Fingers trembling with joy, I sat down at the computer that September morning. It wasn’t just the cups of coffee I’d been drinking; this exhilarating feeling was coming from somewhere deeper. The baby was laying down for a long nap. My daughter had just headed off for her first morning back at preschool. And I had TIME. And ENERGY. And my HEALTH. I was going to write!
I flipped on my “Fun. Radio” Pandora station and started to type.
I had missed this so much. It seemed that just as soon as I hit my stride with blogging and editing a few years ago, I got pregnant. I don’t do pregnant so well. I was nauseous and I kept getting sick. I was tired and distracted. I kept forgetting things that I’d normally be on top of. I finally gave up on blogging and writing. It just wasn’t in me. It was my year of fog.
And then the baby was born and, well, you know how new babies are. If you can manage to get enough sleep while caring for them, then basically you are rocking the world. There’s no time or energy for creative pursuits.
When the baby was about six months old, I was still in my slump and was beginning to think I was never going to accomplish anything beyond laundry, diaper changing, nursing and sometimes cooking dinner from scratch. (I guess technically, caring and feeding for another human is creative, but sometimes it doesn't feel that way.) Thanks to my friends and my family, I got through a couple of bad months of depression.
And then the golden intersection of preschool mornings and baby naps hit. Suddenly this non-morning person was up and at ‘em, getting showered and dressed, and dreaming of what to do with the time that was suddenly available.
I am coming to realize that I need creativity in my life. I need it badly. When I am creative, I begin to glow. Seriously. I get filled up with joy and it can’t help but spill out on my family. Instead of being less than as a mom, I am more! Sure, there are times when creativity is not possible, but I am finding that it’s important to accept that fact and then get back to creativity as soon as I can. Because feeling alive and whole is contagious. My family can’t help but catch it.
Sometimes the problem with creativity is that we feel pressured to be creative in the same way that other moms are creative. We feel that we should all be like moms on Pinterest. We feel that we should all be good at crafts. Or whatever. Maybe our creative corner of the world looks really different than other moms. Maybe we never even saw it as creative. But it’s what makes us ourselves. Personally, I think being creative in a totally different way is what makes us moms interesting.
In my small group right now, we are studying Genesis and lately I’ve been so struck by how all of us as human beings are made in God’s image. I think that there are many elements to being made in God’s image, but one of the biggees is that God made each of us creative beings. Now, we can’t create ex nihilo (out of nothing) like God can. God took nothing and made something. We can only take stuff that’s already here and make something new out of it. But when we do that, we reflect our Creator. I think that’s where the joy comes from.
Maybe for some of us, it’s computer code. Maybe for others it’s pursuing health and wholeness. Maybe some sew or or knit or craft. Others may love to create culinary masterpieces. Some may love to write. Some may paint or sketch. Some may homeschool their kids. Some may be engineers or architects. There are so many ways to be creative and make something new out of what we’ve been given in this beautiful world.
In the coming weeks, I’m going to be interviewing several ladies who I admire for their creativity. They are all moms and they are all creative in all kinds of unique, awesome ways. We’re going to call it “MamaTalk: Creativity.” I hope you’ll read and comment and put in your own two cents. I hope you’ll share and help us the myriad of ways we moms are able to reflect our Creator. And I hope that if you are having a hard time finding your joy or the reason why you should even make the time for it, you will feel freshly inspired and encouraged. I hope you will find the time to carve out for being creative—for your family, for God, for you.
Hang on. It’s going to be a creatively awesome ride!