Friday, August 27, 2010

Please Welcome
My Sweet Friend and Guest Blogger . . .
Jeanette Levellie!

Why Humor?

By 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, dear Carole, for inviting me to guest blog today. I appreciate this opportunity to share with your readers. Love, Jen

Loved having you, Jen!


Karen said...

Great post! I use a lot of humor in my speaking engagements. I encourage it in everyday life. You don't raise five kids and keep your sanity without a good sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

I am a first time visitor here. I enjoy reading humour and believe that the one who writes it is gifted to do so. Thanks for sharing :)

Diane said...

I love humor in writing. Something special happens when you're reading along and then an involuntary laugh erupts from your throat! :O)

Caroline said...

And God loves humor! That's the best yet. He made it for us. :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Karen: Five kids and your're still laughing? Wow. I'm impressed.

Nehha: Thanks for stopping by. May God fill your life with laughter today, Jen

Diane: I love when that happens, too. It's like a surprise gift from Jesus. I think He invented humor, just like Caroline said.

Diana said...

a public service of encouragement-
Love that Jen
Seeing God use a writer in this way tickles me so much and you are right on with Humors amazing power to open doors and hearts. When a writer is vulnerable there is such relate-ability.
Keep on making us smile Jen! And thanks Carole for sharing this with us today.

Rhonda said...

"If God can rescue me from myself, there’s hope for you." Jen, I love this line! It's inspired. "Public service of encouragement??" I just may ask to borrow that one day.

You verbalized so well what humor does. I've come to realize that there's a lot of ministry that happens when you can make people laugh. One of the delights of my day is when I can gouge a laugh out of Mr. Schrock who, by now, is quite used to me. (grinning)

Thanks heaps for the shout-out. I'm thankful to this day for the HUMOR blog that brought us together.



jill said...

Especially on topics that cut deep to the heart, Jeanette, people need to know that you, too, are human and will not judge them. Humor opens that door for God to walk through and heal. Keep letting Him use you! (And someday I'll tell you about the Valentine's dinner I made my husband when we had to evacuate the house . . . )

T. Anne said...

Jen, I think you're funny. I bet your grocery list is funny too. Boy that sounded like an insult didn't it? And BTW, when do I get to read your stuff?

Brenda Leyland said...

Jeannette... we love you, nuts and all! I enjoy how you see life!

And I especially LOVE folks who find the funny side of life, because it's a GOOD thing every time!

Katie Ganshert said...

Love your voice, Jeanette. Loved that boat line too. :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Diana: Thanks for stopping by; I'm so glad I tickled you!

Rhonda: Yes, humor is a ministry. We can use it to open many doors to help people see the fun side of the Lord.

Jill: I can't wait to hear your evacuation Valentine story!

Karen said...

Jeanette, great post. Humor is vital for well-being, and I love it. Good post.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

I'm sometimes too serious and need a dash of humor to get me giggling. Thanks for adding that special flavoring to my life. :)


kathy taylor said...

I've got plenty of craziness with extra to go around! Your words always bring me a smile.

Patti Lacy said...

You're a pretty good writer, dear one!
Don't put yourself down.

Hmmm. I wish I had A BIG DOLLOP of your sillies. Makes life so much more fun!

Love you,

Karen Lange said...

Jeanette, I think you are a great writer:) And I agree, humor is an important element in writing and everyday life. It often bridges a gap that might not be crossed otherwise.

Caroline and Jeanette, thanks for sharing this with us.

Ryan and Melanie said...

great post!

Patti Lacy said...

I LOVE Jeanette, both as a writer, friend, and HUMORIST!
Yay! I have a new tag for her!!!


SuzyQ said...

Fun post, Jen. Well said. You put a smile on my face...again!

SuzyQ said...

Fun post, Jen. Well said and you put a smile on my face...again!

Break Time!

In Case Anyone is Wondering What's Going on with few posts lately-- I'm taking a short hiatus. Deciding where I want to...