I feel like this is catch up time. Over the last week I have had somewhere around 10 topics I have wanted to write about or events to capture and I never made time for any of them. So today, while eating fresh bread and coffee I start. And perhaps you should grab your coffee too, because this may take a few words.
Let’s talk about my new mission I am currently calling 30 Days of Creativity, because ultimately, this topic may capture everything. The concept came from a week of feeling the stay-at-home-mom-stir-crazies, and also, out of the realization that when I left my job I had so many interests–creative endeavors–I wanted to pursue. But somewhere between taking care of my boys and cleaning the house–because I was also determined that my house would finally be clean once I spent my days at home–and wrestling over concepts of serving my husband in this new role, I failed to allow myself time to pursue the things I enjoy! The stir-crazies made me realize it was time for this denial to stop, and so was born 30 Days of Creativity.
But this idea in the past week has evolved to be so much more.
And strangely enough my mediocrely messy house all of a sudden feels comforting.
Friday night I finished the book Cold Tangerines and surprisingly one of the last chapters discussed creativity. It captured me and also highlighted a lot within my heart.
“Do something creative every day…” the author wrote. Aah Hah! Confirmation! But it continued, and it got better…
“Do something creative every day, even if you work in a cubicle, even if you have a newborn, even if someone told you a long time ago that you’re not an artist, or your can’t sing, or you have nothing to say. Those people are bad people, and liars, and we hope they develop adult-onset acne really bad. Everyone has something to say. Everyone. Because everyone, every person was made by God, in the image of God. If he is a creator, and in fact he is, then we are creators, and no one, not a bad seventh-grade English teacher or a harsh critic or jealous competitor, can take that away from you.” (Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines, pg 229)
Because every person is made in the image of God, and he is the ultimate creator, we create. This is something I have been saying for the last year, or two or three. It is a thought that has been ripening. Starting with the idea of conception and the creation of life–that’s a different topic for maybe another time, or maybe never–and gradually infecting the way I view us as humans, and our happiness, and the world of stay-at-hood-mom-hood, this idea has been following me.
I heard a message at church about a year and a half back that talked about how we as humans are meant to work. That God didn’t just create us to sit around and be holy, or righteous, or just be–that sitting around isn’t the more “Godly” thing to do–but that God created us to do stuff. And I grasped on to this idea because one, it fit right in with us being creative beings, but two because it spoke to this side of me trying to understand why some woman who stay home with their kids feel so lost or bored. I use to think, if I ever got the chance to stay home it would be easy for me. The joy and busyness of being with my kids would keep me from feeling bored, but even then, all the other interests and creative things I want to do would entertain me and almost sustain me.
Without trying to go too deep right now in my thoughts on being a stay-at-home mom, let me just say that I believe a lot of women, if not perhaps all, were created to do more than raise their own children. In this pursuit of understanding my new role and understanding the stirrings within me I have started studying the age old Proverbs 31 woman. And although my studies are still developing, let me share one thing. Do you know I have found that Proverbs 31 never talks about raising children? At least not in the way I have often pictured it… the classic 1950’s stay-at-home mom, or that sometimes church painted image that the most “Godly” place for a woman is to be home raising her kids.
All this being said, I was a bit surprised when I became stir-crazy. Like I mentioned above, I never imagined this being an issue for me. But in dealing with this issue, I realized I had stopped allowing myself to take time to be creative, and do something … aka my as-far-as-I-know-it-right-now-work.
So the plan, the plan is to make a chart of some shape or form. Charts are very good things. And the plan is for me, for 30 days straight, to do something creative everyday. But I have decided to be strict on my definition of creativity. And my definition is being based on what it is not going to be–although I also find these things in and of themselves creative — cooking is not going to count, blogging is not going to count, cleaning in a creative way such as organization is not going to count. Planning out ways to be creative also doesn’t count. I want to be sitting behind a sewing machine, playing with yarn, gluing paper together or something altogether new along those lines. I have dreams, although yet more feelings than anything that can be articulated, of what I want to do with my creativity. And I am only going to get there if I start doing something.
Shauna Niequist, in Cold Tangerines, also talks about becoming, not arriving. The idea that in life we will never arrive, but we are on a journey to become.
I want to work on becoming. And I want to acknowledge even the little things as part of this journey.
But I also want to sacrifice the little “big” things to become. Even if that means my floors are slightly sticky far too many days in a row, or my house looks as though 2 toddlers live in it.
The reality is my house, too, will never arrive.
And so I am going to create.