Laugh, Love and Live

Laugh Love and Live

In March of 1997, our family of five moved to Portugal to be missionaries.  We were all excited for this journey, with fifteen pieces of luggage and a new home on the horizon.  When we landed in Lisbon, Portugal, the sound, language, sights and food were definitely different than in Texas.  I knew for certain that we were in the centre of God’s will, but in the first few hours, weeks and months, I felt unsettled.  Did I belong here?  Why couldn’t I understand the man talking to me in the market? When I look back on those days of being uneasy, I see three principles that I embraced: LAUGH, LOVE and LIVE.

One evening during our first week after arriving, Glenn, my husband, decided he wanted to make his famous chili.  We went to the store to purchase chili powder.  We were so excited to eat something familiar and when we began eating this chili it was VERY SPICY!  All of us began to cry because of the spice being so strong.  It was so bad that we had to throw it away, and we ordered pizza.  I felt strange because we did not know the words on the package and it looked just like the chili powder we were accustomed to.  We eventually laughed about the chili and we have come back to that particular meal and evening with the attitude of, we have to LAUGH!  Laughter is very important when we feel unsettled.  We need to look at the big picture of life.  Job 8:21 says, “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Laughing releases the tension you find in yourself.  It is vital to laugh at yourself and with others. 

Another funny story that comes to my mind is when Grant, our youngest son, who was eight, was going with me to school by bus one morning. It was raining very hard and I had my umbrella up for both of us walking to the bus stop.  When we got on the bus, my umbrella would not close. The Portuguese people on the bus kept staring at me and looking at me like I was crazy. I did not know how to express my words of asking for help to get my umbrella to go down. (I was on my way to language school, and Grant was on his way to Portuguese school.)  Grant was so embarrassed by me. A sweet lady came to the rescue and helped me close the umbrella and spoke to me in English.  I could have hugged her so tightly.  She showed LOVE to me in my uneasiness of not knowing how to express my needs.  Love is vital in our uneasiness.  We need to show love to others and accept love from others in a time of uneasiness.  John 15:12 says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” To love is to give up yourself for that one person or thing.

What gave me peace when I felt unsettled or uneasy was going to the beach in Portugal with my family at sunset and watching the waves rumble in and the sun going down.  Now, as I live here in Canada, what brings me peace is walking in nature, observing God’s handiwork and gazing at the massive mountains on the horizon. Friendships have also brought peace to my soul and I am so grateful for these ladies that I call sisters in Christ. What is amazing to me is that God’s miraculous creation of mountains, oceans and friendships gives me the desire to LIVE! Live in the moment. It’s not about gaining fulfillment; it’s fulfilling God’s purpose that you are called to do. What brings joy to you? What makes you so thankful to LIVE?  What is your sweet spot?  For me, it is listening to young women share their hearts with me over a cup of coffee.  Psalm 146:2 says, “I will praise the Lord as long as I live.  I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.”

From the Laugh about the chili, to the Love of the kind lady on the bus, to Living life through creation and friendship, God brings these rhythms of life to me that enhance my ability to be what He wants me to be. 

In March of 1997, our family of five moved to Portugal to be missionaries.  We were all excited for this journey, with fifteen pieces of luggage and a new home on the horizon.  When we landed in Lisbon, Portugal, the sound, language, sights and food were definitely different than in Texas.  I knew for certain that we were in the centre of God’s will, but in the first few hours, weeks and months, I felt unsettled.  Did I belong here?  Why couldn’t I understand the man talking to me in the market? When I look back on those days of being uneasy, I see three principles that I embraced: LAUGH, LOVE and LIVE.

One evening during our first week after arriving, Glenn, my husband, decided he wanted to make his famous chili.  We went to the store to purchase chili powder.  We were so excited to eat something familiar and when we began eating this chili it was VERY SPICY!  All of us began to cry because of the spice being so strong.  It was so bad that we had to throw it away, and we ordered pizza.  I felt strange because we did not know the words on the package and it looked just like the chili powder we were accustomed to.  We eventually laughed about the chili and we have come back to that particular meal and evening with the attitude of, we have to LAUGH!  Laughter is very important when we feel unsettled.  We need to look at the big picture of life.  Job 8:21 says, “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Laughing releases the tension you find in yourself.  It is vital to laugh at yourself and with others. 

Another funny story that comes to my mind is when Grant, our youngest son, who was eight, was going with me to school by bus one morning. It was raining very hard and I had my umbrella up for both of us walking to the bus stop.  When we got on the bus, my umbrella would not close. The Portuguese people on the bus kept staring at me and looking at me like I was crazy. I did not know how to express my words of asking for help to get my umbrella to go down. (I was on my way to language school, and Grant was on his way to Portuguese school.)  Grant was so embarrassed by me. A sweet lady came to the rescue and helped me close the umbrella and spoke to me in English.  I could have hugged her so tightly.  She showed LOVE to me in my uneasiness of not knowing how to express my needs.  Love is vital in our uneasiness.  We need to show love to others and accept love from others in a time of uneasiness.  John 15:12 says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” To love is to give up yourself for that one person or thing.

What gave me peace when I felt unsettled or uneasy was going to the beach in Portugal with my family at sunset and watching the waves rumble in and the sun going down.  Now, as I live here in Canada, what brings me peace is walking in nature, observing God’s handiwork and gazing at the massive mountains on the horizon. Friendships have also brought peace to my soul and I am so grateful for these ladies that I call sisters in Christ. What is amazing to me is that God’s miraculous creation of mountains, oceans and friendships give me the desire to LIVE! Live in the moment. It’s not about gaining fulfillment; it’s fulfilling God’s purpose that you are called to do. What brings joy to you? What makes you so thankful to LIVE?  What is your sweet spot?  For me, it is listening to young women share their hearts with me over a cup of coffee.  Psalm 146:2 says, “I will praise the Lord as long as I live.  I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.”

From the Laugh about the chili, to the Love of the kind lady on the bus, to Living life through creation and friendship, God brings these rhythms of life to me that enhance my ability to be what He wants me to be. 

© Moms Café Cochrane 2020

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