I’ve said it before…..I love creativity. 🙂

I watch it grow in my children and I see the satisfaction in their eyes of something beautiful being produced from their own hands and their creative imaginations.

Being creative is a healthy outlet, it gives them a sense of worth and it makes them happy. It also demands of them discipline. When the project is no longer “fun”, they must persevere until the end to get the satisfaction they are striving for.

I notice, too, that they are most often making their creations for other people. So it is also a form of selflessness. The hours spent on a project, with someone else in mind, is a generous act on the part of the child.

Two years ago, for Christmas, our oldest son, Sep, came over with his family bearing a gift that took two men to carry. It took our breath away and will always be part of the decor in our home! It was a chess table made out of a cedar tree that they had cut down. The actual chess board is a piece of limestone that they laid into the stump and stained with the familiar squares of a chess board. He even made a lid for it with a knot from the tree as a focal point.

It is so beautiful and a testimony of his creative talent! It took many hours with a chainsaw, a saws-all and a chisel.Daddys chess table 004 tweety's pics 2-12-13 301 - Copy tweety's pics 2-12-13 304 - Copy

Since then he has made another one to sell. It is twice the size and has a gorgeous and most interesting piece of limestone as the actual chess board.DSCN1631 DSCN1641 - Copy DSCN1648

Creativity can be born out of necessity, too.  I remember watching my son Dominic make a log splitter out of a bunch of metal parts. It was surprising to see something emerge from a bunch of scrap metal. It was an odd looking hunk-of-junk but it served the purpose and I truly was amazed at how it worked.

Or how about this old cliche, “Laziness is the mother of invention”.  Another time, when Dominic was tired of milking the cow by hand, he rigged up all the pieces to go with the little machine we had on hand and before you know it, we had a handy-dandy little milking machine. He then announced to the girls that they could now milk the cow as it was so easy. He was on to bigger and better things…like rigging up another log-splitter, one that splits wood by spinning on the wheel of his truck (don’t ask)! 😀

So creativity can be born of a practical necessity or it can just be an artistic expression. It is something special because we have made it with our own hands.

Something of our own does not mean it needs to be completely original, but something that we have poured ourselves into using our God-given abilities.

Oftentimes we need to start by copying  from other others who have gone before us and eventually our own expression is made more apparent in the things we are creating.

When I started crocheting, I followed patterns right down to the stitch. I was creating and it was so much fun! As time went on and I kept practicing I was able to add my own touches, correct mistakes by using my own ingenuity and make some of my own patterns. It took time….but eventually more creative juices began to flow and I was able to come up with touches that showed more originality.
It is in our nature to create. Creativity is a part of happiness and success in this life. Creative people are interesting people.

Some people complain that they are not creative and they say that other people are just born with the gift of creativity. I do not believe that. It is true, creativity expresses itself in different ways by different people, but everyone has some kind of ingenuity just waiting to be explored.

My oldest daughter Virginia is creative in the way that we think of creativity. She crochets the most beautiful things…doilies, booties, bonnets…and she sews lovely dresses, skirts, vests, etc.gin's pics 052-1gin's pics 050gin's pics 047gin's pics 021-1gin's pics 066-1

My daughter Theresa always said those things bored her to tears. But she is innovative in other ways. Her baking and cooking skills are exceptional and she is the one that organizes the parties around here. She uses her creativity in thinking of ways to help others and make their day brighter. Her flower arranging and interior decorating skills definitely give evidence of her ingenuity.Christmass 08 020

We are all born with creativity but often times throughout life it is either left to grow stagnant or it is squelched because of the negative influences in our lives. But we do not have to give into that. We can begin again if our creativity has laid dormant.We just need to spark that enthusiasm. With access to the internet like we have today, Youtube and Pinterest provide many opportunities to whet our crafting appetites.

When we are working on our projects,  we oftentimes want to see the results very quickly. This is where the perseverance and discipline come in that I mentioned earlier. We have to be patient with our creative outlets.

I remember the first baptismal gown that I crocheted with crochet thread. It was very tedious and I ended up ripping the first part out eight times. Every day I put on my list that I would do two rows of crocheting. I was very busy at that time but I was looking at the end result when the project had become tedious. Since then I have crocheted five of those baptismal gowns. They will become heirloom gowns for my children and their children and it was well worth pushing through the blah times!baptismal gown 001-001 baptismal gown 004
This little excerpt is from Motherhood and Family by Miss Carol Houselander:

Art is Communion

When the artist, child or man, makes an image, not to what he fears, but of what he loves – his art is more than communication, it is communion with others. It is the means by which he gives the wonder of his inward self to other people, and when they respond to him by delighting in the thing he has made, it is because it also expresses that which was inarticulate in their own souls. In the thing of beauty made by a man’s hands, the thing into which he has put his own life, other men recognize the secrets of their own inward lives.

…..We have seen that art, making things, above all making one’s own image and likeness, is a means of liberating and healing, and a means to communion. It teaches a child that basic lesson of life, the secrets of his own nature, that he is made in the likeness of God and in the pattern of Christ, and that in order to be happy through his humanity, he must live in the way that satisfies the needs, not of a cog in a machine, but of a man indwelt by God.”

A wise Mrs. Pearl said:

“Homeschooling mamas are almost always in a hurry. Hurry and creativity cannot sit in the same seat. Stationing a baby or toddler in a puddle of warm sunshine that is pouring through the window, where he can stack blocks, paper, and various objects, is a simple, soothing creative afternoon activity. Letting children play in the dirt, making roads, bridges, lakes, and buildings is creating the next generation of builders and makers.

Sitting down in front of electronic media is killing their genius and dumbing them down.  Consider this: any project that they get involved in – whether it be music, painting, mud building, writing, storytelling, stacking, making tents, performing plays, making cameras, or whatever – that result in someone being able to say, ‘Wow, that is interesting, what are you going to do next?’ is creativity.”

Your children need to be encouraged to be creative!

You may also like this post by Emilie Barnes The Spirit of Creativity

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