Prayer, Creativity & Faith

Gallery of Gratitude—Week #2

15 weeks, 15 letters, 15 minutes. To start the new year, 2015. It’s never too late to join us. Learn about the challenge here.

Your best friend. Your spouse or life partner. A co-worker, a roommate from college. Your child. Anyone you think of when you think of fun. Write them a note telling them how glad you are for the fun they’ve brought into your life.

flamingo carI’m not all that much fun. I like to have deep, serious conversations. I may like to stretch the rules ever so slightly, but I try not to break them. I don’t “do” spontaneity. I don’t want people to make fun of me so I avoid acting silly in public.

But at least I know enough to surround myself with fun people. My friend Peggy is one of the most fun of all of my friends. Of all people anywhere, to be exact.

Several weeks ago, I helped Peggy plan a ladies meeting for the women at church. We decided that the holidays are hard on us as moms. There’s so much to do, so many responsibilities and stresses that fall to the women in any household. So we had this brilliant idea that we would have a pampering session. We came up with a craft idea to help everyone focus on prayers and gratitude. Scheduled a masseuse to come give shoulder massages. Planned a menu and decided to fix all the food ourselves so people could just show up without having to prepare something first. And handed out invitations, by hand, to all the women at church.

Great idea, right? The night before the meeting, we met at Peggy’s house to prepare the craft and bake some of the muffins. We rushed over to the church and dragged the tables around, arranging and rearranging the banquet hall to best accomplish our plans. We set up foot baths, set aside an area for massages, covered the tables with cloths and pretty decorations. We rushed back and forth, trying not to get in each other’s ways. We made a long shopping list of items we still needed, knowing we’d have to run to Walmart at 10:00 that night because we were completely out of time.

At one point in the middle of this frantic preparation, one of us commented, “I sure am glad we’re doing this because I sure needed to relax.” And then we fell over laughing. I mean that literally. Peggy was rolling on the floor. We were wondering how we looked at that moment on the security camera Shirley could be monitoring. Which made us laugh harder. And cry a little bit. And maybe have to run to the bathroom, too.

The thing is, we were sincere. We genuinely wanted to pamper the women in our church. Each and every one of them deserved a little treat. And we were completely willing to do the work to make it happen. But the irony of our frazzled, frantic state, combined with the late hour and long to-do list, made us slap-happy. And we laughed. And laughed some more. In that moment, we were simply worn out—but thankful. For friendship. For the fact that we can have fun, whatever we’re doing. For the God who created laughter, and joy, and taught us the value of connecting with people.

So today, I give thanks for Peggy. For the way she completely supports me in everything I do. For the way we can go deep, have deep spiritual discussions one minute and laugh until we’re crying the next. For making friendship so fun. And for all the fun friends I have in my life.

(In case you’re wondering, the photo is of me with Peggy and some other fun friends in a borrowed flamingo car. For Peggy’s birthday one year, we surprised her by picking her up in this. It also inspired our “Lola” adventure, which you can read about when my book comes out.)

When you think of laughter, of having fun, who comes to mind? Please share your stories in the comments.

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