“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy” (Job 8:21).
As an occupational therapist, Holley Gerth’s mom works with children and “has always been serious about play.“ Holley gives us a glimpse of her childhood in her blog, 4-6-12, entitled, “It’s Okay to Play:”
I have a sweet Mama who used to perch on the edge of my bed and tell me stories as I drifted to sleep. One of my favorites was about Dainty Doodlebug.
Spun from my mother’s imagination, the tale shared of a prissy little doodlebug named Dainty who refused to roll up in a ball because she didn’t want to get dirty. One day a bird flies by and Dainty rolls up in a last ditch effort to stay safe. When she does, she finds out how much fun it is after all.
The moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to play. It brings joy to your life and just might save it too.
(Dainty was a smart little bug to realize play can save your life after all).
And author, Dr. Stuart Brown, of “Play: How it Shapes the Brain” says:
What might seem like a frivolous or even childish pursuit is ultimately beneficial. It’s paradoxical that a little bit of “nonproductive” activity can make one enormously more productive and invigorated in other areas of life.
When we are kids, play comes easy. We even have a scheduled time for it called recess. But the older we get, the more play seems like a luxury amid more adult responsibilities. But taking time to have a little fun lowers stress, makes us kinder, and can even help prevent heart attacks.
We’ve all got a bit of Dainty Doodlebug within us—a little part of us that says playing will make us feel silly or get us dirty or mess with our plans. But I believe there’s a great big God who’s inviting us not just to work or serve or obey but sometimes simply to play.
What makes you feel like a kid again? What can you do “just for fun”? Blowing bubbles with your kids? Wrestling in the floor with them? Dancing in the kitchen when no one is looking? A game of catch with your pet? Walking barefoot on the cool, green velvet lawn? Reading a good book?
It is okay to have a little light hearted fun! Laughter, a gift of God’s goodness, can bring us through some of life’s darkest days. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
The preacher came to call the other day. He said at my age I should be thinking about the hereafter. I told him, “Oh, I do that all the time. No matter where I am—in the parlor, upstairs, in the kitchen, or down in the basement—I ask myself what am I here after?” –Anonymous