These are just a few of the words commonly used to describe some of my favorite people: creatives.
I’ve been accused of being most of those words myself. And at one point or another, most of them have indeed been true of me.
When I was a very young child I lived in a house that had a large open porch with a concrete floor. I recall my mother telling me that they were going to paint it. I had lots of ideas about that, including ones that involved polka dots and stripes. The porch was eventually painted white with a dark green concrete floor. I considered it a waste of a perfectly good canvas, though I had the sense to not say as much.
Not every creative enjoys applying their creativity to traditional art. There are creative problem-solvers, inventing all kinds of objects, systems, and methods. There are musicians and writers and chefs and shoemakers and architects and fingernail painters and flower arrangers and computer programmers and choreographers and stitchers of tiny costumes for teacup poodles.
I suspect most creatives would tell you they “can’t draw”.
I also suspect that most creatives don’t actually know they’re creative because they’ve always been told that to be creative is to be an artist– you know, someone who draws pictures. And so they go through life feeling a little off-kilter and out of place because that unidentified creative spark in them refuses to be silenced. They find themselves rewiring household appliances to “improve” them, pimping their cars, wearing two different colored socks on purpose, recreating grandma’s chili recipe. They are driven by the vague vision of unrealized potential.
I believe that everyone is born creative in one way or another. Some people are better and letting it out, and some folks have personalities that make it difficult for them to really embrace creative processes. However, the whole idea of making something new and beautiful is a reflection of the image of God in us. The first thing the scriptures tell us about Him is that “In the beginning, God created…” and within 26 verses He’d made us, too, in His own image.
Creative people made in the image of a creative God.
Not every person with the ability to create becomes a creative, just as not every creative becomes a traditional artist. What we’re not doesn’t lessen what we are. But I believe God has a very special place in His heart for the people who are often described with that list of words.
What the world sees as “crazy” in them, He sees as Himself.
The blogosphere is an interesting place, full of communities and networks and sharing. Every now and then you’ll see bloggers passing along “awards” to encourage one another. There are rules for accepting the awards that usually involve sharing some things about yourself and nominating a bunch of other bloggers who qualify for the awards.
I have recently been nominated for two different awards. It’s a bit more time and energy consuming than I can muster right now, so in essence, I’m declining both awards. However, I want to honor those who honored me, because it means a lot to me to receive the encouragement of other bloggers who then share my blog with others. Blog hits, shares, comments, likes, and rating stars are a blogger’s love language, and when a fellow blogger nominates you for an award, it helps bring more traffic to your little corner of the blogosphere. It’s enough to cause a cyber swoon!
On November 1st, Mel Wild at In My Father’s House nominated me for The Liebster Award. Mel blogs about matters of faith and the heart. I look forward to his posts, knowing they will challenge me to live out the message of the kingdom more fully. The guy professes love for Jesus and spicy food, so you know we’d surely get along if we ever met! You really should check out his blog. It’s good stuff.
Then on November 27th, Priceless Joy at Someday I Will Get This Write nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. Priceless Joy writes about a bit of everything, and it is quite fitting that she’d be awarded The Versatile Blogger award. If you’d like your blog-reading experience to feel like hopping into someone’s passenger seat for a four minute ride to wherever they may be going on any given day, then this blog might just be the ticket for you!
Thank you, both of you. You did this heart good!
If you’re a blogger who’d like some consistent community and encouragement, or a wannabe blogger who doesn’t know where to start but would be all over this blogging thing if you had some idea of how to get going, please consider joining Sparky’s Blog Challenge, which is now included on WordPress’s Events Page. Click on the hyperlink or hit me up in the comment section if you’d like more details. We’re 1 part low-key, 1 part high-encouragement, and 4 parts not-right-in-the-head.
In a good sort of way, of course.
I can’t say it felt all that black, but then again it didn’t really feel like a Friday, either.
I didn’t shop today. I don’t care for fighting crowds, and I really don’t care for days when it’s somehow excusable to behave badly, especially in the name of giving gifts in a season of “peace on earth”. I’d rather avoid any situation where it might be permissible to do such a thing.
It’s not only not who I am, but it’s not who I want to be, either.
I will likely spend the rest of the weekend confused because I already feel like I had a Saturday. Having two Mondays in a week is weird enough, but two Saturdays?
Mercy. Faux Saturdays are hard on us retail girls.
Happy Thanksgiving, Sparky Nation.
Remember that you are blessed to be a blessing. You have it in you to change the world. It’s ok to start small. Just do what’s in front of you, and do it with love. Small things count more than you know, and love counts for everything.
Someone has to push over that first domino. It might as well be you.
There are pies cooling on the counter and Chex mix in the oven. All of the Sparklings are home, although the Jr. Spark is at work and won’t actually be under the roof for a while yet. There are two little GrandSparks tucked into bed in a nearby room, and somewhere there are two totally useless dogs and three ridiculous cats digesting food they didn’t earn and using up our oxygen. The fridge and pantry are full of food and pre-food. We are well and our basic needs are met. It is cold outside but warm in here.
By almost any worldwide standard, this is outrageous wealth.
