Summer is officially here for me and I must admit that I feel like a child anticipating the freedom of summer vacation. The last few weeks have been quite hectic with the end of the year “push” to get assignments done and with my grandmother’s death. The semester was officially over for me on Thursday. The MTSO commencement activities were this weekend, and as RA of the dorm, I wanted to ensure that the guests who stayed here felt welcomed. I also officiated at a wedding on Saturday afternoon. As a pastor, I experienced both the highs and lows of ministry during the week with my grandmother’s memorial service on Sunday and the wedding on Saturday. By the time yesterday (Memorial Day) rolled around, I was extremely grateful to have some down time.
One of the things that was impressed upon me (and the other students in my Field Education class) this year is the need for self-care. As church leaders and others in the helping professions who take our vocation very seriously, it is easy to get so caught up in doing for others that we neglect ourselves. So yesterday I had some “Robin time.” I enjoyed lunch with my friend Juliet, and during our conversation, I talked about my need for some creative outlet. As a child I loved to make things and color with various mediums, and I realized that I haven’t done anything like that for quite some time. I have always been intrigued by geometric shapes and patterns so Juliet suggested some websites where I might find some mandalas. I came home, printed several pages to color, grabbed my colored pencils, and spent about two hours coloring. It was absolutely glorious – relaxing, soothing, calming. As I colored, I thought, prayed, reflected, and communed with God. It was the best two hours I had spent in a long time! I am calling this new spiritual practice “meditative coloring” and I look forward to doing more of it this summer!