I Really Should Have More Fun

I Really Should Have More Fun

March 21, 2014

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:11-12 (NIV)

Why is it so hard for me to stop working and just have fun?

Other people have no trouble doing this. They look for any reason to drop the dust rags, ditch the dirty laundry, turn off the computer, and head to the park! Or the movies. Or a hike. Laughing all the way.

I wish I were more like that.

Couldn’t the personality tests I’ve taken throughout the years just once show a different result? But alas, they always confirm what my family knows too well: I’m the responsible, serious one. The one who picks up cups and plates at someone else’s party. And watches the clock at events to ensure they’re on schedule. I’m the one who wants to make sure we get all the work done first — before any fun begins.

Only the work is never done. When I finish one task, another sits waiting for me. There’s always something more to do. As a result, I experience false guilt. All the time.

Every strength has a good and bad side. The good side of being responsible is, well, I’m responsible. If I say I’m going to do something, you can be fairly sure it will get done.

The bad side of being responsible is feeling like the weight of the world rests on me. It makes a girl crazy worrying about assignments that are hers — and even those that aren’t. It’s hard to relax. My heart can get resentful when others aren’t carrying the weight of the world with me. How do they have so much time to not work?!

The reality? Not every assignment is mine to do. To assume responsibility for more than is mine speaks of a lack of trust … in God to do His job … or in others to do theirs.

I’m pretty sure this all-work-no-play routine wasn’t the life Jesus intended me to live as one of His disciples. Carrying the weight of burdens that aren’t mine to carry. Choosing to interact with a computer screen rather than being with people.

The Bible values hard work, but Jesus’ message is clear: Love God. Love people.

In John 15:11-12, Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

Jesus, with more to do in His three years of active ministry than I’ll have in a lifetime, focused on His main assignment — to love people. Sometimes that meant teaching them. Or serving them. Yet other times it meant just hanging out. Enjoying dinner with friends. Celebrating at a wedding party. Welcoming children. These fun times weren’t empty of significance. Rather they were filled with value as Jesus showed love in a different way.

We love God and others when we work. And when we have fun.

This is a truth I need to apply to my life more often. My idea of loving others is often shown by serving them. But some people feel loved when I simply spend time with them. And for some, that time needs to be a little less task-oriented and a lot more laughter-filled.

That’s my challenge. To be intentional about having fun. To initiate getting together with others. To say yes when invited. To stretch outside my comfort zone. And to relax about the details.

Work will always be there — but the people might not be.

God has a pretty good handle on managing the world. I can leave that job to Him while I grab a loved one and make a lasting memory instead of checking something off my to-do list.

Heavenly Father, thank You for creating us to laugh. Thank You for putting in us the desire to enjoy life. Help me learn to relax and show love to others without worrying about the details. Forgive me for putting work before someone who needed my time and attention. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Everyday Confetti, by Glynnis Whitwer and Karen Ehman, is filled with ideas for making ordinary days and holidays special with friends and family.

Glynnis is giving away a copy of Everyday Confetti on her blog today and sharing some affordable ideas for having fun.

Reflect and Respond:
Is it hard for you to have fun? What holds you back?

Think of one fun activity you can do with someone this week. Make a call, send a text or email, and extend the invitation.

Power Verses:
John 2:1-2, “On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. (NIV)

Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (NIV)

© 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I always have a lot of fun with my husband, Ron Smith. This is ome thing positive we do to one another-tickle wars when the other person is feeling down. We don’t treat one an…other unfairly or in a disrespectful way. Because we’ve known one another for so long, we know how to have more fun than most people without disabilities. The two of us are always playing around all the time. Nothing holds us back from having fun because having fun comes naturally for the two of us. Nevertheless, the one fun thing my husband and I can both do is cheer up our friend Roxanne. We can tell she’s feeling down about being unable to do track this year for Special Olympics because she broke her leg last month. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:11-12 (NIV)
    God wants us to love one another as He has already loved us. This can often be difficult because getting along with people can be often difficult when you on’t always see eye to eye. Not being on the same page can make it really to enjoy one another’s company when one person may be feeling down in the dumps.
    My church driver, Pam Hyde is almostalways working. It seems like she hardly has time to enjoy spending some quality time with her loved ones. By the time the weekendarrives, she’s exhausted from working all week long. She doesn’t take a break too often. In John 15:11-12, Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
    I guess the true challenge would be to try to have more fun in our lives. My husband and I already do tat. People without disabilitis, I think, seem totake life way too seriously. Not the two of us. We enjoy playing the wii, even participating in Special Olympics. Whether win or lose our competitions, we still enjoy ourselves. “Heavenly Father, thank You for creating us to laugh. Thank You for putting in us the desire to enjoy life. Help me learn to relax and show love to others without worrying about the details. Forgive me for putting work before someone who needed my time and attention. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”~Glynnis Whitwer Oh, so very true! We need to ask God to show us how to put others before ourselves. Unfortunately, it’s so very difficult to have a good time if you’re so wrapped up in what you’ve got to get done. I ♥ spending time in God’s presence, just having a time of no worries about other stuff I have yet to finish. John 2:1-2, “On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. (NIV)
    I ♥ what this verse is telling me. If you’ve been asked to do something with someone else, even been invited to somewhere fun, that is a time of celebration. No matter how busy you may be, you shold drop what you’re doing to enjoy being like a child. Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (NIV)
    God comes before everyting. He’s the glue that holds everything together, no matter what may happen. I ♥ being in God’s presence whenI know that He comes before anythinI Really Should Have More Fun
    g else I know of. God’s above all peole, even above all kings, and above the entire universe.See More

