For most of my adult life I didn't think I was creative. That somehow, God had skipped me when He was handing out that quality. No creative ideas ever seemed to ooze from me. Every time I tried some kind of art project or craft it turned out awful. I didn't really have much a of a desire to learn to knit or crochet or make something. Don't get me wrong, I love a good handmade product, but I'd much rather buy it off some creative gal on Etsy than make it myself. I began to explore this a little more because I believe that all of us are created in the image of a creative God, and that He's given us an innate desire to create and be proud of our creation, just like He created us and said, "it was good." I thought back to my first memory of the time I made something. It was in art class in elementary school, and the art teacher showed the class an example of what we were supposed to make. Now, this example was of something SHE made, and it was perfect. I think it was bird made out of a toilet paper roll and we were supposed to glue feathers on the sides for wings and glue on some googely eyes and paint it. Her bird had perfectly placed feathers and googely eyes and somehow she knew what she was doing with a paintbrush more then I did. After I held my hot mess of a bird, with feathers in all the wrong places and googley eyes sliding down to its belly, up to hers I pretty much assumed I was not the artsy type. Everything I ever made in art class didn't stand a chance next to the "perfect" examples she always showed and made herself. A similar scenario happened every time we did a craft project when I joined Girl Scouts. After a while, I figured I better give sports a try instead because I was apparently missing a few screws in the artsy, creative department. I rarely attempted anything creative since then, and when I did, it also fell short.
Now, as an adult, understanding that we're all creative because we bare the image of a creative God, I wondered where in the world is my creativity? Everything I've ever created was awful and I didn't even have fun doing it. And then God slowly started speaking to me about this.
Lindsey, you are creative. But you don't want to be vulnerable. It takes vulnerability to create. And it takes courage to be vulnerable.
And boom. There it was, smacked in the face with Truth.
Okay, God. Then give me courage to be vulnerable so I can create.
And He did. And He shed some light on the creativity He's given me. He lifted the fog and made me realize that I like to write stuff. I might not be a good at making birds out of toilet paper rolls but writing stuff is really life giving to me and it's how I create, so that's what I plan to do here. I might be a horrible writer and have to make my husband check my grammar, but it is just so stinkin' fun for me to sit down and write crappy stuff. Ordinary stuff. Ordinary stories from my ordinary life. Which brings me to the next point...
My tagline is "a cheerleader for the ordinary girl." My life is so ordinary I couldn't jazz it up for the internet if I tried. And that is totally okay with me. My days are spent wiping crumbs off of little mouths and searching for the lost blankie and folding laundry and preschool drop off and just trying to walk with Jesus through all the ordinary stuff of life. I was talking to Jesus about how my life of following Him just feels so ordinary. Where's the glamour, God?! And then He illuminated this scripture to me (I like it in the message version):
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. -Romans 12:1-2
Since God revealed these verses to me it has been my everyday battle-cry. Lord, take this ordinary life as an offering to You and fix all my attention on You. I need to be reminded of this daily, because I know how quickly I can start looking around me and comparing my ordinary life to everyone else's seemingly exotic one. I try to cheer myself on in this daily, and through this blog I hope that I might cheer on other ordinary girls too. Because it's really not that ordinary after all when it's all for Jesus.
Is this your battle-cry right now too? Has anyone else ever struggled with creativity the way I did? I'd love to hear your story!