While shopping this Christmas at a local craft store, I noticed a huge stand of coloring booksadult coloring books. It looked like it might be fun so I bought one. Little did I know I had stumbled onto the latest trend. Apparently coloring is good for your brain. It actually is an activity that relaxes the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain, and allows your mind to rest. Who knew?
And yet, as I sat in the chair selecting colors and proceeding to color a page in my new book, I found myself feeling guilty. What’s that about? Well, I think it’s because there is something deeply ingrained in me that tells me I must be productive and coloring is not considered “productive.” I quickly heard myself saying, “I don’t have time to do this. I have a huge to-do list! This is a total waste of time, time that should be spent on that huge list!”
The truth is, I will always have a “to-do list,” and it will always be “huge.” Taking time away from that list is something my increasingly demanding world has made difficult. I rarely set aside time to do “nothing” (even if I’m watching TV, there’s usually a laptop or iPad nearby). However, if I don’t take that time, the fast pace and the stress will eventually wear me down, and I will be of no use to anyone. In fact, what should always be on my to-do list is a permanent item: “Take time for me.”
Coloring, like the time I take each morning with God, helps me to live in the moment. As I continued to color, I began to feel good about my new creative outlet. Then I was reminded of something I had read just that morning. It described how we might spend time with God. The author suggests that we not actively imagine God, listen to God or talk to God but crawl up into God’s lap of love, rest our head against God’s breast and take comfort in that slow, steady heartbeat of grace that says, “This is where you belong.” I love the image of curling up in God’s lap and being content to just be there.
Slowing down. Taking time for me. Living in the moment. These are my resolutions for 2016. What about you? What will your 2016 look like?