Healing Laughter

Isa laughing“Don’t laugh!”

“Don’t you dare laugh!”

My husband used to say this to our sons when they were pouting or crying over something. It never failed to bring a smile to their faces. Within moments, they were laughing.

Laughter heals. It’s a proven fact. When’s the last time you really laughed? Laughed till you cried? It feels really, really good. And a night out with friends who can bring on that kind of laughter is strengthening. A vital element in the healing process.

What if you don’t have friends like those?

  • Watch a funny movie or television show.
  • Find a comedian you enjoy. (There are videos on YouTube featuring your favorite comedian/comedienne.)
  • Spend time with a favorite pet.
  • Hang out with kids.
  • Visit a library’s (or bookstore’s) humor section.
  • Go bowling with friends (Miniature golf, swimming, etc.)

I don’t have pets, but I love to watch those funny videos on Facebook. Facebook provides lots of opportunities for laughter as well.

Laughter is infectious. Laughter triggers positive health changes in your body, like strengthening your immunity, releasing stress, boosting energy. Who doesn’t want that? Remember endorphins? Naturally produced chemicals that make you feel great–yes, I could use a healthy dose of those.

dog-1033155_1280Learn to laugh at yourself. Lighten up! Let go and enjoy yourself. You can totally turn a situation around if you’re willing to laugh when you do something dumb. So you made a mistake. Is it worth getting upset over? Losing your cool, stressing out? I’ve chuckled over my stupidity many times.

I had a favorite aunt who had that down to a science. She was one of the happiest women I’ve known, though she’d seen plenty of trouble in her life. I think of her when things happen. How would Aunt Jen handle this? She’d laugh and make up some funny saying about it. She’d tell the story of what she’d done and make others laugh. One thing she never had a shortage of–friends.


Sometimes you have to purposefully inject humor into your life. Set aside time to watch a funny video or movie. Call a friend who always makes you laugh. If it’s difficult for you, start small. Install a humorous screensaver on your computer and/or phone.

Remember to smile, because smiling is also contagious. Yes, others may wonder if you’re nuts, but they’ll probably still smile back.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13 NIV


Pray for Ecuador


  • This morning the news is filled with pictures of people coming together to help their fellow man and rise from the ashes of this disaster together. Please keep Ecuador in your prayers. Relief efforts are just beginning. #prayersforecuador #godisbigger


–From the Instagram post of one of my friends in Ecuador. The news is devastating, as the death count rises, videos reveal the massive damage to the beautiful coastal villages of Ecuador.

Please pray for the people of Ecuador.

Ecuador Isaiah 49

AmWriting AmReading

pc-1207686_1280When I’m not writing, I’m reading about writing, or doing research for writing. One thing I’ve learned so far, writers never stop learning. If you stop studying and researching, your writing can become stale and boring. Like old crackers.

Part of the growth process for a writer is reading fresh, new fiction. I’ve done a little of that in the past couple of months by helping to judge writers’ contests. I’ve read some absolutely wonderful chapters by talented writers that make me downright jealous. But that’s not a good reaction unless it spurs me to push forward to write crisper, more entertaining fiction.

IMG_9611One thing writers don’t really want to mess with is their unique voice. But you can write different types of stories in new genres, and explore different angles of the art. I’m anxious to do that, to learn how to craft a better story. Because stale crackers are only good for meatloaf or feeding to the squirrels.

Writers–When you started your first novel, how did you go about it? Did you just sit down and write, or did you outline it or plot it first? I’d love to hear your stories! First novels are a little like first babies or first jobs or even first love. We have sweet memories we like to share.

My first novel — I sat down and wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I wish I could do that now! Oh the freedom of fingers flying over keys, not worrying about content, just slugging it out there.

So that first novel–have you published it? Or is it squirreled away like a couple of mine?

books-927394_1280How do you learn more about writing?

  • Take a course
  • Attend a conference
  • Read/study a writing book or course (on your own)
  • All of the above

If you could attend a course taught by the best of the best in writing–who would that be?

