Get Intentional About Playing and Moving

Are you suffering from circumstantial depression?

Are you too tired to move?

Too worn out to play?

Or maybe you never learned to play as a child?

Some seasons of our lives, we just don’t feel like moving.

Why get intentional about moving and play?

One thing we have to get intentional about is playing and moving. We moms can get so caught up in the doing, that we forget about being. I’m not talking about vegging on Netflix or Amazon. I’m talking about intentional play for you and your children. Play builds brains, fuels logic, and gets bodies moving.

Play Therapy was developed in the 1970s to help families learn how to do intentional play with their children. It’s an important part of parenting. It stimulates brains and the relationship part of the playing grows the brain. Did you know that? Relationships grow the brain. So, the play I’m talking about is interactive.

  • A walk on the trail picking up nature and identifying it together.
  • A tea party.
  • Playing with Play doh.
  • Archery practice.
  • Board games.

All of these activities are work for children. We all have jobs. A child’s job is to find out how the world works -what the physical laws of nature are, how relationships work, how to get along. how to win, how to lose, how to build character.

These are all done through play/work. 

Have you ever thought of play this way before?

I’m not talking about “go to your room and play by yourself.” There’s a place for that. In fact, kids are more willing to play by themselves after their emotional tank is full. We mom are the gas that fuels their tank. If you have boys, the last sentence should hit your funny bone. We co-regulate with our kids, we teach them how to play.

YOu’re never too old to Play

Some of us don’t know how to play well as adults, because no one taught us or we think we are too old for play. We’re never too old to play. It’s okay. We can have fun. We can make a mess. Remember Moms, we are the boss and the employee. If the boss says we can have a water fight, we can. Then the employee can clean it up ( that’s us too).

One year, we had moved to a new town and didn’t know anyone. I was suffering some of my own circumstantial depression and God told me to do something fun with each child every day. It was hard. It was fun. We grew closer that year as a family, more than any other time.

We had squirt gun battles, game nights, roller blades on the driveway. Hiked. Biked. Did scavenger hunts at Cabela’s. 

The point is, don’t wait to want to. Do it when you don’t feel like it.

Moving.

Mamas, we have to move. We do a lot of moving with babies, laundry and dishes, cooking and the like, but with all of our servant appliances, we don’t work as hard as Moms of the past used to. We can easily become couch potatoes in between jobs. Couch potato-ing makes us feel sluggish. Our lymph nodes fill with toxins that don’t drain without proper exercise. We get headaches, backaches and cranky attitudes. We need to move. Guess what, it takes the investment of time and energy. You can do it! You can! Find an accountability partner. If you want to see your children grow up, graduate, get married, and have children, you have to start working on moving today. Not some day when you have the time. Now is the time to move and play.

An Easter Miracle

I leaned my head back on the head rest as the rolling hills of Pennsylvania turned into the neat squares of flat corn fields of Ohio. I counted squirrels nests in the trees and prayed for family as we traveled to the Great Wolf Lodge with daughter Amerey and family. My life seemed to be a flurry of activity lately. And some of the flurry had culminated in a major decision that day in my charcoal Subaru. It was the death of an idea, the purchase of an historic home to convert into a retreat center. I had immersed myself in plans, meeting with contractors and dragging my realtor-sister to the home weekly for a new bid from wary contractors who looked at me as if I had lost my head. I had. I lost my head in a dream. A dream to run a retreat center for adoptive and foster parents. The Bower House boasting of seven thousand square feet,nine bedrooms and six bathrooms seemed to be an answer to my prayer. Driving down the interstate to our mini vacation, Jerry and discussed the obstacles and decided there were too many. Too much money. Too many unknowns. The death of an idea, but not the death of my dream.

It seemed as if God had planned this mini vacation so I could gaze into the smiling faces of my grandchildren and laugh. I needed to soak in the blessings that God had given me. Splash and laugh with a two year old. Listen to the happy babble of a five month old.

