“I wish I was as creative as you.”
I hear this all the time and it always makes me uncomfortable. One, because I’m awkward when receiving compliments–I’m still learning to accept people’s kindness towards me. Two, because I wish I was as creative as hundreds of other people,. Three, because, while being artistic may not come natural to all, creativity is definitely for any and everyone.
The third point is the most important. Creativity is not about coming up with spectacular ideas in the blink of an eye, although it’s awesome when that happens. Creativity isn’t even about doing well in common arts. Creativity, at least to me, is about flexing the muscles of our own soul. It’s about taking the intangible strengths and weaknesses of our personalities and figuring them out as problems and solutions in the world.
That’s one great reason to write, it connects the dots between our distant thoughts. Words are glue between floating ideas. When sentences are put together, we can eliminate the space of confusion in our own minds. That’s what being creative is about–taking space and matter and turning it into something that works for you. Something that helps you make sense of your experience.
It’s great to admire the authenticity of others but never to do so at the expense of your own esteem. “I wish I was as creative as somebody else,” is minimizing the talents and gifts God gave you. Yes, I know, sometimes our gifting can be an obstacle. That’s why we look to others, assume they have it easy, and then wish we had it their way.
I struggle dearly with the gifts God has given me because my weakness is time management. I’m not very talented when it comes to time, routine, itineraries, etc. So while I might be able to write or doodle “easily,” it requires a lot more effort for me to productively organize my time.
A dear friend of mine, who also struggles with her own creative nature, told me about an idea she got for her photography work. I loved it, it was something I could never imagine because her gift is not my gift.
Sometimes when we see or hear about a good idea, we immediately question “why didn’t I think of that?” when we should appreciate that somebody else was able to do something beautiful. But it gets deeper! She told me that this idea was God-given, she was sure that it came to her by divine instruction and not by her own ability.
Lately, I’ve been upset with myself because my creative output is far less than what it could be. I’m never going to get past beginner oil painting! I haven’t even painted in oil since I got pregnant, and it kind of hurts. On the other hand, God is currently speaking to me about different ideas, projects that take my gifts and talents where He wants me to go. And it has nothing to do with oil paint. Goodbye, renaissance dreams. Hello, God’s Will ♥
I’ll never know why God created us, but I know that He did. He is the ultimate creator, He’s got us all beat. Another thing I know is that He created us in His image. There’s a little creator in all of us! Whether your version is painting, music, exercise or finances, truck driving, serving food, there’s always space to create.
God is taking you somewhere with your gifts so you can reflect His greatness as our Creator. Be kind to Him by being kind to the talents specific to you.
I encourage you to think differently about your God-given gifts, consider the ways you can add your own flair of ingenuity, and practice the art of being you.
“He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.”
Here are three simple ways I’ve been “creative” since becoming a mother… Mostly, these are the only soul-channeling things I could accomplish in the time I could manage.