Proof of Creativity

Proof of Creativity

There’s something about creativity that begs to be seen. Show me your big idea, let me read your work, play me a song, hang up your art, watch that video project.

And then the masses, they can say, “how nice, how artistic, how talented” you are at that thing. Or, of course, there’s also the risk of a negative response, or even worse, no response or acknowledgement whatsoever, leaving that creativity vulnerable and alone in the world.

But one is never enough. You need a body and collection of work. It can never be stagnant or stale. You think you’re a writer? You call yourself a musician? You want to be a videographer? You consider yourself an actress? You say you’re an artist, a dancer, a dreamer, a poet? Prove it. 

Instead of the love and the passion and the drive that once compelled such creativity, you find hustle and exhaustion and burnout. A world that says, if you don’t keep churning out more you’ll be lost and left behind by all the ones ready to chew you up and take your spot.

It places all of your worth into what you produce or your results. You’re only as good as your latest project, and it better be something recent, otherwise, what have you been doing all this time?

And not only that, but where’s the self-promotion, the curated pieces, the shows and the gigs and the countless fans along the way?

For the average creative, or maybe just for me, it’s too much. The hustle and chase and sacrifice is too great. Maybe that means I’ll never make it or never have my name in lights. I’d like to hope instead that it means that my creativity and my sense of self will still stay intact.

May the thoughts and dreams that excite me stay possibilities and perhaps even one day realities, instead of drowned out by the noise and expectations to keep the same rapid pace of someone else. May my success be simply gratitude for the ability to create and connect with others, instead of an addiction to constant adoration and attention that can never quite be fulfilled. May I find moments for creativity and inspiration but not feel it is my only or greatest legacy.

That’s not to say that hard work, dedication, and motivation have no place here. All of these make their home here, just as I welcome space, grace, rest, and relationships. It’s about finding a balance and enjoyment instead of making chores out of the things I love.

So, for the last few months the blog has been quiet. This time I don’t think I’ll try to promise a revitalization coming soon but just let it happen as it happens. As for creative side projects, our music has been getting more of my energy and effort for the time being. At work, my writing and editing has continued. At home, we’ve chosen to listen to the need for rest when it comes, to celebrate weekend afternoons relaxing on the porch or rolling on the floor with our little one.

Does my work say something? Sure, sometimes. But more importantly, I’d like my life to speak louder. Not through fame or failures, but through my faith, family, and friendships.

 

Thursday Three

Thursday Three

Well, we’ve made it to another Thursday. Did you hear that? YOU MADE IT!! Congrats on getting through another week! I think we need to have that mentality a little more in life. I was reading a book recently that was a memoir of sorts and the couple said they got in the habit of saying “I woke up” in the mornings just to remind themselves of the wonder and awe in that statement. So when I stopped by a new local business today and the owner said they’d been open for two weeks I couldn’t help but reply, “You made it two weeks! Congrats!” 

1. Spring has sprung! This week just feels more alive now that people are spending time outside, we got to take a bike ride and the sun shines on past supper time. Halleluiah. Like most people, winter is not my favorite regardless of how much (or how little) cold and snow we get–the long dark days are enough for me to dislike it. I think it’s safe to say, spring is finally here!

My favorite flowers - Oregon this time last year.
My favorite flowers in Oregon this time last year.

2. Quality time is better than quantity…but when possible, both are nice. Time is an important thing to me, and I love getting time with the people in my life. Our trip away meant we had plenty of time together, just the two of us. Upon our return we’ve been trying to see everyone and catch up, which has been awesome. We had missed out on some of the quantity and quality with friends while away, but we also quickly realized we were cramming our time so full that we weren’t seeing enough of each other already. Sounds silly after a trip with just us, but we quickly realized that we needed to continue to set time aside for each other.

3. Taking care of your health should always remain a priority. Health isn’t a given unfortunately, but you do have the opportunity to take care of yourself as much as you can. So use that opportunity. Invest in your health–physically and mentally. Maybe it’s time for that checkup or teeth cleaning…or maybe it’s just finding time to go for a walk or addressing some mental health needs. In some ways I feel like a fairly healthy person but in other ways I’ve had a run of different health mysteries and mishaps over the years that required my attention. It’s not always my favorite topic or way to spend my time/resources, but it is so important to our well-being. While the financial cost is often high, the quality of life cost is even higher if you don’t tend to it. So take care of yourself and the people around as best as you can.

Less Rest When You Dream

Less Rest When You Dream

Hobbies and Things | Moving Peaces

While we were away we were almost intentional about not doing the things we usually do. Now that we’re home those duties, drivers and dreams are back with a vengeance.

It’s as if we both feel this need, this longing to create. It’s almost a burden and to be honest, I can’t decide if it’s a good one or a bad one. He immediately starting editing videos. I wrote and wrote. I have a sense of responsibility to my writing. To my goals, dreams and hopes. It goes beyond writing–travel, music, relationships and art all have seats at the table in this house.

