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And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV

Nothing quiets me down and gets me out of everyone’s business like working with my hands, especially painting and writing. 

I get lost in both activities – I lose track of time, tension, and troubles. I’m in another world, like the daze that overcomes me in a movie theater when I’m surrounded by moving pictures and sound. It takes me a few minutes to acclimate back to my life from the storyline on the big screen. The same thing happens when I settle down in my office with watercolor paper and paint or my laptop. 

A friend said, “That’s when you know it’s soul work.” 

I believe God gifted each of us with at least one talent for our pleasure and His glory. When we use our talents, we’re blessed and He’s glorified. I love hearing stories about people whose talent went from pastime to profession.  

However, if we don’t use our talents, frustration sets in. A fellow writer said, “I write daily because I get so irritable when I don’t.”

God didn’t have to, but He created a variety of talents like playing an instrument, building furniture, and remodeling older homes. I have friends who garden and share their abundance, bake cakes for every family and church get-together, and knit and give away afghans. Some teach watercolor classes, publish authors’ books, sing and dance, decorate homes, DoorDash (I just made it a verb) for their neighbors, and play multiple instruments. 

The evenings my dad headed to his garage to do woodworking, I knew not to expect him back inside for hours. He gave away dozens of wooden lanterns and planters, built toy boxes with their names on them for his grandchildren, and carved keepsakes out of wood. He also helped add two rooms to our first house.  

My father-in-law made an art form out of fishing. Sometimes he caught dozens of fish, sometimes not one bite. Either way, he sat patiently for hours. 

When my daughter said she had no idea what her talent was, but I watched her play with her children, I knew. And my son working in the yard with his three and a half year old son, pushing their matching wheelbarrows … it doesn’t have to be a newsworthy talent to be a God worthy one. 

I’m excited to hear your “working with your hands” stories and how they lead to a quiet life and minding your own business.  

In This Together,

I have something for you!


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