Daily Creativity

Creativity does not run out.

When you write, sometimes it feels like writing more might mean you’ll be all out of writing. But that isn’t the case. Sure there are days when you just want to get outside and get away from a computer, but writing inspires writing. Thinking inspires thinking. Traveling sparks more travel. Music makes more music. So write like the writing will never run out. Create without fear of running out of creativity.

While I wrote the above paragraph about a month ago, it was introduced in a new way to me just last week. On Thursday, I had the privilege to attend the Creative Women’s Summit, an event put together by the Influence Network. There were so many thoughts and ideas presented there that I could write my next seven posts just on of my scribbled out notes. Perhaps in the future I will get the chance to type out more of my thoughts but for now, I want to talk briefly about this idea of creativity and how it doesn’t necessarily run out like we think it could.

Influence Network Creative Women's Summit | Moving Peaces

Hayley Morgan spoke ever so briefly during the event, but what she shared definitely stuck with me. She talked about creativity being like manna. I’d never thought about it in this way before but want remember to gather creativity day-by-day, just like manna.

If you don’t know what the heck I am talking about, let’s get a little background, okay? In the Bible (specifically, Exodus 16), there is a group of people (the Israelites) who are in between slavery and the Promised Land and unfortunately, are wandering in the desert for 40 years. During this time, God provided manna from heaven to feed them (some sort of bread-y substance). What’s interesting is that they were only take what they needed for that day. If someone took more than they needed, it would rot and go bad. Then, manna would be provided again the next day. There was no need to store up extra or hoard food because it would be available again the next day when it was needed.

In the same way, consider creativity to be like manna. We can take all the creativity we need at the time we are needing it, but rest in the promise that it will come again. We don’t need to cling to our creativity and ideas as if it’s our only chance. We shouldn’t hoard ideas or possibilities, because that will leave us stuck with rotting ideas. Use those ideas when they come and take what you need when it’s there. Know that if one idea doesn’t work, there will be another one, so it’s okay to move forward without it. We also don’t do something once for the week or the month, instead we continue to find the daily provision and opportunity to be creative. The creativity will come back again.

After I write a good post or a new song or whatever it may be, it’s easy to suddenly feel like that’s it. There’s no more ideas in my head, and I’ve peaked. There’s a lot of pressure in that, which then causes doubt and fear…and ultimately, inhibits creativity. If instead, we remember that it will be there again–that we just need to faithfully take and use the creativity we need–there’s no reason for fear. It’s not our problem to solve. God created us and He will provide the creativity–we just need to use it when it’s there.

Creativity does not run out, so use it. 

 

Recap & Reflection

Recap & Reflection

For those of you who have been asking how the event went, here’s a quick summary. From my perspective, it could not have been better! This is something I have been working on and praying about for months. Yes, months. But I think it was worth it.

Women's Event | Moving Peaces

For those of you who weren’t yet aware, I coordinated this year’s women’s event/retreat at our church. After hearing so many good things about the IF:Gathering, I thought it might be nice to host it ourselves, albeit a bit later than the rest of the world who participated in the live simulcast. IF asks the question, “If God is real, then what?” There were speakers like Jennie Allen, Christine Caine, Jen Hatmaker, Bianca Olthoff, Rebekah Lyons and Ann Voskamp, and they all had incredibly strong messages to share with women.

Speaker - Jen Hatmaker | Moving Peaces

As I shared earlier, I had a few dreams for what a women’s event could one day look like. When I learned about IF, I found they had carried out so many similar dreams and was struck by it.

IF Table | Moving Peaces

When it comes right down to it, there are amazing women out in the world. They are doing big things and they are doing small things, but they all matter. One of the things I wanted, was to bring the amazing women in our church all under one roof so we could learn from each other and build lasting relationships. So we could learn what it meant to live a life for God.

I’m so glad this weekend was about that.

Emcee | Moving Peaces

 

I had the unique pleasure of not only coordinating the event, but also being the emcee as we transitioned from different sessions. I almost never knew 100% of what I was about to say before I said it, which was completely unnerving but it basically meant I was praying for the words the whole way through.

Lunch Outside | Moving Peaces

We got to hang out together and chat Friday night at the bonfire, eat lunch on a gorgeous sunny Saturday under tents on the lawn and talk to each other around the table all weekend long. A few women shared and we really just had time to enjoy each other’s company.

