This morning my loving and sweet, almost 10 year old, son came into our room just like usual. I love seeing his face first thing in the morning, and it seemed just like any other morning. Usually it’s “Hey Mom, can I play on the iPad or computer?” But this morning it was, “Hey Mom, we’re late for school!” It was said with deep anxiety but not in panic, he’s not one for wild emotion. “WHAT?!” I said, looking out window. It was a bit cloudy, maybe we did over-sleep. Weird. And as I flipped over my clock to check the time, it was 6:45 a.m., with perfect timing he exclaims “April fools!” All I could do was smile at him and laugh at his amusement and proud laughter. He got me. We don’t do April Fools, but obviously he does.
Our son continually surprises me, usually with a little less shock effect. I just love how God has created us all so different. I love God’s creative license. He takes it not only with our looks, but our personality, talents and gifts. I love how God’s humor, because he does have one, can shine through in each of us. I love how God’s playfulness can be expressed in us, and I love seeing it manifested in my kiddos.
I believe we are meant to enjoy this life given to us. Sometimes I’m not always the best at enjoying it, being that I’ve had a lot of training in hard work. I look around and see the list of things to do. I make the ‘easy yoke’ I’m supposed to be carrying heavier that it really is. At what point did I ‘out grow’ the joking and play? The answer is, I don’t know. However, I believe that God desires us to enjoy His creations and take delight in Him. Why would he have created it? And there is so much to explore and be curious about! Skunks, chickens (have you ever seen a chicken run, let alone lay an egg nearly every day?), elephants, the zillions of fish?! The Grand Canyon and the depths of the oceans and Mount St. Helens?! There’s so much!
For the past two years, our kiddos have attended summer school. It was a necessary thing due to schedules and work, and they went willingly to play with friends. However, as the packets came home this week for summer school I believe it was a unanimous “Not this summer!”. Last summer went all too quickly, and it didn’t feel like we had enough fun time as a family. But Spring Break got the pump primed for some fun, play and rest! Our life here on this earth is so short, and the time with our children while they are young is even shorter. There is so much fun to be had! There’s a lot of hard work to be done, but it can be done with a loving and playful heart.
I’m so excited to have a summer with them. We’ll work hard; taking care of our farm, other responsibilities and what God has called us to do. But one of those things we’re called to do, I believe, is to have fun and play. It’s good for the heart and soul. I’ve always been good at snuggling and playing (especially dance parties!) with my kids, but lately I’ve been doing a better job at playing with them. Instituting a personal rule that if they ask for me to play with them I stop and play, even if it’s for only a few moments in the middle of fixing supper. (We finally played a full game of Monopoly, it took a week!) I don’t do it perfectly, a work in progress. I don’t think God ever denies us when we ask to spend time with Him.
Verses from Ecclesiastes have been coming up this week. So I think I’ll be praying this, especially the bold portion, over our family this summer because not only will we be working hard in the busy season with our farm, but I want to be having loads of fun too. And enjoy the bountiful gifts God has given, which include my children and husband.
“What does the worker gain from his struggles? I have seen the task that God has given people to keep them occupied. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life. It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts. I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him. Whatever is, has already been, and whatever will be, already is. God repeats what has passed.” Ecclesiastes 3:9-15 (HCSB)
In this world, finding the balance in working hard and enjoying the freedom of play is challenging sometimes. There are struggles, but I want to become better at enjoying the jokes and silliness along the way. We have a good life! And our morning joke was a fun way to start this day!