Permission to Play

I loved the theme for our church’s women’s conference this year–Permission to Play. As a parent of three active kids, I’m always telling my children to go play. And by play I mean, turn off the computer, iPad and television, get imaginative and have fun.

It could mean flying kites at the park, riding a bike, making a new Lego creation, playing board games or some version of pretend play.

tree-climbing

It’s unfortunate that once we reach adulthood, we often think we’ve outgrown play. We regulate play for the kids while we take on the burden of adult responsibilities, issues and stresses. But as adults, and particularly as parents, we need play time in our lives, too.

Just think about how kids are when they’re playing. Their play is filled with joy and excitement. It stimulates their creativity and energy levels. Playing children aren’t worried about the cares and problems of the day. They’re having fun and are completely immersed in the moment.

rodeo

Can you imagine how that type of atmosphere would change how you go about your day or respond to your family? Why, then, should we leave play for the kids?

As one of our church pastors, Amie Dockery, says, “Do what makes you happy, be with those who make you smile and laugh as much as you breathe.” Maybe that means playing keno with friends, testing a new recipe or hitting balls at the driving range. Maybe your play is a parents-only vacation, learning to play the piano or visiting museums.

Whatever play is for you, the permission is yours to make it a regular part of your schedule.

When Your Good Habits Stop

Have you ever been in the habit of doing something, only to stop? It’s funny how, when we’re in the midst of doing something consistently–whether it’s running, eating well, cleaning house, not yelling at your family or whatever–we think that habit is so ingrained that it’ll keep it up forever. But then…

Life happens and before you know it, we’re not doing those same good habits anymore. And the sucky part is we can’t seem to find the willpower or right motivation to restart them again.

It’s been like that for me in terms of blogging and exercising. I’ve been inconsistently blogging since November 2014 (my last post was a month ago), and I gave up exercising when I found out I was pregnant eight months ago. (Hey, I figured if I’m pregnant, no one would be able to tell if I worked out, so why exert the effort?) On most days I have a desire to write and exercise, but I also find I’m quite crafty at finding the perfect excuses not to. As time goes by, those excuses become easier and easier to find. It seems that even doing nothing can become a habit–albeit a rather bad one.

Every morning that we wake up is another opportunity to either go for our achievement or continue to let success pass us by. We alone have the power to choose. Which direction are you taking?

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