Thank You, Lord, for Laughter

I didn't laugh every moment of every day of this week.
In fact, I shed a tear or two, if I remember correctly.
But I thank You, Lord, for the laughter I shared with friends
as well as the chuckles no one heard but You and me and the dogs.
I thank You for helping me laugh at myself when,
 really, there was no other suitable option.

And I thank You for the sweet and precious memories 
You returned to my mind
so I could grin and laugh to myself for a while.
And I thank You for bringing levity to an otherwise difficult day
so that I couldn't take myself too seriously.
Thank You for giving us the gift of laughter:
the tickle that starts in your belly 
and rises up to your ears 
and bursts out your mouth
...or sometimes your nose!

And thank You so, so much for the laughter of children
that drifts across the street from the elementary school playground behind my house
and seeps through my walls and finds its way into my home
while I'm cooking dinner or dusting furniture.
I absolutely thrill at the laughter of children,
whether they are truly happy children
or just children who have been removed from the pain
or difficulty or trial of their every day
long enough to play kickball and forget.
Sweet, abandoned, relentless, uninhibited laughter. 
May we all cherish those moments a little more tenderly.

Thank You for joy!
Ah, what a blissful and magical gift: joy.
And while happiness and whimsy and sweet moments
may occasionally happen upon us no matter where we are,
that blessed joy only comes from You, from Your very presence.
Laughter that floats in on the wings of true joy,
that is what I'm thankful for today.

In Thy presence is fullness of joy!
Psalm 16:11b

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