My husband sometimes kids me about my hobbies. I don’t have a lot of hobbies, at once, but I have had several over the years. I am a serial hobbyist. He sees it as a lack of consistency. I see it as a love of variety. And here is the truth about hobbies for me… they are often more than a way to pass the time and find enjoyment.
For me, hobbies are a kind of therapy.
Thrifting is a hobby that I have stuck with for a long time. Some of you are cringing, but I can get lost in a thrift store for a couple of hours, and find that I come out as settled as if I had lain on a counselor’s couch for the same period of time. And if it is a good thrifting day, I come out with a few treasures, too. 🙂
Over the years, in addition to thrifting, my hobby focuses have been on photography, scrapbooking, reading, writing, crafting, yard work, building tiny terrariums, and the list goes on. I sort of bounce from one to the next as the mood strikes me. It’s the bouncing that amuses my husband.
I say amuses… sometimes it annoys him. Like when I bring dirt and plants into the house to build my tiny terrariums on the island in my kitchen. He thinks dirt is dirty. Honestly! It bothers him for outdoor things to be brought indoors and vice versa. For instance, it also concerns him when I use our eating utensils to dig moss and plants out of the woods near our house to put into my terrariums. I do wash them… and if I had a little green house out back I wouldn’t have to bring it all inside, now would I? That one is on the list for the next house. 🙂
There’s just something about finding an activity that brings a different focus to the mind. We live in a society of system overload. We are running here, rushing there, forgetting this, and being late for that. Most of us run with a stress meter that at any given moment might just blow a gasket, and pity the poor fellow who’s standing closest when that happens!
When we can settle on an activity that allows our minds to reset, refocus, for a bit, when we come back to reality sometimes we bring new eyes back to that reality with us. And most of the time, our stress meter is a bit better under control. I know this is beginning to sound a kind of like the power of positive thinking, new age break out the crystals, mumbo jumbo, but it’s really not. As usual, and like I always say, it’s about focus and the Bible has much to say about that.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,
If you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:2-5
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3
And finally, the Bible speaks often about the dangers of idleness. Proverbs 31 tells us that admirable woman we all love to hate is always busy with her hands. Why? When we set our hands to a task and get our focus off the things that stress us for just a little while, sometimes the voice of God can finally break through and be heard. Distractions. Sometimes we can’t hear him for all the distractions. So we clear all that away and focus our minds and hands to a task and open our ears. Jesus once said, “Let those with ears to hear…” We all have ears, but most of us don’t always have ears to hear. Being intentional about taking a little while to focus on an activity that calms us and clears our heads, can give us those ears to hear. It can refresh our souls.
Feeling overwhelmed? In need of a little hobby therapy? Carve out a little time. You don’t have to go full on obsession here, just a little time out of your week for a refocus. Maybe you do this already. I’ve shared some of my hobbies, what are some of yours?