Friday, August 31, 2012

5 Reasons Why Fitting Creativity into Your Life is Important

One thing I love to do is take pictures, so I've included some of my
photos in this post just for fun!
Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to create things. Art was a daily part of her life. One of her favorite activities was coloring! There was nothing more special than a new coloring book and a new box of crayons. She especially loved to sit and listen to a story on cassette tape while she colored. 

Because this little girl's mother was a pianist, she grew up hearing music almost every day. She was so excited when it was her turn to start piano lessons at the age of five. Eventually, she would be able to play the masterpieces of classical composers such as Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, and Chopin. She loved music, whether listening to it, playing it, or singing it. 

Her mother also was an accomplished seamstress/sewer. One year the little girl got a lovely, handmade cabbage patch doll with several sets of clothes for Christmas, all sewn by her mother. It was one of the best gifts she ever received, and to this day she still has that special doll! Clothes, quilts, curtains, pillows, and even bedspreads were handmade with love for this little girl by her mother, and over the years the little girl also learned to love the art of sewing. 

Capturing the delight on my son's face
as he climbs a tree
As the girl grew into a young woman, her creativity and art skills also grew. She enjoyed drawing, painting, writing stories and poems, playing the piano, singing, sewing, and embroidery. She also loved decorating her family's home. Her mother encouraged her in all these artistic pursuits, and it seemed that creativity would always be a part of life.

But then the little girl grew up. Life became busy. First there was university. The young woman dreamed of studying interior design, but was too afraid to try. Instead she ended up studying accounting. Then there was work. Then marriage and children. Life was so hectic! There was no time for creative pursuits. No time to enjoy the world of art. Many of the skills she once had fell by the wayside. Although this saddened her at times, she didn't really know how to fix it. And before long, the woman, now wife and mother, found herself thinking that trying to fit creativity back into her life was wrong somehow. That it wasn't important enough. That even though she longed for it, she couldn't justify making time for it.

Pretty sad story, isn't it? Unfortunately, that story is my story. Do you have a similar one? Isn't it amazing how over time something that was once so important becomes almost nonexistent?

Well, I had a light-bulb moment the other day. Here it is: it's OK to be creative. 

Oh the joys of nestling a soft, baby
duck in your arms!
An earth-shattering revelation, is it not? :-) Yep. I'm a pretty smart gal. But seriously, I didn't even realize that I was telling myself essentially that it's not okay to be creative. I couldn't justify spending time on it in my mind. And although I would take time every week to pursue some artistic skills or just to create something pretty, I would feel guilty about it. I felt guilty because I spent money on supplies, or because my husband had to watch the kids in the evening while I went to a sewing class, or because housework went undone at times. We wives/moms/women sure know how to make ourselves feel guilty, don't we?

Okay. So after my light-bulb moment (which I believe was totally God-given), I began making a list in my head of all the reasons why finding time to pursue your creative passions is so valuable and important. Here are my top 5...

