Happy new year 15 days in :)

The other day, I listed on a used furniture site a sofa bed that had become superfluous due to a change of room configurations and the change in location of my study area (bear with me, I do have a point…well, sort of) and by doing so met the beautiful soul who came to buy it. Unbeknownst to me, my listing on the site also included the link to my blog and, Donna, the buyer of aforementioned sofa bed, had read a few of the posts. To be honest, I hadn’t thought about the blog for awhile and it was kinda nice hearing someone talk about it enthusiastically. And it made me miss it.

I caught up with a friend recently who asked if I’d written any more on the book I’ve been trying to finish for the last gazillion years. And of course, my face gave her the answer. And now after talking to Donna as well, I realised I had allowed writing for work and writing for study to take away my creative writing time and that in light of a new year, I could pencil in some blog/book writing time. It might just be half an hour a week or even a month. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” after all. So, although I’m not a new years resolution type person, that’s one little goal that is just for me – no benefits to anyone or anything except for keeping my inner creative pixie quiet and happy.

Some of you may remember my Grateful Book of 2016. Well, I didn’t have a special project last year, so as 2017 turned into 2018, I had an idea for a new project. Essentially, it’s a cork board specifically for polaroids of anyone who comes and spends time with us – for coffee, a meal, a swim, a wine, a night or two.

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We can’t wait to watch it fill up over the year and have a board full of all the friends and family we have had the privilege of having in our home. Tomorrow night there will be another one up there – the trick is going to be remembering to take the polaroid each time!

It’s also a great visual cue for me to be intentional about asking people to our home – aka actioning my lesson and word for the year last year (rest) by replenishing and refreshing myself by the presence of those people I love.

So, this year, while still full and somewhat uncertain, is off to a good start. And I’m excited to be back here, writing again 🙂 And thanks Donna for your encouragement even though you probably didn’t even know that’s what you were doing! 🙂

 

God’s pleasure

It’s no secret that I love beauty. And I love art, whether that’s the written word, a painting, a sculpture, a play, dance – I love all forms of creative expression.

After our Thailand trip, I admit to struggling with my own creative desires. I would love nothing better than to be creative all day, every day, to write and paint to my hearts content. I have created just one piece of visual art since we moved into this house nearly six years ago. I have written only a handful of words on my story in the last six months. And I miss it. My creative side longs for an outlet. I have been keen to get in the kitchen and cook lately, and I only just realised that it’s the need to ‘create’, that this burning desire in me must find some sort of expression.

While I love and appreciate the arts, I feel guilty when I spend time on it myself. There are girls living in such horrific circumstances – how can getting the paints out help them? How does my story benefit anyone?

I used to struggle immensely with creating for seemingly no purpose. If I was going to paint, I wanted it to be for more than just something I put in a bottom drawer. If I was going to write, I wanted it to be an international best seller and not just a story my family read.

Now, I am happy to paint or write for the pleasure of only one or two, even if that’s just me. No, the struggle now is that there are so many people who need helping, that spending time on my arts seems selfish and self-indulgent.

The other day, I heard someone on the radio talking about feeling God’s pleasure when you do something that might not immediately seem to be ‘worthy’ by our standards. I have always believed that the God who created the amazing world we live in is surely the ultimate Artist but it really struck me afresh.

God created us with talents and gifts. He intended us to use them.

So my paintings may never be anything other than something to hang on a wall in my house, my story may never do anything other than provide entertainment to a couple of people…so what? They have served their purpose already, anything else is a bonus.

So the test is – do I feel God’s pleasure when I create? I would have to say yes. Being creative satisfies me in a deep down soul fulfilling way that I can’t seem to get anywhere else.

I feel right and good and wholly alive.

I feel God’s pleasure.