Lately I've come to realize that I love to create and that there is joy in creating. I surmise that maybe, because we are made in the image of The Creator, that this is the case with all of us-maybe we all need some creative outlet.
However, there were times in the past that I tried to create, and was miserable the whole time. I tried to be creative, and make things, because this was what someone else thought I should do, or because I wanted to mold myself into the image of another person. But, I find, when you are flowing in creativity that is truly a part of the inner you, a part of the gifts and talents put into you by The Creator, then it's a beautiful thing, relaxing, joy-producing.
My mom was a seamtress extraordinaire. Her seams, flawless, her hand stiched hems a thing of beauty. So, sophomore year of high school, I signed up for Home Economics. I was going to follow in mama's footsteps, or so I thought. Red lights of warning should have flashed with neon lettering saying, "Girl, this is just not your thing!", when I chose for my big sewing project to make a two piece swimming suit. Now, ask yourself, do you know one single person with a penchant for homemade, hand crafted bikinis? I did't think so! And the fabric I chose, was just an oxymoron...it was a navy blue calico type print. Who was this fashionable swimwear being made for...Laura Ingalls Wilder? But I wrestled through, and proudly brought my creation home to Mama. I don't remember a look of horror in her eyes, but I do remember her pointing out all the flaws in my sewing technique...and there were plenty! So, I put aside my needle and thread until I was married and had my own baby girl.
I married into a family where Mama Stewart had two cardinal standards that every good wife must abide by. I thought those standards had to do with loving your husband and your children, but hers were, #1 it is a sin to buy what you can sew, and #2 if it is edible, it must be put into sterilized jars, immersed in a big kettle of boiling water, and boil away until all possible nutrients are cooked out of it. Then it must be proudly displayed on your pantry shelves where it awaits to save you if, #1 you are snowed in for months on end, (which NEVER happens where we live), or #2 you are faced with nucular war. (To this day I wonder, who, but she, cans meat, and if they do, who wants to eat canned meat? EEWWW! )
So, in order to be a good wife and mom, which was at the top of my list of things I wanted to be good at, I cajoled my husband into buying me a sewing machine. I sweated over flannel nighties for my beautiful brown eyed girl, I made dolly clothes, I made scary looking, (not intentionally), stuffed animals, I made little baby blankets. But what I very wisely NEVER made was anything she had to wear out in public. And I canned, I canned our veggies, I canned our fruit. I spent hot late summer days in a sticky sauna, formerly known as my kitchen. I was miserable!
My epiphany came when I realized, I am VERY talented at clearance shopping. I can spot high end quality items on the 75% off rack from across the room. (My biggest find was a pair of fully lined brown wool slacks regularly priced at close to $300. I paid under ten dollars.) Why sew, when I can shop, and buy something we can actually be seen in public in? So the sewing machine was retired to the back of the closet and only saw the light of day for occassional mending jobs from then on. Likewise with the canning...it was money saving to can when we pastored in the midst of orchards of apples, pears, peaches and cherries. But, when you live in the city, it's not always cost saving to buy and can your produce. So, bye bye canning jars, bye bye sticky sauna summer days. Do you hear my sighs of relief?
Now if you are the sewing, canning type, more power to you! I admire you! You have patience, endurance, talent, that I do not have. The truth about me, is that I enjoy creating if it is...simple, not too detailed, with quick results. I am about a third grade level creator. This particular epiphany came when I was an educational assistant in the third grade. I did the art with the students. They oohed and ahhed at what a good artist I was. And I had FUN! So, off I went to the craft store, and under the guise of buying art supplies to have on hand for my grandkids, I bought art paper, colored pencils, watercolors, and I began to create. How relaxing and enjoyable I found it to be to try my hand at acrylics, watercolors, sketching with colored pencils.
Cooking is another creative outlet for me. I am not necessarily a fancy cook. I am a homestyle cook. But I can cook some pretty yummy to the eyes and to the tummy stuff, and I really enjoy doing it.
I can also create a homey atmosphere in a house. Maybe it's not Better Homes and Gardens decorating..but a candle here, a picture there, a bit of paint, a refinished treasure from the thrift store. I am creating an atmosphere, creating beauty, creating something that sets my home apart from yours.
I feel God's pleasure when I create. I feel satisfied, happy, fulfilled, as I sit as this computer and make pictures out of words. Creating. Whether it's music, building or carpentry, art, mechanics or metalwork, gardening, cooking, photography or writing, I think that we are all made in the image of The Creator, and that He created us all with the desire to create, to be creative.
(a repost, with some slight changes, from the archives)
(a repost, with some slight changes, from the archives)