  2. Peace Mirembe says:

    Thank you Glynnis fo this wonderful devotion.

  3. I have happy memories of summer evenings spent playing ball with my parents and brother. I have no recollection of the dirty dishes that surely rested on the table until it was too dark to play. My husband remembers that there was no fun to be had till the kitchen was clean–if it was dark then, oh well. We decided that in our home, the dirty dishes can wait for an hour or two to make more room for fun. I find lots of items on my to-do list that are unharmed by a fun interlude.

  4. Hi Glynnis, I was so glad to see this devotional this morning. I couldn’t help but giggle to myself. Right when I sat down at my computer, I thought, “It surely would be nice to just have some fun with the kids today, since I really have caught up on the work that needed to be done around here. For the past few days there has been some major clean-up and putting things back into practical order that I just had to do. But then I thought this morning that it surely would be nice to take a break from it all and be with the kids. Then, I saw the title of your devotional, “I Really Should Have More Fun”. I knew right then that GOD was telling me that it was OK to break away from it all and just have fun with my little ones. I do have fun with my little ones a lot, but for the past few days, it’s been a must to get things back in order. Well, this morning GOD is telling me that today I can stop for a good bit and take time out to just “have more fun” with them. Thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing GOD to speak through you! GOD used you to prevent me from allowing my “can wait on it” work to overflow into my “MUST BE DONE” work. I mean, true, I need to make sure that our family has clean clothes, food to eat, and that things are livable. But I have a HORRIBLE tendency to simply continue working when “I Really Should Have More Fun” and trust GOD, and just simply “love on” my family. What a blessed way to start the weekend! GOD bless you! Much Love, Angie :)

  5. Janet Dolence says:

    This also hit me right where it hurts!! My 13 y/o told me the other day that I’m too serious & need to have more fun and laugh!! I could’ve cried right there and DID cry reading your blog post…I TOO am the responsible one, all chores done before you have fun kinda mama!! My mom was same way..no more for me!! I know I can’t change it all over night, but by the grace of God & the power of the Holy Spirit, I WILL BE DIFFERENT!!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the most awesome “wake up” call!! Love your blog!!
    God Bless you!!
    Janet

  6. Just before reading this blog, I whispered to God that I wanted Him to help me spend more time with my kids. He wasted no time answering me huh?. Im a workaholic, so thank you for this TODAY.

  7. So true! The tasks will always be there..the people may not. This is sinking in to me this year…as my youngest is going to college next year. This past two years with her being the only one home has taught me a lot about this point. As I write this the dirty dishes are still in the sink from last night…but more importantly I have a treasured memory of being with her and going through my clothes I had packed for our upcoming vacation…just she and I talking …asking her advice…(not me spouting off mine). I wish I could have gotten this point and been more free when they were younger…but as I read somewhere yesterday God can redeem all our years..so I am not going to focus on that but rather sit with the joy in my heart for these little moments…and thank God for helping me stay mindful and in the moment so I don’t miss opportunities to bond and love and laugh!

  8. Are you sure we are not long lost sisters? Oh how I can relate to this as I am juggling work, responsibilities at home, school, teaching, and writing. Even this week, spending three days at the hospital with my husband, I had my laptop and my textbooks, studying whenever he napped, and worrying about my 21 year old son home alone and the mess was house was going to be in when I got home.
    Sometimes I think there should be a ten-step program for people addicted to overload…Hi my name is Beth and I’m an overdoer…

  9. Thanks for the great words. This was directed right to my heart. I do all the same things, tightly wound up about what has to be done. My life revolves around my ‘To Do’ list, both written and unwritten. Ok, Lord. It is time for me to start having fun. God bless you.

  10. Just felt led to share that I am so thankful the Lord has given us our natures. We can embrace the kind of nature we’ve been given and not worry about being more or less bubbly or spontaneous than we are meant to be. Its freeing to love others in a way thats comfortable to us.Thank you for sharing your heart Glynnis.

