Finding Your Creative Side - The Gathering Retreat

I am NOT creative. That’s the lie I used to tell myself.

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My peers who could draw, paint, and mold perfect mugs were the creative ones. No one ever taught me that creativity was confined to art class, but somewhere along the way that was the how I started to define creative.

We are taught that the more we practice, the better we get. So, I drew my little heart out on scrap pieces of paper and on my school desks and in my notebooks. No one has ever seen those attempts. I tossed them all. They were awful. And I’m not degrading myself here - just stating the facts. Drawing is not one of my strengths (just ask my insanely talented 9 year old). I resigned myself to not being creative and focused on things I was better at - music, writing, being a good friend and making cookies.

The past few years, however, my definition of creative has broadened. I’ve (literally) seen the light. After I had my first child, I became obsessed with learning all I could about photography. I studied, I read the camera manual, I had a friend teach me some basics and then I practiced my heart out on anyone and everything that would let me. And guess what? I actually started to produce pretty decent images and I really enjoyed it. And any time I could spare, I picked up my camera and practiced some more. It gave me an outlet when I was bored or sad or needed to be around people. It gave me something positive to focus my energy on.

finding your creative side

Photography kept me highly entertained during an extremely challenging decade of life. It was a creative outlet.

Lately, I’ve felt the need to shake things up and look for more ways to be creative. I have noticed that when I strive to use my strengths to make something happen, I feel better about myself and I feel like I’m using the gifts God gave me to bring joy to others. Win-win.

I have never really considered myself much of an event/party planner. But, I do love being with people who have common interests. Parties with no purpose? Nah, not my thing. A gathering where people are creating, talking or celebrating something specific? I’m all in.

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My middle child loves to get together with her friends, but she has a hard time socializing in groups. She’s pretty good one on one, but tends to freeze up when there are more people involved. So, it’s been a goal of mine to figure out how to help her feel more comfortable in social settings. This summer, I decided to use one of her favorite things to get her in a situation she’d normally find uncomfortable. I mentioned before she’s my creative child - thus, Cupcake’s Craft Club was born (that little teal unicorn is named Cupcake). We invited a few of her favorite friends to our house and I planned a t-shirt making party with a 4th of July theme. It was a huge success and I watched my socially anxious child giggle the day away with good friends while they ate tons of candy and made super cute star t-shirts. There I go, being creative again.

Creativity, to me, means discovering new ways to use the gifts you have been blessed with. I might not be great with traditional art, but I am great at seeing the light in other people and trying to help them see the beauty within. I’m not crafty, but I am good at seeing my child’s needs and figuring out ways to help them make their weak things become strong.

I encourage you to spend some time thinking how you can use your strengths to be creative. Find a way to use them to bless the lives of someone else. You will be surprised with what you discover.