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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Quotations on Rest, Leisure & Play


It’s summertime in the northern hemishpere. So, I decided to visit my quotation files and see what I have filed under rest, leisure, and play. I hope you find these quotes inspiring and fun!

(Photo by Mateusz Dach – Pexels)


1) Leisure time is a gift of God for being refreshed physically, mentally, and spiritually, a time to strengthen bonds, to enjoy God’s gifts. Anonymous


2) There is no music in a “rest,” that I know of: but there’s the making of music in it. And people are always missing that part of the life-melody. John Ruskin


(Photo by Huy Phar – Pexels)

3) Together with the culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport. Pope Francis



4) Play is the brain’s favorite way of learning. Diane Ackerman


5) The true object of all life is play. G. K. Chesterton (He also said that Heaven was a playground!)


6) What is life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare. W. H. Davies

(Photo by Oleksandr P – Pexels)


7) What do I want to take home from my summer vacation? Time. The wonderful luxury of being at rest. The days when we shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander. The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are. Summer is my period of grace. Ellen Goodman


7) The highest form of research is essentially play. N. V. Scarfe


8) “Hurry sickness” is now a recognized phenomenon in medical circles. It includes high blood pressure, ulcers, tension headaches… It is rushing that takes the joy out of life.” Beatrice Bruteau


9) It is time for nappers to lie down and be counted! William Anthony, a professor of psychology at Boston University, who argues that more frequent napping could have “a positive effect on both mood and performance.”


(Photo by Francesco Ungaro – Pexels)


10) Some of us have made an idol out of exhaustion. The only time we know we have done enough is when we are running on empty and when the ones we love the most are the ones we see the least… I began to wonder if my human wholeness might be more useful to God than my exhausting goodness. Barbara Brown Taylor


11) We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing. Charles Schaefer


12. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father. Rodger Von Oech


13) Without play, life just doesn’t taste good. Lucia Capocchione


14) Time spent playing with children is never time wasted. Don Lantaro

(Photo by Tatiana Syrikova – Pexels)



15) St. Saturus was a 3rd Century Christian martyr. Just before his death, he had a vision of heaven. He saw intense light, a garden of lush flowers, tall majestic trees, angels in white robes, and heard the chanting of heavenly voices. He kissed God’s face; God touched his face with his hand and then said, “Go and play!”






And finally, here’s a short video of a baby laughing while playing with a sheet of paper. This video has been online for 13 years and people still seem to get a kick out of it. Who says you need expensive toys to have fun?

For reflection:

Did any of these quotes really speak to you? If so, which one(s)? Do you know why?

What helps you to balance work and leisure in your life?

What are some of your favorite ways to play?


PS: Last week I wrote about my struggles with my gardening. A friend, Sister Barbara, gave me some Miracle Gro and I must confess, my tomato plant is greener and healthier looking–but still has only a couple of yellow blossoms. While Sr. Sandy, on the other side of the building, just picked her first big red tomato! But my zinnia sprouted two new green shoots from its stem. And my petunias and impatiens seem happier. So things are looking up a bit!




Ps. 46:11 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Some scripture scholars say that “be still” can be translated “have leisure and know that I am God.” We can afford to have leisure, rest, and play in our lives because we believe everything is in God’s hands. Our video is called “Rest” by Aaron Shust. I chose it because it reminds us that our faith in God is the foundation of our leisure and rest. Plus the winter images might cool you off in case you are experiencing hot temperatures right now where you live.


I invite you to comment below on the quotations, the pictures, the videos. Or add something of your own!

13 Responses

  1. Thank you…today was a quiet nothing day…then God said to me “this is your day to play and your time to play…youve been working and doing for 79yrs…”..its a hard transition from work..doin..being relevant.. to return to playing.
    But its Gods gift to us…
    Peace.

  2. Oh my! What a wonderful way to start my day—laughing 😂
    So many good quotes. I loved playing being the brain’s favorite
    way of learning that heaven is a playground.
    And the baby laughing at paper being torn. Talk about simple,
    talk about being like children.
    Melanie —- Thank you s much!

  3. Joy! Pure joy! Over such simple things as tearing paper! Let us all be like children today and find joy. Thank you for starting my day with a smile.

  4. Thank you, Sr. Melannie for these reminders of the importance and sanctity of rest. I love the Barbara Brown Taylor quote. All of her writing resonates with me. One of my favorite ways to play is to sit on my deck with a good book, and a cold beverage. I call it “Holy Loafing!”

  5. All the rest & play quotes are great, my favorite being no. 14. Playing with children is always a delight. Loved, loved the baby laughing.Imagine laughing so hard at simple things that it takes your breath away.
    Wishing everyone a leisure laughter filled day. Thanks Melannie for sharing and continued good luck with your plants.

  6. Good afternoon, Sr. Melannie…
    Good afternoon, all…

    Right now my wife and I are in beautiful Minnesota, minding our little grandson while his parents work. A whole lot of play going on, and we are exhausted! He’s napping now — a welcome respite while we rest and “wait patiently”!

    PS: loved every one of the quotes! Thank you!

  7. Sister Laura OFM, my scripture study leader told us to say that verse when sleepless,s and repeat , dropping the last word each time, and restarting cycle again after each Be…..
    RIP Sister Laura!

  8. Joseph Pieper wrote a book entitled Leisure the Basis of Culture. Good book; its title makes me think of God in Genesis resting on the Sabbath as a model for humanity; and that the root of the word “culture” is “cult,” which suggests worship of divinity.

  9. Good evening, St. Melannie. As a teacher my favorite quote has always been #4. I always felt that my students learned more when they were playing games and having fun. When a supervisor asked me to try teaching for a period of time without the games, the students’ test results did not improve for that time period. Needless to say we went back to playing games. I think that I enjoyed teaching more ( and life too) when the kids were enjoying learning.

  10. I am always so sad when I see parking lots full of people at retail stores on Sundays. Even God took a day off. How can we think we know better than He does? May everyone have the opportunity to actually rest. This is the only country where people don’t use vacation days – no wonder we have so much illness of every kind. Bodies and minds need rest. Hopefully you will have struck a chord in those who think they don’t need rest and relaxation. Thank you for your words (and those of so many others you quoted). Have a restful holiday.

  11. I loved #15, the thought of God touching my face and telling me to now go play….just brought me joy and peace. The baby video had me laughing out loud right along with him. Your blog was a great reminder that we all need rest and play in our daily lives and tbat it is ok to partake in it without guilt. Thank you!

  12. I joined the baby laughing! So simple, cute and priceless! Thanks Dear Sister Melannie for finding joy in little things and sharing the same inspiration!

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Hi and welcome to my blog! I’m Sister Melannie, a Sister of Notre Dame residing in Chardon, Ohio, USA. I’ve been very lucky! I was raised in a loving family on a small farm in northeast Ohio. I also entered the SNDs right after high school. Over the years, my ministries have included high school and college teaching, novice director, congregational leadership, spiritual direction, retreat facilitating, and writing. I hope you enjoy “Sunflower Seeds” and will consider subscribing below. I’d love to have you in our “sunflower community.” Thank you!

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