A few years ago I started making a “Top 10” list. I reflect on the past year, how I’ve grown, things I experienced, read, accomplished, and look at how God revealed himself to me through out the year. At the top of the list for this year will be “Learning to laugh more with Mike, instead of getting angry.” Here is a perfect example of what I mean.
I am a terrible passenger driver, as is Mike. I’m quick to criticize Mike and his driving. I typically criticize him on his speed, not because he’s going too fast, but because he goes slow! Yes, I know. Opposite of what you might’ve thought. I am really in to watching lights and the pedestrian signs. I watch the countdown to try and make the light. I think I became an expert at this because I used to have to drive across town almost every day to get to work.
So, Sunday morning rolls around and we’re running late to church. I always say I think God was playing a joke on me when He picked Mike for me, who as it turns out, is the slowest person I know and I am very much the opposite. Yah, we’re almost always late to church because of Mike. Anyways, I find myself saying often to Mike, “if you would have been going the speed limit, we would have probably made that light.” And there it is. The beginning of one of the most ridiculous arguments, on the way to church no less! Ha! I remember one time as we were making our way to church, I had coffee. I was pregnant and thinking about how this was probably going to make me pee all morning at church.
We were running late, of course, and I noticed we had already stopped at two lights that we probably could have made if we were going a smidge faster. I roll my eyes, thinking Praise and worship will be over by the time we get there. Bad mood ensuing. No, don’t try to hold my hand while you’re driving. I’m trying to be irritated with you.
As I’m thinking of ways to be snooty with him, Mike quickly puts on the brakes before a light and some coffee spills on me. I can instantly tell that he’s expecting me to come unglued. In that instant, I thought to myself, if Asher was in the car, how it would look if I so disrespectfully get mad at Mike? The Holy Spirit reminded me of a verse I had read that morning from Proverbs. Side note: a friend of mine had said that if you aren’t sure what to read from the Bible, Proverbs is a good book to pick a chapter to read based on the day of the month. So, if it’s the 15th, I would read the 15th chapter in Proverbs. Anyways, I was about to get angry at Mike. I was reminded of Proverbs 15:15.
“A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.” (MSG)
I chose to laugh. I made some silly remark about how the coffee would attract people to my growing stomach anyways. Mike chuckled back. The drive to church instantly took a lighter mood. I think of other times when Mike would do things that would normally easily irritate me, but instead, I chose to laugh about it. I want to live the most joyful, cheerful, life possible. I can’t do that on my own. I’d get angry trying!
The Holy Spirit continues to reveal His Word to me. The Holy Spirit is the one who helps me grow in this area. Reminding me to always giving thanks. Counting it joy in the trials, knowing that I’m growing as a person. Laughter gives strength to spirit. Proverbs says a twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart (15:30). I think a twinkle in the eye also means more joy in your home. A home that I want to not only be joyful for Mike’s sake when he comes home from a hard day’s work, but also a joyful home for Asher to thrive in, especially as he gets older.
I’m certainly not perfect at this. There are always moments when I criticize instead of keeping my mouth shut or laughing with Mike so he doesn’t feel bad. Sometimes we jokingly do the “What?” game as Ken Davis joked to diffuse an argument. But the Spirit is helping me try not to watch the pedestrian lights count down anymore, at least while Mike’s driving.