creativity

One Word

2017 has made a splash!  It is well under way.  I’ve long forgotten Christmas and New Years.  This always happens.  Celebrations short-lived and routine returns to a cold and gray January.

A few weeks ago I read some thoughts by a writer.  She does not do resolutions because they don’t seem to stick. I can relate, can’t you?  Instead chooses a new word that she wants to live into for the year.  A word that resonates with her and gives focus and imagination for life.  I like that idea.

So I thought about it for a while and finally landed on my word.

Curious

It seems to encompass the thoughts and feelings inside of me as 2017 begins.   I’m curious about this year, what it will hold?

The world is a noisy place right now.  So many opinions, ideas and perspectives and I wonder how we’ll all get along?

My family has grown another year older. The cusp of new frontiers await.   Where will it take us?

I think about possibility all the time.  “What if” kind of thinking.  What if I can go to….., what if I can experience….., what if I can have….., what if I can create….?

This word curious works for me. A framework which to wrap my day to day.  A filter through which I pass the stuff of my life.

  • When my mind is thick with worry or doubt, I will become curious about how God will help me?
  • When unexpected delays slow me down, I will wonder how to build myself for endurance?
  • When faced with others need, I will ask how I may help?
  • When God talks, I will wonder why He speaks at all?
  • When creation overwhelms me with its’ beauty and power, I’ll wonder why have we been given such a gift?
  • When seasons change and time feels rapid, I’ll ask how gratitude can enrich the transition?
  • When fear is present, I’ll ask its’ name and if it has power over me?
  • When examining the contents of my heart and hands, I’ll wonder what would change if I say yes to inspiration?
  • When God seems silent, I will ask how I may quiet my soul and trust?
  • When mankind isn’t kind at all, I will be curious about what prayers, words or deeds are mine to respond?
  • When I’m stained with guilt, I will inquire about the mysteries of forgiveness?
  • When life shines like the sun and I feel full and free, I’ll ponder the sweetness of happiness and ask how I may hold it in?
  • When the brilliance of humanity or the magnificence of a child take my breath away, I’ll be curious how much wonder can a heart hold?

When I become curious possibility opens. Possibility fuels imagination. Imagination brightens. Enlightens.

What about you?

What word would you choose to help shape your 2017?

I’d love to hear about it.

fullsizerender

Advertisements

Recycle or Rubbish?

Do you recycle or do you throw everything away?

I have to admit that I recycle absolutely everything possible. I like the idea that something can be reused in a different form for a new purpose.

Sometimes I don’t know what can be recycled and what can’t.  What can be recycled for a new use?  Is there potential in ripped, torn or empty things?

A while back I was able to rummage through an old home that was going to be demolished.  I was told that I could take anything out of the house I wanted.  You don’t have to ask me twice to go picking.

There wasn’t too much worth salvaging.  A few doors and old hardware appealed to me but not much else.  On the property there were a few out buildings.  The structures were in really bad shape.  The kind of old shacks that would blow over with one big gust of wind.

There was one that was really dirty and dark.  Things seemed to be moving in the dark and I’m pretty sure it was a home to a bat colony. I had to go in.  Embedded in the dirt floor was an old box.  It looked like some kind of rough tool box with oozy grime all over it. It was so gross I didn’t want to even touch it, let alone put it in my car. Starting to feel as if things were climbing all over me I had to make a quick decision.

Was this worth saving? It’s hard to see potential in things when they are covered in dirt, worn down by the weight of years and harsh treatment.

Sometimes I think people are like things.  They become worn, dirty, empty and used.  In our souls we wonder, do we have any further use?  There is always value for each life, but, like the old tool box, we remain hidden in a dirty old shack, stuck in the mud.  The question isn’t value, it’s worth.  Is it worth rescuing the broken and forgotten without knowing what will come of it?  Is it worth the hard work and sacrifice that comes with effort? Is it worth leaving the old shack?

I finally got that old box out and brought it home where it spent a long time waiting in the garage for some attention.  After a  r e a l l y  good bath and some major elbow grease it began to evolve into something new.  Something I couldn’t see when I first found it.

The scrubbing, scraping and sanding gave way to beautiful waves of color and texture.  All of the scars and rough edges seemed to hint of a former life well lived. I wanted to know more.  I wondered how old it was, who had used it and for what purpose?  Why was it buried in the old shack?  Why did they leave it behind?

That’s the thing about restoration, it creates wonder and wonder breaths life into old things. Wonder creates space for something new.

The box began to transform as the dirt and grime washed away. The old box took on a fresh purpose and a new start.

Box Table

Box Table

 Restore us O God; make your face shine upon us that we might be saved. ~ Psalm 80:3

12 Things I Learned From Giving Up

A while back I challenged myself to create something new everyday.  It could be a music, art or writing.  The only catch was that I couldn’t give up.  I was giving up, giving up.

Wow!  It was harder than I thought.  Creating something new sounded exciting and freeing.  It thought I’d have an endless flow of artistry that would be like a never ending road.

I was wrong.

But I learned a few things along the way.  Here are 12 of them.

  1. Not giving up is harder than quitting.
  2. Not giving up reveals that somedays I have absolutely nothing to contribute.
  3. Not giving up teaches me that creativity is a shifting river.
  4. Not giving up makes me embarrassed at my inabilities.
  5. Not giving up makes me stare down my fears like playing a game of chicken.
  6. Not giving up makes my eyes search for something new.
  7. Not giving up always benefits more than just me.
  8. Not giving up is a cousin of discipline.
  9. Not giving up sometimes means doing something you don’t have the energy or inspiration to do.
  10. Not giving up opens you up to more.
  11. Not giving up is like someone who overstays their welcome.  You have to accommodate and host them anyway.
  12. Not giving up is an accomplishment all its’ own.

There is something to be said about enduring and how it changes you from the inside out.  I can honestly say that this lesson was very powerful in my life.  After I was done I was surprised to learn that the lesson I sought to learn wasn’t about creating art but about creating something new in me.  To not give up on a task showed me things, revealing things, curious things and good things.

To push through a plateau or a stagnant place showed me there is more to me than I knew.  There is more to God than I knew.  He is the Author of not giving up after all.  Scripture uses words like unfailing, faithful, enduring, almighty and never ending to describe Him.

Hidden Colors

Hidden Colors

Do you need to not give up on something in your life?  Have these 12 things reminded you that even though it’s hard to keep going, you can keep going.  Even if all you can do is something small like waking up and breathing a simple, “Hallelujah God”.  If you’ve done than than you’ve done more than most.