Pope Francis recently listed his Top Ten Secrets to Happiness. I like that our pope is so practical. He speaks to me even when I'm feeling slow and sluggish and find it difficult to concentrate on deep thoughts. His list of secrets is easy to read, understand and apply to real life.
My personal favorite on his list is to have a "healthy sense of leisure which includes playing with our children". For too long I have been a seriously serious mother. I'd rarely leave time to play with my children, filling my days with work and other activities that suited my serious nature until I'd fall into bed exhausted and worn at the end of the day. But now I'm noticing how quickly my children seem to be growing, with the youngest just entering her teen years this summer, and suddenly, play seems awfully important and, also, deeply enjoyable.
Now, this mother has been pursuing some pleasurable play with her teens that has brought her closer to them than ever. Impromptu board games after dinner, a family outing with a game of ultimate frisbee, and kitchen song and dance sessions have brought great joy to my heart. I feel like a kid again, swinging on the back yard swing, blowing larger-than-life bubbles and playing with toys. What a wise pope we have to recommend playing with children as a secret to happiness!
You can read Pope Francis' complete list of secrets here and may you find that happiness fills your days and draws you closer to Christ as you fully live your life in His love.