Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Doodles and Faith

Reid has been drawing up a storm on his Magna Doodle lately.  It's actually amazing how long he can sit and draw considering how energetic and active he is.  He gets totally engrossed in what he is doing and I just love watching him while he's hard at work.

Esme also loves art. This year Esme is in preschool, so each day her bag is filled with paintings, art projects, and drawings.  It is always neat to see what she comes up with and to notice the look of joyful satisfaction on her face as she shares her creations with me and her daddy.

These two things combined reminded me of a friend of mine who started praying by coloring with her daughter, who also loved to draw pictures and use color crayons.  My friend had been struggling for awhile to carve out time for a faith practice, and because she worked outside of the home, she wanted to spend time with her daughter when she was home. 

Then one day, as her daughter got out the crayons and started to color, it dawned on my friend that coloring alongside her daughter could actually be a prayer practice too.  She could doodle the names of people she was praying for or draw a picture of something that was on her mind.

The beautiful thing about this idea is that it was organic. It just sort of crept up and my friend listened to that inkling. As a result, she not only felt more fulfilled by having time to connect with God, she was doubly blessed to be able to do this while also spending time with her daughter.

The other thing I love about this prayer practice is that anyone can do it.  Literally.  Though we often associate coloring with something kids do, it doesn't have to be something only kids do. In fact, there's a book called Praying in Color that is right up this alley. It is written by Sybil MacBeth and has both a Kids' Edition and one for adults.

A review printed on the back of the book says it well: Just as Julia Cameron, in The Artist's Way, showed the hardened Harvard businessman he had a creative artist lurking within, MacBeth makes it astonishingly clear that anyone with a box of colors and some paper can have a conversation with God.

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