  11. Christina says:

    I really needed to hear this message. I am that girl. After a frustrating week this has spoken to my heart. Thank you.

  12. Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate hearing from another woman
    who was given the same personality as me- and the struggles I face daily.
    I will make a conscious effort to have fun today :)

  13. I laughed when I read this . It is so me! I have a new best friend in you. lol!

  14. Thank you so much for this! It describes me perfectly and was exactly what I needed to hear today.

  15. Well, at least you made me laugh Glynnis! he he I so relate to being the ‘all-work-no-play’ kind of girl you described. BUT I am going away this weekend and next week and although I will be at a missions conference for part of that time………….I intend to ‘kick back’ and have some fun! Thanks for your encouragement. <3

  16. Sue Nabb says:

    What a fun book!! We have become addicted to Mexican Train Dominoes and play every Friday night. Every time, without fail, when we introduce someone new to the game they want to know where to get them and can they host the next week.
    We usually cook burgers or hot dogs and have chips and soda while playing. The game is only around twenty dollars and available at WalMart.

    I love the idea of a scavenger hunt. Now that warm weather is here again we might have to try that next week end.
    Sue

  17. Thanks for sharing this today. It speaks loud and clear to me! I struggle with this stuff constantly. Thanks for being transparent and humble to share your heart. So articulate in how you’ve written it too! Hoping I can sharpen my writing in such a way as this to speak more powerfully to others about what God is showing me!

  18. jeanne lane says:

    I love your devotions, they really touch my heart as a woman of God! Just a small suggestion tho,
    I would really like if you would use the King James Version of the Bible for your references.
    Thanks so much for this consideration.
    JLane

  19. My kids tell me to just sit with them. I always want to, but have always felt guilty about relaxing and that it is a sin! It is crazy how our mind deceives us. I am praying that God would help me to be a more fun and joyful mom and wife. Thanks for the amazing devotional.

  20. I bought a scavenger hunt game which we enjoy playing. We also Ike cards night. We play Uno and Phase 10 and dominoes, or whatever. But mostly we love going for walks together.

  21. Janet Bender says:

    I’m right there with you sister! Thank you for reminding me to have more fun along the way.

  22. Barbara Gonser says:

    Thank you for speaking to my heart today and the very thing I have been dealing with. We have 2 young granddaughters that come to spend the weekend with us most every weekend. I get so frustrated when the house is a disaster from all the toys and playing that I can’t sit down and enjoy my time with them. I know I have to let it go because one day they’ll be grown and have their own lives and not so much time for grandma and grandpa. God bless you!

  23. Thank you so much for this last devotion! I am that person, the one who is constantly checking the clock and lamenting on how many “duties” I have. It has occurred to me that I won’t always have children at home or continuous loads of laundry, nor the loud giggling or squealing of my three girls forever. Even though I am out of the baby/toddler stage of mothering and entering a different phase in their lives, I’m still so time and direction oriented and it’s frustrating! It’s not about the things I feel like I HAVE to do but the people around me are really the most important. Trying to make things more “balanced” is difficult but I am determined to make our short time together more FUN! Thank you for the reminder!

  24. Dusty Forlines says:

    Thank you, this has spoken to me today. I am exactly the same way. I need to let my house go and whatever else and spend more time with loved ones. Thanks, have a blessed day. Dusty

  25. Thank you so much for this, my husband was just telling me that I need to relax and just stop doing everything allow him to step in and my children to step up to help. I am a mother of 3 (8,6,and 1) I also work part time. I feel like I never get time to do the laundry or clean the bathrooms. I feel like a mothers job is never done, its always something. After reading this I need to remember that the dishes and chores will wait, but the children are only little for so long and to enjoy them now cause soon they will be grown.

  26. A friend sent me this article and the title summed up how I have been feeling lately. Thank you for your post. I am no longer fun for my family or to myself. Always serious. I will take this article to heart. I have shared it on http://www.sisterskeeperblog.wordpress.com. Thank you again.

  27. Liz Rider says:

    I can really relate to this devotion. I am also the one who is helping out at someone else’s party. It is hard for me to relax and have fun. I’m always looking for the next thing to be done. I wish I could stop and enjoy people easier.

  28. I think every woman is like that. It is especially hard of me as my hubby is disabled, so I really do have to do it all. But I always played with my kids when they were younger. We played games every night after dinner, we always read very night cuddled in bed, (I miss that the most). Bubbles and chalk outside. Now that they are older, fun Times are movies, beach trips, talking In the car when driving them places. I don’t know the bible verse, but when Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and Martha was busy. He told her Mary knew what was more important. Don’t feel bad, must carve out a little time everyday. We are all trying the best we can.

