Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Grace of Guarding & Cherishing Your Creativity

We've all been given a sweet spot of creative time.  Optimally, it's a daily gift.

These are our most productive moments for we're sharp and alert and right on top of our game.

We get to choose what we want to do with those precious minutes. Or wide open hours. Whatever they may be.










For those of us who find great joy in setting words onto paper, our spacious space is quiet and undistracted.  The urgent must-dos are out of the way.  Our heads are clear and focused, our hearts unfold wide, listening to the Spirit's beckoning.

The awaiting creative sparks have room to spin and soar, random ideas and words and phrases pour forth and knit themselves together, sometimes surprising us with the force of their unexpected arrival. 

A rhythm, a flow emerges as everything that's within comes together.  Fingertips speed over keyboard with little hesitation.  And our labor of love is birthed, often messy and incomplete as it bursts forth.  We pause to let the offering marinate, return to massage it again and again, and have the pleasure of watching our heart-words finally pull together and take wings.

As we follow His lead, this whimsically creative process accomplishes what He pleases.

Blogging.  Working on your manuscript.  Designing lesson plans, a seminar, or a sermon.  Journaling.  Penning poetry or a love letter.  Agenda setting.  Brainstorming some sort of an out-of-the-box project.




Maybe you're not a wordsmith but you've just gotta nail down that tune that won't leave your head.  Or spend time in the kitchen, kneading yeasty, warm dough.  Head out the door to explore an unknown path, camera at the ready.  Quilt tiny stitches on gorgeous fabric or maybe plunge your hands down deep and dirty in the richest of soil.  Splash paint on a blank canvas with wild abandon.  Wield some kind of tool in your awaiting workshop.

Whatever.

Sure, we can produce work at other times of day or night.  But it often ends up forced or hollow or stilted.  And we wonder what's going on for us.  Not to worry.  It's just not your best time, that's all.

Discover and embrace, guard and cherish your sweet spot of creative time.  This sacred space is an incredible grace to enjoy, with the end result going forth as a needed encouragement for another soul.




For when all is said and done, it's all about blessing others.

May our offerings reflect His heart.  And may He prosper the work of our hands.

*

Let's talk about what you're creating ...

50 comments:

  1. I do cherish the sacred minutes of typing away or the better putting the ink on paper..hopeful to be called a word smith someday or anytime soon.
    Creativity challenges our mind to explore deep sometimes dark and lonely places in the field of adventure.
    In the end it's about blessing others and allowing God inspire our hearts to wield our pens and fingers.
    Love the painting you are doing.
    Hugs Linda

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    1. You're right, Ifeoma ... creativity is a challenge to mind and heart {sometimes body, too!}

      No wonder we need to plug into its invitations.

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  2. Hi Linda! That painting your doing looks so pretty! You are a woman of many talents.
    I learned a long time ago that I am not a 'morning person'. My prime writing time/work time is the afternoons. It is such a challenge to get my keester in a chair, but after that, it's interesting to see how all those ideas pan out on paper. Writing is a gift, but not one without it's work factor, that's for sure.
    I'll accept my murky mornings, waiting for the gentle breezes of the afternoon!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Murky mornings ... yep, sometimes that says it all, doesn't it.

      Seems like the older we get, the longer it takes for the haze to lift, huh?

      Here's to those gentle breezes, friend ...

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  3. You have so many areas of creativity, Linda! Such gifts you have. My most creative time i usually in the morning. As the day goes on, I start dragging. :)

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    1. I hear ya', Lisa. If the day is wide open, morning is my best time, period. It starts slow, but if I have something that's begging to be written, it's full steam ahead.

      Other days? Well ... let's just say I'm not all that much in a hurry.

      ;-}



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  4. Whatever creativity I have is now in service of trying to find grace in the middle of a situation that's become intolerably painful, and is terrifying. Blog posts take forever to write, and a manuscript's now out of the question.

    Still, in our darkest hours God shines the brightest; perhaps He shines at wavelengths that are invisible to our eyes, yet they still pierce our souls and flood us with grace.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/04/your-dying-spouse-293-god-didnt-make.html

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    1. That you continue to produce such wise work in the midst of this painful valley is truly inspirational, Andrew. You legacy is alive and well, a strong testament to your character and God's grace flowing through you.

