“Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.” -Brene’ Brown
My in-laws bought me a sewing machine as a surprise present for my thirtieth birthday. I went along with the excitement of the moment, but I wasn’t at all feeling genuinely thrilled. I’m super crafty, but before that moment, I had only used a needle and thread to mend a hem or sew on a button. I had never operated a sewing machine, much less this Cadillac with all the bells and whistles.
The present was thoughtful and equally overwhelming.
All I could think is, “If I’m not good at this, they have spent quite a large sum of money, for nothing.”
It sat in the box for a couple of months, until, at my husband’s bidding, I took a sewing class. I did some Googling and found a local shop which taught classes for beginners, and I signed up.
An older black lady taught the class. She’d been a seamstress for 35 years. She was incredibly kind and helpful, but I could not get past the idea that I was going to fail big. Halfway through the class, she said, in her deep Southern drawl, “Honey, I don’t know why you’re in the beginner class. You already know how to do all of this!”
With the skills I learned from the class, and a completed project under my belt, I had a newfound confidence. I decided to try something on my own, and it turned out well. My very first sewing project was a simple pinafore dress.
Two years later, I am willing to try almost anything. If I see it and want to make it happen, I go for it. And I don’t suck at it.
Often, friends approach me with compliments over an outfit my daughter is wearing or a costume I made my son. They say things like, “My grandmother’s sewing machine is still in a box in the attic!” Or “I could never do something like that! You’re so talented!” And I remember, just two years ago, feeling the exact same way.
But the truth is, you never know if you’ll like something or have a knack for it, until you try.
I feel most alive when I’m creative.
Even if I am using a pattern, I still have the vision: the additional trim, the buttons, lace, and other little “extras” that make the project my very own creation.
To create something from nothing, in some small way, feels like a touch of the Divine. As I look around at my beautiful children and this beautiful life, I see God sculpting something extraordinary from a completely blank slate.
Just like Sasha with her jewelry and jellies or my husband with his writing, creativity allows us to tap into the whimsy and imagination of God. It is a humbling and exciting experience.
Creativity also requires a great deal of vulnerability.
That’s when I know I am not God. Not all my plans work. Some projects get scrapped. And because of self-doubt, it is incredibly easy to talk myself out of doing something, before I ever begin.
Even when a project doesn’t turn out perfectly, I’ve learned a lesson, gained some wisdom, and learned from what didn’t work. It’s a lot like life. We have hang ups, disappointments, and dreams that don’t quite turn out like we initially imagined, but we keep getting back up. We return to the drawing board, and eventually, what we end up with is something magical.
I may not be Martha Stewart and I may never have a blog go viral, but I am also no longer the girl with the sewing machine in a dusty old box.Creativity allows us to tap into the whimsy and imagination of God. Have you used yours lately?Click To Tweet
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