    • Janet Price says:

      No, my sister, not every woman is like that. I have several friends who are too busy enjoying life to worry if the dishes are done or the church is clean, etc. I sometimes envy them, knowing they’ve learned the balance that you have obviously learned too. Praying that God will give you strength and patience as you care for your husband.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    Glynnis,
    Today’s devo spoke to my heart. I am a mother of four, and finding creative ways for together
    time can be challenging when childrens’ ages range. None the less, I feel, it is an essential part
    of our family’s Christian walk. Glynnis, I am also someone who has to “work” to relax, its not
    natural.
    My idea of family fun, Friday picnics. Start with a picnic blanket on the living room floor.
    Make a dinner of picnic foods and of course, s’mores for dessert (soften marshmallows
    in the microwave). Top the evening off with a family friendly movie. We have Direct TV,
    so we rent from there, throw some microwave popcorn in, and enjoy some quality time.

    Blessings,

    Elizabeth Rogalski (PA)

  30. Sandra Cheek says:

    Hello…you must be my TWIN…thank you for sharing this! I too, have to be “intentional” about having “fun”…and it isn’t always easy…if only they made “blinders” that were stylish enough to wear…so that I could walk away from all the things I feel I NEED to do – before ALLOWING MYSELF to have fun – without the guilt! =)

  31. Janet Price says:

    Bless you Glynnis! It’s comforting to know there are others like me! Sometimes I feel so alone. Strange isn’t it– how we find comfort in knowing others are coping with the same challenges. Like you, I’m trying to learn balance. Thank you for your ministry!

  32. Angela Cooper says:

    Hi Glynnis,

    I could so relate to your Encouragement for today. (Actually out of all the Proverbs 31 writers, you are the closest to that I can truly relate to!) And, also can relate to it for a few friends of mine, who I am first to remind them to have more “Joy” in their lives – it’s scriptural – it’s an order from the Lord! I was, however surprised, that you don’t mention the scripture about Mary & Martha when Jesus came to share a meal with them & Mary did little to help out & Martha carried the load & even addressed that with the Lord. I always struggled with that scripture..thinking how could Jesus say what he did when Mary did nothing to help out,
    etc. I am learning, as I age, to enjoy the moment more, but usually I enjoy it more, after the work is done, so am not quite there yet! I would love to read your new book & hope I will be considered for it, Glynnis. And in ending, I want to wish you that the Joy of the Lord, the Joy of the Lord, be your Blessing for the day! Sincerely, Angela Cooper

    • Hi Angela – thank you so much for your sweet comments today. I wanted to personally address your observation about why I didn’t use the Mary and Martha story. First is because it’s one that many our writers like to write on, so I wanted to use something different. But, it’s also about taking time to sit at Jesus’ feet, and I wanted my devotion to be about spending time with other people.
      I think Jesus wants us to make loving others a priority – starting with Him.

  33. Danelle Wyckoff says:

    Happy Spring,
    Today’s devotional really hit a tender spot in my heart. I too am the responsible and serious one in the family. I find myself watching everyone else having fun and enjoying the moment, while I am washing dishes–tidying up, etc. The family heads outside to enjoy the beautiful weather or go to the park while I stay back to do another load of laundry or whatever is so pressings on my mind to do. After reading and sharing your devotion I stopped to ask for God’s forgiveness for all the “missed moments” and to ask Him to help me to relax and enjoy our family, rather than just being an onlooker. Thank you for sharing your heart with us today.

  34. WOW!
    Thanks much for this excerpt. Truly people pray for me. My most stresses comes from my alway wanting my
    children to do extremely well in school. Both my kids are a “book to death” school. A Christain A-BEKA school with lots and lots of never ending school work. Therefore, I am constantly @ my son especially (the oldest) for
    staying on top of things and getting acceptable grades. We then have not much left for “fun” which is why I am pushing extremely hard for a well deserved family vacation. Please respond to my comment mothers that are
    or have experienced my situation. Meaning wanting your children to excel, and the school over whelmingly
    giving them more work than ever. WOW! Pray for me PLEASE ! ! ! !

  35. Thank you so much for these words! I needed to hear this – I prayed this morning that i may Laugh alot and just enjoy life! God is in control and I must let go and LET GOD!!! Learning balance in my life and prioritizing whats important.

  36. I can SOOOO relate to this, Glynnis. I find the answer to the question you posed at the end, for me, is often, “I’m far too busy being a perfectionist.” This futile pursuit robs my time and steals my joy. Thanks for inspiring me to pray and journal about this issue. Life’s too short…It’s time for a change!

  37. How true! I find myself thinking that when work “to-do” list is done (I’m self-employed), my house is clean and organized, the bills are paid, etc. etc., THEN I can really relax. It’s hard to grasp the reality that the “to-do” list will never be done. Even when I retire, I may have less to do, but also will have a little less energy with which to get things done. We will be happier and more efficient even in our work if we take time to play and to relax. And spending quality time with people can’t always be put off.

