lunch.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 8:43 am   /  Reply

      Laughter among friends … some of the best. Healing. Refreshing.

  6. Jeanne T
    January 11, 2012, 7:27 am   /  Reply

    In my hurry-morning mode, remembering the last time I belly laughed isn’t coming to mind. 🙂 My family laughed playing games together last weekend. One of my kiddos is naturally funny, and often draws a laugh. I also like to try and make my kiddos laugh after we “fixed a boo-boo” or there’s been a disciplinary situation (on the other side of the correcting). Oh, and we do tickle fests, at the kids requests. That draws forth lots of laughter.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 8:44 am   /  Reply

      So wise to bring on the laughter after there’s been a time of correction or “we need to deal with this.”

  7. January 11, 2012, 7:35 am   /  Reply

    One thing that really attracted me to my husband was how much fun we have together. How much we laugh together! It happens so much I don’t remember when the last time was. 🙂

  8. Beth Vogt
    January 11, 2012, 8:45 am   /  Reply

    Not being able to remember the last time you laughed with your husband because it happens so frequently?
    You got a good thing going on there, my friend!

    • January 11, 2012, 8:57 am   /  Reply

      I do indeed! I am very blessed. 🙂

  9. January 11, 2012, 9:18 am   /  Reply

    Laughter, yes, I love it. It’s my favorite sound. Laughter has healed parts of my wounded heart over the years. Wise Guy told me once I was the only person he knew who laughed and cried at the same time.. Laughter is from our God, right? That is why I do a talk on laughter 🙂 We need to laugh. Daily. And it’s why I support my prankster son with his crazy videos. They make people laugh. Today marks 1 million views for one of his videos. It went viral. Oh my!!

    love you, friend

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 12:41 pm   /  Reply

      Your sense of humor is one of your most sparkling qualities — and how you reflect God’s image to others!!

  10. Loree Huebner
    January 11, 2012, 11:13 am   /  Reply

    I love when I’m taken over by a spirit of laughter. I’ve experienced it a lot lately, and over the holidays. When I laugh hard, tears streak my face and my nose whistles! My kids think it’s hilarious.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 12:42 pm   /  Reply

      Loree: One of my favorite memories of my now-adult son, Josh, is him laughing himself red-in-the-face until he cried …

  11. Sonia Meeter
    January 11, 2012, 11:49 am   /  Reply

    My youngest (pictured above on the right), as you know, is always making me laugh. I don’t know how she does it so consistently, but she makes me laugh with the “I can’t believe she said that” thought in my mind on a daily basis. Usually multiple times a day.

    My oldest made me laugh last night with a new word she made up. While I was helping her with her math, I was explaining a concept in a way that was above her head. She turned to me and said, “Don’t be using your ‘smartacles’ on me!” Not only did it make me laugh, it encouraged me that my nearly 12 year old still thinks I’m smart!

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 12:42 pm   /  Reply

      Oh. My. Word.
      Love it.


  12. Teri Smith
    January 11, 2012, 12:41 pm   /  Reply

    The last time I had a belly laugh was when I was shopping with my mother just before Christmas, and she wanted to buy me a gift. I looked around and finally pointed to a blouse she could get for me. She replied, “Oh, you wouldn’t wear that 5 minutes!” I felt like a 6 year old rather than a 60 year old! I laughed for days about it.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 12:44 pm   /  Reply

      Ah, mothers.
      They are allowed to tell us how to wear our hair, what clothes we would wear forever and ever AMEN!!
      Not that I am still telling my older kids what to wear, mind you ….


  13. January 11, 2012, 1:07 pm   /  Reply

    My toddler, a broom, dust pan and his dad. Very funny family time. The little things make our son giggle now. I like that.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 1:14 pm   /  Reply

      🙂 Just reading that little scenario makes me smile.

