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My sister-in-laws have these things called hobbies.
They walk around with notebooks full of watercolor paintings, balls of knitting yarn, bags of paints and pencils and brushes. I always stand in awe as I watch them take careful time to paint a scene just right, doing something simply because they love it, even if no one around them also loves that same art form.
Something about it haunts me – in a good, right, healthy way.
I’ve tried to have hobbies and I always end up frustrated. I’m not excellent at any one thing really. I don’t paint or knit or draw. I bake, but sometimes my cakes fall flat. I read, but I’ve never felt that reading is a hobby.
But after watching my sister-in-laws live out their passions, I have a deeper understanding of hobbies. People don’t have hobbies because they are perfect painters or fancy knitters. People have hobbies because they make time to do something they find fun, lovely, interesting – something that makes their world a little more exciting, a little more beautiful.
It’s all about what we make time to do, how we carve our schedules and choose to fill in the holes.
I was having coffee with a friend several weeks ago and she mentioned “doing more of what makes us love God.” At the time, we brushed passed that comment and didn’t allow it to hold the appropriate weight. But on the drive home, I couldn’t stop thinking about her words.
What makes me love God more?
When do I see Him most clearly?
What pieces of my simple life point to someone Great and Holy?
My mom and I texted back and forth about this for a bit – me wondering about my passions and hobbies, her asking similar questions about purpose and work.
One word kept floating around the edges of my soul: story.
I’m obsessed with stories.
In 2nd grade, we had a weekly assignment to write a short story with our spelling words. I wrote carefully crafted stories that scrolled on for pages and pages.
I started writing a book when I was fifteen. It was full of fictional characters, vivid imagery, and a wild storyline. It’s tucked in a binder, basically finished, but forgotten.
Then, I went to graduate school to get a Master’s in Counseling, because people have stories that need to be told and must be heard.
I read books every chance I get. Late into the night, early in the morning, digesting words and storing up quotes and filling my soul with someone else’s story.
And just a few months ago, as I sat in my mom’s classroom watching her students complete an assignment, all I could think about was their stories. Who are they? Where did they come from? What makes them tick? What do they love?
I’ve been captivated by stories for as long as I can remember.
This – something staring me in the face for my whole life – is what makes me love God more. Stories. Seeing Him work in people’s lives, redeeming dust and giving us new names and calling us to walk boldly in a world of both joy and suffering.
And so I write, read, and listen. I have coffee with friends. I dream about future books. And craft characters.
In the middle of it all, I love God more. I see Him clearly. And He becomes even more beautiful.
I share all of this because I want you to discover what makes you love God more. Maybe it’s painting or drawing or knitting. It could be baking or running or dinner parties. It’s probably a beautiful, messy combination of some set of passions. But I also believe there’s something deeper – something that shows you God’s face in a new light and makes your soul crave His presence.
What is it, my friend? What do you love that also makes you love God more?
It might be staring you in the face day after day. Or it could be more subtle, trying to hide because of some unspoken fear or insecurity. Don’t give it that chance. Call it out. Invite it into your life. Make room for more of it.
Because we all need more of God.
Here are some questions to consider:
- What patterns do you see in your life?
- What hobbies do you find yourself pulled to in spare moments?
- What surroundings make you come alive (quiet coffee shop or parties with friends)?
- What experiences have shown you more of God’s character?
- What are some of your fondest memories?
- What have other people affirmed as your strengths and/or passions?
This isn’t a complete list. There are hundreds of questions you could ask. But here, while journaling about these answers, is a start. Take time here.
Find out what makes you love God more.