  38. Heather Loyd says:

    What a great reminder and real truth. Feel like I’ve been trying to learn this in the last year. Awesome word for all the “marthas” out there!

  39. Thank you for your devotion today “Jesus weeps with you” My best friend buried her daughter last week. It was unexpected and shocking. In the days leading up to the funeral she cried out to God to bring back her daughter. My heart is breaking for her and the loss of a little girl I loved. I forwared your devotion and it really helped her realized that she cannot handle this grief on her own. Thank you.

  40. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for this…I am playing this role in my family on a daily basis. I see my husband able to laugh, have fun and be silly with the kids…I’m constantly worried about whether everyone has their chores done, homework complete and if dinner has been started. I need to fully realize that the world as I know it will not fall apart if I take the time to ditch the dusting rag and sit and do a puzzle with my 2 year old. I appreciate you sharing and helping me see that I’m not alone in this! :)

  41. Oh dear…have you been following me around?? I am the ever “busy” body. Every once in a while one of my children will say… Mom…you are a fuddy-dud, you never have fun…..
    For a moment that stings….but then I am back at it again.
    The Lord knew that I would take the time to read something titled I Really Should Have More Fun….. and not a greater day than to read it… we leave for a youth retreat this afternoon. Oh yes, much work to be done…. but I want to focus more on ” Jesus’ message is clear: Love God. Love people.” And be intentional about spending time with this awesome group of young people.
    Thanks!!

  42. Praise God for your devotional! It IS often hard for me to have fun because I am thinking of all the things that “need” to get done. Maybe I’m trying to take over God’s work or other people’s work too often. I know God always gives us time to do His will so I often pray, “Lord what am I doing/planning that’s not Your will because I don’t feel I have time to do all of this stuff?”. May we all learn to laugh, have fun with friends & family, enjoy simple moments, and relax. WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! :)

  43. MaryAnne says:

    Thanks! this is just what I need to read today!

  44. mythreesons says:

    This devotion speaks to my heart. I’m sometimes a little jealous of my husband because he is the fun parent and I’m the responsible one. I tell myself we are going to do something once this and this and this is done. Before I know it ots bedtime and how I long to have hear my kids laughing. Tomorrow will be different I say. But its more of the same. How guilty and sad I feel as they grow so quickly wishing I could turn back time. As my wise mother in law says ” houseworkwork is never done”. I will read this devotion regularly as a reminder to enjoy people and how precious is.

  45. Judy Flores says:

    If I could write and share my feelings as well as you do, I would have written that devotional! I am feeling it is really applying to me this week as I am a teacher and on spring break and trying to get some things done and checked off my list. How many fun things did I do with my kids? Ouch:(

  46. Oh Glynnis . . . I think we are twin sisters! I have wondered if there ever was anyone else ‘really’ like me! And everything you said is me to the ‘T’.

    I am a work in progress and the Lord has been challenging me with idea — just have fun for goodness sake and enjoy life!! ;)

    Bless you dear one,
    Love, Hester

  47. Glynnis, my sons said I worked too much. Then my oldest said, “Your job is obviously more important than we are, since that is what you choose to do with your time.” I choose differently! 2 1/2 years later, I buried my youngest son. And I thank GOD for that wake up call. To have had time was a gift He gave me.
    Thinks get broken, discarded or replaced. PEOPLE MATTER. Give them…& yourself…the gift of time with those who matter most to you.

  48. Thank you for sharing this today. I read many devotions that don’t really hit home like this does. I used to be very spontaneous, outgoing and always had time for others. I gave birth a daughter who is medically fragile and also has autism and behavioral difficulties…I feel like I dramatically changed over the years. Instead of being very social and a people pleaser, I have become introverted, independent and extremely responsible. I could easily spend all of my time being just with my family, but I know that God has called us all to be a part of a living, active body. I have to force myself to make plans with other people to do social things. I pray for all my sisters who have become so task-oriented and responsibilty-aware to be set free to live a more truly fulfilling life. I often remind myself that people are more important than things. I call myself a “recovering perfectionist”…:-)

  49. Ruth Jacot-Guillarmod says:

    This message so resonated with me. I always feel the need to watch out for things to do, messes to clean up, help when not even asked to help. I AM A MARTHA. I’ve often joked about being a Martha, but after reading your message, it dawned on me………it’s time to be a Mary! Thank you for your insights into what is always most important……to give and receive love! To know that the truth is to let God shoulder the weight I keep wanting to undertake. As you said, ….” the work will always be there, but the people might not be”. Thank you!

