Celebrate Your Creative Self

Celebrate Your Creative Self

by Cathee Poulsen

It’s been such a very long time that I’m ashamed to show my face here. I guess plagues have a way of cutting off the faucet to creativity. Unless your name is Sue Riger who has seemed to crank out dozens and dozens of paintings including this one pictured here, which she painted at my request.

Or Susan Tully who is preparing for an art show and has completed 17 paintings in the midst of a horrific train/auto accident involving her son-in-law and a grandson’s wedding. This is the last of the 17 that she’s completing now.

Moi, on the other hand, have closed the door with a resounding smack on creative writing. “Just not in the mood.” “I can’t find something to write about.” Really, open your eyes and look around. Wonders abound.

My two friends have challenged me to write again, and they’ve never said a word. Maybe writing seems more visceral. As Ernest Hemingway quipped, “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”

On the Other Hand

I will say this. I didn’t just sit around eating Sander’s Dark Chocolate Caramels, either. But oh, we have eaten.

One of my oft stated life goals is to throw great dinner parties. I love every aspect of the event. As much goes into the table settings as into the menu. None of it to impress, but rather to bless. I love friends to come in to the smells in the kitchen, the candlelight, laughter, music and what I’ve come to call “kingdom around the table.”

Hardly anything else I do brings me more tactile pleasure. I’ve had friends who tell me they feel intimidated by all this because they think they can’t compete. They haven’t realized it isn’t a competition. It’s just what I do. Like the paintings by Sue and Susan. I can’t not do this and it feels like delightful play and never work.

Over the course of COVID-19, especially in the first months, I think we threw more dinner parties that we ever had in our lifetime. It was a rebellion of sorts. We’re made to be social and we suffer if you shut us away from friends and gatherings. I know some were put off by this, but we took all the precautions, and pressed on. To my knowledge, no one contracted the virus from our house.

Your creativity is there. It may be under a bushel, or ignored, but don’t even say “I’m just not creative” in front of me. You’ll get a lecture. I promise!

What about that stunning centerpiece? Or the wreath you made for the front door? There are those of you who have created spectacular little gardens in your back yard. Some with benches and seats where you can sit in nice weather and read and journal. 

While others may not throw dinner parties, you create delicious meals and deliver them to those who are sick or homebound. Then there are those of you who sew — cute hot pads for holding a bowl of chili, or towels that hang on our ovens for kitchen decor. Tiny quilts that go in small cradles to be shipped to children who have no toys. And I haven’t even started with the guys who make things—out of music or wood, or that smoker in the back yard.

Made in His Image — Imago Dei

Of course you’re creative. You’re made in His image. And if you’ve never seen yourself as a creative, it’s about time you started asking Him where He’s wired His creativity in you. Because it’s there. Ask, and you shall receive.

I asked my two artist friends how they continue to turn out piece after piece of artwork in the midst of family crises, depression, disappointments, a wedding and a whole lot of everyday demands.

They both indicated that apart from having a private place, a sanctuary of sorts, periodic detachment from all the stuff of life, they wouldn’t be able to create. “It’s a form of therapy,” one said. The other, “I go in there, play music, and focus on beauty. I shed the stress.” 

In other words, what they’re doing is intentional. It’s planned. It’s a priority.

I need to close this long explanation of why I haven’t blogged in eight months. It’s certainly not because I haven’t been writing. I write lessons for our small group, I’m working on another book finally, and I help out at church with spiritual formation and material for small groups. But it’s the creative writing I’ve neglected.

My heart longs to string words together that might stir you to move in a new direction, or call you back to a creative practice you’ve laid aside over the last 16 months of craziness. 

This bewildered world needs your contribution to beauty. Your impartation of joy in using the gifts deposited in you by the Great Creator Himself, the One who redeemed you to reflect Him in the way only you can.

Won’t you spend some time this week asking Him to guide you along this path?

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Comments

  1. Greg G Billings

    Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve spent the entire COVID era indulging my creativity. And it has been a great comfort. If we really believe that God created everything we should have no fear of jumping into creative effort. What’s the downside?

  2. What a beautiful exhortation, Cathee. I adore your creative hospitality and cooking. I miss your small group leadership too, my wise and creative friend. It’s such a treat to see you blogging again. God bless you with joy and peace as you engage in it with Him.

  3. Lynne Jones Lawler

    Cathee,
    So glad to see you writing again! But I can certainly relate to the doldrums as well…what with Covid, moving, renovating a house…I have found myself paddling around in them for quite some time now. But, I feel encouraged after reading your blog today to sit down and reconnect with that deepest, creative part of myself.
    Thank you.
    Love,
    Lynnie

  4. Your words inspire me once again to move from the comfort of my chair to a more creative place… the kitchen, the sewing room or even changing small pieces of decor to a fall theme. Thanks for sharing. Please keep on. We all love reading your words. You’ve inspired me to try new things and stretch myself for many years and I thank you!!

  5. I would love to see you and share a meal at our house. You are blessed with the fruit of hospitality. Your words are always very encouraging to me. I have missed your blogs but the Lord is guiding you and walk in HIS path. I try to do that and feel so blessed to be able to see my family. Love you Tiff

  6. Oh how I love the joy of being around you! You are so many beautiful things wrapped into one soul. I have been privileged to attend some of those delicious and beautiful meals. You are grace and love to this gal. Keep writing we need your encouragement.

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