What is one of the best medicines to reduce stress? Having more fun.
God recently took extreme measures to council me in this area. I have recently felt the need to be a “super mom times ten million” given some life circumstances that have left me as a single mom who would love to be able to stay at home with my son still*, but also am having to face the reality of provision for my son and I. God refers to Himself several times throughout scripture as being a “Husband to his people”. I have sought for Him to be as a Husband for me to help me provide for my son while also making my son’s life and well being as blessed and as healthy as possible. Unfortunately I was allowing myself to let the pressure for provision to override everything else. If I am staying at home with my son, but am putting all that pressure on myself we are not going to win at this thing called life. I cannot do it all myself. I need God’s help and I also need the help of my community (not as in financial assistance, but as in me relying on help, for example God has provided someone who can watch my son and who is willing to let me pay her with things such as Well Beyond healthy chocolate that I already own). Throughout this time I have been hearing God talk to me about the importance of having fun and the importance of cultivating relationships, but I wasn’t really practicing it. While I could hear him I just felt too overwhelmed with my health coach certifications, my online teaching, my to-do list for getting my sourdough business going and just life in general which is a lot when taking care of a toddler (that alone feels like a full time job sometimes)! I also found myself neglecting friendships God has provided for me, neglecting fun time and play dates as I was trying to do too much at once.
Building takes time, I can’t build a new life over night. I have to surrender to the process, the time it takes to build. To lay the foundation and to lay one brick at time. If I focus just on my to-do list then the most important parts of life get missed. My relationships with my family, my son, my friends, myself and with God. A big part of having relationships is having fun. So what were those extreme measures God took to get through to me? Well He stopped just talking to me and took action. I ended up in a position where I had a plane ticket to Albuquerque, New Mexico for some appointments…and they all got cancelled at the last minute. I had not paid insurance for the ticket. I was really tempted to pay the $200 transfer fee but the Lord had brought me to a verse about a time of refreshing in the wilderness. When I read it I had thought, hmmm, I’m getting ready to go to the wilderness (NM is most certainly a wilderness compared to where I am — at least in the valleys!). Because of that verse I got on the plane. I ended up landing in NM on grandparents day. I got a rental, drove over 3 hours from the airport to where my family lives (which I would not have originally gone down to see them with the appointments) and I got to see my grandma on grandparents day! What a huge blessing! I got to have fun with my family and visit with them and tell them I love them. It was a beautiful time. What did we do? We had fun! Everyone piled into cars at the last minute and we drove out for a beautiful sunset evening of play. It was so beautiful and it was so fun at the same time!
It was such a tender gesture of love from God. He also gave me the desire of my heart for a fresh fig (which I hadn’t had in 12 years). He showed me how important it is in His eyes for me to see my family and to cultivate relationships with them. I hadn’t seen my grandma in over 3 years! He ministered to me during this stressful time in my life by letting me just have fun for an evening with my family.
When I got on the plane I thought I was going to have to pay for the plane ticket since the appointments were cancelled late Friday. After I got back from my quick trip, later that week I got a call from the non-profit that was going to reimburse my travel and they said that although it was a bit of a gray area, that because I did not have control over the last minute cancellation that they were still going to reimburse the cost of my ticket!! ❤ God gave me a free flight home!!!! He is so good.
Before I knew that I would be reimbursed the Lord spoke to me. I drove over 3 hours and 24 hours later I drove over 3 hours again, plus the money. But, He counseled me that it was worth the time and the high price for me to let myself have fun and to cultivate important relationships in my life. God also laid on my heart that He is willing to pay a high price to express His love toward me. Just as man buys a woman a ring to secure her to himself as a wife, Jesus paid the highest price to secure me as His own on the cross. Even beyond the initial price though, God loves to lavishly love on us with gifts like this gift I had to see my family and to have fun with them. Not only is He willing to pay a high price for us, but He is also willing to go through the high effort required to love on us, to go through any “inconvenience” like driving 3 1/2 hours when there is an airport only 90 minutes away. It says in the Song of Solomon that God is willing to leap over mountains to get to us.
Having fun is not just important for sustaining and growing our relationships with important people in our lives, but fun is important for our physical health as well. Physically, mentally and spiritually we are blessed when we have more fun. As a health coach I focus on how we can achieve health optimally in all three areas of our life. I believe we cannot really be healthy unless we are focusing on all of these areas and that they are deeply intertwined with one another. As a Christian health Coach I also believe that all three of these areas have to come under authority and balance with the Holy Spirit.
There are many physical health benefits to having fun and laughing. Dr. Sears recommends you “incorporate laughter into your daily exercise routine” (1) because the scientific evidence for how having more fun positivity impacts your body is so overwhelming. For example laughter has been scientifically proven to help bodies recover from chronic disease, to rewire brains with “happy” pathways, to relax you, and to give your body an inner workout. (1)
We don’t stop playing because we grow old;
we grow old because we stop playing.
–George Bernard Shaw
Want a resource to help you have more fun? Check out Mandy Arioto’s (current MOPS CEO) “Have More Fun Challenge” and get an email for 5 days with a challenge for incorporating more fun into your life today.
Cultivating and honoring relationships is an important part of life and health, fun is a way God created for us to do that. Another important part of life is honoring our relationships with family and friends. Even after they have passed. Not only did I get to visit my living grandmother, but I also got to honor my deceased grandparents for grandparents day. My paternal grandmother taught me a lot about honoring those that have gone before us. She lost a son to SIDS when he was just 8 months old. For my grandmother Memorial Day wasn’t as much about the military members that had lost their lives (although they deserve honor too) but more about her baby she had lost so many years before. She brought me one time when I was a girl to visit his grave on Memorial Day and to place an arrangement at his grave. Her heart was the heart of a mother, her baby was always her baby. When my grandfather passed she would regularly wash his headstone and pull weeds from around his grave. I felt it was only appropriate for me to do the same for her on grandparents day. I love you my grandma, I will never forget you either…Just like your son was always in your heart, you will always be in mine!
* Some would think it is foolish that I am trying to be a stay at home mom and make a sustainable income but what I am doing is contending for my destiny. I have known since I was a little girl that I am supposed to be a wife and a mother. My heart has always been to be a mother, at home with my children, intentionally raising them to be men and women of God. I am fighting for my destiny and I am seeking God to help me to do that. I have faith that He will. For more on contending for our destinies read my blog post called “Bagworms“.
Naomi is incredibly blessed to be the mother of a precious lively two-year old boy and to be an adopted daughter of the Lord. She is a certified health coach with a passion for how real food, real light and really addressing the body, the mind and the spirit can lead to lasting transformation. She has personally found that the holistic approach to health plays a critical role for helping her to live a victorious life. She can help you by providing you with tools for success to reach your own health goals, to encourage you and to keep you accountable, as you move toward and lead a vibrant, healthy life! Reach out to her today for a free coaching consult and to get 10% off our first coaching session, just mention “Proclaim His Whisper” to her for your discount!
The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
- https://www.drsearswellnessinstitute.org/healthy-living/healthy-tips/family-stress/laughter-heals/?fbclid=IwAR1uwRnHA2Y15DMSKOm4hhwIO6L166wkdYWTYZK6yaVdJ3vit-ydIhJXTNoWe don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.