But I'm Not Creative! (Part 2)
- Thursday, March 22, 2001
We thought it would be useful to share some examples of ways to help you stir up your creative juices. Before we do that, though, let us put your mind at ease a bit.
Anyone can become more creative. It isn't just a gift that someone has and someone else doesn't. Creativity is simply one aspect of wisdom. Wisdom comes from God, and He tells us that if we ask Him for it, He will give it to us. All He expects us to do is to ask without doubting we are going to receive it from Him.
Now here's the key. It isn't our doubt that we can get wisdom that keeps us from getting it; it's our doubt that we believe God is able to give it to us. Faith is a matter of believing God. So just make sure you believe that God is capable of giving it to you. We believe it's that simple.
Then move on that belief. It reminds us of one of David's bosses years ago who had a picture on his wall in his office. The picture was of a man in a rowboat, frantically rowing with all his might. There was a huge spout of water gushing from the center of the rowboat. Above the picture were the words, "Pray toward heaven!" Below the picture were the words, "Row toward shore!" That is how faith is exercised. It involves trusting God and then acting on that trust.
It's the same way with becoming creative. Believe that the Lord will give you wisdom. Then act on your belief by finding ways to become more creative, and see what God will do. You will probably be surprised in the future when you look back at what has happened. We were. (Where do you think the idea for our book came from?)
Don't be afraid to take a class to learn a new skill or craft. Brainstorm for ideas with family and friends. Look for ideas in magazines, books, and even on TV. One of Laurie's favorite diversions is to watch a craft or cooking show on HGTV (Home & Garden Television).
In our home we read craft magazines and books, home school magazines and books, music books, cookbooks, you name it. Have you ever been terribly tired of a repetitive menu, ladies, and gone to a magazine or cookbook for new recipes? Do that in all areas of life.
Search the Internet for specific ideas that will help solve a problem. Look for inspiration from home-school speakers, watch video workshops, or listen to tapes on topics you need help in. You might think this is the opposite of creativity, but no, it's like collecting seeds that you can plant, water and cultivate, then, in due time, harvest the fruit.
Once you have the seed of inspiration, nurture it. Begin by taking some ideas (note we don't say all ideas) and tailor them to your needs or situation. Consider how you can embellish or enhance basic ideas.
We developed the skill of creatively solving curricula and practical problems in home schooling by learning to define the problem, then researching and thinking up answers to the problem. Start with small, easy things. We taught our children to do household chores by holding contests of all sorts. We wanted our children to learn to do chores and we simply needed their help, but we also wanted them to learn to love to work. Necessity is the mother of invention, and Laurie was a mother in need! From this need sprung lots of ideas - ideas that now enhance not only our family life, but other families' lives, as we share them in our writing and speaking.
Before you label yourself as hopelessly uncreative, be sure to realize that sometimes creativity in one area keeps a lid on creativity in other areas. For instance, when Laurie was pregnant, or as we like to say, "physically creative," she had little interest or energy to do much creative work around the house. If you have small children, or are experiencing a family or personal crisis of some sort, you may be using all your energy just to survive. That's OK. Even God rested from His creative work! Just don't give up on your creative self. Stick with it, work at it a bit, and we really believe that you will soon learn to be the creative person God wants you to be. That's because you have the most creative Person in the universe helping you ... if you let Him. How can you fail?
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