      I'm grateful you're in our lives, friend ...

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  5. Amen, sister! And I love that painting you're working on ... in (is it?) crocks, no less! Love my crocks too! ha! We all need to remember that our giftings are different and yet beautiful in many ways. Thanks for inspiring us in word and deed, my friend!

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    1. Yep, I live in my faux Crocs, my faux Uggs!

      My wide ol' feet rejoice!

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  6. I'm reviewing Psalm 19 these days and the final verses ring true with my writer's heart, for it is my greatest desire that the words of my mouth (and my pen) would be pleasing in His sight.

    Thanks for this call to feed our creative souls. (Have you read Makoto Fujimura's Culture Care?)

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    1. That verse has become one of my blogging prayers over the years, Michele. Praise God for His very active role in living out our callings, fueling our creativity, guiding our choices in how we invest our time.

      Am off to check out your recommendation, friend ...

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  7. It's good to have a hobby that we enjoy and it fills in those spare few minutes we sometimes have. I like to go out in the garden and throw pieces of bread over the fence into our neighbours' gardens. This way the birds go over to their place rather than disturb mine.

    God bless.

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    1. Oh, I bet you're a super neighbor, Victor. With or without slices of stale bread tossed hither and yon ...

      ;-}

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  8. Linda,
    Love your painting and your writing :-) Thanks for the reminder to guard my writing time. xoxo

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    1. And I'm working harder at guarding my devotional time with the Lord. The writing time too easily encroaches.

      Am I the only one who struggles with this?

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  9. You are so creative, Linda, and now painting is another of your hidden talents. I'm always amazed at the unique shaping of branches in trees. The flower photos, too, are so bright and cheery. I'm praying with you - "May our offerings reflect His heart." I hope your counseling practice is going well. Love and hugs to you!

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    1. You're sweet, Trudy. My first time with a canvas. I've always wanted to try my hand at painting. This fundraiser at my granddaughter's school sure beat buying magazines, wrapping paper, and overpriced candles ...

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  10. Lovely! And when you wrote about quilting tiny stitches on fabric, my eyes got wider. Yes, I want to try that. And cake decorating and....! Some of my creative ideas do need to wait another season as I work on current ones. But, look so forward to learning more! I thank God for His creativity that is in every space.

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    1. Oh yes! Cake decorating, Lynn! Fun ... and yummy, too!

      I'm in.

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  11. AND you are an artist too--MOST Impressive, My Friend! What a gentle post of encouragement!
    Blessings!

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    1. Not quite an artist, but that's kind of you.

      A dabbler?

      Great therapy!

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  12. I love those paint nights! I've done three of them. One hangs in my office and each of my boys have one too. Your painting is beautiful. I'm not really sure what I cherish creating lately... does pinning home remodel ideas on Pinterest count? Picking new paint colors for walls, etc? Super excited about a home makeover we have started (long process). And I'm looking forward to tending to the yard (planting!) again this spring/summer. Kindof rediscovering what my passion is. Miss you, friend. Just don't get to blog reading often but you come to my mind often. Blessings. xoxo
    SimplyBeth

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    1. Ah ... rediscovering what your passion is. Or might be. I just love those kind of seasons even though they seem to be filled with waiting, a bit of angst, and self-doubt. I find that's where I've met God best.

      Beth, please send pictures of your makeover, ok? Sure do miss you in blogging land ... so glad to hear you're well and prospering!

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  13. You've expressed it so well, friend!

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  14. Love your painting! The blue jumped out at me. Creativity of any kind is a gift!

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    1. It does scream B L U E, doesn't it. Should have swirled more white in there.

      ;-}

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  15. "May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." ~Psalm 19:14
    Linda, you have said it spot on in this blog. All our words must reflect God's glory. I recall, when I was writing my novels, that I would sit down and literally ask, "God, what would You have me write today?" That's when the Holy Spirit went right to work, and my fingers flew over the keyboards. I can't begin to tell you how many times the unexpected and unpredictable appeared. All I could do was to thank God for this amazing gifts!
    If your readers would like to consider reading my novels, I hope they will visit www.gladetrilogy.wix.com/theglade. Our mutual blogging friend, Pastor Bill, has read them all and shared them with his church. Oh, what a blessing that is!
    Blessings to you, Linda!

