I think I used to be fun a very long time ago, maybe before I was a mom. One of the reasons my husband married me in the first place was because he says I am fun (that was his #1 reason). But as the years progressed and we had more kids, I changed. My hormones were up and down. I slept less and took on more stress. I don't think I am fun anymore.
With the kids, I often feel like the referee, the teacher, the cook, the maid, and the taxi. Somehow it drains all the FUN out of me!
But I want to be a fun mom! I always have wanted that . . .
After cancer, my attitude has been transformed. I take each day that God has given me. I don't wait for the “next time” or when things might be “perfect”. I just dive in because today might be my last. Today might be your last.
You just never know God's plans for you. I think it is sad that it took cancer to get me back to being a more in-the-moment kind of mom. One thing, I am no longer a bystander. I now do so many more things than I used to, instead of just sitting around and watching others do them.
For instance, our Bible Study group, Elements, heads down to the beach each Tuesday with all our kids. Each week I coax the ladies I am with into the ocean with me for a half hour. One of them has not been in the ocean for 15 years! We take in the waves, talk and shiver in the chilly Pacific waters. I feel rejuvenated and refreshed. Today I asked the girls how old they felt jumping over the waves. "12", one of them said. Ah, we are living life!
Now there are a bunch of health benefits to going in the ocean every week, which I just have to mention here.
First, the minerals in the sea air decrease stress and increase a sense of well-being. Salt in water preserves the melatonin, tryptamine and serotonin levels in your brain. This helps with fighting off depression or improving your sense of well-being. Going in the ocean water with your back to the breaking waves is like a reset of your emotional state.
Second, studies indicate that the minerals contained in the ocean’s water help with arthritis, psoriasis and even depression. Other skin diseases, such as rosacea, eczema and rashes from plant allergies or heat are positively affected by the ocean water. We decided today that we felt our skin was softer from our once-a-week plunges.
Third, ocean water contains iodine, which boosts thyroid function and improves the immune system. When you are in seawater, the amount of oxygen carried throughout your bloodstream is improved and more nutrients are carried through your bloodstream to fight off free radicals. Ocean water also improves circulation of blood to organs.
Next, the swells and currents in the water act as a lymphatic massage to your whole body. Being in the ocean water for a half hour is just like paying $80 for an expensive spa lymph massage. Only God could know what our bodies need and provide a free alternative for our health.
Lastly, air particles break apart releasing ions into the atmosphere when the waves break. Some scientists claim that sea air contains an abundance of negatively charged ions. These Ions are so good for us! In today’s society, we have too many positive ions in our lives. You may know positive ions by another name – free radicals. Because electricity, computers, TV and electronics are all sources of positive ions, it is easy to see why we have a shortage of negative ions. Increasing our exposure to negative ions has many health benefits including enhancing the immune system, increasing alertness and improving concentration. The negative ions from the ocean also help to reset your immune system and give you energy.
The biggest benefit is that my kids come and hang out with me in the water. At least my girls do. So I am writing this for all the moms out there who want to stay in your beach chair this summer (like I have done so many years in a row!). I had many excuses - I didn't want to get wet, it was too cold, I didn't want to have anyone see my overweight body, I didn't want to have to shower . . . and so on. JUST DO IT! Whatever it is, experience God's creation with your kids! Get in the ocean, the river, the lake - take that hike, jump in the pool with your kids . . . experience life! This one life God has given you! You never know when it will change - your kids will grow, your health may deteriorate - do it now before it's too late!
The fun mommy in all of us is just waiting to come out. You never know – you might get healthier while you're at it! Come join me this summer . . . your kids, and probably your husband, will love it! Just picture our God in heaven smiling down watching you enjoy the things He made for you! What could be better?
You shall go out in JOY and be led forth in PEACE" Is 55:12