Sunday, November 04, 2007

Treats

Recently, work pressures have squeezed creative joy right out of me. Not external pressures. As a recovering workaholic, I create self-imposed expectations and pressures. And the recent plunge into being a published author has stirred those unhealthy compulsions to always do "more" and "better" to the point of getting out of balance.

I love books on margins, simplicity, priorities, and Sabbath rest. Time to dust off my copies and implement some of the tools I've learned over the years.

So I've scheduled intentional times of rest, extra prayer, and longer times of Bible study during the past few weeks.

I've also been looking for little treats to enjoy.

The trouble is, when I get really burned out, I can't remember what little things bring me joy because I forget what simple pleasures feel like.

It's taken me some time, but I'm beginning to identify some treats, and thought I'd share them in case they might serve as restorative joys for you, too. :-)

As I tried to think of what I find "fun," I remembered some story-type computer games I discovered decades ago. I fell in love with computer games back when I learned to program simple games in Basic on my Vic-20 and later on my Commodore 64. So I went hunting for modern-day similar games and stumbled across a gardening simulation computer game called Plant Tycoon. I can't begin to describe how much fun I've had with this game. I tried the free download and loved it so much I bought the full game. Every spare moment, I've been cross-breeding plants, selling them in my virtual nursery, and enjoying the color graphics and soothing music of the game.

Somehow I've got it in my head that God is supposed to refresh me only through spiritual-feeling activities like prayer and worship. Or maybe long walks in the woods and high art like classical music. What a surprise to discover that He has met me (and sparked my creative energy) through a fun computer game. I love when He turns my expectation upside down. He has reminded me that we often create a false dichotomy between ordinary and sacred.

A friend recently told me to "watch for the ravens." When Elijah was exhausted and resting by the Cherith brook, God sent food to Him through the unlikely source of ravens. In the coming days, I'll share some more of the restoration He is sending me - and the unusual ravens He is using. :-)

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

3 comments:

Cheryl Klarich said...

Sharon, you are a continual source of inspiration! I can always count on you for a laugh or a (good)tear.
Blessings and hugs.

Cathy West said...

I pray God will restore your joy.
Sounds to me like a little Bermuda sun and sand would help...
:0)

Sharon Hinck said...

Although I hate the feeling of being depleted, I love how it teaches me to find my sufficiency in God.

Cheryl, I'm so glad my little posts provide some inspiration.

Cathy, I'm SO there. I LOVE those pink sands, the long-tailed birds, the turquoise water. I stare at the watercolor painting on our dining room wall and dream. :-)