There’s no denying that we’re back. No hiding in another country without a properly functioning cell phone. The pressure is clear, the distractions are back and the battle is just getting started. We both had victorious moments during the first week of our trip. I had an article published in Relevant, and he got to contribute some footage in a National Geographic video. It was as if our hard work had paid off, and we got to momentarily bask in its bliss.

But upon return, we went straight back to the grind. We know these creative goals are not something we can just sit on and expect dividends in return. It’s a pressure, it’s a responsibility and it’s right in front of our faces. Neither of us know when time will run out on these dreams so we continue to cram ourselves full to make sure things happen. It’s exhausting already, and we just got back last week.

So the question becomes, what for? What are we aiming to achieve? What cost does it bring? What’s the purpose? Is it the right kind of dream? Finally, is it worth it?

Big

Big

 

31 Days of Finding Self | Moving Peaces In the bustle and flurry of all that is happening, sometimes it’s easy to drown out the big. The big truths, big values, big goals. To be honest, sometimes I’m glad for it. I don’t want to be stuck with quiet and big thoughts looming. Those big things can lead to huge life change or coping with hurts I don’t know how to handle.

While being too busy can overwhelm me, being without enough to do often scares me more.

So then I fill my plate back up again. I ignore the signs that tell me to slow down. To rest. To realize when I’m taking on more than I need to without good reason. Then I’m running (figuratively speaking…I hate actual running) nonstop so that by the time I crawl into bed at night I’m too exhausted to think. Instead of finding self, I’m practically avoiding it.

The world is not about me. My own life isn’t even totally about me. Finding self is not supposed to be a selfish endeavor. I’m not trying to encourage a “me, me, me” culture. But knowing who you are is a starting point. You need to know your downfalls as well as your strengths. It helps you to understand why you do the things you do and why you react to certain things and how to take care of yourself.

As much as I sometimes try to avoid it, wrestling with thoughts and struggles has a certain value to it. It’s how you learn and grow. It’s when you resolve the inner turmoil that’s building and spilling out into your everyday life. It’s then that you realize you can’t do it all. You need the community of people around you. And it’s most when I realize I need God to get me through this life.

Find the time to work through these questions and thoughts and truths. Because these big things matter.

 

 

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.

Thursday Three

As much as I have been a bit lost in the days lately, there’s something grounding about Thursdays. Every week I have that little reminder and extra nudge to write. So much so that it seems like I write on Thursdays more than any other day. Putting the Thursday Three on my list of things I have to do (but also want to do) seems to make it happen more often than not, and I love it. Let’s talk about the week, shall we?

1. Music will always be a complicated love of mine. I struggled for a while to even form that sentence. What is music to me? There’s something about it that can open up emotions and thoughts you didn’t even realize you had. Listening to it, playing it, writing…it can have you pouring out your heart or just be something in the background. The hubby is an amazing musician, which was part of my first attraction to him, but music has always clearly been a bigger part of his life than mine. People often assume that I must be equally involved in music and when they find out I am not, sometimes assume I’m not musical at all or even interested in it. Neither assumption is easy to defend. Music has a piece of me that I can’t explain. I was in choir all through school and being a part of the music culture has always been important to me. I go through times where it’s top of mind and I can’t wait to come home to play around with it. Then, I can go months at a time without the slightest inclination to pick up an instrument. Right now, I’m in a season of playing music. A few nights a week, the hubby has been teaching me a few things on the bass and then we get to jam together. What I love even more is writing music with him. He writes all of the music while I come up with some lyrics, both of us pulling out thoughts and emotions that we don’t know how to articulate otherwise.

2. When you have the time, embrace it. I haven’t loved everything about the current jobless situation. But when it’s National Donut Day on the hubby’s day off, why not join in? So, I told him we were “going on an adventure” which basically meant I tricked him into going on a walk making him guess what said adventure entailed. It didn’t take long before he smelled the Krispy Kreme.

image

3. Every American should visit D.C. at some point in their lives. My mom always said that, but I can’t say I disagree. It makes the history and the politics feel a little more real and relevant. You can’t help but feel a little patriotic, plus it’s just a neat place to see. My dad and sister were there for vacation so I took the opportunity to visit them and see some more of the sites.

image

image

My sister drew this while we waited at the restaurant and I thought it was pretty awesome, considering my stick figure was far from impressive.

image

image

image

image

image

In Time

There’s a timeline that’s beyond me. It might not be linear or even understandable, but it’s happening. In the times of confusion and frustration, I find it easy to be impatient for what’s to come. But it always seems to happen in due time. Not my time. His time. I know it to be true. This peace can only come from a creator that has it all under control.

It’s how I know this whole mess of a job situation is going to get figured out when it’s supposed to. The job that’s next for me will be here before I know it, and the timing will be right, whatever that may mean. Sometimes I can forget the blessings I’ve been given. I freak out and worry, when only days beforehand I explained all of His mercies we’ve received with this move. Reading Exodus in the Old Testament, it always seemed so silly to me that the Israelites could so quickly forget their deliverance out of Egypt and the Lord’s continued provisions for them. But let’s face it, I do that more than I realize. Thankfully, we serve a loving and persistent God.

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…” Exodus 14:13