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Friday, December 4, 2015

How FUN Changed Me {CELEBRATE This Week: 110}



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In 2014, Andy chose the word FUN for his One Little Word. When 2015 rolled around and it was time to choose a new OLW, Andy decided to stick with FUN. (He might have mentioned that in order to live his word with integrity, he would have to keep it for another year since it wasn't fun to choose a OLW. He's a real funNY guy.)

Like many of Andy's decisions, it seemed silly at first, but it turned into something powerful.

FUN matters.

I'm naturally a lighthearted person. Then we adopted older children and I went from being a momma to one toddler to a momma of three, ages 2, 4, and 6. Many of you remember this because you've been a long time reader.

It was a tough adjustment and a dark time.

I remember standing at my kitchen window, watching them play on the swing set, and thinking, I should smile right now.

The pressure to figure out what our new daughters needed and to get it right squelched my light heart. They were scared and sad and angry and hopeful and the extreme emotions smothered my laughter.

The more I tried to get everything under control, the less I laughed.

Life isn't supposed to go like this. I'd tell myself that. Life isn't supposed to go like this. Yet, that's how it was going.

And then, standing at the kitchen window, telling myself to smile, I realized something that snapped me right out of darkness and turned me toward light.

God never intended for me to be unhappy.

The fog lifted and I smiled. Little did I know it was the start of my own healing process.

It turns out fun heals.

I think it's because fun has little to do with perfection. Often, the bigger the mess, the more potential there is for fun. Kids make messes. So do adults. It's part of life.

I was taking everything so seriously. I had a plan to survive each day. And somehow I started believing in the plan more than I did in the One who designed our family. I trusted the plan more than I trusted the goodness of God.

The first thing fun does is ditches seriousness. I didn't miss it.

When I wasn't so serious the laughter wasn't corralled. It was free to roam. The sound surprised me. Imagine, surprised by my own laughter. It was at the dinner table and Stephanie decided she should sing the National Anthem before grace. So she stood on her chair, placed her hand on her heart and belted out, "Oh they say you can flee by the dog's flashliiiiiiiiiiiiight..."

I laughed. The day before I wasn't laughing when she was signing the same song at nap time. I was serious then. I gave her my serious look and a serious talk and a serious "get-back-in-bed-now." I was so serious I didn't hear the words.

She stopped. Stephanie never stopped doing what she wanted to do. Andy chuckled, too.

"What?" she asked, putting her hands on her hips.

I laughed again. I liked the way it sounded. "Those aren't the words," I said.

"Yes! They! Are!" She stomped as she said each word.

I laughed again.

She stared.
Then sat down.
Took our hands for grace.
Closed her eyes and bowed her head.

Andy lifted an eyebrow. I giggled.

I'm learning the more fun I'm having, the better momma I am.

I think it is a lesson that will serve me well as we move into our adolescent years...

I'm looking forward to your celebrations. Share them below!



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12 comments:

  1. The more fun we have, the better everything is! It's a lesson I take with me into the classroom too. Thank you for sharing the JOY-FILLED celebration!

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  2. A wonderful post, Ruth. This is a lesson I am learning more and more every day.

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  3. Yes, you will need fun in these years coming up - but fun they are! I have to laugh at the word "interpretation" because I remember doing that same thing myself with a song when I was in high school. My friends just laughed and laughed. Thanks for sharing this story!

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  4. I love Andy's word! His word holds so much purpose for life.

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  5. Adding fun to every part of life is a great way to live. Happy that you discovered that, Ruth, and now that Andy keeps it going!

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  6. I love this Ruth! There is some serious power in that 3-letter word: FUN,! Thank you for sharing your laughter.

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  7. Laughter heals, and it lightens the spirit. We need both, don't we, Ruth?!

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  8. It is important for the heart and should to remember to laugh. That is why I chose the word light hearted (yes I know it is two words) this year and I think I may take a page out of Andy's page and use it again in 2016. An article of faith for me Ruth is I believe the creator will ask us when we meet, How much did you enjoy all the beauty of life?

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  9. Love Andy's OLW and that you can pinpoint the moment you snapped out of darkness, turned toward light, and smiled. I love that I've stood at your kitchen window and can visualize you there. I'm thinking I need to find more time for fun!

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  10. Amen! Fun is such an important part of life! When I go a certain amount of time without fun, I miss it a lot. Children especially need fun, and I would never want the children around me to think you have to stop having fun when you become an adult! And yes, fun is healing! I watched Inside Out, finally, this weekend. It was so sad when Riley's Goofball Island collapsed. Let's never let that happen to us or our kids! :-)

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  11. Ruth, it is refreshing to hear the sound of laughter and know that in life we are supposed to have fun. I thank you for the cheerleader that you are. Kicking back time has led me to feel refreshed so thanks for the fun moment.

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  12. Fun should be part of each day but it is hard to let ourselves have fun during dark times. I've learned to find fun by doing simple things - taking a walk, playing with the dogs, reading a favorite picture book.
    Wishing you lots of fun during this season of joy.

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I {heart} comments. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.