The Why Behind Hobbies // Ep. 063

 

This is episode 63, and we’re talking about why hobbies are fun. I know that as an abiding caregiver, lots of things in your life probably feel hard. That’s why it may be even more important for you to have a hobby, something that feels fun.

In this episode, I’m not going to tell you what hobby you should do. We’re going to focus on the reasons to have hobbies—the why behind them. Of course I’ll talk about the hobbies my family and I have because they are fun to talk about, but don’t think you have to do exactly what we do. I just want to get you thinking about what would be fun for you and why it’s important to do something fun!

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Transcript:

Ep. 63 The Why Behind Hobbies (why I have a garden, buy BBQ sauce in bulk, and have learned lots of theatre lingo)

Hi friends, this is Self-Care and Soul Care for the Caregiver, and I’m your host Sandra Peoples. To us, self-care isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. We need to take better care of ourselves so we can care for those God has entrusted to us.

This is episode 63, and we’re talking about why hobbies are fun. I know that as an abiding caregiver, lots of things in your life probably feel hard. That’s why it may be even more important for you to have a hobby, something that feels fun. In this episode, I’m not going to tell you what hobby you should do. We’re going to focus on the reasons to have hobbies, the why behind them. Of course I’ll talk about the hobbies my family and I have because they are fun to talk about, but don’t think you have to do exactly what we do. I just want to get you thinking about what would be fun for you and why it’s important to do something fun.

Ok! Let’s talk through four reasons I think it’s important to have a hobby!

You get to explore something new (be an amateur). I’m a bit of a perfectionist. And that can be good, but it can also keep me from doing new things because I know I won’t be good at them. But I don’t have to be necessarily good at a hobby. There isn’t the same standard there is with my job. Annie Downs recently released a whole book about doing what sounds fun and encouraged readers to be an amateur at something. That’s where we all start when we’re doing something new. And with a hobby, there’s way less pressure to get it right. You aren’t supposed to get it right right away. My husband’s hobby is grilling and smoking meat. And guess what, not everything he grills is delicious. At least it wasn’t when he started. I didn’t realize how much practice and almost like science goes into grilling and smoking. Every weekend it does it is an experiment. Every time he tries a new cut of meat or a new kind of wood, he’s an amateur. And sure, that means a couple times in the last few years we’ve had to order pizza at the last minute because what came off the grill wasn’t, um, edible. But you don’t learn unless you keep trying. So when you’re thinking about a hobby, don’t be afraid of doing something you might be bad at. You don’t start out good at painting, needle work, bread making, grilling, acting, photography, or a whole list of other options. The process is part of the fun!

It connects you to new people (in person or online) – This is one of my favorite things about hobbies—it connects me to people outside of my usual circles. That can happen in person and online. In person, I have a book club with friends who also love to read. Because I love to garden, I follow other gardeners on Instagram to learn from them. Lots of hobbies have Facebook groups about them where people can connect. Lee is in some grilling FB groups where he learns a lot. Our son David’s hobby is acting, and it for sure connects him with new people. They aren’t school/co op people and they aren’t church people. And what I think is especially important for him, they aren’t people who know him as the pastor’s son or James’s brother. He gets to be himself with his theatre friends. I think he’s more himself with them than anywhere else. That’s probably true for any of us who have a hobby that we love that not many people we know do. We find our people when we find others with the same interests. No matter how

It can benefit others. There are some pretty obvious ways our favorite hobbies benefit others. We share what Lee grills and what we get from the garden. It’s a way for us to bless others. But during James’s IEP meeting this year, I realized how my hobby of gardening benefits him in some specific ways. His teacher asked what our plans are for James after he graduates, and honestly, I don’t have any solid plans. My big sister who has Down syndrome still lives with our parents, so that’s what we’ve pictured being our future as well. I haven’t thought much about a job or other options. But I did mention how much James helps me in our garden. He helps me water, he picks tomatoes when they are ripe, he helps me wash lettuce. He enjoys it. It’s part of his routine in the summer when he’s out of school. It’s even helped him try foods he wouldn’t have probably tried if we hadn’t grown them. James’s teacher was thrilled he has this experience. She thinks it could lead to exciting opportunities in his future. And seeing how good he is at helping me motivated us to plant a flower garden at the church for our special needs ministry participants to water each week. When you’re thinking about a hobby you would enjoy, I want you to pick it because it would make you happy. But as a side bonus, it might make others happy as well. And that’s pretty fun.

