Too Stressed For a Merry Heart?

Jen CudmoreFaith, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

Have you ever given advice to someone else, but you were really talking to yourself?

This past Sunday, I woke with a terrible headache, which only happens to me maybe once a year. I knew immediately it was from too much stress and not enough rest, but what’s a busy mom to do?

I worked overtime at the office during the week, still trying to catch up on projects, and sometimes in the evening nearly every day. I chose to spend 10 hours on Saturday at a tournament with one child, then stay up late with the other child, so I was moving from about 5am until 11pm, spending about 2 hours total at home all day.

I know other moms can relate! I was exhausted. I didn’t want to go to church and I certainly didn’t want to teach my Sunday School class. So I did what any woman would do – I decided to show a video.

But instead of grabbing a churchy cartoon, I grabbed something else. Teaching is my responsibility, and I needed to share some type of biblical truth with the kids, so I wracked my brain, and was reminded of a Scripture that is often quoted.

“A merry heart does good like a medicine…” Proverbs 17:22

I figured that would work, because, after all, science has proven that laughter is linked to good physical health and overall happiness in life. Yet as I pondered the verse (while lying on the couch trying not to moan and groan too loud) I knew it was perfect for my class. With very little effort, I could show them this DVD of a Christian Comedian and teach them a lesson.

Thankfully, the pain in my head eased to a dull ache by the time I got to church. I shared the Bible verse with them. We broke it down, we talked about things that make us happy, and then we turned on the DVD.

And I thought about how really, I was the one who needed to laugh.

Watching the kids enjoy the show, plus not having to deal with any of their typical rowdy behavior or firmly instructing them to be quiet, made for a nice, smooth class. I really liked the show, but my heart warmed as I listened them chuckle and groan, watched them shake their heads and grin.

Over the past several months, I have really worked to manage my time better, and manage the pressures of life well so I’m not over-stressed. But one thing I had been forgetting lately was to take the time to laugh. Make time to laugh.

I had meant to teach my class that God wants us to enjoy times of humor and happiness, but really, it was a reminder to myself that laughter reduces stress. So when I got home, laid in bed for a couple hours and watched a funny TV show.

And I laughed.

By the time I went to bed that night, I felt ten times better.

Because the Bible says “a cheerful heart is good.”

Are you setting aside the time to make your heart merry and have a good laugh?

Blessings, Jen

About Jen Cudmore

I’m a wife, mom, blogger and novelist who also works a day job in the medical field. I grew up on the Columbia River Gorge, earned a BA in Psychology at Northwest University, and am currently very active in my church. My passion is inspiring women to seek Jesus in all aspects of life so they can recognize where they are living in bondage and be set free to live the abundant life God promises. You can connect with me at

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