Occasionally, people comment about the amount of work that is needed to run two special needs program in two counties.  Of course, I’m not the only person who does this.  The other full-time staff person at Special Gathering has more on his plate than I do.  Every special needs director probably works longer and harder than they should.  Therefore, I’ve been asked lots of times, “What do you do for fun?”  Here are some of the things I do for my own personal amusement.

  1. I direct two Special Gathering choirs.  Being in a choir has been a passion for me from the time I was a small child.  I always wanted to be a choir director but assumed that my lack of formal training excluded me from being able to this.  Directing choirs has been a great joy that Special Gathering has afforded me for more than two decades.  I don’t count the time I spend with our choirs as part of my work time.  It’s my hobby and a great joy for me.
  2. Sunday morning and Saturday afternoon Special Gathering time.  Years ago, in talking with a friend who wasn’t a Christian and who didn’t attend church, I moaned about the fact that my husband and I didn’t share any hobbies.  She looked stunned.  “You share your commitment to God and your church.  Those things are much better than a hobby.  You should cherish them.”  I’ve never forgotten her reaction.  As a result, I continue to count the time I spend during the worship and Bible study hours in community as part of my hobby–not my work.
  3. Lunch.  I get to go to lunch with some of the most amazing people in the world.  Pastors, Christian leaders and ministry leadership within the disability community, Special Gathering members and staff.  Great fun and good food.  Who could ask for a better hobby?
  4. Pastors’ prayer meetings.  Several times a week, I get to meet and pray with pastors from two counties.  They are men and women who freely share their commitment, frustrations, pain and joy.  Sometimes we even meet and pray over breakfast or lunch–which leads us back to #3, perhaps my favorite of all my hobbies.
  5. Studying the scriptures.  This ministry REQUIRES me to do one of favorite hobbies, studying the scriptures.  I often don’t try to even find things that are meaningful as I read, they simply fall from the pages, leading me to meditate and explore, asking questions and expanding my spiritual horizons.
  6. Children’s movies.  Because of his disability, my husband is home bound.  There are only a few things that we are able to do together.  But he loves going to the movies and I love children’s fiction.  Children’s movies are a perfect combination for the two of us.  However, there is a down side.  After viewing one movie, my husband asked for a year, “Are there any penguins in this movie? I’m not going if there are penguins.”
  7. Amusement parks.  Several times a year, I have the great joy of being able to escort several of our members to one of the many parks in the Central Florida area.  Great fun and I get in for free.  What could be better?
  8. Hanging out with our members.  I’m not able to do this as often as I’d like but occasionally we are able to gather a large group and we just hang together.  I’m able to go to lunch with our members at times or go to their workshop during lunch. 
  9. Talk on the phone.  Parents, members, professionals and fellow pastors still connect with each other by way of the phone and texting.   E-mail and Facebook may be quickly replacing the human voice but I still like to talk on the phone.
  10. This blog is a creative way for me to reach out while reminding myself of the wonderful privilege it is to be able to do what I do.
  11. I also cook and garden.  Additionally, I exercise an hour each day. 

Alas and despair, after reviewing my list, it does appear that a lot of what I do each week may be part of my job description but it’s so much fun that I have to count it as a hobby.  Poor me!