I did not choose where or how I was born. I didn’t choose the era of time or sociopolitical climate. I didn’t choose my gender or my talents or my physical attributes. These were given to me by an act of sovereignty that I don’t pretend to comprehend.
I am not a child soldier in a war-torn third world nation.
I am not a woman in a country under Sharia law.
I am not confined in a broken adult body with the mental capacity of an 2-year old.
I am not limited by a caste system that determines my identity because of who my parents are.
I am not living in a plague-infested country before the advent of public sanitation or antibiotics.
I am not a slave for those who consider me less than human and exploit me with full public acceptance of that behavior.
I am not a member of a primitive tribe who has never heard about Jesus.
I am not so “privileged” that I have never learned to do things for myself, or that I cannot relate to suffering or poverty on any real level.
I wasn’t born into a time or place where women weren’t taught to read or write, or had any real civil liberties.
I was born now. In this time, for this time, for these generations, with the abilities and potential and opportunities I have. It wasn’t without some significant opposition, either, but when God says now, well…it’s now. I didn’t choose.
No…I was chosen.
The day after tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Twenty-seven days after that is Christmas. Seven days after that is New Year’s Day. That’s really not very many days.
The holidays tend to be super-duper packed full of activity that sucks up a lot of time, energy, and fun tickets. Even when I limit myself to the bare minimum, I quickly find all three of those tanks draining at an unprecedented rate.
And here is the problem with that: I don’t want to limit myself to the bare minimum. I’ve been doing it for years now, just to keep my sanity, and I’m exhausted by January anyway. This year, I want to really embrace the celebration. I’m not sure how that’s going to happen because it makes me tired just to think about it. But I want it to happen anyway.
I love Christmas. I know that it’s technically a pagan celebration that Christians adopted, but you know what? I actually kind of like that. I like that Jesus ruined a perfectly good(?) godless celebration by getting His people so excited about His birthday that they corrupted corruption into a holy-day. That is seriously SO like Him!
I feel sad when I hear and see so much negativity and complaining around me. I don’t like that retailers are choosing to open on Thanksgiving, but I intend to vote with my feet on that one, and my feet will not be visiting retail establishments on that day. And the whole “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas” thing? Good gravy. Someone is wishing you happiness and joy. Just receive it, for pete’s sake! Jesus cannot be diminished by someone choosing to say Happy Holidays! Isn’t it awesome that He’s that powerful? It’s actually another thing to be happy about during this season.
And maybe that is what it boils down to: looking for reasons to be happy this season. Looking for reasons to love and bless those around me. Searching for ways to avoid being part of the negativity parade–especially the one that forms in Jesus’ name that doesn’t notice that He’s not waving from the convertible in front.
I am quite sure I’m going to have to make more Chex mix for this venture.
Has it ever happened to you? I bet it has.
It’s happened to me lots.
I discover that I can’t find something when I was sure I knew exactly where it was. I remember where I kept it. I remember where I last saw it. But it’s not there.
So I search everywhere. I look in all the logical places.
And then I look in the illogical places, because more than one person has found their car keys in the freezer. I never have, personally, but since it could happen, it always seems like a good idea to check.
Upon finding that the lost item is in neither the logical places nor the illogical places, I do the next most sensible thing I can think of and look in all the logical places and illogical places again. ’Cause maybe it’s hopping around behind my back or something.
Don’t laugh. You know you’ve done it too.
And then I go back and look again where I know it’s supposed to be.
It has disappeared into thin air.
The dog must have eaten it.
It was abducted by aliens.
Someone broke in and stole it.
It has engaged its cloaking device.
It evolved into a higher form of lost item and is now hanging out with my single socks, wherever they are.
And about that time someone will come in and I will vent my frustration about this ridiculous search and rescue mission I’m on for an item that doesn’t want to be helped, because why else is it still hiding from me? The someone will ask if I looked _______ (yup) and _______ (yup) and _______ (yup) and _______ (of COURSE). I have looked EVERYWHERE! EVERYWHERE, I tell you!
The someone will then decide to “help” by looking in all the logical places I have emphatically stated I’ve already repeatedly looked.
And they’ll find it, right where I’ve looked three times, right where I actually tore everything apart to make sure it hadn’t fallen or slid behind something or whatever. I will stomp and fume “BUT I ALREADY LOOKED THERE!” and the somebody will shrug and say “well, here it is.”
And sure enough, there it is.
The truth is many things in our lives require another set of eyes in order to see accurately. We think we have things that we really don’t. We think we’ve lost things that we really haven’t. We think things are a certain way and they really aren’t. Or that they aren’t and they really are.
The only way to know for sure is to employ another set of eyes. Eyes that are good at seeing more than what’s there, or what’s not there. Eyes that belong to someone who loves us enough to tell the truth and not be put off by our huffing and puffing and protesting.
We all need a set of eyes like that in our lives– at least one. And we also need to be a set of eyes like that for someone else whose huffing and puffing and protesting we won’t take personally, because we’ve been there. We’re not going to bust them when they start blathering on about aliens and lost socks.
Because we know the gig.
And because its a great way to prove eep pop ork ah ah.