On Mining Creative Gold
Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Sometimes life gives us hell. Breath. Dig a little deeper. Ask the hard questions and mine the creative gold.
Almost a year ago now, I took up a paintbrush. Little did I know my words would practically vaporize. It seems doing two things at once is not my forte. My words slowed, sputtered, and vanished. I’ve managed a few posts since then, but they are almost always inspired by my painting…not the other way around.
What has this got to do with you?
I’m struggling with that too. In recent years, I have felt compelled to create written content that points to Jesus, his love for us, his desire for our freedom, and his passion for us to realize our design and pursue our God-ordained purpose.
Pursuing art during this past year has felt, well, a little selfish.
But the pull to paint has been incredibly strong. Is painting part of his plan, his design for me? If so, I must be true to that.
Will my words return? Will God pair them with my paintings? I hope so.
A couple of weeks ago, the leader of a well-known Christian art community, asked me to speak on her live Facebook show. Theresa Dedmon, founder of Create Academy, affiliated with Bethel Church in Redding, CA, wanted to interview me on the topic of “Unleashing Your Creativity.” I was petrified and honored. My art journey is like a minute long and it was hard to fathom I had much to say on the subject.
I woke up the morning of the interview feeling poorly, like I was coming down with a cold. My voice was hoarse and almost gone. I asked a few close friends to pray for me and I recovered enough by air time in early afternoon. I had never been on a LIVE Facebook before, so my jitters had to be calmed. I had received a list of her questions the day before so I was prepared, focused, and prayed up!
Thank God, because nothing went right. My internet went down no less than three times during the 30-minute interview and I had to navigate getting back online as quickly as possible. The last time I was kicked off, my connection didn’t come back. Theresa was gracious and covered beautifully, but it was so disappointing. I discovered afterwards that our entire neighborhood’s internet had experienced outages.
What are the odds of this happening during one 30-minute window?!
Meanwhile, I felt worse and worse, and a day later, tested positive for Covid. Yes, I was fully vaccinated, so the doctor said my symptoms should be mild. (It’s almost two weeks later now, and I’m telling you, if that was mild, then I am beyond thankful for the vaccine!)
But some points I wanted to share about releasing your creativity have been burning a hole in my soul. So here you go… seven tips “On Mining Creative Gold:”
1. Pursue freedom in Christ. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1. What does freedom have to do with our creativity? Everything! If we are not free internally, free from bondage to sin, then we cannot fully create with God. I’m not into the whole tortured artist thing. Jesus wants to set us free from controlling sins so we can flourish in his original design for our lives and fulfill his purposes. However, creating on the journey to freedom will help us process through our emotions and work toward healing and wholeness. Win-win!
2. Be open to your own brand of creativity. Recognize how God has wired you. All of us, regardless of bent toward science, arts, math, language, music, technology, etc. are designed to be creative. Creating is not limited to the arts! Scientific inventions, technological advancements, medical cures – all require creativity. My husband Louis is about as left-brained as someone can be, and he is an organizational wizard!
3. Explore new endeavors. Tune into your desires and be willing to fail. A desire to paint was birthed in me before I ever picked up a paintbrush. When I watched others create, I wanted to try that. I started dreaming about colors and paints. So, listen to your heart and be willing to try new things.
4. Be honest with yourself and God about what you desire. “Honor your design and image-bearing identify enough to be honest about what you want.” – Emily P. Freeman, The Next Right Thing. Why is it so hard to be honest with ourselves? Do you know what you want? Have you clarified it and written it down? Make a list and begin to pray about those desires daily. Submit those desires to God and ask him to check your heart: Is this for my glory or his?
5. Recognize that true creativity blossoms from intimacy with God. As we draw close to our Creator, he retools us from the inside out, forging a fire-hot passion for that which will bring him glory. He unleashes us to become his masterpiece, his poetry in motion. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
6. Understand that creativity thrives in community...and communities thrive through creativity. “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12 NLT. Creating may not typically be a team sport, but your creativity affects the whole. I am part of two life-giving creative communities – Hope*Writers and Create Academy. Both have nurtured my creativity, providing friendships, education, encouragement, and prayer on my creative journey. The Body of Christ needs your creative endeavors. Find both your communities for support and the communities where you can selflessly serve.
7. Expect resistance. As I am learning, the enemy hates it when we begin walking in our God-given creative design. Let’s determine to give him a black eye!
This world needs you and your gifts. Mine your creative gold!
Father of Lights, I call forth the unique giftings in my brothers and sisters right now, in the creative Name of Jesus Christ, that Name through whom all things were created, and for his glory. Amen and amen.
OH, TULSA! – I’m excited to let you know two of my paintings have been accepted into an exhibition in Tulsa sponsored by Living Arts of Tulsa. “Dreaming in Living Color” and “War Paint” will be on exhibit during September 2021. This is another first for me! Here’s a link to my Art Gallery. (You can click on the images for more information and to “heart” your favorites.)