Friday, June 13, 2014

Rest and Creativity

Since Memorial Day life for me has been a whirlwind of activity with preparation for end of the school year events for our ministry to the public school we adopted as our community partner. Each year the school and Parent's Club holds a Field Day in the last week. The role of our church is to provide a bag lunch for each student and to provide two volunteers to supervise lunch in each classroom while the teachers get a much needed lunch break. Since I lead our school partnership ministry this makes for a very busy end of the year in addition to my other activities at the school. April and May are always very busy months at our church and for me in the roles I serve in on staff. I find, that when June comes and we have finished our events and activities at the school, that I have been operating on adrenaline, and my energy quickly leaves me like air leaving a balloon, and I deflate! So I scheduled a 10 day vacation for the week after school closed - a "staycation", a time to rest and renew.

On day one, I was amazed how quickly I felt re-energized just by doing some of the things that I know bring me energy and joy. This is where knowing yourself is beneficial. I know what drains me and I know what energizes me. Part of self-care is being in touch with these things and doing what is necessary to keep them in balance. Someone said, "Stress kills creativity" (sorry, I can't find who said it!), and I resonate with this from experience. When I get overly busy and tired I find I have a hard time creating. So, this week at home has been about restoring and making time for creativity, art and some of the other things that are enjoyable to me.

Some highlights from my past week:

  • My pastor had asked me to share in a Sunday service while we are in our series on the Theology of Sabbath. He had asked me specifically to share how practicing a Sabbath Day has enriched my soul and to share some of the spiritual practices and "non-spiritual" practices that fill my Sabbath day. So I did that last Sunday. One thing that really stood out for me as I prepared for sharing was that keeping a Sabbath Day has been an instrumental part of getting to know how I am wired and what energizes me. It has helped me discover how much being creative energizes me. Sabbath rest is a gift from God and a spiritual practice I am very thankful for. Check out the Sabbath Society at Redemption's Beauty for more Sabbath practice information and ideas.
  • I got on a roll making altered book art journals for my Etsy shop:{found on brighton}

I have already sold three! I participated in a course by Jeanne Oliver ( about how to have a creative business and this past week I have been catching up on watching the videos. I made a decision a while back that if I was going to have an Etsy shop I might as well be serious about it being a small business. So far I am enjoying my little business. :)
  • I have done very little outside my home this week and have really enjoyed it! This is when I have no doubts that I am more of an introvert than an extrovert (another discovery made through practicing Sabbath!). The few things I have done were: attending the boys Little League baseball games. participating in my spiritual direction group, and yesterday my friend Rox and I went to two library book sales. We found a lot of goodies! They will be used for my personal journals and to make altered book journals and paper packs for my shop.
  • I have also been catching up on my art journaling challenge projects, making art, and catching up on some movie watching (two I highly recommend are Monuments Men and Philomena). I post some of my art pictures in another post this weekend.
So, that is the start of my summer. I'm hoping for a slowed down pace - actually, not hoping for - I intend to have a slowed down pace this summer. How are you planning to spend your summer?

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