Grow Old Laughing

Wrinkles. Whole lines of products are designed to obliterate them. As a child this fact was completely lost on me….

An integral part of growing up with a large extended family was the occasional reunions. Aunts, uncles and cousins crowded into my grandparents’ modest home.

Amidst the childish fun, one face stood out, my youngest aunt. She seemed to always be smiling and her wrinkles intrigued me. She wasn’t old by any means and her skin is beautiful. But she had wrinkles around her eyes from smiling so much.

When we got back home, I determined to get “smile wrinkles” too. As soon as possible. So that night I resolved to start smiling myself to sleep, quite pleased with my brilliant idea.

I awoke in the morning in terrible pain. My mouth ached and I could barely talk, let alone smile.

Could there be a better way?

Want to age with beauty? Grow old laughing.

Grow Happy Wrinkles

Of course, I can’t help but laugh as I reminisce. What exactly is the point of looking happy, if all the smiles are bestowed on a ceiling- in the dark?

For the happy wrinkles to be earned, they need to come the hard way. They need to come through laughter and singing and choosing joy even when it’s hard.

As a wife and mother to young children, there are so many little trials that can quickly sap the joy: unconquerable piles of laundry, sleepless nights, financial worries or a seemingly never-ending cold.

According to Pollyanna, the Bible tells us to rejoice over 800 times. It uses sweeping terms like “in everything give thanks” and “rejoice always.” God is pretty serious about this command. The Biblical portrait of a virtuous woman isn’t a tight-lipped prude. It’s quite the opposite.

Sometimes rejoicing doesn’t come naturally. We have to choose to see the laughable irony in the fact that the baby always spits up right before it’s time to head out to church. Or that if you wash the kitchen floor, a messy disaster is lurking right around the corner.

Through all the frustrations of motherhood, the joy of knowing and resting in the goodness of God should sustain us. It is what should put a smile on our face even at 2:00 in the morning.

Then, soon enough, the “happy wrinkles” will be well deserved.

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