Sunday, February 11, 2018

Creativity for Well-Being 2 - Yes, You Are Creative!

Created in the image of The Creator, we are all creative, and indulging our creative passions increases our sense of well-being. Each Sunday this month, I’ll be sharing ideas and inspiration for using your creativity to draw closer to the Lord, to dive into the Word, and to live the abundant life. I’ll be using illustrated Bible journaling examples, but keep in mind that these principles apply to all forms of creativity. So, let’s get started! 

In my illustrated Bible journaling classes, women often say things like: “I’m just not creative. I can’t draw. I hate my handwriting. I want to illustrate in my Bible, but I don’t have any artistic talent.” After scrolling Pinterest boards and Instagram feeds filled with colorful, creative, artistic, beautifully proportioned illustrated Bible pages, it’s easy to understand why these ladies have come to this conclusion. They feel that their pages just don’t measure up to the ones posted online.

Their comments make me sad because it’s simply not true. Genesis 1:27 says we are all created in the image of God, THE CREATOR! Therefore, we are all creative! Our creativity may manifest itself in many different ways, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that we are all creative beings.

Now, I must admit that for many years, I also believed that I was not creative. My Grandma was an excellent seamstress and could turn anything into a craft project. My Mama is also very talented with a sewing machine – she made many of our clothes when I was growing up, even a prom dress for one of my sisters. Every bed in our home is covered with a quilt made with Mama’s love and quilted by her hands. While I was studying and reading books, my sisters were learning to quilt and taking art and drafting classes.

However, if you thumb through my old picture albums, you’d see the homecoming corsage I made for my sister, the (slightly crooked) vase I created in ceramics class, the birthday cake decorated to look like the van Daddy drove as a repairman for AT&T, that favorite pink & yellow outfit I loved to wear with those fun yellow high tops, and a bedroom wall decorated with the memorabilia of a teenager displaying an eye for balance and design. 

Theodore Roosevelt is credited with saying “comparison is the thief of joy.” For many (many!) years I did not feel creative because my creativity manifested itself differently than other members of my family! Yet, the reality is that our creativity comes in many forms and expressing that creativity is a way of honoring God and has a positive effect on our lives and our health. When we diminish or criticize our own creativity, we are not only dishonoring the Lord, we are decreasing our own level of happiness and health.

Embracing and recognizing our creativity is just the first step. We must cultivate our creative gifts, whether that means developing a daily journaling practice to improve our writing, taking a yearly course to learn new interior design skills, participating in a community theater production, or simply taking time to enjoy a craft session with friends. Sometimes our creativity comes through in the workplace as we organize projects and meetings that encourage participation and produce results, create lesson plans that engage all learning styles, or display products in a way that entices customers to buy!

Each month this year, I'm teaching classes on how to illustrate and interact with the Word in order to draw closer to the Lord. And I'm sure that several times I'll meet someone new who “isn’t creative” and have the opportunity to remind that individual that we are all created in the image of The Creator, we are all creative, and indulging our creative passions increases our sense of well-being and draws us closer to The Creator Himself! Of course, I have to smile and remind myself that I once thought I wasn’t creative either – a fact that makes me laugh when I scroll through my current list of upcoming classes & events!

This week ask yourself – Have you downplayed your creativity because it doesn’t look like someone else’s creative output? Do you shy away from sharing your creative gifts rather than embracing the fact that your creativity is a God-given gift? How can you use your creativity to draw closer to the Lord?

[This is part 2 of a four-part series that I first shared in an Abundant Life/Well-Being Facebook group several months ago.]

1 comment:

  1. Good post Melissa. Right now at church our minister is leading talks about discovery of our gifts, which as he says can include the gift of baking a wonderful brownie (He admits shamelessly to really liking brownies). So I guess gifts & creative ability are the same. Comparison has long kept me shackled to not trying ... it is a hard one to release but I am trying & I believe somewhere in the bible there's a quote about God loving a trier.


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