It was Good Friday and we spent it playing in the water, napping and playing games that spit out tickets to spend on tiny trinkets. I went through the stations of the cross in my head. I could feel the deep dark hard wood of the pews under my body. I could see the stations dimly lit and hear the monotone voice of the priest. All those years of stations embedded in the deep grooves of my brain. They were there. I knew the history of Jesus riding through town on a donkey and the children shouted, “Hosanna!”. I play and replay the Last supper, the betrayal, the Crucifixion. And I watch the smiling faces of parents and children in the water park. Jesus died for them. He loves them.

The lights went out early in our family suite to accommodate the little girls’ sleeping schedule. I laid there in the dark and prayed again for family, friends and anything I could think of. I thought of my younger sister, Tash.” No cancer,” the report said. We rejoiced and then the news of a needed surgery to remove the tumors. A divorce pending on the horizon. A daughter fighting to stay clean and sober. I slept in fits. Waking and praying. Sleeping on a cloud of odd dreams.

12729185_1039394909416086_4181423017008989596_n

I awoke to sound of the sweet voice of granddaughter, Cecilia. She wakes happy and ready to tackle the day. Then baby Moira, smiling and sleepy eyed. “Mom, I need you to come with me for a minute,” Amerey said, grabbing my elbow. We went in the hallway and she knocked on the door diagonal to our’s. I stood silent and confused. The door opened. My sister Tash stood there with her long red hair in a pony tail. She smiled. “What?!” My mind reeled. How could she be here? Four hours from home? At the same Great Wolf Lodge? “I’m here with _____ ‘s family.” (Tash is a full time Autism mentor for a small boy and the family had also planned a mini vacation for Easter weekend.)

After I calmed down and stopped crying, she said, “I told God I wasn’t going to get to see any family for Easter and he heard my prayer. Here you are.”  We spent some moments here and there at the water park and caught up. This was an answer to my prayer, too. An Easter miracle. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is active in me. It is powerful enough to conquer death and bring life into situations that we think are dead. When we feel no hope or circumstances seem to smash us around and drag us down like a whirlpool, Jesus is there. He is actively praying at the right hand of the Father, interceding for each of us.

Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday, join us!

TWWbutton200x200_zps62610d74

The Seed Life (Three Word Wednesday)

Last week, I talked about eating the fat. And then, as per usual, came the test. Ever notice that when you set your mind to do something, you are immediately tested? As if to say, is this seed in fertile ground? Are you going to grow or dry up and blow away?

15884219791_a5340d925e_o
Are you going to take root and grow?

The growth of a seed begins in the dark. An idea doesn’t burst forth into fruition without some work behind closed doors. A seed doesn’t produce a harvest unless it is buried deep in the dark soil and then watered regularly.

I sometimes forget to water and then my seed dries up. I get too busy some mornings to bask in the Son. Then my thoughts turn down the negative path.

Which is the scarier? The trench of negativity I have dug around this mountain that once was a molehill? Or climbing up and out and seeing things differently? Change is scary. Staying the same is scarier.

I’m a liar. All the way, a liar. I pretend. A pretender. Pretending I can do it all on my own. I can’t. I make my own plans. They keep me up at night. My brain buzzing with plans. And I am restless.

 Who is among you who [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendor [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by his God.

 Behold, all you [enemies of your own selves] who attempt to kindle your own fires [and work out your own plans of salvation], who surround and gird yourselves with momentary sparks, darts, and firebrands that you set aflame!—walk by the light of your self-made fire and of the sparks that you have kindled [for yourself, if you will]! But this shall you have from My hand: you shall lie down in grief and in torment- Isaiah 50:10, 11

Until. I return to the one I can trust in. Some trust in chariots, some in horses, I return to the one, the I AM. I can trust in Him. I must stop trying to change my circumstances and let Him change me in the midst of the circumstances.

Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you Isaiah 60:1

Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday!

 TWWbutton200x200_zps62610d74