I have a question for you today: How do you do with incorporating play into your life?

If I were to ask myself that question, my honest answer is I don’t do a very good job of making play a part of my life. Sure, when my grandkids are over at my house, I do a pretty good job of that, but outside of those times, this is an area that I need to grow in. I’m guessing I’m not alone. We often don’t even consider the role of play in our lives as adults!

My guest today says, however that “Play helps our faith stick,” and she’s helping us understand why that is!

Courtney Ellis is a speaker, pastor, and the author of Happy Now: Let Playfulness Lift Your Load and Renew Your Spirit. She invites people to let go of their most serious selves and grant themselves permission to engage in curiosity and wonder of all kinds.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • The science of unlocking happiness
  • What often stops us from engaging in play as adults
  • How play helps us more deeply connect to God
  • Why useless things aren’t really all that useless
  • And so much more!

This episode really gave me a lot to think about. I hope it does the same for you!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

My Key Takeaways:

1) Discover what style of play you prefer. We tend to think of play as something child-like, but play isn’t a set activity with an age restriction. As Courtney defines for us, play can be anything that brings joy and connection. Take the time to discover what type of play you prefer. Are you an adrenaline junkie that needs to ride a mountain bike on uncharted trails? Are you a homebody that needs to curl up by a warm fire with a good book? Play will look different for every person. If you are having a hard time discovering what type of play you prefer, try asking yourself these questions:
👉 What did you love to do as a child?
👉 If you had an entire day to yourself and could do anything, what would you do?

2) Give yourself permission to play in small and big ways. Taking time to play may seem like a luxury and finding time to incorporate it into your daily life may seem like a daunting task. First, recognize that play isn’t something that needs to take up an entire day or even the afternoon. It can be small things like taking a moment to share a silly face with your child, telling a knock-knock joke, or drawing your attention to a new flower in bloom. There are countless moments of small playfulness that can be added to your busy schedule without having to take up a large chunk of time. We also need to dispel the idea that play is a luxury that takes up energy. We were created to play and enjoy God’s creation. When we play, we are actually renewed to continue about our day, so it gives us energy.

3) Playfully practice worship. When was the last time you felt playfully engaged in worship? We tend to think of worship through the lens of a structured church service or through a few set activities in our personal devotion time. What if you viewed worship as a time that God was inviting you to be playful and creative? In your personal devotion time, what if you listened to your favorite song and danced around your room? What if you moved your body more when you sing at church? God designed us to be energized by playfulness, creativity, and worship.

4) Do useless things. This is a tough one for a lot of us mamas. Often the things that we view as “useless” aren’t actually as useless as they seem. Why? Because those things are giving us energy and helping us enjoy the life we have been given. Your emotional health and mental health are not useless. Doing things your soul enjoys helps to boost both of those areas of life.

About Courtney:

Courtney Ellis is a pastor, speaker, and author.  In her most recent book, Happy Now: Let Playfulness Lift Your Load and Renew Your Spirit, Courtney invites readers to let go of their most serious selves and grant them permission to engage in curiosity and wonder of all kinds. Courtney is a graduate of Wheaton College and Princeton Seminary.  She grew up in Wisconsin but now lives in California with her husband, Daryl, their three children, and a $0.29 goldfish.

 

 

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