As a stay-at-home, work-at-home, homeschooling mom, my days can be quite hectic. I have clothes to wash, floors to scrub, pets to feed, phones to answer, articles to write, emails to answer and arithmetic lessons to teach (and those are just my morning chores!). So, by the time evening rolls around it's fair to say I'm exhausted!

It's at that time I like to put on a little gospel music, plop down on the couch and indulge in one of my favorite hobbies-coloring velvet pictures. You know the kind I mean-those big fuzzy posters you find on the shelves at Walmart or Toys-R-Us. They usually come with a set of dreadful dried-out markers that need to be tossed in the trash and replaced with a fresh set of Sharpies.

As I uncap a marker and begin to shade in the patches of white between black my cares slowly drift away and my art carries me to a magical place.

I'm currently coloring a detailed pirate scene and each time I work on it I notice how it sparks a story in my heart. I imagine I'm on a tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific in search of buried treasure. My shipmates and I are digging deep holes in the warm sand until...bam! My shovel strikes something hard! Could it be the treasure we've been desperately seeking? What would happen if my hat fell off and the long brown hair carefully tucked up inside it tumbled out and my greedy shipmates discovered I was a girl? Would they try to overpower me and steal my part of the treasure?

I'm never in any rush to complete whatever project I'm working on at the time. For me, the joy is in the doing rather than the completion. I feel at one with my Creator whenever I'm creating. I think about how He took his slow, careful time making me, planning out all of the details from my sky-blue eyes to my size-eight feet. And how much care and thought must have went into planning my personality-an observant woman born to write and to share her thoughts with others. And so I take my own slow, careful time in completing my projects too.

Another thing I realize as I work on my pictures is how reliant we are on each other in this world. I-who can't even draw a stick figure-could never sketch a detailed tropical beach scene. I'm not only dependent upon the artist who dreampt up the original picture but the factory workers who helped to manufacture the picture and the retail store workers who sold me the product. I'm stunned that it takes a small army of people to help me complete a project! It's a great lesson for my ego, for I tend to think of myself as being independent.

And ultimately, coloring in velvet pictures is, for me, a lesson in selflessness. Oftentimes I sink hours into coloring just one picture. And, while I do so, I think about how that picture will look gracing my bedroom, living room, or dining room wall. But then, without fail, God prompts me to give the picture away! And isn't that what life is ultimately about-giving selflessly of ourselves and of our possessions in order to benefit others?

And the good news is, you don't necessarily have to color in velvet pictures to do this. There are numerous ways to give your time and possessions to others, whether it is through voluntering at church, donating unwanted items to Goodwill, crocheting soft hats for Chemo patients, packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, etc. Try it-and see how giving can transform your life and the lives of those around you!

Author's Bio: 

Cherie Durbin is a 41-year-old homeschooling mom of one. She enjoys reading, writing, walking, crafting and helping others grow in spiritual knowledge. She makes her home in the charming city of Conover, NC.