Sometime, while I was sick, I joined a book club.
That doesn’t seem so off for me, except the book is called The Hidden Art of Homemaking. That didn’t sound off either, until I received the book and I read the chapter titles. What?! This book is about art and painting and sculptures, what?? What in the world did I get myself into?! Remain calm.
Being an introverted person all my life, I’ve often felt like extroverted people were trying to MAKE me be more extroverted, more like them. As if, somehow, extroverted is the way to be. I have felt the exact same way about art and creative people in general, they expect me to be like them and to be able to do the things they do. I’m just not very creative naturally and when I’ve tried to be creative it looks… wrong. Besides picture study with the kids in school, art and I stay apart as much as possible.
God has been s t r e t c h i n g me for a while now and so I’m not so surprised by this book club that I have fallen into. I actually began to get a little excited as I picked up the book to start reading, what could God possibly have in store here?
I read the first chapter and what wonder is this? I LOVED it. The thoughts presented are ones I’ve never taken time to ponder, never thought could apply to me.
Edith Schaeffer is the author and she spoke to my heart right away, on the second page of the first chapter as I embraced an idea that was so freeing. She wrote about all creativity coming forth out of the imaginations, mind and personality in each of us, but that each are unique and what you create in originality, I CAN NOT. That thought zeroed in on a lifetime of frustration, of being in art classes and trying to copy what others are doing, walking into beautiful homes and wishing I could do the same. This very simple idea that I don’t have to be able to create the things others create, that is not the standard of creativity for me. When I see a creative expression I can know that God gave someone that inspiration and idea and it is one that I may enjoy the fruits of, but that I don’t have to try to emulate. I will carry that one along with me!
The rest of the chapter continued to keep my mind moving. Why had I never thought about the fact that I was made in the image of a Creator and therefore my desire to create, which for me is with words (and maybe babies!) is just a reflection of my Father? It made me think of my three year old playing dolls and pretending the things she sees lived out everyday, she is being like her parents in her own way. As we humans go about this world always trying to invent and make things we are not shaking our fist at our Creator, but rather emulating Him.
One of the things we are being invited to do in this bookclub is to share our pictures of the beauty in the things around us, this week we are posting pictures of the view of our backyards. I am really excited about this because I know I have only a couple more months in this house and in this beautiful city. Every day I wake up to the view of my backyard as my very first sight of the day. Being a southern California girl, I don’t expect to live in a place as beautiful as this again for a very long time, if ever. For today, I soak in this view:
Now that my personal reservations have subsided, I am really looking forward to the rest of this book and thinking deeper on the theology of art and creativity!