  50. Gayle Marshall says:

    Oh my! The writer put into words my recent life! I really do know how to have fun, but the part that really grabbed me was this…. “The reality? Not every assignment is mine to do. To assume responsibility for more than is mine speaks of a lack of trust … in God to do His job … or in others to do theirs.” That is eye opening! I know I have been guilty of assuming being responsible for more than I should. My wise Pastor advised me of this recently. But I didn’t look at it as if I was not trusting God. I thought if He brought it before me, I should DO IT! I shall remember that as I continue to be of service to my church and community.

  51. Well, I’m going to try and copy and paste my comments. I didn’t know where to comment.

  52. Hi Glynis:

    It’s just my husband and I and in our 60′s, when I say that I can’t believe I’m that age. We use to have a pop-up camper, ( not much later a camper) and had so much fun camping to different spots in Iowa. It was something we both loved. We would scope out places, plan weekends to work it in, meet new people, eat outside, build a fire and just be together and share God’s handiwork in nature! We had to sell our 28ft. camper in January because of financial reasons. It was a sad day for me to see it go. ;-)

    Plan a regular date night and do not put any other thing in the way. Remember how you felt when you were dating and talk about those times. After supper, look at your wedding pictures. Create a calm & special evening with different places, times, & fun!

    Attend a concert. Plan ahead, get tickets through the place, instead of paying Ticketmaster. Look forward and talk about your plans. Enjoy & if you can swing it, get backstage passes. Try to sit in the middle or further back. The view won’t be as good but they usually have big screens and you won’t want to be right up front by the huge speakers.
    Now, if you’re under 30 trust me, you won’t care. Go out to dinner before the concert, NOT fast food unless you are running really late.

    Go to an animal refuge, or shelter to play with the animals and maybe considering getting a kitten or a dog to save their life and enhance yours. Pets have so many beneficial traits, & positive felling, that they keep you active, give you unconditional love, love you when you get home and are excited, calm you, sit by you and you can talk to your pet. It’s been proven that animals brought to sick children, sick adults or nursing homes will always cause a lot of interest, help to perk up the people, it is so beneficial for all of them. They feel less pain, are happier, love to pet and love on the animal. lowers BP, makes them more active and into life.

    Park by a large or smaller airport, take a picnic on the grass, or in your car watch the; and then watch the airplanes arrive & depart. Talk about places you would dream of visiting and make up a silly story about it. My husband and small sons use to do this. They enjoyed it cause they thought it was loud, big plane, and fun. It’s free and fun!

    Visit an outdoor playground and be a kid again. Watch the children playing, enjoy a snack or a picnic lunch on a blanket…don’t spill now. Watch your kids have fun & see how they play with other children. Scold if they don’t share, are rouwdy, and dangerous for others.

    Go to the zoo in your area or within 50 miles. Enjoy the variety of animals, watch their antics, visit the souvenir anf gift shop and buy a momento for children or yourselves.

    Take a scenic drive and describe to your hubby or wife things you see, special places, different tree’s and flowers, you drivw home so he can enjoy the scenery. Go to ones that are farther from home. Pick up Culver’s food and have lunch in the car at a lookout.

    Look for a museum that interests you, maybe historical, about your state or another, history of the Indians, Science or Art museum, and anything that peaks your interest.

    Shop with your man this is tricky. Choose an environment that includes his variety of stores. Sit in the atrium or hallway and people watch. Play a game of what a person is
    like, their occupation, their home, their habits. It’s a blast. You are creating their world.

    Go to a special bicycle trail and ride your bike. Enjoy the view and the chance to do something physical. Go to a fitness center and workout together, have a healthy shake or lunch later, This improves your mental and physical well-being.

    Do a chore with your husband that you can help with. Try to sit back and let him totally lead the task. After all, it’s his area. Ask your spouse if he could help you plant some tulip bulbs in the fall. Working together makes for good conversation and commradrie. Talk about what you liked afterward. Try to relate to one of the actors and pretend you are the actor or actress and get into their in character.

    Help your hubby to clean the garage, (big job) then ask him nicely if he could clean a big closet together to organize both your STUFF. Give some away, throw some away, give some to Goodwill or a Mission endeavor, also buy clothes from them. Put clothes up for sale at a local consignment shop. Make extra money and then buy something there.

    Volunteer at a Mission or Homeless shelter. Have a smile, greet them, treat them with respect, talk to them, and listen to them. Ask about their families or kids when they were little. Jog their memories with different topics that will enhance your relationship. Ask them if they need anything,k a scarf, socks, food or snacks, supper and then go out with them and buy the lunch or supper. Remember that most American are 1 or 2 paychecks away from being homeless or living in their car. When you see someone in need on the street ask them how they can make their day! Remember to entertain angels unaware.

    Visit a Nursing Home and pretend you are the Activity Director and play a game, talk, walk, or wheel them around so they feel special for an hour or two. This not only makes their day but usually you will benefit more.

