Capturing Laughter in the Midst of a Challenging Calling


Laughter. How gracious is God to introduce this word in the very first book of the Bible (Genesis 21). Laughter enters Genesis as a sharp right turn, tires joyfully squealing at the end of a long dirt road of sorrow, emptiness, and wondering for Abraham and Sarah. Laughter marches boldly right into the face of an impossible assignment…which makes it all the more beloved. 

As a parent, there is nothing that can put your heart more at peace than seeing one of your children in a deep belly laugh. I think of God smiling at us, His daughters, in our moments of laughter in our pastor’s wife life. So today..I celebrate those moments in my pastor’s wife life..hoping you will CHOOSE to look for them and cultivate them in your story too.




Two women in a group shake hands with smiles.





1). Helping someone new “find their people” or use their gifts. 

Akin to a mom smiling as she watches her kids find their friends on the playground at recess…it is fun to help people make connections or having a front row seat to watch connections happen. Two widowed ladies from our choir recently invited another widow to share Easter with them, knowing she’d be alone otherwise. These are the moments that have me clapping inside & saying yessssssss!!!!!! 


Work colleagues sit in a circle playing games and laughing.





2). Being around long enough to have “behind the scenes” jokes and bloopers to laugh at with the staff.

There were the years (plural) the power went out right in the middle of VBS worship, or we had a little sheep in the Nativity play go “rogue”, grab the mic and start talking…or the intentional staff white elephant gift exchange we set up every December. We encourage random and weird gifts at this event (because by December our staff needs a good deep belly laugh). For many years, our youth pastor held the championship title at this gift exchange by bringing an 8×10 signed photo of himself (we could not stop laughing)! This year, someone brought one of the most enormous cans of tuna we’d ever seen. Being part of creating and fostering this culture of staff fun and laughter has been a joy. Someone from staff texted before the party last year and said this staff gathering had become their favorite night of the year. (And pssst…this is one small factor that has helped SLOWLY change the culture of staff meetings through the years to be a whole lot more fun and not so serious)






3). Choosing to laugh at my OWN mistakes or funny moments. 

There was the morning I tripped and slid ALL the way down the front stage steps in my choir skirt (FYI: when you are tall and have a long satiny-fabric skirt you slide further and faster, like a sled).

Another moment was during morning worship. (Backstory…I don’t like bugs, and I live in Texas which is the bug capital of all the earth. Bugs that look like they fell out of the book of Revelation live here). So there I was…having to keep it together while dodging a big creepy bug under the pew WHILE singing “All Creatures of Our God and King.” The irony of this situation was not lost on me. What else can you do but laugh?


A young, brunette woman sits in a chair. She throws her head back in laughter, clapping her hands together.





4). Legitimately laughing off the awkward things people say to pastor’s wives

Don’t take them personally anymore. Here are some favorites I’ve accumulated through the years. Maybe you have a list too?

  • “You look like a pastor’s wife.”

  • “Now that you are traveling with Doug…you are a REAL pastor’s wife.”

  • “I’m new to the church. Are you bringing me dinner?” 

  • “I really don’t want to talk to my son about the birds and the bees… Would you do it?” 


Red-haired woman sits at a bistro table on a city sidewalk. She hold her phone and laughs with her hand on her forehead.





5). Birthday fun.

I’ve marked my calendar for each birthday of the people in my life group (I can’t acknowledge everybody’s birthday in the church..but this group I CAN do).  The morning of each life group person’s birthday, I start a “text party.” Other people in the life group see this & join the “party”..texting birthday greetings like a sprinkle of confetti all day long. It makes me smile and some of the goofy text greetings throughout the day make me laugh.


So…in your pastor’s wife life journey…where can you capture moments of laughter like fireflies in a jar? Where is it in your long dirt road that only God could break through with the birth of a deep ridiculous belly laugh? 


Two women sit on a bench in a park talking and laughing.’ve got some homework…

  • Ask God for laughter and then actively and expectantly look for it…right where you are…even in the middle of the mess.
  • Do what you can to cultivate laughter…your family, your staff and your congregation all need this more than you know. (it’s contagious in a good way!)
  • Record laughter moments and then find another pastor’s wife to share those moments with. I promise you they will knowingly double over laughing right with you. They NEED that laugh as much as you do with the heavy loads we all carry. Have you been in one of our cohorts? Intentionally set up a Zoom with someone from your cohort…it will be a gift to you AND a gift to them.


Laughter is God’s GRACIOUS gift to us. Hunt for it. Unwrap it. Delight it in. Record it. Share it.