Creative Lent

Restarting this blog has been harder than I expected.  The desire to write and connect is there, but so is much of the baggage from the past eleven plus years. I’ve been attempting to rebuild my life these past five years and I’ve made a lot of progress emotionally, relationally and spiritually. I’ve faced down and tamed many of the negative voices inside my head.  It’s harder though, when truth is entwined with the negativity.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist.  But I’m not the kind of perfectionist that does everything well and wows you with her success, the one you to whom you are constantly saying “Chill out!”  No, I’m the one that starts something, can never get it perfect, so never finishes it. (Can you hear that negative voice emphasizing the ‘never’? I really need to get rid of her.)  In the end, either many projects are started and few/none are finished or projects are never started in the first place.  After all, I don’t have time to “do it right” so why start?

This blog falls into both those categories.  And today I declare war on both fronts. (Actually, my life these past few years has been a war on both fronts.  It’s just now this specific conflict is clearer and closer. And it helps me to verbalize, so this is me verbalizing. 😉 )

Those who know me know that my faith is an integral part of who I am. I regularly evaluate my thoughts and actions by what I believe is right according to my understanding of what the Bible teaches. One thing that I’ve done occasionally is to observe a kind of Lent. I’m not Catholic so I don’t observe it in the same way that Catholics usually do. However I do often use this time to evaluate my life.  Occasionally, I realize that the best way to draw closer to the God I worship and to become more like the ideal person I desire to be is to give up something for a short time.  Its absence in my life prompts me to fill it with time and thoughts of my God and that ideal person I want to become.

In the past, I’ve given up things that were detrimental to me, such as sodas or candy or spending money on luxury items.  This year however I felt no need to deprive myself. On the contrary, I’ve sensed the Lord reminding and teaching me I am loved and cherished, that my task was to enjoy all He’s made available and to live life with abundant joy. The God who created the universe, created me, gave his life for me, intercedes for me and gives me his power to enable me to be the best that I can be. So I’ve not felt the need to deprive myself or do penance.

Then I came across Will You Join Me in Preparing For Easter? The idea intrigued me.

I thought of my years-long struggle to reignite and nurture my creativity. I want to draw more; I want to paint more; I want to do crafts;  I want to write; I want to create ebooks and print one; I want to create beauty.  That desire keeps butting heads with this erroneous internal belief that I must get “work” done before I get to “play.” Work being defined as anything other than play; play being defined as anything I enjoy doing.

The truth is God created me to create. He created me to find joy and beauty and to learn how to recreate and share it. In creating, I am working at His purposes.  I need to create. In the process of creating, I’ll rediscover and re-create myself; I’ll find healing; I’ll reconnect with my Creator God and I’ll plumb that well of creativity He placed inside me. God created me as a creative being. To join Him in creating beauty, particularly beauty from the mundane or even ugly, is draw closer to Him, to become more like him.

So my idea for Lent is to create something every day.  For at least  30 minutes  each day for the 40 days of Lent, I will create something. I will draw, I will paint, I will write, I will create digital art. Every day. Not as a to do list task, but as a way to connect to the God who created me to be like like Him, to create beauty in my world. My offering of this art is my mindful, deliberate act of worship.

Note:  As usual, this took longer to write than expected.  I started it on February 28.  Every day so far, I’ve painted on something.  I’ll be sharing those items in the future, but for now, I’m posting this declaration.  Join me in celebrating the Creator by creating something of beauty!