Women from Church | Moving Peaces

IF Gathering Event | Moving Peaces

Guest Post: What It Took

Guest Post: What It Took

Samantha’s Note: Writing for 31 days is a great challenge, but one I quickly realized I couldn’t keep. I had more than one dream and area of focus that needed my attention this month. I found myself with too much to do and realized there was some rearranging to do. Thankfully, within the blogging community there were more than a few people ready and willing to help, and I’m so glad to have a few guests posts now throughout the month. Finding self isn’t about just me. We all have a story to tell and hearing from others can help us with our own. Today’s post is by Natalie, and she’s got a great perspective to share.

 

I think we will find ourselves over and over again throughout life. New parts of ourselves, hidden parts of ourselves, sometimes painful parts of ourselves.

Natalie - Finding Self | Moving Peaces

The most significant transformation I’ve seen in myself brought out a new, hidden, painful part of me. It happened like this.

A few weeks after graduating from college, I packed up to fly over an ocean to live in a small house with seven other adults and twenty small babies. Each day, I did my best to give those little babies all I could. Downtime was infrequent, and trips to town were rare. I got poop on my hands more than a few times.

But it was a sweet time God used to confirm my belief that four years of journalism were going to be used, for sure, but social work — orphan care, foster care, adoption — was where He really wanted me. I felt like I had hit my stride. I poured out every inch of me to love and serve that summer. And I’m so thankful for that stride-hitting and confirmation-feeling, because the next few months were hard.

I came home after eight weeks and promptly moved to a new city for grad school. I knew no one. Not even my roommate. All the friends and streets and favorite spots of familiar Iowa were far away. I no longer had the physical closeness of friends with whom I had gone to middle school, high school, and college. I no longer had my familiar routines I played out for four years in a little college town in the middle of Iowa.

I started a social work graduate program. And I have to tell you, God felt distant. I struggled to find my groove in all the areas — church, friendships, and school. But He wasn’t distant by His own doing. The only times He is distant on our journey to find ourselves is when we let Him be distant.

He was there. He pursued me. And through His closeness, I felt comfortable to pursue a deeper faith, good friends, and all these new passions. I found a great church community, I found my niche in the social work program, and I found my husband.

So, what did it take to find those parts of myself I discovered in 2010? It took the removal of all that was familiar and the realization of a God who was always there freeing me to be shaped into this me.

 

Natalie | Moving Peaces - Guest PostNatalie is a part-time social worker and waiting adoptive mama. She lives with her husband and dog in Indianapolis, and she blogs about adoption, foster care, faith, marriage, and home at little things + big stuff.

This post is a part of the Finding Self series for the 31 Days of blogging in October. To see the all posts in this series, check out the Finding Self page.

Verses for Sunday

10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.  – Hebrews 6:10-12

flower

Sunday mornings are my sweet time of quiet each week. I’ve got the house to myself, so I take the morning slow. I spend time reading and writing before getting ready for church. Admittedly, my first thought on Sunday mornings is “more sleep” but when I wake up and take that time, I never regret it.

The past few weeks I have been reading these verses over and over. Taking each section and letting it settle in. Separating each verse like a stanza or lyric so that every line reveals its impact.

God is not unjust;
he will not forget your work
and the love you have shown him
as you have helped his people
and continue to help them.

We want each of you to show this same diligence
to the very end,
so that what you hope for
may be fully realized.

We do not want you to become lazy,
but to imitate those
who through faith and patience
inherit what has been promised.

Take just one piece or segment. What grabs you?

I love it all. I want to cling to every word of it. But because my memorization skills are lacking, I’m going to hold onto one thing at a time. To the very end.

Show diligence to the very end. Help people to the very end. Love God to the very end.

Something about the Ocean

Yesterday we hit the beach. Despite a house full of boxes and a long to-do list, I’m so glad we went. I’m not sure that I can ever get tired of going to be by the ocean. There’s something about it that releases my worries for a moment and gives an incredible calm.

There’s something about the ocean that is supreme. All around it feels like a celebration with brightly colored umbrellas and children screaming with glee. Yet at the same time, there is a surpassing peace as the waves tumble back and forth. There is power in those waves, yet floating among them grants a sense of comfort and contented ease. While it may be noisy surrounded by all of that unbridled joy, the waves still overcome and quiet the sound.