    Go bird watching with binoculars, insect watching with a magnifying glass, walk to take in other animals (small, preferable), act like an archeologist or treasure hunter. Bring leaves, & wildflowers home and press them or put them in fresh water to enjoy.

    Go to a dairy farm and let the family explain to the kids and parents just what their day on a dairy farm would look like, come early and go with them through their routine. Appreciate what the farmers do and that they provide greatly for all of food needs. Ask them their favorite chore or favorite thing to do on the farm. I loved to swing when I was little, played Germans and Japs in the nearby neighbors woods, made a fort in the bridal bushes, swung from one hay mow to the other (with straw to land on in case you didn’t make it) Work beside them for a day in the field, riding on the tractor fender, (be careful) petting the animals, helping them and enjoying their life for a day! Dress appropriately, remember to take gloves (work), older clothes, and get ready for all the different and strong smells. Spend time with all the baby animals on the farm they are cute, fun, and entertaining. My favorite are baby lambs, calves, pigs, kittens, the dog, chicks, farm pond critters, checking out the cat having kittens. It makes for a great time when you’re a kid or adult. We still need our pets more than we would admit.

    Visit a lager city if your from a small town. Use to live in a Dutch community with Dutch front stores, had a Tulip Festival and any activities that are offered. Get away for a day and discover a city in your state. Pick up[ a souvenir, ask people who live their what the best restaurant is, best places to see, and best sights and places. +

    Visit a different ethnic restaurant each Friday and then write up a card rating the food, service, surroundings, or overall performance. Were you disappointed, surprised, could forget in the future, or give it high marks. Use the performance card they have at your table. They always enjoy feedback, even if it’s not positive (like, the lettuce was not fresh) Let your preferences be known, but each week a different family member gets to choose the eatery they will go to. +

    Try to get up early and go to where their are hot air balloons activities. Those are some of my best memories in my family. If you’re not an early bird, they have a p.m. program also. It is a beautiful things to watch they put air in them, run their burners and take off. You car follow them somewhat in your car and pretend that you’re the pick-up person. Bring a blanket and picnic lunch or supper or get something fast at the restaurant. They have balloon races to a designated area. They have balloons coming in to catch some car keys on a tall pole. That’s fun to watch. And it’s not as easy as it appears. The direction of the balloon is based on the pilot.

    Go to some races with your hubby or sprint cars, or go-carts if your kids are small. Take earplugs along, bring snack or visit the concession stand. Little pricy but good food usually. At our track in Knoxville IA. (fastest dirt track in the country) it’s noisy, dirty, fair bathrooms and lots of people with special shirts on, with their favorite race driver. My son has about 7 autographed shirts. I plan to make a quilt for my sons (another project to talk about and ignore) One son was into dirt bikes, small motorcycles 4-wheelers, and then a crotch rocket (had worries & anxiety) because you can’t even hear them coming until their right behind you and pass. They sound like a mad bumble bee Other son loved, following his dad around the farm to help ou,t Sprint car races, 4-wheeler,small motorcycles. (More worries)
    Plan far ahead to drive to a relative or motel during the bad winter weather to Phoenix area, Florida, or Texas, Mexico (maybe not) or California. If you save a lot take a cruise, sometimes you can get last minute tickets for a reduction, but consider your flight arrangements have to co-inside. I loved my first and only cruise to the Bahama’s, St Marten, and St. Thomas. Sad note, my husband is a computer genius, but when he changed out his whole programming, somehow he lost all 300 pictures of our cruise and vacation. (so thankful I took a few of the ones the ships had to sell. It was really devastating but he said, “I’ll just have to do it all over again, smart man). We are saving all of our change for the next one. On a fixed budget now, but maybe a rich relative will leave us an inheritance.

    Visit a relative you haven’t seen in years. Make plans to come in nice weather and always call or E-mail them if it works out, the time frame, and activities that you” do. Then you can pack accordingly. If it’s winter, go south to a relative. If you can visit a region that has fall and you are just getting into spring.

    Stay at a reasonable Bed & Breakfast, Victorian, remodeled, older with character, themed places etc. Relish the homemade food, the atmosphere, your room, conversation with the owners and just plane getting away from it all instead of a motel or hotel. They can be $100-200 dollars. Yikes. Visit nearby land marks and special places of interest. +

    Have a romantic candlelight dinner with china, good silverware, your hubbies favorite meal, quiet music, and low lighting. Sit at your good dining room and doll it up. Maybe a theme dinner, Bohemian, Mexican, Dutch, Italian, Indian. Or you could be mysterious about it and choose the type of favorite food his Mom would have made. NOTE: get the special recipes well in advance, and maybe even have her teach you. I love it and he will be impressed and finally say, “THIS IS JUST LIKE MY MOM USE TO MAKE”. Sounds fun, doesn’t it and so fun learning a new type of cooking. Try to keep it simple (sweetie not stupid).
    Enjoy, and you will, then the rest will come your way…if you get my drift.