We could go on a little tangent here to talk about turning a hobby into a business or a side hustle. That happens all the time. Grilling could become a side hustle for Lee if he started catering. David could someday be a paid actor. There are goods and bads we could talk through on this, enough for an entire episode. But let me say from experience that when your hobby becomes something you get paid for, that’s a good time to get a new hobby. Reading was my hobby, but then editing became my job and reading wasn’t as fun during that season. That’s when I started gardening. It also helped that my job was at a desk in front of a computer, and my hobby was outside. If you get to make money from doing something you love to do, make sure you do something else fun that isn’t tied to your bank account.

Hobbies are creative work, and we have a creative God who made us in His image. This may be my favorite reason. You can feel it when you put everyone’s favorite meal on the table or when you step back and look at the flowers you planted. You are creative, and you feel a deep satisfaction when you have the ability to create something beautiful. That comes from our Creator God. We see it in Scripture, from Adam and Eve the gardeners, to David the poet and musician, to Lydia selling her purple cloth or Paul stitching tents. They created, and what they created brought glory to God. Now, not everything that has been created brings glory to God. I saw some highlights from the Grammy awards a week ago, and even though there’s no doubt they were creative, not all of us was glorifying to God. But we can be part of the movement to glorify God with our creativity, with our hobbies. I’m reading a book called Images and Idols: Creativity for the Christian Life and it’s a calling back to remembering our Creator when we create. One line I underlined says, “Think what would happen if we stepped toward God with our creativity rather than sidestepped him.” (pg 15). I can tell David, you don’t act for your own praise, you do it to point to God. I can tell James’s Sunday school class that the beauty of the flowers in the garden that we water are evidence of the beauty God creates all around us.

At our church in PA, our friend Donna taught the class for babies and toddlers. And she was constantly pointing them to God. She would say, “Thank you for David’s hands that help him build this tall tower with blocks!” “Thank you, God, for James’s feet, that kick when he hears us sing to You.” Our hobbies can also point to God, just like everything else He created for our benefit. They aren’t to waste time or totally disconnect you from the stress of your everyday challenges. Hobbies are creative and redeeming. Having fun is a gift. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit.

In the movie Chariot of Fire, Eric Liddell says, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” When you have a hobby, you can feel his pleasure. It helps bring balance between what we have to do and what we get to do. I hope thinking through the four reasons why hobbies are important encouraged your to celebrate a hobby you already have or find one that will really bring you joy. There are so many creative options out there. Pick one, be an amateur, connect with new people, experience how it can benefit others, and enjoy the creative aspects of us as you praise your Creator.

Let’s pray together as we end our time:

God, thank you for the gift of hobbies. We find joy in the creativity we can experience through hobbies. Thank you for creating each one of us with interests and skills that we can grow through hobbies. Help us this week to pay attention to the beauty and creativity we see in the world and give You praise for it! In Jesus’s name, amen.

Thanks for joining me today, friends! It’s been so fun to talk about the why behind our hobbies. Next week, in episode 64, my pastor/my husband will join us to talk about how to heal after being hurt by a church. Even as a pastor and pastor’s wife, we’ve been hurt by churches, but we’ve also been healed by churches. I’m looking forward to our discussion next week.

This week I’ll be in our Abiding Caregivers FB group like always, talking about our hobbies and creativity! I hope you’ll join me there. The link is in the shownotes at sandrapeoples.com/thepodcast under episode 63. Have a great week friends!

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