I love to write, but I am first and foremost a wife and mother, so this week I’ve been keeping up with school, laundry, and meals while we had revival meetings and haven't been able to blog much. The music and preaching have been tremendous, and I’ve been truly blessed and encouraged by Dr. Doug Fisher’s messages!
My daughter Johanna has a cute little crown-tail Betta fish, which Sharon, Jason and Lydia gave her for Christmas. He is, as all Betta fish are, a solitary little thing, swimming contentedly in his one gallon tank.
Freddie lives a good life, but Betta care instructions tell us that Freddie could get very bored if he doesn’t get any excitement now and then. To spice things up a bit, they recommend taking a mirror and holding it right outside the aquarium.
Now, if you know anything about Bettas, you know that they are solitary for a reason. Male Bettas, of which Freddie is one, are fierce fighters, and will attack each other just because they are there! Putting a mirror in front of the tank presents an instant foe for Freddie, and he puffs himself up like a red balloon! Every once in a while, he attacks his enemy, and then swims away in a triumphant puff of red swirly fins.
It’s good for him to be challenged, even if it is only with a mirror!
When it comes to Stewarding Ourselves, we need to understand the importance of being challenged. I’ll leave most of that to your imagination, but I think you can see that being a parent is definitely a physical challenge. If you’ve ever had a two-year old to chase, you can understand why it’s so easy to fall exhausted into your bed at the end of the day. And many of you wonder about this thing of exercise. How can I possibly find the energy to get up and go while I’m so busy taking care of my little ones?
I completely understand your dilemma. I’ve been there too. So let me share with you what I have done to help me Steward Myself and my children over the years. These are great for you to get exercise even if you can't jog or lift weights, etc!
Here are some ideas to get some exercise even with small children:
Babies: stroller is the way to go! Walking is a great activity, and babies love to be out. Lydia and Johanna were so close in age that we got a double stroller because we liked going on hikes. It was important for us as a family to get out and enjoy God’s creation, so we often went on family day hikes in our area. Because we had a jogging stroller (though we didn’t jog), we were able to tackle almost any terrain!
Children: games are great! This way you AND the children can be exercising! I suspect children are about as excited about exercise as going to the dentist, so making exercise fun is important. Here are some games we have played, plus a few others:
1. Capture the flag – This is an active game where each side has a “flag” (we’ve even used stuffed horses, of which we have plenty! Then, of course, the game becomes “Capture the horse,” which becomes more deeply personal for those involved, hence more action!) that the other team tries to capture!
2. Tag – the standard game is where one person is “it,” and tries to tag another, and the only safety is the “base.” Take away the “base” and the game becomes more interesting!
3. Freeze tag – The standard game is where one person is “it” and tries to tag others, and they are “frozen” in one spot. Others can tag them to “unfreeze” them. Since we rarely do anything the “standard” way, we often take teams, dividing into two (or more) teams. More people, more action!
4. Soccer – Since I know very little about soccer, we rarely play, but it is great exercise. When we do play, it’s quite challenging, and fun!
5. Family Football – two hand touch, of course! These are some of our favorite memories!
6. Red Light, Green Light – My daughter insists that this game requires a lot of running, and I’m sure she’s right!
7. Basketball – A very active game, but one that requires a lot more skill than most of us have. Still, it’s a lot of fun, especially if your team wins!
Remember, the goal is to Steward Ourselves, and bless the children in the process!