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Fun matters more than you think and here’s why

Annie F. Downs and I have been close friends for years and if there is something she is dependable for, it is fun. It’s one of the things I understand her for. But there’s always some thing deeper to it. And when you can hold them both, the joy and the sadness, and inquire yourself the right questions, you will experience fun in a way that cures and changes your life. It’ s a grace to welcome Annie to the farms’ front porch today…

guest post by Annie F. Downs

I was lucky enough to grow up on the same eighteen acres where my mother were raised. And for my entire life, my grandparents lived on the land too.

As you turn off Ebenezer Road—the double mailbox in your left, the gazebo addressing a freshwater well on the right—the driveway crunches through your car tires because it is natural gravel. The grapevines exist on your left as well, three rows of them, and if a person look just over them, there are a small but impressive garden. The yard continues to the fence that touched the neighbor’s property.

From Ebenezer Road, going up the drive, my grandparents’ house is on your correct. And then on the left is definitely our house, and just as you look past the front porch as well as the front door, you see a pond with a grassy trail circling full around it.

My grandfather relocated to the farmland on Ebenezer Road in 1941. As well as for a time, it operated therefore. By the time my parents were married and pregnant with me (the first grandchild), the place where the barn sat was better suitable for be a home, so mother and father built one. Within several weeks after I was born, they shifted out of my grandparents’ house, where they had been living, just across the driveway towards the house that would be ours.

I’ve ridden the bicycle over every ” of those eighteen acres. I have played house and performed basketball and pretended to be a television host (me) interviewing guests (also me). I’ve built forts and made worlds and raced sticks down the creek behind the pond.

Joy Prouty

Joy Prouty

Joy Prouty

Joy Prouty

I remember snapping beans on the front porch associated with my grandparents’ house while sitting next to my mom and my grandmother. My memory isn’t precise, but it had been summer and I was wearing shorts, though it was not incredibly hot. Though to be honest, if we were snapping coffee beans on the front porch on the summer evening in Georgia, it probably was sizzling hot.

But the brain doesn’t remember that component. There was one section of the particular porch that was always cool because it was always within the shade. The ground was cement and bordered with bricks. I can almost feel that spot again, my bare legs touching the cool cement, a colander in my panel.

The lengthy beans were in a green plastic bag of some sort from the local farmers market, and we each had our own colander. The first move was to pull the long string from the tip of the veggie to the tail, then break the pod into three or four bean-length sections. You knew you’d gotten the right spot when it snapped. It’s such as the bean always knew.

I was never an enormous fan of chores, such as many children I am sure, yet there was something about nipping beans.

It mattered. It was outside, it was with my family, it had been a task that had a successful ending every time.

Snapping beans was simple. I wouldn’t have been able to put that word around it as a child, but I know now that the location it filled in myself was the spot that loves simplicity.

I don’t know what was operating through my grandmother’s mind as she sat there, or my mother’s, but I’m sure the task could not have felt as simple to them as it did to me. I was probably thinking about a book I had been reading or a friend from school or absolutely nothing.

I skip thinking about nothing.

R. R. Tolkien once wrote, “ Certainly there was an Eden on this very unhappy planet. We all long for it, and are constantly glimpsing this. ”

Eden is the start humans ever lived, according to the Bible. In Genesis 2, before there was sin and before there was the brokenness we all feel, there was Eden. It was the garden and it was perfect. The people there worked and gardened and cared for the animals and loved each other without shame. And it was just how things were always intended to be.

Although none of us have been there, don’t you sometimes miss it? Maybe those basic memories of snapping beans are so strong because they think that an Eden that I really miss.

Years as a child was not perfect, but I actually do have certain memories, such as snapping beans with the grandmother, that remind myself of something that I feel provides slipped through my fingers.

It was simpler after that, with the beans on the porch. I was just Annie.

I think whenever we go looking for fun what we are actually looking for will be home.

We have been looking for peace.

We are looking for simplicity, something to fill that spot that has been left by growing up or growing out or moving on.

While good we want fun, what we really want is Eden.

A few years ago my parents moved to a new house. The one upon Ebenezer Road wasn’t the perfect fit for them after our grandparents passed away and all of us kids left home.

I have struggled with my parents moving out of that will house. All of our family events took place on those 18 acres for our whole life: Christmas mornings, Thanksgiving dinners, birthdays, random summer evenings, Sunday afternoons after household lunch at a buffet restaurant down the street.

So while I know it isn’t my house anymore, and while there are plenty of memories there that have formed me in all the right ways and some of the wrong methods, I also know that I’ve lost something by losing the house on Ebenezer Road. I feel it significantly.

We have lost Eden in every way, but I’ve reach realize that it’s the moments associated with fun that remind all of us that Eden ever existed in the first place.

I may not be able to meet you there, but some thing inside of me knows what feels like there. Something similar to snapping beans on the front side porch.

 

Annie Farreneheit. Downs is really a bestselling author, sought-after loudspeaker, and successful podcast host based in Nashville, Tennessee. Engaging and sincere, she makes readers and listeners alike feel as if they’ve been long-time friends. Owner of the That Sounds Enjoyable Network—which includes her aptly named flagship show, That will Sounds Fun—and author associated with multiple bestselling books such as 100 Days to Brave and Remember God, Annie shoots straight and doesn’t shy away in the tough topics. But the lady always finds her way back to the truth that Our god is good and that life is a present.

We know there are certain things we have to have to survive– food, refuge, and safety to name some. But additionally, there are aspects of life that really allow us to be happy and fulfilled. For well-known podcaster and bestselling author Annie F. Downs, enjoyable is close to the top of that list. Few would argue that having fun doesn’ t enrich our lives, yet so much gets in the way of prioritizing it. Tough days, demands, and feelings that are difficult to talk about keep us in the fun that’ s available waiting to be found.

With this Sounds Fun, Annie offers an irresistible invitation to understand the meaning of fun, to embrace it and chase it, and to figure out what, exactly, sounds fun to you– then do it! Exploring some research plus sharing some thoughts behind why fun matters, she shows you how to find, experience, and multiply your fun.

Along with her signature storytelling style and whimsical vulnerability, Annie is the friend we all need to guide us back to remaining true to ourselves and seeking the fun we need.

[ Our humble thanks to Baker for their partnership in today’s devotion ]