Clean, Pray, Laugh

I am quickly realizing this is a magic formula for my joy and peace. I realized it yesterday when I was in a ‘funk’. Ever have those days? When you just feel ‘blue’ and like doing nothing? 

Remember a few years ago that popular book and movie “Eat Pray Love”? I never read the book or saw the movie, but the lady traveled around the world to ‘find herself’. And she came up with 3 words—Eat, Pray, Love. Well, I haven’t traveled the world to find myself, and there are days I wish I could lose my self. But I am realizing my 3 words are Clean, Pray, Laugh. 

In AA they have a motto “do the next right thing”—awesome, thanks. What does that mean? Well for me, it usually means clean something. Something is always a mess in our home because we have 2 young children and a messy me. My poor organized “everything has a place, there is a place for everything” husband. So doing “the next right thing” for me usually means “get up and clean something”—and it’s amazing the effect that one action usually has on my mind and heart. 

It gets me moving and then to a place that I can begin to pray about my funk, and whatever else is on my heart. I would love to say that deep in my funks, I go straight to prayer. But the truth is, prayer seems almost impossible in those times. Yet, I know the answer to my funks and most of my issues today is prayer. So as I cleaned my kitchen counter; the counter that used to be a ‘junk drawer’ but somehow expanded in to a whole counter. Again, my poor husband… I began to pray. And prayer softened my heart to what was going on. It aligned me with God’s heart. God is a God of peace and joy among other things. But I needed His peace and joy in that moment. And right there in the midst of my messy counter—I had a glimpse of it. I had that feeling “everything is going to be ok”, even though things are not always ok. 

A bit later I called one of my sister-in-laws (one of my go to’s for laughter)—and she came through. She made me laugh so hard my gut ached—no need for ab exercises when you laugh hard. The funny thing was that she made me laugh at myself. There is such healing when we can laugh about, and with ourselves. I take life so serious at times. I forget to laugh. I forget to smile too. I told a friend earlier this week “I am joyful, I just forgot to tell my face”. 

Yes, there are hard things in all of our lives. Yes, even tragic things going on. I lost a friend this week to that awful disease called cancer. She was beautiful, young and full of life. And she believed in me. She had a way about her that made you feel like you were the only person in room when she talked to you. My heart grieves for her family and dear friends, and rejoices that she only knows joy and peace now. What a thought.

At times I get muddled down in the murky waters of life. I am constantly reminded this is not Heaven. But it’s not Hell either! I think I need to remind myself of that more often than I do. 

Isaiah 43:19 says “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

To know He is making a way in the ‘Wilderness’—loss, regret, disappointments, divorce, bankruptcy, death, the list goes on and on. But to know His desire is to bring ‘streams of living water’ within our wilderness. That doesn’t transport us to Tahiti from our Wilderness, but it makes our current circumstances livable and even joy-filled. No denying the “Wastelands”. But knowing we can Clean, Pray and Laugh our way through them makes them much more livable. And each of these things are a Grace of God. 

So next time I am in a ‘funk’—I will Clean, Pray, Laugh, and remind my face I am in fact joyful! 

Daily Grace to you.

Love, 

Dani

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