Saturday, March 31, 2012


Jan & Janet

A counselor once told a friend of mine, "You've never really had a childhood. You need to play more."

So the two of us pulled shoes and socks off and tiptoed barefoot in a park fountain. We did an over-nighter in sleeping bags in my yard. We painted pictures with our fingers. We caught butterflies in jars. We threw popcorn at critters. Then, for a finale, we rolled down the slight slant of a hill on my front lawn. . .which brought the neighbor out to ask us, "What's going on?"

A mini-break doesn't take much time or expense. It can be a dance in a meadow. Or a walk in dawn's light. Or drawing forms in the sand. Planting a flower or herb garden on the window sill. Getting out the old instrument you used to play. Watching the different ways flocks of birds fly. Creating a new recipe from ingredients in your cupboard. Looking out your window long enough to notice something you've missed before. Writing a song. Hopping on a horse. It's like giving a shout-out of praise to God.

Child's play is serious stuff. No matter your age or stage, you've got to make time for fun. Do something that guarantees laughter. Go watch a comedy. Get close to a funny person. Find humor in your mistakes and stresses. Chuckles are good. A big belly laugh or two is better.

Norman Cousins, former editor of Saturday Review and author of Anatomy of an Illness, wrote that "laughter is jogging on the inside." It's inside-out aerobics. Every system in your body gets a workout. Muscles relax. Neurochemicals called endorphins release into the blood stream. 

"Good people, cheer God! Right-living people sound best when praising. Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs! Play his praise on a grand piano! Invent your own new song to him; give him a trumpet fanfare." (Psalm 33:1-2 The Message)

Can you take a moment to celebrate life and praise your Maker today? How will you do that?

Janet Chester Bly

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