As a child

POD #13: As a child. . . 
It’s your turn to do the exercise. List 10 things you loved as a child. List 10 things you loved doing as a child.
Do you see your creative calling in there?
Do you regularly engage in your creative calling right now? Either in your work or in some other part of your life?
Write about it.. 

Ten things I loved as a child:

  1. My family
  2. My friends
  3. People
  4. Music
  5. Church
  6. School
  7. The lake
  8. Competition
  9. Books
  10. Games

Ten things I loved doing as a child (in no particular order)

  1. Learning
  2. Reading
  3. Writing
  4. Playing in the water
  5. Talking to people
  6. Hearing other people’s stories
  7. Family get togethers
  8. Spending time with my friends
  9. Memorizing scriptures
  10. Going to church

childhoodAs child, my favorite thing to do included most of the items on my list.  I went to the largest church in our community at the time and one of the things we did was have contests.  We had 13 bus routes for our church, plus the “car riders” for those who attended with their parents.  You could earn points for bringing your bible, offering, bringing visitors, knowing your scriptures, answering questions that pertained to the lesson.  They would have these competitions throughout the year with different prizes.  Often the prize would be a lake outing or an outing to the water slide – which were my favorite rewards.

I loved church.  I loved attending with my siblings. I loved the extra points when my friends could spend the night and go to church with me, or when we picked them up on the bus route.   I loved the music we would sing.  Our leaders would often make up songs with the scriptures for easy memory.  When I reached double digits I would lead the other children on the church bus in those songs to help them memorize the scriptures so our team could win.  I would read over those stories throughout the week so I would know the answers, and I learned those scriptures by heart.  When we won, I would have my friends, my family,  at the water park after church!  It was great fun.

As I drafted these two lists, I thought about how much my life has changed since childhood, and yet looking at the list, how little it has.

I love learning. I think part of my love for learning came from my mother and aunt.  They loved to play trivia when we go together as a family.  I could compete on the Bible Trivia games – adult or kid questions I could usually hold my own in a game despite being the youngest in our family.  I might not win, but I could at least keep up.  When it came to Trivial Pursuit, I was not good.  I could answer the pink questions some of the time, and the other categories every now and then.  My mom and aunt, they rarely missed an answer.  I thought they knew everything, and I wanted to win or at least be able to say I could compete with them.  Even when my mom got dementia I think she could still beat me.

My love for learning continues.  It doesn’t even matter what I am learning.  I have always thought I could be an eternal student if the cost of education was not so high.  I can easily get lost in information.  I collect knowledge, especially if it is something that interests me, but at times even if it doesn’t.  If it is knowledge that will help someone else, I can get lost in the learning process there too.

My mother was a collector of books.  She had her own library in our kitchen that took up two walls.  I enjoyed reading, but many of my childhood memories were just playing with those books.  My sister and I would play “I spy” with the books or other guessing games.  We would pour through pages looking up interesting facts on rainy days when we couldn’t be outside.  I still love to pull out quotes from books.

My love for writing started in sixth grade with a poetry project.  It expanded from there, as I found success in writing through high school and college.  I might miss a fact on a test, but I could ace the writing assignments.  I still have most of my original writing from my school years.

I do believe part of my creative calling is tied to reading and writing.   I admit that those are two activities that quickly get set aside when my schedule fills up.  It is part of why I enjoy these challenges so much, because despite not having the time, being a type A personality I will find the time to check it off my list.  I need to apply the same type of discipline to the other writing projects I have circulating in my heart and mind.

As a child, I loved the water, whether we were playing in the sprinkler or down at the lake by our home.  It was a place of happiness.  I still have a love for water, it is a place of relaxation and peace, despite the other swimmers.  I love that I can be around other people, and yet I can be isolated in my thoughts and prayers and I swim.  It is one of the few forms of exercise I truly enjoy.  It has been a while since I have been to the lake to swim, but I can find the same contentment in the pool year-round.

When I was little, I was the little girl who would talk to just about anyone.  Not clingy or lacking boundaries, I just loved people.  I liked to get to church and go sit in front of the adults and hear their stories.  I didn’t have to know who they were talking about, but I loved to hear them.  I also loved to hear my families stories.  I could sit for hours and hear my parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents tell stories from the past.

I still love to talk and to hear people’s stories, both of which play in to the career of being a social worker. My favorite part of my job is the assessment part, getting to hear the story of someone’s life or family.  I love to ask questions to draw out more personal information.  But, if being a social worker was about me, I would end the relationship once I heard their story, pass them to another person to fix the problems.  I love to be able to share the knowledge and resources I have learned with others to help meet their needs.  However, people are rarely ready to really make the adjustments in life to really change their circumstances after a few meetings.

Also when it comes to talking, I don’t mind one to one conversation, I do it daily.  However, I prefer groups – large or small.  I have used my ability to learn about people and speaking to raise money for a number of charities through the years.  Knowing what is important to others is an important aspect in raising money.  Being able to share from that viewpoint is even more impactful.  If I am giving a speech I prefer to have it written out, because I know that I can talk for hours if I don’t have it timed.

Family is still one of the most important parts of my life; I prefer to be with family more than anyone else.  It doesn’t matter if it is my husband, children, grandchildren, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews – all of them or some of them.  I love to be surrounded by my family.  Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents home with extended family or with my aunt and cousin at our home or theirs.  As I got older, my siblings took advantage of my love for family connections as they had a free babysitter most of the time.

It is harder now to get everyone together.  There are so many competing activities within each family.  We do what we can to have regular contact – monthly dinners with extended family to celebrate birthdays or holidays, weekly dinners for our immediate family, and random get together activities just to stay connected.  Some of my family are also my closest friends.

I am not as good at staying connected with friends anymore.  Family almost always takes priority and so usually I see friends at other activities like church, work, and volunteering. If there is an area that I am completely out of balance it is this one though. I have to be very intentional and really schedule in advance to keep friend time on my radar.

I still absolutely love going to church and being in the scriptures.  Outside of family, this is always on my list.  Growing up church was my safe place.  I didn’t understand God in me growing up, I was saved but didn’t understand about personal relationship.  I only knew I could go to church and feel connected.  Now, being in God’s presence at home or at church is that safe place.

I seek God daily.  I seek Him first.  For over two decades now I have filled journals with scriptures and what God is speaking to me through His Word.  When I started it was hit or miss, now it is probably the only place where I am completely consistent.  If I miss more than one or two days month it is very unusual.  I don’t beat myself up about it if I miss, it is not a religious ritual, but I don’t like to miss because I get so much out of that time.   This is part of my creative calling that I am really just starting to release.  When I started blogging I would share what I was learning, but not really the personal story behind how I learned the lesson. So I am learning to share from the depths not just the surface message.

So, yes I still engage in my creative calling.  Those childhood activities that made me dream impossible dreams and think that I could conqueror the world they are still alive and moving in my life.  I need to call on them more often.  I need to allow them the freedom I had in childhood to just flow.  They are there, still simmering at the surface trying to escape into reality.

This post is prompted by Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders.

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