Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Place for Everything: Embracing My Inner Creative Genius

Ok. So maybe 'genius' is a bit too strong of a word. But I like the sound of it.

In A Place for Everything Part 1 I wrote about my dual personalities... I do have a Type A side that I not only enjoy, but I nurture in order to not be too distracted by my "SQUIRREL!" side. I explored the positives to developing an organized approach to life. But today I want to discuss my creative side for just a bit.

I know that God is not a God of chaos, but of order. So it's easy to jump on the 'organized' band wagon. But wait. God is also creative. Just look around! And in much the same way that I stifled my 'inner type A,' I also stifled my own creativity.

When I was in high school my favorite classes were art, choir, drama, and creative writing. I had so many emotions going around in my head, and I found art to be a terrific way to express them. Put a pencil in my hand and I could sketch a picture or write a poem and it was like emptying all the chaos in my mind.

I loved, LOVED, getting on a stage. Though standing to give a speech was worse than torture to me. (And isn't it funny how God uses that? I've since had to stand to give speeches numerous times in front of various sizes of audiences.) I found no pleasure in math or science labs. Instead, give me a script to live out on a stage, a poem to complete, or a blank sketch pad, and I was in my 'happy place.'

Somehow the seriousness of life put an end to that creative joy. Until one day. My hubby and I had not been married very long and I decided I needed to have that creativity in my life again. He supported me 100%! I auditioned for and got a part in a local musical. I had so much fun! Scary, but fun! However, we agreed that it took me out of our home for way too many hours. With the exception of the encore a few months later, I haven't done another production. I do miss it, though, just a little bit.

...Then scrapbooking became the rage, and I had every hole punch and fancy scissor they put on the market.

...Then there was trying my hand at acrylic painting. This was a whole new bag of goodies for me! I filled my desk at home with painting supplies.

...Then one day while driving with my family in the beautiful mountains I proclaimed, "I want to learn to oil paint." My husband was beginning to get used to hearing these comments from me. And that Christmas I received 'how-to' videos, paints, canvases, and brushes!

...Thankfully we have You-Tube now, and from that I reminded myself how to crochet (having learned from my mother when I was young).

...There was the time I watched my friend skillfully knit a square for a blanket. I had to learn that! Back to You-Tube. And while I can't make anything very complex, I can knit!

...Maybe it's the trial and error of planting flowers around my home. Or maybe it's the fun, new decorating tip I find on pinterest and want to duplicate in my own home. Or maybe it's learning to make a beautiful and tasty loaf of bread, or make super cute cake pops for birthday parties. Maybe it's painting flowers or stars and strips on my toe nails. Or sewing a cute apron. Maybe it's snapping a fun, candid shot of my children throwing snow balls.

And on and on (and on) the list goes! Like it or not, I can't walk away from a project that sparks my creativity!

I'm not a master at any of these endeavors. But I've loved gaining new skills in a variety of crafts. And that's a great lesson that I hope my sons are learning. You don't have to be perfect, you just have to try new things. I will never see my painting in an art museum. But I had fun creating it. I will never have my name in lights in a production, or on the cover of a music album, but that's ok. I don't need the recognition.

Here's a small example of nurturing creativity in my kiddos... This little flower arrangement was creatively put together by my youngest son one day! They both have a spark of creativity in them and it's fun to see it come out in different ways. This time it was a pretty gift for mama.

Recently I was delighted to start pulling out some of my old scrapbooking supplies in order to put together my homeschool planner and my daily bullet journal planner. I don't know why I never thought to combine cute, artsy, fun stuff with my organizers! It was like an epiphany! Now, I know that for some, a colorful, artsy planner would drive them nuts. But for me, it was marrying both sides of my personality into one beautiful, fun planner.

It's also why I didn't want plain bins to organize items, but instead had to put beautiful, colorful washi tape under my labels on the bins, or find fabulously colorful bins to store items. I want to see order, but in a pretty way! (To see more check out my A Place for Everything Part 5 blog.) It turns out that my right and left sides of my brain actually like each other and play nicely together.

So what's my next creative project? I'm starting a journal Bible. One that I can make colorful notes with my colorful markers, add washi tape and stickers to the margins, and jot important insights. I get to join my note taking Type A to my creative side while I am digging in to the Word of God. This sounds so fresh and fun that I honestly can't wait to get started.

What is it that brings you joy? Gives you enthusiasm? Is there a gift inside you that you've stifled for the 'stuff of life?' Maybe the Lord is trying to nudge you out of your comfort zone but into something so much better!

Here are a few more ideas to spark your creativity...
pressing flowers/leaves
baking beautiful treats for your family or to surprise friends and neighbors
mod podge projects
refinishing or spray painting furniture
making a pretty atmosphere in your yard
adding a splash of color to a room to add beauty
playing with playdough with your kids
creating items (even jewelry) from oven bake clay
arranging flowers (especially if they are flowers you planted in your yard)
make pretty storage boxes by covering ugly cardboard with contact paper
learn an instrument
set a beautiful table setting complete with a pretty table cloth (I find mine at the thrift stores or sew one!)
learn to sew, even something like a table cloth, a set of curtains, or an apron can be fun
visit with a creative friend and grab some ideas
Still not inspired? Take a stroll through some pinterest pages and you'll find thousands of ideas!

Beauty and creativity come in all shapes, sizes and packages. Be blessed in your creative expression and bless others at the same time!!


No comments: