I am an artist. As an artist I show my work at various galleries on occasion and when I do I always encounter a person or two who approaches me in a sort of state of awe. Not necessarily about my work, but about the work of having created something. There is a group of people, perhaps even the majority, that think they are not creative. I’ve also come to understand that this group of people thinks there are two groups of people: creative and not creative. I don’t believe that. The simple truth is that we were created by the Master of Creativity and if we are made in His image, which we are, then we are not only all capable of creativity, but I would assert that we are all called to be creative.
I am not suggesting that everyone go out and buy a camera or pick up a paint brush. I am suggesting, however, that each of us uses our innate creativity to bring beauty into our every day, ordinary lives. Such ordinary circumstances like parenting, marriage, your home, your routine, work, dating, and eating are all areas that can, and should, be subjected to your art of creativity.
Parenting is often the root of a mommy and daddy’s existence for approximately 18 years. I am not an ordinary parent, but I do parent two dogs and it is similar in a lot of ways. I have found each dog to be so different in personality and demeanor, so much so that they require completely different methods of “parenting.” I go into depth about the differences in discipline and love languages from dog to dog, or Haley to Sam, HERE.
In my case of parenting my dogs I have transformed a simple walk into a field trip to the park buried in the back of the neighborhood. Here I can let them off the leash to romp about and play fetch. I have also transformed the art of a “walk” itself on the occasion I strap on my roller blades and let the dogs pull me all around the neighborhood.
In the case of parenting children the same can be done. It’s all about transforming the daily, normal activities and making them not only more exciting and tailored to your children but perhaps even more exciting and tailored to you so you can better enjoy that time with them. You could transform making meals into family collaboration. In my experience kids love to be a part of the food making process. Especially if it involves making something sweet 😉 Or maybe you could transform the bedtime routine into a game – make it a timed race, see who can pick out the craziest pajamas, cleanest teeth contest, etc.
Creating a Creative Marriage
I am married. Josh and I have discovered that we do best when we customize the way we love to make our counterpart feel it to the full. I’ve found that the days I’m feeling entitled to being loved a certain way by him are actually the days it is best to focus that attention outward and go out of my way to love on him. A great way to get started in creatively and intentionally loving your spouse is by picking up Love Dare at your library or buy it (so you can mark it all up). A less creative although very important way to create a creative marriage is by building each other up in some basic needs like prayer, going to church, dreaming together, budgeting together and MORE. Once those basic needs are taken care of and you not only have your heart set in the right place but by going to God with your problems you will often find suddenly a creative solution is placed before you and by doing these simple things together you will find you are suddenly inspired to love more and to love better.
Creativity in your Home Space
A home is your habitat. It is the place that is perhaps the only place you can call your own.
In nature I see so many intentional home builders. Some male birds build nests to impress the lady they have their eye on, bees build a crazy awesome infrastructure of cubbies, beavers build dams with paramount precision, ants build ridiculously ornate infrastructures of pathways and niches, male clown fish have the job of picking out the prettiest available anemone for their mate and babies to live safely, and that’s just the cherry on the giant, seemingly infinite, sundae of creative home spaces within nature!
So, then, why is it that people often completely neglect the aesthetics of their home? Now, wives, please to do not bring my article to you hubby and declare, “see, we do need that China hutch I’ve been eyeing!” No, but I do advocate setting a budget to fix up the place and make any necessary purchases to bring your home to life. And, more than that, I recommend getting creative with what you already have and see if you can’t repurpose or refurbish things you already own. I just recently finished my own Remaking Home project to infuse creativity within my home space so if you want some inspiration or motivation CLICK HERE to read more about that 🙂
Creativity in your Routine
I once read somewhere that to inspire creativity one of the best places to start is your daily routine. I am a creature of habit in so many ways so I understand those of you who feel hesitant to give this a try. However, I have found that with an appropriate ratio of structure and flux my needs to keep a sense of balance and inspire creativity are both met thoroughly. For example, I set aside Mondays and Thursdays aside for a Sunshine Moment business matters and photo editing; on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I attend to business and blogging in the morning and then I devote the rest of my day to writing, homesteading, researching, or any number of other creative adventures I want to commit to (my areas of flux); Saturdays are reserved for booking shoots and more a Sunshine Moment; and Sundays I maintain as my Sabbath (another area of wonderful flux) and I never miss church unless I absolutely can’t help it. So there, now you are all too well-informed about my daily work life 🙂
Josh and I have found that our best memories are of times when we did something a little outside the box or used our money in a creative way. Maybe there’s a free concert in the park, or maybe you want to go get ice cream, or maybe you can go on a picnic. Get out and have some fun or stay in and invent a new activity. The standard dinner and a movie date is particularly rockin’ when you don’t do it all the time 🙂
This one is simple. We eat every day. Those of us that have a passion for food this is your area to get creative! Spice up your salad, soup, sandwich, or otherwise sumptuous meal with a pop of color, a prop, placement, or presentation 🙂
These, of course, are just a few ways to spice up your life with a little creativity. There are so many other areas of life that you can concentrate on and make them special. I know you will find some amazing fruits out of the extra “labor” you put in!
I couldn’t agree more that we are created to create, and it’s not a have it or you don’t kind of a thing!