Tickled and Joyful, “Irregardless”

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A special memory of my Daddy’s mother was her laughter. I can see her now sitting and laughing at her pink and white kitchen table. Oh, how fun it was to get Mama Sue tickled. Our kids love to get me tickled, too. I’m one of those so-tickled-I-can’t talk kind of laughers. I can completely lose it without making a sound. Mother was the same way. Here Mother is at that pink kitchen table in Mama Sue’s kitchen and she looks like she might break out in one of those laughs, too.

Everyone has troubles and some of us have very serious troubles. It’s easy to get bogged down in them and to let them dominate our conversations and our days. No matter how much we try to shield our children, they can sense our sadness and worries—and our joys and our gratitude.

I could actually get bogged down in the troubles of my extended family today. Right now my uncle is in ICU with COVID. My mother’s cousin and her husband are in hospital rooms with it. I have a friend and an aunt sick with it at home. Another of mother’s cousins died of COVID two days ago. I would appreciate your prayers for all these who are sick and for our family.

One of the blessings in all of this is that I am in much closer touch with my extended family. When I share bits of family news with our children these days, I come to the point that I don’t know what else to say. I love all of these people and my heart breaks for them. Somehow though we must keep our joy. God does not pull it away from us when sad things come. We have a choice with joy. We can say yes to joy or no to joy. Troubles are different. They come. We can’t necessarily say yes or no to troubles. We can say yes or no to joy.

As a friend said several weeks ago, people are tired of hearing about COVID. I know that and I have tried to avoid writing about it. Right now it is hard for me to avoid. Because I care about you, I feel that I should bring it up every once in a while. I just want you to be safe, so this is my reminder to you to be careful and respect a disease that affects different people in different ways. My aunt, who is my mother’s sister, is at home with fairly minor symptoms. Her husband was too for a while, but not anymore. Please take care.

Daddy loved words. A fun pastime for him was pouring over his thick dictionary.  One of his favorites was irregardless, which I used to think was not really a word. Last night I looked it up and it is. You use it exactly like Daddy did. It means the same thing as regardless. Merriam Webster says you may not like the word irregardless and you might not use it in a term paper, but it is a word. This is how Daddy would say that: It is a word, irregardless.

Part of the fruit of the Spirit is joy. When we are willing, He gives us joy, “irregardless.”

We must remember in the midst of the joys and sorrows and triumphs and tragedies of our lives to be joyful with our children. Let’s make sure they get a heavy dose of a joyful heart.

A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22


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  1. I’m so sorry to hear that your family has been so deeply impacted by this horrible virus. You will be in my prayers.

    On a completely different note, after years of discernment, I am finally homeschooling my 7th grade son. Next year I plan to order your middle school Civics curriculum for him. I can’t wait!

  2. I’m praying for your family, Charlene. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I look forward to reading them every morning.

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