  14. January 11, 2012, 1:46 pm   /  Reply

    I LOVE laughing with my kids, or making my husband laugh with some humerous thing I’ve said. I especially love when I laugh out loud at books or movies – in a good “this is so funny” way. 🙂 I enjoy trying to incorporate little witticisms in my books too.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 2:06 pm   /  Reply

      Another time I love to laugh out loud, Stacy?
      When I’m reading a greeting card in Target or Wal-Mart.
      Then I know a card is a keeper!!

  15. January 11, 2012, 2:31 pm   /  Reply

    I think I like “woman up” better than “man up” since I’m pretty sure it’s a scientific fact or something that women have a pain tolerance seven times higher than men. I may start using this expression and see what kind of reactions I get. At least at work I’m sure it will be well-received. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 2:38 pm   /  Reply

      Matthew … are you … laughing at me?


      • January 11, 2012, 3:10 pm   /  Reply

        No way! I’m for real about liking the “(wo)man up” thing…but maybe I’m not so for real about using the expression in my everyday life. 😉

        • Beth Vogt
          January 11, 2012, 7:46 pm   /  Reply

          OK. Just checking.

  16. Charity Hawkins
    January 11, 2012, 7:24 pm   /  Reply

    My kids. I love to write about them because it helps me see them better.
    – My 2 year old with Thomas the Tank Engine boots, staggering around with a foam sword and shield bigger than he is, and a plastic knight’s mask. He cries when he has to shed this ensemble to sleep and puts it back on as soon as he wakes up.
    – My 5 year old daughter pretending to be a cheetah and telling me her plans to enlarge our house to make it a cheetah sanctuary
    – My 7 year old son creating an obstacle course for himself out of various items in our backyard, “I know it looks like a pile of junk but… ”

    • Beth Vogt
      January 11, 2012, 7:50 pm   /  Reply

      Ah, Charity,
      You brought back some memories …
      When my daughter, Amy, was younger (about 5), she often told me what my given role was for the day. Often she was Cinderella and I was–can you guess?– the “Evil Stepmother.”
      Now, imagine the looks I got in the grocery store when she addressed me as, “Evil Stepmother!”

      • Patti Mallett
        January 15, 2012, 11:13 am   /  Reply

        hahaha……now that’s funny!

  17. Patti Mallett
    January 12, 2012, 7:12 am   /  Reply

    Don’t we LOVE to laugh? When I’m alone and something strikes me as funny, I’ll let my laugh loose and see how far it wants to go. It feels so good, kinda like a nice stretch.

    I’ve been blessed with a daughter who gets me laughing to the pee-pants stage. On a shopping trip to Krogers, about eight years ago, she had me laughing so hard I couldn’t do anything but stand with crossed legs. When I attempted walking, I would make it a few steps and burst out again. This went on for some time and is a memory that makes me laugh these many years later. (She always said I was her best audience but she did get a trophy Senior year for most likely to be a Comedienne, so you see what I deal with.) LOL

    One friend of mine has an award-winning laugh and when we do our “catch-up” calls every few months we hoot and holler. (When she tells me online that something I said in an email got her laughing, I love picturing the sound of it, as well as her body language.)

    Great post, Beth!! You have me remembering so many laughing moments with friends, my kids and grandkids….

    So often we have the CHOICE of whether to laugh or to cry. More and more, I am choosing to laugh, especially at myself! Life is getting shorter = time more precious!

    Today, when I laugh, I’ll be thinking about you and this post, and Quelf!

    • Beth Vogt
      January 12, 2012, 8:42 am   /  Reply

      I’m sitting in a local coffee shop in the Springs, grinning as I read your comment … thank you soooo much!

      • Patti Mallett
        January 15, 2012, 11:14 am   /  Reply


  18. Charity Hawkins
    January 12, 2012, 7:19 am   /  Reply

    Beth, that is funny! The evil stepmother reminds ME of when my daughter wanted to be a puppy and would beg me to ‘put a leash on her’ when we went to the grocery store. Had to explain why others might not understand this scenario!

    • Beth Vogt
      January 12, 2012, 8:41 am   /  Reply

      I completely understand, Charity!!

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