“And now this word to all of you: You should be like one big happy family, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t snap back at those who say unkind things about you. Instead, pray for God’s help for them, for we are to be kind to others, and God will bless us for it (I Peter 3:8-9).”
What would this world be like if we all done our best to follow the verses above? If we all tried to be like “one big, happy family, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another.” Sounds kooky, doesn’t it?
Well, the following pics of my hilarious, fun-loving family will show that things look a lot brighter when you’re surrounded by those who are dedicated to squeezing every bit of joy out of every day, regardless of the circumstances. My family is one of love and laughter, and I’m beyond blessed to have them.
What if we dared to act like a child, stepping into a toddler’s world instead of forcing them to walk in ours?
I recall when my wife and I were attending a ministry/work event in Indianapolis, and were trying to get to a meeting. Our daughter was little at the time, and wanted to buy a pencil from a homeless man a couple blocks from Fountain Square. At first it irritated me we had to stop, but I gave her a quarter anyway. After all, we were in a hurry, ya know? She walked over to the man, who was sitting on the ground, smelly, dirty, a small cup of pencils by his side, each sporting an American flag. She smiled, said, “Hi!” and gave the man the coin. His whole countenance brightened, and he replied, “Thank you very much,” and handed her a pencil. “God bless you, child,” he smiled. Jess walked back over, proudly holding her pencil, and said, “He’s nice, daddy.”
Odd, she didn’t even see the dirt. She didn’t smell the body odor. She just wanted to do something nice for him.
So what’s the worst that could happen if, instead of ushering our kids or grandkids out of the restaurant immediately (we’re always in a hurry, it seems), we took one extra minute and let them pose by the cowboy statue? Why do we get aggravated when children want to explore the world around them anyway? Isn’t that what we did?
Maybe we should try throwing a Halloween party. Call it a “dress-up party with candy” if you’d like. Whatever. Dare to laugh and have some fun, my friend.
And speaking of kids, I vote we let them eat ice cream the way they want; messy face be darned. We can always clean them up, right?
My son-in-law’s family give interesting nicknames to each other, just because it seems to make them happy. His family includes “Midget,” “Delbert,” “BeBop,” “Juice,” “Gomer,” “Marve,” and many more. I think that’s a great idea; maybe we should institute some type of state law regarding funny nicknames.
Change into some old clothes and let them douse you with a bucket of water. It’s not gonna kill ya to turn the TV off for an hour and get wet, right?
Instead of ushering a little one into the play room to get them out of your hair, teach them to make the “smooshy face.” When they get the face down, teach them to say, “Mommy, mommy, my face is stuck in the elevator door!” Why? Because it’ll brighten both your days just a bit.
Wouldn’t things be just a tad bit happier if we let that one crazy aunt cut loose? Don’t try and restrain her; let her get weird and see what happens.
What if we all just slowed down for one extra second and taught kids to love each other? Man, what if we did that every day?
We can’t change “the” world, but we can change “our” world. We can choose to be kind to each other. We can choose to be loving. We can choose to be patient. We can seek out those who make us laugh, instead of hangin’ out with our old “gossip pals.”
I’m talking about FREEDOM OF SPIRIT. I’m talking about NOT LETTING THEM GET’CHA DOWN. I’m talking about CUTTING LOOSE and having some fun in this life, not because of but IN SPITE of your circumstances.
I say we give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen?