Ive had what seems like a million things weighing on me for the last year. Big things like we all face. Family health issues. Rejection issues. Financial issues.

I worried and fretted about them all, and I thought if I just got serious and buckled down, I could handle everything. But you want to hear something funny? It was laughter that helped me breathe again. It was laughter that let me put aside all the issues for just long enough to have a healthier perspective.

Each month, two friends and I meet for craft night. Someone will put soup or chili in the slow cooker and clear off the table, and well bring a quilt or crepe paper flowers or a collage to work on in between the chatter and the catching up.

But for some reason, this last time we stayed even longer than usual at the table -- so long that we got the late night giggles. EVERYTHING was funny. In fact, the three of us moms laughed so hard that we almost woke up the kids sleeping upstairs.

And it was glorious.

Even though I had lost sleep, I felt better the next day than I had felt in weeks. I felt lighter. I felt more hope. I felt like the big issues were smaller and more manageable. I felt more like myself again.

Maybe you can make a little time to laugh and have fun this week -- even if you have big things weighing you down.

A couple of suggestions to help:
-- I love comedian Tim Hawkins. He is especially funny if you grew up in church. You can also find clips of him on YouTube, and he has a podcast.
-- The game Story Cubes gets our family laughing, and its easy for kids as young as 3 or 4 to join in. Basically, you roll the dice and make up a story from the pictures you see. (You can make your own game if you use wooden blocks and stickers.)

May you will be filled with joy this week and may you will laugh so much that you begin to see your challenges through the eyes of faith and not through the eyes of fear.

-- Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who cant stop writing about what is sacred and holy. She is a native of Oklahoma but makes her home in Rochester, New York, with her husband, two crazy boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. Find more of her writing at SimplyFaithful.com or check out her book, Simply Faithful: Finding the Sacred in Everyday Life.