Monday, September 10, 2012

Creativity!

Creativity seems that is the theme for my entire week!  Funny how those things go, how if we look for it God actually does work on a theme with us for awhile, until it is time to move on to another topic.  I am beginning to see, thanks  to the example set for me by so many others, that creativity is part of what feeds the human soul, that God...in creating us and all that is around us...also passed that creative Spirit on to each and every one of us.  Another thing I am really "getting" is that those who do not find a way to express their unique creativity are left feeling a void which nothing else will fill but exploring their extraordinary gifts.

As was pointed out in church Sunday morning, sometimes we don't view something as "creative" because it isn't what our world would traditionally label "creative".  I have not an ounce of artistic talent, I can not write lovely poetry, I am awful with colors, I can't (nor want to!) knit, crochet or sew.  And yet there are ways I AM creative...I practice creativity in managing household finances (No one can rob Peter to pay Paul the way I can...and Peter doesn't even know he was pickpocketed! Hahaha!), creativity in problem solving, creativity in explaining words to the kids, creativity in general parenting.  So, I will definitely not be painting the next Sistine Chapel, nor will I be quilting anytime soon, but give me a Big Picture sort of problem and I am totally not overwhelmed with details and can break it apart and put it back together like nobody's business!

Problem is, our culture doesn't really always appreciate that sort of creativity as it should.  And yet, as I think about it when writing this, I would rather be my sort of creative than artsy creative, because for the kind of life I find myself in the middle of it has a huge payoff, where crocheting wouldn't always be that helpful :-)

I am thinking a lot about the creativity needed for a specific adoptive family I have become acquainted with via the internet.  I have so much compassion for them right now, as they are faced with a dilemma all to familiar to me...academic and social setting struggles for their 2 young sons.  They are up against it, as they search for answers, try to be patient with those who simply can not (and perhaps choose not to) understand their children's specific needs.  This Mom and Dad are so dedicated to their kids, willing to do anything to help them succeed...and it is flat out hard.  Being the sole advocate for your hurting kids is a lonely place to be, and it requires a willingness to risk and a push to be creative to find solutions that few can understand.  I have no idea what their ultimate solution will be, but one reason I blog as honestly and openly as I can is for families like this, so they know they are not alone in their quest to heal their children.  They need to know there ARE successes, but there will be set backs over and over again.  They need to know they are being cheered on, and they need to be encouraged as much as possible...just as so many have encouraged us and helped us to feel less alone.

I am thinking about Angela, and where her obvious talents will lead her...and that her passion will almost certainly lead her down roads less traveled.  Her desire to help others, to bring peace to a broken world will find her using her ingenuity in ways we probably can't fathom.  Today during lunch I was sharing some terrific quotes from John Wesley (one of the founders of the Methodist movement...and yes, I've TOLD you we are weird~ I know that this wouldn't be the standard lunch fare for most folks.), and she begged me, and then bugged me again, to post a quote to the blog for all to read.  She said "You need to post this mom, so people can read it.  Maybe they will think about the things they say that put others down right now when they talk about the elections.  Here is that quote:

 "“Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences.” —from a sermon in the Works of John Wesley

Creativity appears in a more subtle way, such as the way we think about the world.  Even more importantly, creativity, is expressed in the solutions we find as we work toward establishing a world where peace reigns, where all people are treated with compassion and have equal opportunity.  If accomplishing that won't take creativity, I don't know what will.

While all the kids surprise us daily with their talents, this week it was Matthew whose creativity shined.  Here is his way of practicing his Creative Muscle



Here are the boys, checking out Matt's Lego Rifle...I know it doesn't seem all that creative until you realize that...


He built it without plans of any sort, in about 3 hours...


It fires Legos 20 feet or more...


Comes complete with 3 rubber band powered mechanisms, both internal and external...


There are a few minor challenges to work on, such as the force with which it fires blows the top off the barrel!


And together, they worked on the prototype!

There is creativity out of Joshua today, as we discussed the differences between Democrats and Republicans, and what makes America so successful versus other countries in it's relatively short history.  Josh quickly raised his hand and said "I know mom!!  We Americans are willing to take risks, like going to the moon and Lewis and Clark.  We are great at working together when we need to, like during wars when we pull together.  And we care about education and making sure every single person has the chance to go to school.  A lot of countries have one or two of those things, but most don't have all three."  Creativity in analyzing situations...and then Kenny added "Yea!!!  That's sorta like our family!  We take risks, we always work as a team, and we care a lot about learning too!"

Then there ARE my amazing, wonderful, caring crafty friends who I DO wish I could emulate, whose gifts know no bounds.  I received the single most beautiful quilted wall hanging for my birthday, and I look at it in complete wonder at how anyone can do this:


This is totally "me", the colors are absolutely "me" and so is the unique pattern!  I will derive great joy looking at it each morning when I wake up.  Jane, you are beyond talented...and I will treasure this!!

At the end of the day, be it cake decorating or Lego making, thinking outside the box or budgeting, we are all creative in our own ways.  I am glad I am learning that being creative in non-traditional ways is just as valuable as holding a paint brush in my hand, or a sewing needle.  

What matters most though, is being accepted for who we are and to be loved and supported in all that we are.  I was reminded of this when sweet Olesya left her family a love note on our white board this weekend, so Dominick could read it when he got up at 4:00 AM to go to work early:



Funny, I never imagined the white board being used for such tender words...a heck of a lot better than nouns and verbs!



And Olesya, no one can ever replace YOU!


Circle of Trust. Without that Circle of Trust, risks are to risky, learning is harder, and teamwork is impossible. It's what every family, every community, every nation needs.  Too bad the mice and hamster didn't make the cut :-)



1 comment:

Karon and John said...

You are so very right that your willingness to be real, allows other broken families feel whole. You truly are a gift.