A Letter To My Children About Making Time For Creativity
Dear Sweet Ones,
I want to tell you something about creativity.
To create is to reflect the image of God, the Creator.
To create anything is to participate in the divine purpose for which we were made.
I hope you will let those words sink deep into your soul.
Whenever we spend time in creation, I am in awe of all God’s great gifts in nature.
I wonder at all that God has made.
The trees, the hills, the flowers, the mountains, the rivers and streams. The great expanse of the sea. I love spending time seeing what God has created, and I have tried to teach you to love it too.
I want you to love it a little bit more every day by making time for walking outside.
But maybe I have missed teaching you to participate in creation by also being a maker.
I think it’s hard to be a maker in our family because we like everything to be already perfectly made. And we tend towards criticism. When things are still in process, we interrupt creators with discouragement.
I grieve that I have perhaps taught you to point out imperfection rather than to participate in creating.
So I am trying to make more imperfect things.
I am exercising the muscle of creativity in places that are unfamiliar and awkward and maybe even pointless.
One of the ways I am making time for creativity lately is by drawing and painting.
I have a little tiny set of watercolors I have been carrying around with me for a couple of years now, and I am filling up some of the pages of my journal with perfectly imperfect creations.
I am trying to look more closely at the places we walk by the act of drawing them.
I find it hard. And very slow. (Not unlike learning German)
But when I make time for this act of pointless creativity, for wasting time doing something at which I am not very good, I am surprised by the calm I experience and the small joys it brings.
I’m surprised by what I notice.
Here’s what Brené Brown says about creativity in her brilliant book, The Gifts of Imperfection:
1. “I’m not very creative” doesn’t work. There’s no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t. Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.
2. The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity.
3. If we want to make meaning, we need to make art. Cook, write, draw, doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing—it doesn’t matter. As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning.
So I hope you will take some time to make things for the sake of making. I hope you will not hear my critical voice in your head telling you that you should be busy with more practical endeavors.
Find ways to express the creativity that is within you.
Join in with the wonder that is creation.
I love each of you and all the ways you make life more beautiful,
I was always amazed at my children’s creations. My 4 year old son took some sticks of wood and made a piano which I still have. Now he is a software designer. My daughter loved scrapbooking so much she owned her own scrapbooking store for a time. These days she does photography, an interest that came out of scrap booking. No telling where those idle hours spent creating can lead.
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