on creativity and soul rest

For a few weeks, I’ve been thinking about the topic of creativity and what it does for my soul. I’ve been wondering if creating has the same effect on all human hearts as it does on my own. I’ve thought about the tie creating has between who are Heavenly Father is and who we are because of Him. I’ve spent some time remembering the things I LOVED to do as a little girl and why I loved to do them. I’ve started paying closer attention to when my desire to create has come up. I’ve chosen to listen to it more freely and without judgement.

And by all that thinking and noticing and wondering here is what I’ve learned…

My desire, our desire, to CREATE and to make NEW things is inherited directly from our Heavenly Father. He is the King of all creation. He was the first to be wildly creative, to love His own work, and to find joy and rest in the work of His hands. He created the world and all that is in it and I believe He smiled and took long exhales with each stroke of His painter’s brush. He rested on the 7th day because creating is hard work, but it was also important to take the time to DELIGHT in the goodness of all that He created. So even though God’s creating did take time, effort, and thought, it seems as if it was a source of renewal and life for His soul.

Creating feels like a way I can let my soul be at rest. Creating is different from to-do list items or chores, which can very easily fill up my time. Creating is something that is non-essential – it’s not making dinner or planning out my week or organizing the closet. It is a choice, which instantly makes it full of freedom and pleasure. Creating for the sake of making something out of nothing feels so GOOD. I’ve loved doing that since I was a little girl. Whether it was turning paper into a pretend keyboard, or planning lessons for my pretend tutoring group, or baking cookies with my grandmother. The idea that simple things can become works of wonder and enjoyment is just so attractive to my soul. I want to engage in the process of making beauty out of ashes. And the process of making the thing is good for my mind. It draws me into the present and captivates my thoughts. As I make, I am celebrating the gifts of the Lord – the smells, the textures, the wonder of making a new thing. And then, I get to enjoy the thing I made. By eating it or sharing it or observing it. It is a true pleasure.

Nowadays, for me the practice of creativity and making looks like…

  • mixing flour and water to make beautiful hearty sourdough bread
  • deciding to sell a handful of my homemade dry shampoos and bath salts to friends for Christmas, even if it seems silly to do so without having a real business
  • drying orange slices in the oven and stringing them together to make a simple and beautiful Christmas garland
  • making a new Christmas treat on a weeknight – peppermint chocolate covered pretzels
  • designing labels to make the dry shampoo and bath salt jars look as cute and thoughtful as possible

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning–the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Genesis 1:31-2:3

So here is me saying that creativity is really important for me, and maybe all of us. I think God put it in us, because it’s in Him, and we are His kids. “I got it from my Papa (in heaven).”

As I prepare to bring a new life into the world, I really need to remember that making space to CREATE fills me up. It helps my SOUL rest in who God created me to be. It takes my mind off of striving and producing and plants me in the tangible things of this world – colors, flour, smells, tastes, textures. It is a practice of freedom and of joy. Enjoying the way God made the world and taking part in making beautiful things!

So if this creating business feels like something that is up your alley or totally out of your ballpark, I encourage you to take a stab at it either way. Remember that what you are making isn’t about perfect end results, it’s about making for the sheer pleasure of making. It’s about the process. It’s about getting present in the things of this world and making beauty out of ashes.

I want to hear about it if you do.