Simplifying

A Simple Reminder For The Creative Mama

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There’s something about the salty air by the sea, the sound of the waves, that has caught my attention for as long as I can remember. It’s always been that one thing of mine – that happy place, where I’ve felt at peace, most attuned to God. 

A few years ago, we lived just blocks away from the Pacific Ocean; I felt so much joy in walking our dog the eight blocks there and back, walking past the morning smell of Kona Coffee, crossing over the Pacific Coast Highway, smelling the salt and sand as the blue horizon comes into view. If you listened close enough in the evenings, you could even hear the waves crash at our house, those eight blocks away. 

It was a remarkable gift to live there in a tiny two bedroom house, in a place where we were surrounded by gifts that inspired me: the 365 day summer sun, the palm trees lining the streets, the coffee shop and quick grocery in walking distance from the house, the sound of the ocean waves. 

It was a place where my creative juices were running free as I opened the windows to let the breeze in, played worship music loud on the tv, and let myself free to paint… painting for friends, painting for the women’s ministry, painting just because… And in feeling so comfortable there, I was also avidly writing… blogging about our trips, writing about my crafts, recording the details of our latest adventures.

I felt free to rest in these good gifts, comfortable in my place and work and school, and in return, those creative juices were running free, and I created.

Isn’t it remarkable how much more of ourselves we can be, when we are comfortable in our surroundings, when we are given the freedom to learn and be? 

We are all created in the image of God, and as image bearers, we create because He creates. It’s wired in our DNA, to create. And it would do well to learn from His example at the beginning of time – during the process of Creation. 

And what does that – creating – look like?

Normal creation is more like being pregnant. Pregnancy is hard and the days are long. When we see something that delights us, in art or in life, it is usually a result of the consistent, sacrificial, non-romantic effort of an artist. A daily commitment to showing up, to loving with actions and not just words, to repenting from the desperate shape of her flesh; a commitment to writing bad songs, awful words, uninspiring colors on the canvas; a commitment to morning sickness and living with saltine crumbs in the bottom of her purse. One masterpiece is the work of ten thousand rough drafts. Every moment isn’t packed with delight, inspiration, or hope. The dark days are heavy and they should be. You carry something living inside of you. There will be pain to get it out.

A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman

Have you ever thought of that, creation being similar to pregnancy?

A powerful, life-giving, trans-formative experience?

A daily commitment to bringing forth new life, to being the vessel of God’s creativity, and learning of Him anew. The transition from pregnancy to motherhood changes us.

And in this change, we become free to be ourselves; being His vessels for creation (whether it’s in pregnancy or art) and resting in His truth. Create, then rest.

Remember the seven days of Creation, the beginning of life as we know it? On the seventh day, God rested. He saw that it was good – these gifts he spent six days creating… and He rested. 

As do we – because we mirror God’s image: Create in the day, and rest. Do it again and again, then when you are done – rest, and take it in. Create, then rest. 

And rest in the presence of God.

Creativity and rest go hand in hand. By taking God’s example for us, we honor Him and His design for us.

We were never meant to hustle, or to do this life alone. We can create for the masses and hustle for our own image, or we can create for God and be obedient to His calling on our lives.

We can follow the world and never stop until we are burned out, or we can simplify our lives: follow God and rest in His presence, for He gives rest to the weary.

And when we rest in God, we become a truer version of ourselves. For it is in the mirror of God’s word that we learn who we truly are.

So we simplify; We rest, and in this space, we gain the freedom to learn more of who God created us to be.

When we are confident and empowered in this freedom He gives, we free ourselves to be creative as He designed us.

We are no longer bound by the world and the hustle and the glitz. We look to God, we look to Christ. We rest in His truth. The created mirror the Creator.

He created us. We in turn create to glorify Him and share what He has gifted us with. He also calls us to rest in Him, and as we rest, He molds us into truer versions of ourselves, which fuels our creativity even more.

Isn’t it remarkable how intertwined this becomes? In all this, we learn an important truth: we are the best version of ourselves when we are given the freedom to rest in God’s truth, and create for His glory.

~Katherine Newsom writes at Simple Natural Mama

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