InPursuit

Times Of Delight {Book Club Thursdays}

We’re reading through  Sally Clarkson’s, The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming (affil. link).

For your convenience, all the posts in the series will be archived {here}. So if you miss any, feel free to head on over here to catch up.

 

Chapter 10: Times of Delight, Creating a Value for Play (Sally)

We’re going to see Samson, the musical at Sight and Sounds Theater in Lancaster, in three weeks.

My sister’s voice was filled with excitement on the other end of the phone. A night at the Sight and Sound theater sounded wonderful, and watching the play ‘Samson” was already on my Wish List. However, my husband and I are in the middle of a layoff. Spending money like that for a family of four just didn’t seem wise to me.

“Um, I’ll talk to Jason and let you know.”

“No, you’re coming. And we’re staying the weekend down there,” she continued. Clearly I was on speakerphone. I heard my older sister and my mom in the background.

‘Okay, now I’m certain we’re not going,’ I thought. ‘Money for the play and money for a weekend at a hotel was definitely not something I was working into our budget during a layoff.’

“Oh, and by the way, you can’t say no because we already bought the tickets and booked the hotel! You have to get out. You need this!” They were laughing on the other end of the line.

“Well, sister, I’m not sure how I feel about you scheduling my life for me, but thank you!” I laughed back half-stunned and half anxious at the thought of how much money was being spent for us.

For many years, my husband and I have found ourselves in similar situations. Life has been a whole lot of broken-beautiful. In ten years of marriage we’ve experienced seven layoffs, a house fire, four hospitalizations for one of our kids, and so much more. When life hits you hard, you learn to work with what you have. You learn to seek the beauty and goodness right where you are lest you live a life of misery and discontentment.

Today’s book club chapter talks about cultivating a life where play and delight are a norm. Some of you are awesome at this. You plan amazing play dates and family events. You’ve visited every enrichment and educational program available within 100 miles of your home. You’re spontaneous, fun, and ever ready for a time of play and delight. Keep moving forward mama. You’re family will have many great memories to pull from as they go through life. Your gift of joy and cultivating play and delight are priceless!

Others of you, though, are sitting on the other side of the spectrum. You’ve given up on the idea that this could be a possibility for your family, too! Maybe you’re the mama stuck in the hospital waiting for a cure for your little one. Maybe you’re the single mama trying desperately to stretch your paycheck week-by-week. Maybe you’re the wife, whose husband never plans a thing, and you’re left to carry the ‘bring play and delight‘ load all by yourself.

Or maybe… maybe, you’re so broken-hearted the idea of play and delight seem foreign, and the thought that others are even experiencing such things stings a bit to the heart.

Can I encourage you today?  True joy begins with the Father. God pours out His goodness upon your life daily (Psalm 100). He asks us to rejoice always (1 Thes. 5:16) and to delight ourselves in Him (Psalm 37:4). It’s His desire, that even in the difficult times, we count it all joy (James 1:2). Laughter is part of God’s design.

Proverbs 17:22 says, “a cheerful (merry, joyful) heart is good medicine.” Play and delight have a way of curing the aches of our soul. Good cheer has a way of making us whole from the inside out. Go ahead and close your Pinterest page and Facebook feed. Forget about your friend and all the ways they ‘play’.

Sit for a moment and think on these questions: ‘What makes me laugh? What brings me delight and joy? What did ‘play’ look like for me as a child? When did I stop playing?’

Armed with answers, come up with ways to bring play and delight into your life. That’s what I did on my weekend to Lancaster. I stopped to enjoy God’s goodness and love as I enjoyed time with the family. I took it all in as a gift from my Father in the middle of a very trying season. Proof, yet again, that it’s His desire that I not walk in anxiety and stress through our layoff season. Proof He’s my provider. Proof He delights in seeing me delight. Proof that He cares about my children’s hearts. It brings Him joy to see us forget about our worries and sit secure in Him. It brings Him delight to hear laughter coming out of our heart.

And that, my friend, is His heart for you, too!

***

I leave you with these words from Sally:

“Play is not frivolous! Far from it. Having fun and riding pleasure in games, make-believe, and various forms of recreation is beneficial to our brains, our bodies, and our emotional well-being–and that’s true for every member of the family, moms and dads included. Playing reduces stress, enhances creativity, promotes physical fitness, teaches cooperation, and builds relationships. Families who play together, research has shown, tend to adopt one another’s values more readily than those who do not invest in family friendship…You can start with just a few small ideas and pick activities you already enjoy, but don’t be afraid to try something new as well. You will create memories that will be cherished and remembered at every family gathering–a wonderful legacy of fun, growth, and friendship.”

Cultivating Times of Delight... what does that look like for you? Let’s talk about it (feel free to do so in the comments section, on our Facebook page, or privately). Then meet me here next week when we’ll be talking about engaging with Story and History as we seek to cultivate A Heroic Heritage.

Let’s connect … Whether on  Facebook | Twitter | or {In Pursuit} the blog, I’d love to get to know you!

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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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