I’m asking these questions because I’m curious, but also–I’m writing a post and could use the input. So, if you have a moment, please leave me a comment below. Thanks so much!

Right now, I’m sitting in my favorite writing spot, hammering out this post–it’s late again! I’m at my dining room table, occasionally looking out the window at pouring rain and beautiful buttercups in bloom. So, my final question is: Where do you write? Do you have an office, or do you–like me–move around with a laptop?

window-1287611_1280Wherever you write, however you write, I hope your writing is successful. But most of all, I hope your writing fulfills you, because doing what you love is the greatest kind of blessing.

The Road to Ecuador – Trip Update

calendar-660669_1280We’re counting down the days here! We’re about thirteen weeks out. It’s been a lot like a jigsaw puzzle when you empty the box onto the table. Just a heaping jumble of cardboard. But, the pieces are starting to come together.  We’re seeing a picture now and it’s starting to look really good. We’re getting excited!

20160326_125256The passports are in. The tickets are purchased. Two huge hurdles behind us. Now for the elemental stuff.  After a long flight with longer layovers, we’ll arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where we’ll be spending the night before taking the beautiful drive up, up, and up into Cuenca. I’ve added a couple of miles to my workout to prepare myself for the high altitude and thin air.

Hey, are you lighter in high altitude?

writing-923882_1920We’ve also added a workshop on novel writing to my speaking schedule. That should be fun. And the guys will be working, too. I know they’re looking forward to it. We’re not sure what they’ll be doing yet, but they’ll be up for it.

I hope you’ll add our team to your prayers. We have a lot to do to prepare for this trip. We still need funding, so that means activity on our parts to raise the necessary money to pay for our expenses.

11110509_10204170624365310_3489856107082246488_oWhen God lays the plans for something, He doesn’t leave you on your own. You are filled with the knowledge, the desire, the energy to complete what He’s placed on your heart to do. Whether you’re building a tabernacle or temple for His use (Exodus 25), or buying groceries for a sick neighbor, you’ll have what you need when you need it. This is how it’s done. This is how missionaries can go into foreign countries and live and work. He provides for those who give their lives for His work.

He often uses the unlikely. I’m one of the most unlikely, in so many ways. But His call is planted deep in my heart.

  • Forgiveness
  • Restoration
  • The peace of God

This is the message I carry. What I have received in such abundance. This is the calling.

This is why I desire your prayerful support of our journey to Cuenca. If you’d like to help, please use the contact tab above to send me an email. Besides prayer, we need financial support. There are links listed below for you to explore a few of the places we’ll go and the other in-country ministries.

The translation of Annabelle’s Ruth is underway. We hope to have this book ready. There’s a cost involved for printing the Spanish translation, so that the proceeds from the sales will benefit the ministry in Cuenca. Here’s the link to help with the printing costs: (please reference “Annabelle’s Ruth” in the comments) https://giving.ag.org/Give/Details/600001-693941?MinistryName=unsion&Page

Dios los bendiga! God bless you!


Other news – I have a book releasing in the near future. Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2, Legacy series, is nearly ready for it’s debut. The cover is not yet available, but I’ll keep you posted. Here’s a bit about the story:

Carlotta’s Legacy — After the stock market crash of 1929, Rebecca Lewis learns her family has lost everything, and her long engagement to an Italian count seems in jeopardy. When the count assures her of his continued affection, her parents urge her to follow through with the marriage. But Rebecca has serious doubts–though the marriage will secure her future–does she love him enough to spend the rest of her life with him?

As the Great Depression bears down on the world’s economy, and war in Europe threatens, Rebecca learns there is nothing more important than faith, love, and family.

If you’re interested in learning more about the missions in Ecuador…

11406481_10204566542023004_1656763691042702276_oUnsion Foundation, a Christian World-View television network is actively “Engaging the culture with the gospel.”
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lacworldmissions
Ecuador Hope House
Joil & Leah Marbut, Jungle Missionary

Sobre Cuenca (about Cuenca): http://www.ecuadorexplorer.com/html/cuenca.html