The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else- we are the busiest people in the world. Eric Hoffer
I don't often draw from the quotes of scholars and philosophers, but the quotes you read in this post both express my heart and line up with scriptural principles.
There was much work to do in our yard this spring. Hard work!... and a lot of it. With the exception of putting in a few day lilies, planting a few veggie seeds, and spreading a little mulch, we are done. It has been a toilsome few weeks, but oh so very worth it. Now, it is on to finishing some remodeling inside. That should be a 4-6 week adventure. The physical labor may not be as hard as the out of doors work, but it will be time consuming. In addition to the everyday cooking and cleaning, swimming three times a week, maintaining family and friend relationships, and all of the other everyday activities, things around here have been "busy". Too busy! Why "too" busy? Because the one thing that is the most important to me has been pushed to the side, pushed back, "scheduled" in and taken off the "schedule", and for the most part simply let go. And that, is unacceptable!
Spending time alone with the Lord is so very important. I am not talking about reading a verse of Scripture or a little devotion out of a devotional, and then saying something like... "Thank you for today. Help me get through it and I wish we had more time together but You know how much I have to get done. Love You, Lord." And then go on about the day. I am talking about the kind of time you spend with someone that you love. You get some tea, grab your Bible, a notebook and sit down to really share what is on your heart and then listen for His words to you. Read where ever it is in the Word that you are reading that day and let the Father speak to you through His written Word, too. Relaxed and relational. Unhurried conversation. Excited expectation to hear what He has to say to you. Starting your day by giving the Lord the first fruit of it. Receiving that mercy that is new every morning.
For the last few weeks, I have felt pressured to get to this blog. I was allowing my time with the Lord to slip and if that was going, the blogging was not happening. So, since I knew the blog was something I wanted to, and felt led to do, and my time with the Lord is so precious to me and they were both slipping....... I had to ask myself where or what the problem was. The answer seemed so simple and I was a little surprised that I did not see it right away. The cards.
Card making is a hobby for me. Let's stop a minute and just define "hobby".
: a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation Webster; current.
For relaxation! Some time ago I decided to down size my craft closet. I have loved paper and color (crayons, paint, ink, etc.) since I can remember. I've always had a desire to make cards. When I discovered rubber stamps, craft ink pads with such an array of color and texture, water color pencils, chalk and designer paper, I'd found my niche. It was easy to unload the craft closet and start investing in card making supplies. In the past I've had a plethora of crafts going on. I am so very content with just making cards. They are so relaxing for me and give me a way to express myself to others. Though shared with others, it really is a very personal thing. It gives me a time and reason to pray for those I am making a card for. It is better than therapy could ever be. It takes me into myself and it gives me a place to also express myself. It's quiet and has so much meaning... even the funny and zany cards are so good for me. And, when I get feedback from people that are blessed by the love sent in my cards, ....suffice it to say the blessing is double for me to know I was able to do a little something that touched another person.
However, the card making has become the very antithesis of what it was meant for. (i.e., peace, enjoyment, creativity, expression, and relaxation... serious stress relief sometimes) A little over a week ago, I considered boxing my card making supplies up (that would be a lot of boxes) and ship them to my grand daughter. That was when reality set in. It was not the card making that was a problem.... It was what I had allowed it to become.
I first became acquainted with blogging because I had put in a Google search for ideas on card making. That is when I found Kim's website. She has gallery after gallery on that website. It is incredible. Kept me going for quite a while. Like over a year. :-) From there I found Split Coast Stampers.... and on and on it went from there. So, the mother and bulk of my blogging experience has been card making blogs. So, once I started blogging I jumped in doing "challenges". Some I posted, some not. Some I tried variations of, some I stuck to. Only a few of the cards I've made since this blog began have been posted. I began feeling pressure to make my cards better, to make them more like everyone else... practice.... strive to do better... practice... strive to do more. What a nightmare of a roller coaster! I began to really dislike it, but I was compelled to press in and do more... do better...... That is not a HOBBY!! That is compulsive behavior that could easily be categorized as addictive and counter productive. I don't want my cards to look like everyone else. I will get better as I make them. But, better means expressing my style and in a relaxed way. Card making is to be an extension of me, an asset to my life. NOT!!! control my waking ours and become my life. I have put my card making back into proper perspective and it is now mine again to enjoy. Oh, and just so you know... the last several cards I made were awful and so hard to make. They were an extension of me alright, an uptight mess! The zeal and delight were gone! So, this is no longer a blog that features cards. Will I ever post a card I make? I suppose I might. But, that will never again be a driving force for this blog.
Driving force??? So why blog? Well I have to say, this whole nightmare roller coaster thing is my own fault. I rarely begin any project or adventure in my life anymore, without giving it adequate forethought. And, if the situation calls for it... and sometimes if it does not... I don't start things without a mission statement... written down. I had some ideas of what this blog would be about, but I never firmed those ideas up, and I never wrote a mission statement down for this blog. You'd think if I was going to start putting things I have to say out there, I'd have a purpose. Well, I did... and I do. I am in the process of writing that mission statement down. I may never post it, but I will give you a little idea of what it will contain. I actually did state why I started this blog in a previous post. If you don't want to go back to that link, here is the conclusion sentence in a nutshell:
So, the blog was birthed out of a desire to share any good thing the Lord gives me, with others. i.e. my cards, what the Lord is teaching me, good recipes, nutritional tips, happy events.. etc.
While the card making is not going to be a driving force, perhaps just an occasional accent to the blog, there are other things I did want this to be about. Yes, good recipes and nutritional tips. Yes, happy events. Yes, even gardening and household things. But mostly, the goodness of God and what He is doing in my life. I want a place to express all of those things. And this blog is a really wonderful place to do all of that.
And, I am not shutting down this blog. I am going to share those things I set out to share. I hope you enjoy it.
When are we too busy? Like Eric Hoffer said, when we neglect that which we are placed here to do. My addition to that is, when what we do is a bondage and not a joy. I find that when I am doing what it is I am to do, I am joyful. When I'm not... I feel captive. Let freedom RING!
Just about the time I had this all put back into perspective, one of my girls sent me the pictures of her daughters above. One picture was of the grand daughter on the piano, and the one of that cute little number in the pink hat at the top of this post. The piano picture made me realize how important it is to do that which we love. And the pink hat cutie (please take a moment here and scroll up to take another peek at that beautiful child) reminded me how important it is to live without stress and be ourselves... be free. That little girl does that better than anyone I know. Oh Lord, never let that change in her.
I have three projects that the Lord has laid on my heart. I am thoroughly enjoying all three of them. One is a short and easy little thing... should be done in a day or two. The other two are entwined together and could really be considered one project with two sections, I suppose. Anyway, not combining card making and blogging has opened so much time for me to be about these wonderful adventures the Lord has offered me. Oh, and there is another project that is really long term and requires day by day diligence. I am LOVING working on that one.
With things back in their proper place and with myself focused, I am enjoying life again. Please stop by.... things are gonna get good around here in my little piece of the blogosphere.
First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.