When the Creator of the Universe made us in His image, He gave us all of us the ability to create. No matter what it is we do with the gifts and talents we’ve been given, creativity takes inspiration, as well as time and intention.
When I was younger, it was easy for me to be creative. I majored in art in high school. I went to college for interior design, graduated, and eventually got a job in my field. Creative people surrounded me.
But, when I became a stay at home mom that all changed. I became busy with taking care of little ones, and I no longer spent time with people that valued creativity, at least not in the everyday. I continued to have new ideas but rarely saw them come to life. I found it incredibly frustrating that art wasn’t happening for me organically. I even began to wonder if art mattered. Eventually, I realized that if I was going to use the gifts God gave me, I had to be intentional about using them.
You may be thinking, “I am not creative.” But that is not true.
Creativity has a broader meaning than the traditional understanding of art.
For me, art is drawing, writing, and designing my environment. For my husband, it’s creating spreadsheets and processes to bring order to his department’s finances. For my kids, it’s cooking, knitting, and building complex worlds on their favorite video game.
We were all made to create.
Gradually, I establish a rhythm that allowed for creativity in my life. Now Sabbath is the day I craft or do projects I’ve found on Pinterest. However, I don’t just save my creatively for one day. I build time into my daily tasks to bring imagination to them. I don’t rush through podcast topic research or social media graphic creation anymore. I also fight the tendency to stay busy all the time, if not physically then mentally because I get my best ideas when I shower, while doing the dishes, or folding the laundry.
If you think you're ready to let creativity flow in your life, here where to start:
Leave the “I wish…” pity party. There will be some seasons that are easier than others to pursue creative endeavors. However, you can’t stay in a place of thinking, “I’ll get to it when_____________ (fill in the blank). “ or “I don’t have the time to ___________.”
Value the gift to create enough to make it a part of your life. Set aside time in your schedule to create. Build extra time into the work you do to go the extra mile and give it your personal touch. Make space to look at things that inspire you - magazines, art, Pinterest, or nature. Print the directions, buy the supplies, and carve out minutes to make that thing you love. Sign up for a class or workshop; it will force you to make it a priority.
Be bored. Resist the urge to stay busy all the time. Allow your mind to wonder. Some of the best ideas are conceived in the “in between.” Take time to observe nature and people watch. Have a pen and ready to jot down or ideas or maintain a note in your favorite productivity app on your phone.
The biggest lie I’ve had to overcome is that a paycheck needs to be attached to what I do for it to have value. The truth is when I bring artistry to my daily responsibilities it makes my family feel loved. When I produce well thought out content and resources for my readers and listeners, it helps them. When I bring originality to the committee, I chair it inspires others and ultimately benefits the organization I am helping.
To steward the gifts I have been given well, I must be creative.
For more on the topic listen to:
Episode 49 Five Steps to Live More Creatively
Join Elise Daly Parker, Kimberly Coyle and me as we talk about what we’ve learned about the art and discipline of writing, plus the five steps Kimberly takes to live more creatively.
Additional Resources on Creativity:
A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman
Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L'Engle
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins