A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Do you like to run? I do not - especially not by myself.
However, I will run because I love the comradery of running with my daughter(s), granddaughter(s) or friends. Several of my family members and I will be running in a race and we are in training. Recently, no one was available to run with me, so I ran in my neighborhood all by myself. I didn’t want to run alone and it was cold.
As I was running down the street, I heard the sound of little feet running behind me! Before I could turn around, two BIG CREATURES brushed past my right leg. Naturally, I SCREAMED!! I didn’t know what was about to attack me!!! When these creatures got in front of me, I saw that they were two full-size goats!!
We do not live on or near a farm. The goats were running free and a complete SURPRISE. Once I realized they meant no harm, I regained control of my breathing and resumed running. The drudgery of running by myself quickly shifted to an adventure that no one was ever going to believe.
The goats were running with me! When I slowed to walk, they walked; when I ran, they ran. Drivers slowed down and stared as they passed - straining their necks to see what kind of pets I had. Walkers asked if they were my goats.
They certainly looked like they were my goats. Our running was in sync as if we had trained together for years. These goats certainly made running fun and entertaining! My attitude quickly changed and I was enjoying running, even laughing at my new friends. The Lord sent me happy little running partners! The saying, laughter is good medicine is taken from Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (NIV). I certainly had a cheerful heart and felt as though I could run faster and further!
Laughing didn’t change what I was doing, but I felt better and had a better outlook. Another translation of this verse states “If you are cheerful, you feel good; if you are sad, you hurt all over” (CEVUK). We each encounter various seasons in life. Some seasons seem wonderful and worry free. Other seasons may be full of devastating and heartbreaking situations, perhaps life-threatening and even dying days.
Recently, I attended a funeral for a precious one-year-old little girl. Her parents shared stories of their sweet Lorelai and these stories incorporated laughter into this heartbreaking service. In their grief, their laughter was definitely good medicine.
No matter what season of life you are in, because Almighty God is on His throne - and He certainly has a sense of humor - there are things around you that can inspire a cheerful heart. Sometimes we need the help of someone else - or perhaps a couple of goats to help.
"Laughter is good medicine and there are no harmful side affects!" (Unknown)
*Check out a video of my running partners
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.