For the past year I have been a part of the foundation team for the His Kingdom Come faith art community. Helping to start this community has been a great experience and I have gained many wonderful friends all over the world. I discovered through coordinating the weekly devotional studies for the Take Me Deeper group that I really enjoy writing. However, in the past few months my job responsibilities in my full time ministry job have changed and require more creative energy. One thing that I have found to be true of myself over the past few years is that, while I totally love being creative, it requires energy. Energy that I can't dig down and manufacture when I get overly tired and stressed out. So I have had to make the hard decision to step back from a few things in order to maintain that creative energy and keep myself from burnout. As you can imagine keeping up the weekly devotions and other duties I have for HKC, along with trying to maintain my own blog and Etsy shop, along with a full time job in ministry that generally will go far beyond a standard work week, has been difficult to juggle. My new responsibilities at my job will require creativity and writing as I take on keeping our church website and blog up-to-date. I have made the hard decision to step down from the HKC foundation team in order to be able to devote more time and energy on my own blog and shop and on the church blog and website.
In all honesty, I went into the HKC foundation team with some hesitation. Only because I know from past experience that when a hobby becomes work it can be difficult to continue to enjoy the hobby. I managed a cross-stitch and quilt shop for 8 years and when I left that job to go into ministry I stopped both of those hobbies and never picked them up again. I enjoy art journaling and mixed media art too much to let this happen again. They have become more than hobbies to me and finding art journaling when I did was used by God as a tool for healing when I was dealing with issues of burnout. So it seems that spending one year helping the HKC community get started has been a good thing without it becoming something I don't want it to become.
Today I sent off the last week of Advent devotions for the community and that ends my official responsibilities with HKC for 2015. Change is always bittersweet. There is sadness in leaving something you have put so much time and energy into. There is some melancholy in having relationships that have been daily and weekly experiences change. But there is also excitement and anticipation over the new adventures and opportunities that lay ahead.
I have selected my word for the year for 2016 as is my tradition over the past few years. This year my word was RENEW as I felt there were areas in my life that needed renewal and restoration. In many ways that has taken place in 2015 and I will write more about that in the weeks ahead. Over the past few years as I have become more connected with the realities of being an introvert, I have partaken in activities of silence and solitude before the Lord. These are activities and practices I want to spend more time in next year. At first I thought that solitude would be my word next year, but after more thought and prayer, it seems that the word REST encompasses so much more of what I am after. And it includes solitude. I don't mean rest as in needing sleep or a break from activity. I am looking at REST more in terms of Sabbath rest, spiritual rest, being still and resting in the Lord. Again, I'll explore that more and write about it in the weeks and months ahead.
Needless-to-say, my decision to step down from the HKC foundation team is tied up in this also. Next year I have a few art groups I will be participating in and exploring more areas of art and I will stay a participant in the HKC community. But I intend to slow things down as much is possible and explore what it means to REST - body, mind and soul. I will remain open, as always, to going after whatever opportunities that God places on my path. Life is a journey and I am enjoying the process!
My Advent Rolodex art card for day 9:
Today's Advent devotion for the HKC community can be found here
30 Day Blogging Challenge day 21.