It reminds me of God and all of His glory. He’s here, powerful as ever, yet a comfortable place of peace. I know his strength cannot be matched but I am able to find rest. There is so much to celebrate and praise Him for, but no song of worship or shout of joy can ever compare to the magnitude of His love and what He’s done for us.

Vocational Pursuits

There are people who love their jobs. These people that live and breathe what they do, almost obnoxiously so. I know it doesn’t exist merely in movies or books where the character’s job encapsulates their personality. I’ve seen it happen in real life with people I know and love. Sometimes it is a dream job after years of searching or sometimes, that lucky person seemingly walks into what it is they want to do. Their interests and loves and strengths present the perfect opportunity to just do and be.

It is truly a beautiful thing to witness someone right in their element, doing what they were intended to do. Or at least, doing what they are supposed to for that season of time. Not only is the work better, but life outside of work is better, too. I’m not just talking about a job, but a vocation, be it an organizational setting or community or family. A person isn’t only defined by their job, but it sure does impact a major portion of your time. It brings me such joy to witness those in a vocational setting of passion, challenge and strength.

Right now, that’s not my story. I will continue to work as hard as possible and show love to those around me, but I feel it deep within me that this isn’t what I was made to do. I’ve worked at a few places now where it hasn’t all added up to the right fit. I’ve also had the blessing of being somewhere that made me feel alive at the end of the day. I’ve learned the hard way that there’s a difference between saying “I could do that” and “I want to do that!” No more. No more pretending to be something I’m not in an effort to find myself. All I can do is be the best me. My goal is to find that place and that opportunity where everything meets up. Where I’m doing what I was meant to do. Because I deeply believe there is something I was made to do, something more than this. Call me a dreamer all you want, but don’t call me a quitter because I’m far from quitting on my dreams. I’m on a quest to use the strengths and talents God gave me for his glory and that’s nothing short of exciting.

Maybe someone out there thinks I am just bent on being unhappy at my job or that I can’t commit. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m committed and passionate about living a life with purpose that suits my unique skills and talents. I’m thrilled about embarking on this adventure called life and refuse to give in to the stagnant monotony our society assigns. There’s more out there, and I believe it comes from a God who gifted each of us differently. If we weren’t meant to use those gifts, then why would He give them to us?

Autonomous

With this move, we’ve had less people to lean on in certain regards, making it so much more apparent when we do ask for help. It’s embarrassing and awkward to reach out and say, “I barely know you, but I need you!”

But something I’ve realized is that in those moments, awkward and uncomfortable as they may be, we bond with people. We reach beyond our comfort level and into a level of trust, whether we want to or not. That’s where relationships are formed. That’s the same moment that we realize we can’t do it on our own.

Do I wish I could just go through my day without asking for help? YES! I want to be able to do it all and do it all now. I hate the feeling of discomfort and disadvantage as I ask yet again for help from a stranger. But how would I ever meet people or make friends or grow or learn?

I think it works that way with God sometimes, too. We need him all the time, but when we can’t do it on our own, it becomes incredibly more apparent that we are mere human beings. We can’t control our lives as much as we (I) want to. We can’t do it on our own. Because if we could, it’d be incredibly lonely and unfulfilling. The days we can get to work without a ride or find a restaurant without advice doesn’t connect us with the people around us. It’s incredibly important to our relationships to need people and to be needed. So when we say to God that “we don’t need him”, that’s not really a great way to build a relationship. (Also, it’s not true, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing). When we go about living our lives though without turning to him, trusting in him, asking for him and relying on him—isn’t that what we’re saying though? That we don’t need him?

For whatever reason, we think we want to be independent and autonomous, both with people and with God. It’s as if admitting that we aren’t able to do it all without help would mean we were weak. Or that needing some help makes us inadequate or unintelligent. But that simply isn’t true. Sure, sometimes it’s humbling and even awkward to ask for help, but living life without it is a far worse scenario. Life without people in it is void. Life without friends is lonely and overwhelming. Life without a God who loves you is lacking. It doesn’t make you stronger; it’s empty when it doesn’t have to be.