Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Uncontrollable Laughter

on January 30, 2021

It took me a long time to get my Associates degree. I wasn’t a fan of schooling. I got bored easily, and my mind more often than not, drifted to places I’d much rather be. Daydreamer. Yeah, I’m ok, with that label.

In grade school I was the girl in the corner because I talked too much. I don’t ever remember a teacher asking me why I was disruptive. I wonder if I would have told them you didn’t speak much in my house. That school was the only place I felt I got to be “me.” Funny, they thought placement in a corner could keep me quiet.

In High School one of my favorite classes was typing class. The teacher would call out, A,S,D,F,J,K,L,semma (for semi-colon), over and over, for our finger placement on the keys. As I sit down at the computer keyboard, I still think about this. When my fingers are placed incorrectly, words are jumbled and off their mark.

We had assignments in typing class. I would get them done and then type up stories about my best friend and her boyfriend. I titled all the stories “As The Stomach Turns.” I got the title from the Carol Burnett show. Those particular skits made fun of soap operas. If you’re a soap opera fan, you may recall the show, “As The World Turns.”

I would giggle and smile at the overly dramatic stories of my beloved friend and her love life as I typed them out. You may understand if you’ve ever been caught smiling at your smart phone as you received or typed out a text to someone. My bestie would read the stories and we’d both laugh at the ridiculousness of them. It was a highlight of our day.

Daily laughter was crucial to my existence. Laughter didn’t come so easily in the home where I grew up. But when we did laugh, we really laughed. The kind of laughing where your stomach and cheeks hurt.

Back to my degree. When you enter the military you have the opportunity to go to college. For many years, I couldn’t be bothered. I thought we had enough “schooling” with learning how to do our jobs and become great leaders. But, if you wanted to progress in rank, having that coveted piece of paper proving you were educated was required.

Thankfully this is where the Community College of the Air Force came into play. So many of the courses you took for your military job could be counted as credit to your degree. Sa-weet!

Two of the last classes I needed for my 20 year degree was algebra and public speaking. Yes, it took me 20 years to get my degree. But, that’s not the point. This is about the last 2 classes and more pointedly the public speaking class.

If you stay in the military long enough, you’re going to have to get up in front of folks and either recite something, teach something, or commend someone.

Public speaking can be scary. My legs shook and wobbled and it took all I could do to remain upright. My voice sounded crackly, my throat got dry, and let’s throw shaky hands in the mix. Is it any wonder that one of the last classes I took was public speaking?

When it came time to sign up for that dreaded public speaking class I was elated to find there was a condensed summer course. Score!

I have to admit I totally loved the class. It was so much fun. All the outwardly things I spoke about earlier still happened, but I wasn’t alone. My fellow students understood what I was feeling. Then this happened.

We were given a simple tongue twister to recite. Simple enough. When it was my turn, I got up from my seat, walked to the podium, and confidently started to recite what was in my hand. I think I was about 5 words into it, when I started laughing uncontrollably. Seriously, the more I tried to stop laughing, I laughed even more. I looked at the professor, and she was not amused.

To make matters worse, I looked at 2 of my friends in the class and the look on their faces made me laugh even harder. Eventually, the whole class was laughing. Not my teacher. She still was not amused.

I decided to turn my back to the class. After a minute or what seemed like a lifetime, I finally regained my composure. I took a deep breath, turned around, opened my mouth to speak only to have laughter come pouring forth…again. The class for whatever reason was still just as amused as I was, and joined me. I wonder if their stomach and cheeks hurt as much as mine did?

In an effort to get this madness under control I once again turned my back on my audience. I regained my composure, and I turned around. I looked at my professor’s face, and I finally got the assignment over with. I’ve never had anything like this happen before, and I’ve never had anything happen like that again. To this day, I have no clue why it happened.

If I had to venture a guess, God either knew I needed a good laugh, or someone in the class did, or maybe we all just needed a good belly laugh. I can’t say for sure if the class was laughing with me or at me. Maybe it was both. Either way, the memory of it brings a silly smile to my face.

Life can get super serious. Make sure you take time to be silly. Laugh! It’s good for you. We’ve all been through a lot lately. Too much of any emotion will leave us unbalanced.

Is laughing a cure-all? Probably not, but it has a lot of benefits. I’ll leave you with a question.

When was the last time you laughed…really laughed?


2 responses to “Uncontrollable Laughter

  1. Patty Pierce says:

    My mind can hear your laughter in that class! I imagine your face, too, all teeth and squinty eyes! I wasn’t in your class but sure can smile a big ole grin reading your post. Thank you for the reminder of laughter…which I use for many a situations. I haven’t done a whimsical, no reason belly bustin’ eye waterin’ laugh in a while…today may just the that day I laugh uncontrollable. Thanks for sharing your writing with us; I’m always blessed.

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