  1. Creativity is a gift given to you by God.
    • If we stop and think about it at all, we will realize that God made us who we are for a reason, and He thinks we are pretty special! God himself is creative. He is the greatest artist of all! When He gives us special talents, He wants us to enjoy those special gifts and pursue them and even work hard to make them better. Why? So that we can offer those gifts and talents back to Him and bring Him honor and glory. 
  2. Creativity gives you a sense of personal fulfillment.
  3. Peaceful sleeper
    • When we take time to enjoy beauty and art, we are filling our lives up with good things. When we take time to create something, we feel things like excitement, motivation, anticipation, and accomplishment. We learn to focus on the details, those small things in life that are truly important and bring us joy. 
  4. Creativity is a ministry to your family.
    • This is a huge one for me! I love using my creative abilities to bless my husband and children! Whether it's creating a peaceful haven at home through decorating, or creating yummy yet beautiful meals to sit down to; sewing clothes or toys for your children or painting dinosaurs on their bedroom walls; whether it's providing music lessons for family members or making crafts with your's all a ministry to your family! Perhaps you're a wonderful story-teller and you tell your kids stories right before bed. Or maybe you spend time picking out interesting, yet educational books and reading them to your kids. All of these things are you using your creativity to bless your family. 
  5. Creativity is a ministry to others.
  6. Enjoying the sights and sounds of
    the fair!
    • Again, the list of what you can do to bless others with your creativity is endless! Homemade gifts at birthdays and Christmas create special and lasting memories, homemade cards with an encouraging note can bring a smile to someone who is down, teaching the Bible story or helping with crafts during Sunday school is always a huge need, creating and producing puppet shows/magic tricks/plays for a neighborhood VBS or fall festival can make things fun while teaching an important lesson, playing the piano or singing in the choir at church is such a blessing to others, volunteering in your community for things like photo shoots/sports/reading programs are ways you can use your creativity to help others, sewing baby blankets or crocheting baby hats for newborns in the hospital would be an amazing experience, and blogging about helpful or encouraging things can bless others. Whew! Wow! I haven't even scratched the surface. Like I said, the list is endless. 
  7. Creativity demands constant improvement.
    • No matter what skill level you have, you can always get better! That should be motivating and encouraging to all of us. And it's an important example to others! Spend time thinking about what skills you already have and what new skills you would like to learn. Make a list of long-term and short-term goals to help you focus on improving or learning those skills. For example, a long-term goal might be to learn and master using a digital, SLR camera. So, some short-term goals could be saving money for a camera, spending 10 minutes a day reading your camera's manual, finding helpful blogs on the subject, taking pictures of your kids each day, taking a class, or learning how to edit pictures with Adobe Photoshop. Whatever your goals are, getting serious about improving your artistic abilities is a GOOD thing! :-) Don't be afraid (like I was with interior design) to dream big. And DON'T be self-critical! 
Sliding down to brother
Of course, another major reason for taking time to pursue creativity is that if you don't, you'll go crazy! :-) If you have a creative soul, then you need to take time to create.

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be."
Abraham Maslow

I hope I've convinced you to work at fitting creativity back into your life. There's definitely more to consider on this subject, and I hope to continue my thoughts on it in the future. Just remember, it's OK to be creative! :-)

Pretending to drive an old tractor

Blessings, friends!

Linking up here!
Young and Crafty: Free for All
A Vision to Remember
I {heart} Nap Time
Positively Splendid
Craft Envy
Too Much Time on My Hands
Be Different Act Normal
Imparting Grace
2805: Potpourri Friday
Craft Junkie Too


  1. Good points. I spent a long time not finding time to enjoy my creative side. I find that my blog allows to me pursue it and not feel so bad about it, but it is still hard to find the time to fit it in, much as I love it. Thanks for sharing your story and ides of why it is good to be creative.

  2. It is hard to find the time to fit it in! That's why it's good for us to remember how valuable it is. We will make time for the important things!

    Just checked out your blog, and I'm loving what you're doing with your family command center! You're super creative! :) Thanks for visiting us here at Defrump Me!

  3. Amen sister! You are so right...and I think so many women have a similar story. We lose ourselves in our families and/or jobs..sometimes never looking back at that 'creative girl' of the past. She haunts us at times, in the corner of our mind that we used to let her burst to life! Blogging has become one of my creative resources and I've been trying to decorate at DIY more. It just feels so good...and I feel so much more like the person God intended me to be when I allow my gifts to come through.
    Thanks for sharing that oh so important reminder!

  4. Thank you for sharing your creativity at Potpourri Friday!

  5. Amen! You're right!! Although you have more artistic ability than many people, I think your feelings are shared by many women. Somehow we feel that we're being selfish when we take precious time for creative pursuits, when actually we're blessing the lives of so many people! Love the quotation from Abraham Maslow.

    I'm glad God made you (and me) creative!

    Thanks for joining Grace at Home!!

  6. Wonderfully said. With the hectic schedules we keep, it seems that the personal creative projects fall to the wayside. The things we do for ourselves seem to be the first things to go. But by doing things that make us happy and fill our hearts with joy, it enhances not only our lives, but the lives we touch.