“While the organ peeled potatoes…” the blend of voices included my mom and school-aged twin sons. “Lard was rendered by the choir. As the sexton rang the dish rag, someone set the church on fire!”

My young sons rolled in their beds with laughter. ‘“Holy smokes!’ the preacher cried,” they all continued singing, “in the rain he lost his hair.” More chuckling.

You would never have guessed her age because Jeane, rejuvenated by a purpose, had became the auxiliary parent helping me to raise her twin grandsons. They had been born not long after she had been widowed.

Jeane lived with a sense of humor and advised all to “Exit laughing.” In spite of the grief of losing a husband, grown son and young-adult grandson, she looked for ways to laugh.

In her cookbook for one, for example, Jeane added her quips under the “Empty Nest Advantage:”
“Nobody starves when you skip a meal.”
“Cobwebs no longer make you feel guilty.”
“It is easier to live with muddy footprints on the clean kitchen floor if they are your own.”
“No kayak paddles clobber you whenever you open the closet door.”

She focused on the very things that Paul advised in Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things… And the God of peace will be with you.” [NIV] Jeane would have added, “Whatever is funny….”

My mom counted her blessings, savoring quality time and memories with her grandsons as their three voices bidding good night finished the silly song, “Now his head resembles heaven, for there is no parting there.”

Jeane had modeled the peace that comes from God. She deliberately chose laughter and a good attitude through life’s journey.

What is the best kind of attitude adjustment you can make today?

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on Button-to-God.com.]

About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

Feeling Blue?

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How Do I Count My Blessings When the Toilet is Overflowing?

The Choice We Have Between a Dead Egg and a Live Savior

Never Give Up!

Can Kermit and Miss Piggy Marry and Live Happily Ever After?