Creative Urges

“In the beginning, God created….” Genesis 1:1

In school, creative arts are often listed as ‘electives;’ in our adult life, they’re called ‘hobbies.’ Yet the very first thing we learn about the nature of God is that He’s creative.

I never considered myself particularly “creative.” In my mind, that word was always equal to “artistic,” and because I couldn’t paint or draw I figured it didn’t apply to me.

Looking back though, I see a creative thread that’s run through my life–it just didn’t meet my narrow definition of the word.

My mom started teaching us cooking basics when were in elementary school. I must have been in about 6th grade when I decided I wanted to make something special for Valentine’s dessert. My frozen-yogurt/jello cubes with a conversation heart in the middle weren’t a culinary triumph, but it was fun trying (and my family was dduly impressed). By high school, my sister and I were responsible for dinner one night each week. We had to plan the menu and do most of the cooking ourselves.

Eventually I learned that while I don’t get too excited about cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner, I do like making special occasion dishes, especially desserts.

When my boys came along, I knew I wanted to make their birthday cakes myself rather than buy one (partly out of economy and partly because I want them to remember my personal contribution to their celebrations). In the past eight years I’ve made everything from train cakes (several variations including one with a blue jello river running through it) to Curious George to assorted super heros.

I was required to take Home Ec in school. My earliest sewing projects weren’t too exciting, but by my senior year I was making most of my own clothes (my meager clothing budget went a lot farther that way). Picking patterns that would look best on me, choosing the right kinds of fabrics for a specific garment, selecting just the perfect button, all scratched that creative itch.

After a few years I could see a dress in a newspaper ad or catalog and figure out how to piece patterns together to make my own version. I couldn’t earn a spot on “Project Runway,” but I did love having one-of-a-kind things for special occasions.

Once upon a time I worked in news production for a local network TV affiliate. One of my duties was doing computer graphics during newscasts–sports scores, weather stats, election results, etc. These were the days pre-PC (personal computer). It was an exciting revelation that I could get the computer to do things I’d never been able to get my hands to do with pen or paint.

Over time, my definition of “creativity” has broadened, and I’ve gained a new appreciation for what God gave us when He instilled us with the urge to create. Like other aspects of His character, our feeble human attempts are a way of praising him as well as exemplifying Him to the world around us.

My hands still can’t paint, but I can make beautiful pictures as I see God’s creation through my camera lens.

My fingers can’t produce a tune from piano keys, but I can praise Him with my voice (in my car, alone!).

And He’s given me a mind that loves words. His, above all. And I love to use the words He gives me to help convey His words to others.

Whatever your creative outlet–whether you get an urge to pick up a paintbrush or a piece of fabric or to sit down at the piano or the computer–remember you’re giving back to the Creator a bit of His nature that He placed in you.

“In the beginning God created…and it was good.

What is your favorite way to express your creativity?

4 Responses to Creative Urges
  1. Kimberly
    May 15, 2011 | 2:03 pm

    I love how God broadened your definition of creative and showed you that He did indeed put part of His creative nature in you! 🙂

    I love to make crafty gifts for friends. Never anything fancy. But it’s fun to do simple things I know may make them smile…especially if I can tie in God’s Word somehow.

    And I, like you, LOVE words. I love to write…even if it’s something as simple as writing someone a card.

    Thanks for this wonderful reminder that being creative is not just painting or being artsy. 🙂 And for the reminder that using the gifts He placed in us is a gift to Him.

  2. Carrie Schmeck
    May 16, 2011 | 6:16 am

    Beautifully said Mary!

  3. BarbieS
    May 17, 2011 | 2:02 am

    I love that I get to share in His creativity!

  4. Annie
    May 19, 2011 | 12:20 pm

    Thanks for this post. It was a good reminder for me. Sometimes I fall into the bad habit of “I wish I could paint, draw, sing, play, preach. . . like that.” I know God has given each of us our own special talents and creative abilities that we should use to His glory. That should be my focus. God bless you.