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    1. Martha oh yes, yes, to this ->> "God, what would You have me write today?"

      We just can't go wrong when we partner with Him and follow His lead. We might be a bit surprised {I often am} but that can only deepen our faith.

      P.S. Hey readers ... go check out Martha's books! Her link is right there, ready and waiting.

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  16. Your words so often express my heart. You know how it beats, its rhythms, patterns, and skips. We are often so connected, friend. It's amazing how often I open your blog, and my heart pours out!

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    1. Likewise.

      Absolutely.

      I never fail to be amazed ... and renewed when visiting at your lovely space.

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  17. I love your painting, and your description of the creative process. Those moments when inspiration strikes are amazing. I recently began writing music again after not doing it at all for a few years because a friend asked me to set her poem to music. I was surprised how easily it flowed and how much I enjoyed it and it is definitely something I want to do more of again.

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    1. Oh cool! Isn't it a thrill to discover a hidden gift? And even better when it blesses another soul?

      Beautiful, Lesley. Just beautiful.

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  18. My sweet spot for creating is in the morning when everyone is out of the house. Unfortunately, I forget this far too often and spend that time cleaning or something that could be done later. Thank you for this reminder, Linda. I definitely need to keep that morning time sacred. Your painting is beautiful! It's been a while since I've held a paintbrush.

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    1. Everyone out of the house. Yep ... that's helpful, for sure. And when they're not, let's hear it for the closed door!

      I'm writing.

      ;-}

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  19. Linda, thank you for this call to be intentional about finding our best time to be creative. My best time is in the morning but too often, I spend that time doing things I could just as easily do later. Even now, I'm trying to build in some discipline, to make the most of those creative hours. Thank you for this prompting to keep at it ... :-) (I also love your painting ... )

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    1. It's kinda hard if we're morning people because there's all those other things we really want to take care of ... the laundry, go to the store, keep an appointment, head off to Bible Study, have devotions, of course.

      Maybe if mornings could be a bit longer?

      Maybe I should get out of bed earlier?

      ;-}

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    2. Good morning, Linda. I came back to read your reply and noticed I spelled my own name wrong. :-) I know I'm a morning person, but I think I need more sleep!

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  20. Hi Linda,
    Finally! I think I had some server issues today but persevered to leave a comment here to say, I LOVE the photo of you painting! Did you enjoy it? I did one of those paint nights last year and they were so much harder than they looked! But your tree looks wonderful! Tell me, did you hang it in your house or give it as a gift?! :) xoxo

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    1. Server issues. Computer glitches.

      UGH.

      I'm glad you made it through, friend. I loved the painting party. My daughter, two granddaughters, and I had a ball. One granddaughter is particularly talented, the rest of us just had fun.

      Right now it's at my mom's house ... we'll see where it roams to next!

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  21. Yes, blessing others. I do hope that is the product of my hands, words, laughter...whatever it may be that can lift another. Thank you Linda. You've summed up my desire in my meager attempts.

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    1. Laughter.

      Yes, Debby, what a blessing to spread around.

      Especially the hearty laugh-til-you cry kind ...

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  22. These are good thoughts about that sacred space for creativity! I think I tend to have "all or nothing" thinking. Like, "If I don't have 2 hours to set aside, I don't have time for creativity," but sometimes even setting aside 15 minutes to make progress on something is refreshing to the soul. :)

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    1. The 'all or nothing' thinking! Oh I hear you, Betsy. This is something I've always tried to navigate.

      Not successfully, I admit ...

      ;-}

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  23. What a beautiful way to describe the process of creativity. I wish I had time everyday but that's not what my writing time looks like. However, I receive inspiration at the weirdest times so I need to be ready to capture thoughts and words. Thank you for this food for thought. I love that writing words provides me with such joy and has aided in my healing and deepening my relationship with God.

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    1. Mary, yes, 'the weirdest times.'

      My most recent posts have been pulled together in the evening hours. Go figure, huh?

      We write, we create, when the Spirit moves.

      And that's a very good thing ...

      ;-}

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  24. Whether adding thread to fabric or placing fingers on keyboard, being creative can take me away from pain and discomfort and turns ordinary days into extraordinary ones.

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    1. Good point, Debby. Refocusing on something beautiful and life-giving can shift our perspective ... big time.

      I'm glad you're here today. Truly.

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda