It hit me out of nowhere. I shouldn’t have been feeling it at all. I’d just come home from a writing weekend away from home. Gifted to me by my husband. I’d had fun with my characters, taking time to let my mind wander and really understand their story.
I came home to laughter . . .
Sometimes it’s the reminder of the undone that triggers discouragement.
Piles of mail.
Towels that have been sitting out for a week.
A grease-laden stove that no one cleaned.
A boy’s attitude on a school morning.
Things they’ve left out rather than taken those few seconds to put away.
It hit me this morning. Discouragement. It’s hard to concentrate on what fills my spirit when everything I see saps my soul.
I’m seeing discouragement is also my response to those things undone. Sometimes, I confess, I put on the martyr’s cloak. “No one will do this but me. So get it done.”
And I fill my day with “get it done” things, leaving no time to fill my spirit.
And . . . discouragement takes root.
This morning, my house is an outward reflection of my inward condition. Cluttered. Messy. Sometimes it feels too hard to get everything in order.
Do I ignore it?
Do I set aside the things I want to spend time creating and clean everything up?
It’s not that we haven’t trained our boys to clean up after themselves. To do their jobs thoroughly.
Sometimes it’s just laziness. And not seeing things through my eyes.
They don’t see that AWANA book sitting on the table. But they saw the newspaper on top of it.
What am I not seeing in my heart?
I see the clutter of daily living covering over other things.
My heart’s hunger for time with Jesus.
My heart’s yearning to be satisfied creatively. To work on my story. To find beauty in my day and capture it with my camera.
Sometimes, we need to look beyond the clutter to the important.
We need to ask God to give us eyes to see with His perspective.
Could it be possible it’s important to Him that I—that we—create in the ways He’s crafted within us?
Some of us write. Others paint. Take pictures. Weld. Make pottery. Work with yarn and fabric. Stamp. Scrapbook. And other things.
He didn’t create us to function as automatons, so focused on doing and accomplishing that we miss out on the simple joy of creating.
We are made in God’s image, and that includes being creative like He is.
There is no sin in taking time to fill ourselves and create.
I feel like I need to give myself permission to ignore the piles and the grease and simply fill my spirit.
Something refreshing washes over me when I spend time creating. Joy? Fulfillment? God’s pleasure?
It’s when we fill up on those things that emulate and honor God that discouragement’s roots lose their grip in the soil of our hearts.
Those weighing-down thoughts can be pulled out and replaced with the light of God’s joy.
That’s what I’m focusing on today.
The piles will still be there when I am done creating.
What about you? How do you make time for creativity in your life? How do you combat discouragement?