Almost every store I’ve been to recently has a display of coloring books designed for adults. When they first came out, I was skeptical how far this trend would go. Marketed as a “whimsical escape,” “stress relieving,” and a way to “release your imagination through coloring,” you can choose from a variety of themes. Are they on to something…or is this a passing fad?
Then a friend came to mind…one of her most effective stress relievers is coloring. It slows her down. It allows her to focus on one crayon at a time, gradually moving across the page and leaving a swath of bright color behind.
So, I’ve tried this and found it to be a quieting process as I’m waiting for my sons to finish activities. I’ve stowed a coloring tote in my car…whether it’s only a few minutes or longer, I have a brief “brainless” outlet to perk me up a bit before the next activity shuffle.
I’ve also reflected a bit on the recent phenomenon of Bible Journaling. The whole concept of coloring in the Bible was initially baffling to me (and others as well from what I hear) and I was reluctant to try my hand at it. Initially, I was stumped about the technique “how do I do this?” and “what supplies do I use?” questions. Then I had to crawl over the dubious barriers of “what if I rip the page?” and “what if the ink bleeds through?” quandaries.
By that time, I’d had my wide-margined Bible for months and had only added tabs to mark the first page of each book. Frankly, I just had to sidestep the whole “I’m not an artist” thing and start with a pencil, drawing a simple box around a beloved verse. Baby steps.
Once I got past these “artistic” hurdles and decided to approach Bible journaling as a creative quiet time in God’s Word, I relaxed and found peace in the process. Now I pray during the creative process and don’t force my hand at being overly artistic. I swallow large doses of grace when I ripple pages or have an “oops” I try to obscure by washi tape.
Somehow as I bumble through this journaling experience, the verses seep in deeper…as if adding color saturates them into my memory banks and allows me to withdraw them easier when I need a stabilizing word to fuel my day.
It’s not how I do my quiet time, but who I do it with:
drawing near to God literally as I draw in God’s word.
Day 29 of #31daysofquiet
Whatever our method of slowing ourselves down, whether it’s through a creative process or not, drawing near to God allows our tumbled thoughts to decelerate and clarify a bit.
Sometimes we have to be open to new ideas and unfamiliar processes to see how God draws us near to Him. Be patient and remember “blessed are all those who wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18) whether you’re coloring in your car or hunkered down at your desk trying to capture some quiet during your lunch break.