Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why Humor ? by Guest Blogger Jeanette Levellie

I woke up one day and said, “I want to write humor.” When I sat down at the keyboard, the one-liners and witticisms flew from my fingers like lightning flashes. Now I make tons of money with my laugh-a-second writing.

And if you believe that, I have a boat I’d like to sell you.

I never planned to become a humor writer. The bi-weekly column I author for our local newspaper began as an inspirational feature. But I soon discovered that writing about the pickles I get myself into endeared me to people. Although they may shake their head and wonder how I manage some of my ditzy doings, it makes them feel better knowing they aren’t alone. Sally says to Ben, “It may bug you that I can never remember where I parked the car, but Jeanette Levellie once mistook a crawdad for a huge insect, and woke her husband up at 5:30 a.m. to rescue her cats from it! At least I’m not that nutty!” The exposure of my wackiness has become a public service of encouragement: if God can rescue me from myself, there’s hope for you.

Another benefit of humor writing is its barrier-breaking power. If I can make someone laugh before I dish them a serving of meat from God’s Word, they swallow it more willingly. I write about the time I shook the Italian dressing bottle, unaware my new husband had only placed the lid on, not tightened it. We spent the next two hours cleaning the walls and ceiling of our honeymoon cabin! My reader either pities us for our lack of communication skills, or laughs at our plight. Either way, they’ve opened their heart a crack and I can scoot inside and share God’s unconditional love with them.

Finally, humor adds to your readers’ health. The Bible says, “A merry heart does good like medicine.” Numerous studies have shown the benefits of laughter on the human body and soul. When we give the gift of laughter, we are helping others live longer and happier lives. I recently wrote a funny story about a lady in our church who told her dog to poop on her ornery uncle’s lawn (I had her permission). My goal was to encourage readers in finding ways to make the best of stinky situations. But God had a nobler goal. The column came out shortly after this lady’s husband had passed away. As she guffawed at the recollection of Fido carrying out her revenge on Uncle Bill, her laughter helped heal her broken heart. I rejoiced to be a small part of that healing.

I’m not one of the world’s best writers. I may not even be a great writer. But when I combine the gifts of humor and writing into a nutty, meaty sandwich, I can delight and nourish at the same time. With God’s help and a little craziness, you can do the same.

Want to learn more about humor writing?
Thank you Jen for sharing here with us today. Joy is something you exude and it was fun to share in YOUR Joy today.

From Jen's heart to yours,


Karen Lange said...

Good post! Thanks, also, for the links. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Janna Qualman said...

Wonderful post! I love Jen's honesty and self-deprecation. She's right; her humor opens the lines for connection and love and learning. Few things are more endearing.

Cheryl Courtney Semick said...

I just love your writing,Jeannette. It's fresh, funny and yes, "healing." I miss you and the writers in Patti's group, wish I was still able to attend. Thanks for sharing your heart in this blog post!

Tamela Hancock Murray said...

Thanks for the smiles, Jen! Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Teresa Slack said...

The way I look at it; You may impress a few people with your looks or your degrees, but people remember funny. Thanks for posting and thanks for the encouragement.

Caroline said...

A great post, Jen. :) from a great writer and a lady I consider a friend. Thanks!

Clella said...

Great post. I know God takes great delight in all you have done with the sense of humor he has given you and your ability to share it is just wonderful. I do NOT write humor well; it takes such a special talent and you certainly have developed it. Keep it up.
Blessings Clella

Jeanette Levellie said...

Thanks, y'all, for your e-applause. I'm glad someone besides my grand kids and the ladies in my Sunday school class think I'm funny. Happy Weekend,

Millie Samuelson said...

Here's some more applause for one of God's smiling women! Since it's "more applause," that must mean an encore is coming. . . I'm ready -- you made me want more. . . :-)

Linda Glaz said...

A good laugh is so healing.

Terri Tiffany said...

Terrific post! I love your style of writing and the honesty that always is there:)

Elaine W. Miller said...

You are one of my blessings in life, Jeanette. I thank God for you and your humor and your sweet generosity. I'm in total agreement regarding humor. If we can make our audience laugh or cry in the first three minutes, we've got their attention.

Jill Kemerer said...

Jen, what I love about your humor is that it's never arrogant. It's a natural byproduct of your generous personality. Very warm.

Rhonda Schrock said...

Way to go, Jen! You said it very well. You have to have a certain kind of eyes to see the funny in life. You've got those eyes.