    O.K. for fantasy land watch a movie or documentary that takes you to the Serengeti, Australia, Venice, Africa, Europe, Hawaii, New England, Out West, etc., and then have authentic snacks for that country. Discuss whether it was up to your expectations of the place and peaked your interest to dream of going there. +

    Visit your Mom and Dad but make the vacation about them. Take them out to supper, Have them show you the high points and special places in the city and country. Talk about their childhood, teen years, getting married, having children and their jobs they had. Buy a Grandma & Grandpa booklet and interview them to answer all the questions about their lives. Or maybe record them as they relate the good stories, hardships, and joys as well as sorrows. You will have a whole new appreciation of your parents and what they had to go through. My parents went through the Depression when they were small. Take notes, and take pictures, and later present them with a small scrapbook booklet of all of this. What a precious memory that will be for all of you. And then later you will get the booklet back when they pass away and go to heaven. +

    Well, this got to be an epistle! But, I hope you enjoyed it and I have a chance to win. Thank you for listening to my sometimes silly but frugal ideas (notice I didn’t say cheap)! Looking forward to hearing from you. I couldn’t find the blog this time. I enjoy all of your insights, encouragement and being authentic and true! Keep on, keeping on. God is soooo good!

    Smiles ;-)

    Jeri Kroes
    406 Otley Street
    Leighton, IA 50143
    jerik@iowatelecom.net
    Ph: 641-780-2841

  53. Waiting on God says:

    I really struggle with this. I always think I’ll go try something new or be adventurous once the house is fixed up, or once I get my business established, or once I feel better, or when we have more money… Then you look up and realize 2/3 of your life is gone and what have you done? What fun have you had? Life is for living now, not ONCE we get things done. Thanks for the reminder.

  54. I am a young girl and I’ll be marriage in 14th february 2015. Also I am from Brazil. I have tried to learn a lot importants things to marriage and I appreciate this ministry! May God bless you more!

    Anny.

  55. Original idea for fun:
    Pick up an ordinary object and then pass it from person to person,
    giving each a chance to imagine it and act it out as something else.
    (Idea: the cardboard tube inside of paper towels or a mailing tube.)
    This could be done as a game with turns, to see who remains in the
    ring. Another method is to brainstorm as a group to see how high a
    total of ideas they can reach. The latter works well if there is much
    discrepancy in age. We did it with a 4 to 70-years age range. This
    “make believe” becomes hilarious, and it will astound everyone to see
    the ingenious creativity!

  56. Nelda Rickman says:

    Your article “I Really Should Have More Fun” left me with a question. Why do you think people who drop the dust cloth, etc. aren’t responsible? If I have responsibilities at work or if I tell someone I will do something – I do it. I am a responsible person.
    If I stop cleaning to read a book to my toddler or go to a little league practice I am still responsible. We can be responsible and take care of our families and our well being at the same time. We have to know the difference between a responsibility and a free choice we are making.
    We can find what we need to at our home but it may have a little dust on it. My children know what a responsible adult is because I live that example in front of them but they also know they come first. They are my blessing of a first and most important responsibility. I get the other responsibilities taken care of during work hours. If I think anything is more important than they are I am not being responsible. My children are grown now and the memories of me being there with and for them is more important than if my furniture needs dusting.

  57. Gillie Ruth says:

    Wow, are we related?! So me at the moment, major surgery, major debts, major piles of paperwork, major house work, major guilt, major anxiety, amd on amd on! Then I read your post, well had a pray amd a think. Now only things getting done for a week are essential paperwork ( read tax), amd house work. Done Lord! Resting in You!

  58. Girls, I confess that I am a chronic overdoer and workoholic. I must clean the house, I must do the dishes, I must do the ironing, because no one can do it as well as I can. I must make sure the grocery cupboards are fully stocked, I must I must I must…..oh and did I mention that I work a full 8 hour day in an office too. And then I can’t understand why I am constantly tired and worn out. I know my dear husband just want me to come sit next to him and watch a movie or read a good book or just talk to him. But instead I am busy busy busy….Father please help me to have more fun! Life is so short. Thank you for this inspiring post. God Bless

  59. This summer I just that! Well, I did not exactly have fun, but I did relax and rest more! I work for a school system and went in extra days to organize. Then, I decided I would try to do the same at home. However, I finally realized that I needed to “chill out” more. It had been a rough school year. I lost my wonderful father. I had been nursing a few little physical hurts too. I just needed time for me. This is a reminder that work things will always be there. This does not mean that we should totally dismiss them. It is okay to take a moment for self. Amen? Amen!

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