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I tend toward snarky, and I’ve justified its frequent use by mentally trotting out the Apostle Paul’s sarcasm to the Galatians or the Corinthians or even the Lord Himself laying it on Job. But the truth is that I don’t feel snarky at all when I think of what the Lord has done in my life.

I come from a long line of people who have battled mental illness to the point that several have been institutionalized and a few have committed suicide or tried to. But hey, our family has developed a pretty good sense of humor about these things. Where do you think the snark came from? At get togethers we’ve made jokes about our family crest being a couple of guys wearing straight jackets or wondering if Uncle Ray* was still alive ’cause no one has seen him outside his house for 15 years or being amused that Aunt Sheila*, a nurse, was doing pretty good these days ’cause she only had Munchausen and not, thank God, by proxy.

And all of this was a regular laugh riot until one day a year or so after I became a parent, my husband asked me, “Have you ever been happy?” To which I replied, “Yes,” and he wasn’t satisfied with that answer. “When was that? And how long do you think that lasted?” I actually had to think about it. “The day our daughter was born, and it lasted about an hour or two.”

Oh, I knew I wasn’t Miss Sanguine and frankly, I was proud of that. I cloaked myself in pensiveness as a way of giving great meaning to being so darn serious all the time. But serious all the time is boring — not just to everyone around me but to me as well. It’s one thing to bore others; it’s another to bore yourself. So it was only natural that I developed a sense of humor with an edge as I was learning to deal with the world.

Surely, laughter is great medicine, but only to a point. Thankfully, the Lord has shown me another way, and my husband was instrumental in making me realize what I was missing. I’ve now had many days of happiness and more importantly am understanding the nature of joy. The Lord has shown me what it means to be joyful beyond explanation. Uh, I would explain it, but, oh never mind. šŸ˜€ Suffice to say that John 8:32 is dead on. I know first hand that’s real. Thank you, Lord! So I just don’t want to laugh out of contempt. I want to remember the grace I have and continually realize I’m overflowing with enough to go ’round. Thankfully, the Lord is in me, and He doesn’t let me forget — hence this post.

Oh, I may veer off at times and say something I think is funny but in reality is spiteful. Ultimately the Lord will keep me from that bondage. May He always keep me from being full of myself so that I don’t become the thing I despise — cute meanness. Oh, please keep me from cute meanness masquerading as cleverness. Let me remember there’s no life in it beyond a few moments, and all that remains is the sour after-taste of self-righteousness.

* Heck yeah the names were changed.