A coloring book for adults? Genius! I am hitting myself in the head, “Why didn’t I think of this?” Many, but not all of you probably have some sort of a creative medium in which you find relaxation. I can barely draw a stick figure, but provide me with an already printed outline of a flower garden, and I’ll color it in like Claude Monet himself!
This is serious stuff guys. I don’t settle for just your basic set of 12 colored pencils. I go for the gusto with a kaleidoscope of freshly sharpened colored pencils. I like to group the different shades together in blues, pinks, greens, yellows, grays, browns. When in a bolder mood, I go for the fine tipped magic markers. Before you get all jealous of my skills, try it yourself.
Research shows that coloring is an effective stress reducer. (Warning: addictive personalities: you may become obsessed.) When a page is completed, I step back to look at my Barnes & Noble inspired masterpiece. I’m surprisingly proud of myself and the artist that has obviously been trapped in my aging body. I elatedly share my works with my family, who are kind but not as thrilled as I seem to be. I wonder why? Hmm…
Recently, I woke up extra early to do my Bible study, listen to relaxing instrumental music and pray. When I finished up my study, I decided that I would put off folding the huge laundry piles and take that time to pull out the coloring book. A few minutes into my endeavor, my freshly showered youngest son walks in the room wrapped in a towel, dripping wet and clearly peeved.
“Mom, I’ve had no underwear or socks for the last couple of days and you are sitting there coloring?” “No honey, I’m praying and coloring.” Ugh, my stress-free zone… penetrated by reality and the mundane task of laundry folding. (Note: the only thing I like about doing laundry is sorting the colors. Are you seeing a pattern here?)
While my new hobby can be a peaceful distraction from life, it is, of course, a temporary escape. Through the years of up’s and downs, seeking and hiding, hemming and hawing, I have come to understand one thing I know for sure. Real peace comes from God.
The Bible study and prayer, mentioned earlier, is the real peace generator. Cultivating a relationship with God is as colorful and peaceful as it gets! Spend time with our Creator while simultaneously and purposely paying attention to all the beauty that surrounds you. Share what you see with others in your life. There is something about this sharing that can “color in” the blank spaces in your life and more importantly for others.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“Peace: It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” ‘Unknown’