Created to be Creative

22 07 2013

Sitting still has never been easy for me. Since childhood, I find doing nothing extremely difficult. The older I get, the harder this has become.

God blessed me with an abundance of abilities. My awareness of this caused consternation whenever I thought about it. After all, the Bible says, “To whom much has been given will much be required.”

Here was my dilemma:

When it comes to hobbies, I like to sew, embroider, crochet, knit, garden, make exquisite bead work, arrange flowers, play guitar and piano, write songs, write books, record audio books, and blog.

In the skills department, I love to organize things. I can weld, put in electrical wiring, and gas lines. I can type fast, read very fast, cook delicious meals without a recipe, decorate tastefully, manage an office, handle mass mailings, direct people, and excel at making the messed up neat again. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

This is not meant to be bragging. There were days when I looked at all the talents, skills, and spiritual gifts that I didn’t bother to list here, and I was concerned. Why? Because I did very little with all I had been given.

Why did God shower me with this stuff, if not to glorify Him? Isn’t this the chief end of man…to glorify God?

How was I supposed to mix all of these things into something useful, and keep me out of trouble?

Several years ago we watched The Truth Project. During one of the sessions I discovered the answer.

It’s the difference between “producing” and “creating.”

Creativity is my forte. Give me a pile of stuff and I can figure out something useful to make from it. Give me a disorganized mess and watch me bring it to order. I once unraveled a 1,000-foot ball of crochet thread that my cat had unrolled all through the house. Not a room was without string wrapped around something…and I loved the project!

While I can create things and have a blast doing it, nothing is produced. By “nothing” I mean a paycheck.

On the other hand, my mom continually made things throughout her lifetime. It seemed like whatever she made, people wanted. One year it was ponchos with yarn fringe. She made one for herself and sold about 50 of them! Another year it was baby blankets with cute designs. Quilts…I can’t count the number she made and sold. She was amazing in that way.

Thinking I would follow in her footsteps, I tried various things. First it was puffy picture frames with lace, ribbon, and flowers. They were liked, but not well enough for anyone to want to make a purchase. Then it was the era of jewelry made from little plastic strips. Women loved receiving them as gifts, but no one wanted to buy the jewelry to give.

When I discovered beading, I fell in love with the intricate pieces that could be woven from beads. Everyone else I knew was selling their creations like hotcakes. I sold numerous earrings at my aunt’s beauty shop, but that was it. While others were selling beaded bags, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, I finally gave as gifts what I had made just to get rid of the stuff!

At the time, I recall asking God why nothing I made sold. He let me know that I was just to bless others with what I made by giving the things away. This was confusing to me. How was I ever to produce a paycheck if I made gifts of it all?

Thinking this was His polite way of telling me to quit wasting my time and His money, I put all of my hobby materials away. Whenever I would get out something to work on, I would feel guilty about the frivolous use of my time. My creative nature shriveled up, and I was sad to say goodbye to my “friends” (hobbies).

As I tell you this, I realize that some of my sweetest times with Abba have been while I’ve been busy making something. He and I have had some excellent fellowship – and during those times He gave me insight into questions I’ve asked Him about Scripture.

As a “producer,” I have nothing to offer. It doesn’t seem that I will ever earn a living from what I make. While we watched The Truth Project, I realized that being a well-paid artist is a late 20th century phenomenon. Prior to that, nearly every “great” artist died in poverty…but greatly fulfilled, having glorified God.

I very nearly missed the point of my life! It is this: to glorify the Lord. If I am doing that, then I will have done all I was created to do. God’s not interested in whether I can earn a paycheck. He’s promised to provide for me if I seek Him and His righteousness first.

God doesn’t need my money…

…He wants my devotion.

Even if that means making things to give away for the rest of my life!

This is hard to accept in today’s society. We are so “production” oriented: Those who earn an income, have value. Those who stay home and don’t bring home a paycheck, are “leeches.”

This is not true from God’s point of view.

What about you? Do you find yourself needing to earn more and more money in order to feel like your existence is a valid one? What is the last thing to which you applied your talents, skills, and gifts for the sole – or even primary – purpose of glorifying God?

Can you enjoy a time of crafting without feeling guilty?

Do you regularly allow yourself to be creative…

…to be “just like Father?”

It’s time to shut down the computer and work on a prayer shawl for a dear friend. I’m going to enjoy the time I’ll spend while I knit. Too often I have been riddled with guilt for not spending my time “more wisely.”

I have been given much. God will require much from me. Unlike the world’s way of thinking, that “much” will not be added up using my paycheck stubs, but in how well I glorified Him.

Lord, thank You for setting me straight on this and for setting me free, for I was…

…created to be creative!

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33 responses

26 08 2013
judikruis

I can relate on so many levels and He has shared similar messages with me. I’m finally back to creating – for His glory too! Bless yoU!

26 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is creativity. With His Spirit within us, we simply MUST create. It’s in our new DNA!

You go, girlfriend! 🙂

\o/

28 07 2013
Robin Claire

Man!! I wish I had just a tiny bit of the talent you have! I don’t know what I’m supposed to be glorifying God through.

