"But forget all that - it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers for them in the desert!" Isaiah 43: 18-19 (NLT)
There are days when my inspiration well is dry. Cracked and dusty in fact. On those days nothing is flowing, not a gurgle or a drip. Try as I might, I can't manifest a single creative thought.
Dinner? Will toast and peanut butter work?
Writing? See Jane ... uh ... run.
Daughter's history project? Let's see what we can make with lined paper.
On those days, I'm convinced I'll never again write a witty word and my family is destined for mediocre meals. Even more concerning is the worry that I'm raising children who will perpetuate my blandness. What depressing thoughts!
Yet on other days, I'm the Colorado River of inspiration. A little muddy at times, but fast and free flowing. Thoughts with tinges of brilliance (and far above my normal level of thinking) burst from my brain faster than my fingers can type. Relief seeps into my heart. Gourmet meals are just an hour away! I'm not empty after all!
I've experienced both these conditions. And it got me thinking about the circumstances surrounding them. I've realized there are certain patterns that foster my times of creativity. Because I'm designed by a creative God to be creative, I want to dig in deeper to these ideas and work them into my life in greater measure.
The first circumstance that breeds creativity seems to be a new or renewed commitment to a God-given vision. In the past six months, God has refocused my personal ministry. Last year I had a sense He wanted to do something different in and through me, and spent time praying about it and waiting. As I embraced what God was showing me, He rewarded me with exciting ideas, more than I've had in years.
Turning to this new vision has meant leaving other things behind. That was painful. But as I listen to God and obey, I'm energized for the future.
The second circumstance that sparks my creativity is getting out of my routine, and positioning myself around something creative. A simple trip to a book or craft store can jump-start my thinking. I love going to a gourmet or niche grocery store. Farmer's markets, art museums, music stores, concerts or a model home might do the same for you.
We all have creativity designed into us. Yet many believe they were shorted in the idea department, while others got an unfair share. Not true! Perhaps you've put borders around what you think creativity looks like. A mom who whips up an amazing breakfast her toddler will eat is just as creative as a woman designing a line of fashion. God blesses both - they just don't look the same.
Take time to pray about God's vision for you, and position yourself in a creative environment. Who knows what amazing new thing God will do!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for making life beautiful and creative. Thank You for placing a bit of Your creativity in me so that I can enjoy You more. Help me to shake off the negative thoughts about my own lack and be open to whatever new thing You long to do in me and through me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.