Take Time To Play

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A joyful heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

Standing in line at Walmart the other day, a boy about 4 came up to me and showed me his cookie he had gotten in the bakery. I saw the chewed up cookie in his mouth before I saw what was left of his cookie in his hand. He was shopping with his grandfather. I asked the boy what he was doing this day and he said playing. Just playing. But he was quick to add that playing is on his agenda everyday! We must have become fast friends because when he left, he gave me a hug! What a cutie!

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I found a book at the library called, “CANCER: 50 Essential Things To Do”.  Chapter #39 is “Take Time To Play”.  The author suggests making play a priority much like any other area of our life, even scheduling it into our daily planner; it’s that important to a healing process.

I am fortunate to work with kids and so play is built in to that job, but I can honestly say that if I weren’t surrounded by kids all the time, I might not make time for play. I am busy, as you are, as we all are. I personally like card and dice games and playing HORSE with my son. What the fun is isn’t as important as just doing it.

It could be something simple – when was the last time you sat down with crayons and colored, or played with playdough, or skipped, or played with a hula-hoop?  How about building with Legos or floating in the pool or singing at the top of your lungs (and not in the shower!)?

This author, Greg Anderson, suggests making a list of things that you consider play and purposing to add them into your life.  There are scientific studies that show how play and laughter benefit our bodies and act as medicine, much needed medicine, especially if you are going through a difficult time. These studies only back up what God knew all along; that we would take ourselves far too seriously and would have to be told that a joyful heart is good medicine to our body. It’s so simple, even a four-year-old with a mouth full of cookies, knows the importance of having play be on the daily agenda!

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