28 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

You already do. One way for sure is through your blog. His love shines through you, dear one! 😉

\o/

23 07 2013
Peg

Thank you, Tami! This post spoke to my heart on so many levels! I, by God’s design, am one of those creative people. I live to create! A few years ago, I was teaching art to home schoolers in my home, and around the walls of my art room (much like a wall paper boarder) I put cut-out letters to spell out, “We’re made in the image of the God of Creation. Let’s Create!” I really believe that we all have a creative spirit within us, some more than others of course, but the Word says, we are made in the image of Him. I find that during times I don’t have a project in some state of progress, my whole mood and outlook change. I’m happiest when I’m creating. Like I said, there’s so many ways this spoke to me, but this is supposed to be a comment only, so we’ll let it go at this and just say, “Thank you!” : )

23 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

You can write as much as you want as a comment any time you like! I appreciate your input.

In my music room is a little sign that reads: Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is creativity. It reminds me that when I am creating something, I am merely being just like my Father!

I love your wall paper border – cute idea! At my house it is Scripture written on the walls in calligraphy. I love seeing the Word no matter where I am. I tell folks, “It’s my house, I’ll write on the walls if I want to!”

Have a blessed day!

\o/

22 07 2013
Pure Glory

Your post gave me time to pause and think. So often we compare ourselves with others and where their gifts took them. God has been telling me to develop my gifts in a unique way as God leads. Tami, your creativity shines through your blog and those creative titles and interesting posts.

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thank you for your encouragement – and for equipping this saint! You make writing so much fun! 🙂

\o/

22 07 2013
Pure Glory

Hallelujah! 😀

22 07 2013
findingmyinnercourage

What a gift you have ministering to others! I am blessed to have found you i the Blogging world. Can you move to Nevada and stay in our home for a few months ministering to me! I NEED it? XOXO

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Probably not anytime soon. 😉 I’m in (the other) northern CA (north of Sac). Maybe we could meet in the middle!

You could always e-mail me, too: batransformed1@yahoo.com. 🙂

\o/

22 07 2013
findingmyinnercourage

I may just take you up on both!

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Be my guest! It would be a delight to get to know you better!

\o/

22 07 2013
Jass

This post was awesome and right on time…I am battling to figure out the best way I should be using my gifts. I feel as though I sit on so much you know…I believe one of the primary ways God will use me is through my writing. In fact, I believe my writing is my meal ticket and yet I couldn’t be any less motivated to write…

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

What is it that makes you light up and feel more alive than anything? For me it is writing. I couldn’t NOT write if I wanted. If it’s not a post for my blog, it’s a journal entry, or a book I’m writing, or something. When you identify your passion, you’ll find the motivation! What you do will build the body of Christ, as well. We need one of YOU!! Without your contribution, the body is lacking what you could provide. (Check out 1 Peter 4:10-12.)

\o/

22 07 2013
Jass

Thanks so much Tami!!!! Just got get my head together, but this is what I need to hear. If you don’t cry out, you can’t be helped.

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Equipping the saints. Mmm hmm. Just what we’re supposed to do. Thanks, Jesus! 🙂

\o/

22 07 2013
rosesnearrunningwaters

I know exactly what you mean! I love to sew, paint, craft, make cards, write….and so on 🙂 I’ve sold a few things here and there but I give just as much away as gifts. While a part of me wishes at times it was more help financially…I just love doing it and I love taking the time to make things as gifts. So if that is what the Lord wants me to do right now…that is what I’ll do!

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Ditto!

\o/

22 07 2013
Christina

This has been a struggle for me. While reading my bible this morning, I came across a passage next to the chapter that I was reading. It really spoke to me.
True Success Means Faithfulness
“The story of the talents is about the kingdom of Heaven but it offers an important lesson about success. God measures our success not by what we have, but by what we do with what we have- for all that we have is a gift from Him. We are really only managers to whom He has entrusted resources and responsibilities. The key thing He looks for is faithfulness, doing what we can to obey and honor Him with whatever He has given us. We may or may not be ‘successful’ as our culture measures success, in terms of wealth, prestige, power or fame. In the long run, that hardly matters. What counts is whether we have faithfully served God with what He has entrusted to us. By all means we must avoid wasting our lives, the way the third servant wasted his talents, by failing to carry out our master’s business.”
This came from Matt 25:14-30.
Coming across your post just made me realize that God is really trying to drive this home for me. 🙂

Blessings,
Christina

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Don’t you love how He does that?

Thanks for adding the devotional. It’s great!

\o/

22 07 2013
Christina

I absolutely love it. I don’t know how anyone could deny His presence. You can always find Him in the little things, whispering to you. 🙂

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

22 07 2013
tinafriesen

I have had difficulty coming to grips with this as well. I love what you say, God wants my devotion.

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Except for a few working years, my adult life has been spent as a stay-at-home mom…who home schooled. Where one area didn’t get a sneer, the other did. I’m glad that Jesus finally renewed my mind concerning this.

\o/

23 07 2013
tinafriesen

Sorry to hear that. There is something wrong when people put others down for caring for their own children.

23 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Umm hmm.

\o/

22 07 2013
Larry Who

I write. So, I have a great chance of being poor forever. Thanks for the inspiration today.

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂 🙂 🙂
Poor in cash, rich in Jesus (I’ve read what you write. ;))

\o/

22 07 2013
cazehner

Thank you for sharing this important truth. May we glorify God today with all we have and in all we do!

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Amen!

\o/

22 07 2013
Skye @ TheSanctuaryofMyHeart

You are amazing…I am so glad one of your gifts is writing here!! God bless you.

22 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks. What a kind Father we have who gives us gifts that minister to others! It’s a great way to keep us from living for ourselves, I think! 🙂

\o/

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