When I launched The Novel Endeavor over a year ago I knew it would be a labor of love. With all the joys and responsibilities of motherhood, free time is at a premium. But, I reasoned that it was worth it to pursue my passions and to sharpen my craft of writing. There was value in living Life Creative.
Truthfully, though, when the day to day tasks of motherhood collide with my creative desires, I panic. I get frustrated—even angry. My emotions always leave me puzzled; I love being a mom to the most amazing girl in the world. I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to stay at home with her for anything.
So why do I get upset when diapers, bananas, and baby dolls get in the way of my writing?
Because I was made to create. God has specifically sculpted me with a heart for reading and writing. Alternately, he has also given me the privilege of being a mom.
How can I reconcile these two seemingly opposing roles?
Enter, Life Creative
Life Creative by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart has unlocked this mystery. Creative moms often feel that we must set aside our creativity for a time to raise our children. We falsely believe that two of the passions of our hearts—our children and our art—must compete for our affections. In Life Creative, Speake and Stuart opened my eyes to the possibilities of being a mom and an artist.
I can do both. In fact, that’s exactly what God has planned for me.
[Sigh of relief.]
Confined Yet Unhindered
Through Life Creative, I began to consider what it means for my life and my ministry to begin at home, in my own “Jerusalem.” When Jesus sent his disciples into ministry, he told them to go first to Jerusalem, then to Judea and Samaria, and, finally, to the ends of the earth. Jerusalem—that’s where many of us moms are, especially when our children are little.
But, in the words of Speake and Stuart, I am “confined yet unhindered.” This phrase gives me a completely different perspective on my time with my daughter in the “little years.” Yes, we are often at home and my time away from her is limited; but the possibilities that exist for ministry within the walls of our home are infinite.
My daughter was entrusted to me and my husband to raise into a strong, confident, and godly woman. That’s quite an important and daunting task and so much of it begins when she is very young. So these years with my toddler are valuable through my loving her, teaching her how to love and care for others, and to teach her boundaries through discipline.
Creative in the Everyday
What’s beautiful though, is that there are so many opportunities just waiting in the wings to love and minister to Aliana and use my creativity. Life Creative paints many pictures of moms who are weaving their art and creativity into the everyday, ordinary spaces of life. Speake and Stuart affirm that, in fact, it is what we do in the midst of the day-to-day messiness that brings the most glory to God.
The work you do on a canvas or on a stage is part of your worshipful life as a living sacrifice; however, it is the parts that seem mundane and unseen in our ordinary days that have the potential to become our most fragrant offerings. (p. 88)
Life Creative not only affirmed and encouraged me as a mom and artist, but it also challenged me. I was inspired to continue learning how to be a mom; I want to seek wisdom from other moms who have gone before me and to really invest well in my daughter, getting to know the little person that God has made her to be. God has also given me the role of a wife to my husband, Chris. Not only am I walking this blurry line of being a mom and a creative, but I am also challenged to love and serve my husband most of all. Finally, Speake and Stuart admonished me to continuing growing in my craft. I love my blog and I clearly love reading. But what else might God have for me? I’m not sure yet, but I know that I still have so much to learn!
Life Creative was an excellent resource for me at this stage in my mothering. I would highly recommend it for any mom feeling trapped in her motherhood. Life Creative showed me that motherhood is a beautiful gift that God has meant to enhance and inspire our passions rather than stifle them.
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