It’s true, I’ve never seen myself as someone creative. I have a craft closet full of supplies, but I always feel like an imposter. A mimic. I can copy an idea or re-create someone else’s DIY, but I have never really see myself as a true artist.
Until I started writing.
Blogging is my creative outlet.
While I love to create things–including the graphics for my blog, I still consider myself an amateur. My only training has come by the experience of figuring it out by myself.
Before I can even begin to write, I read. I devour The Word. Almost desperately, I pursue the wisdom of Scripture and the presence of my Savior. I sense that my desire to write is coming from Him;
God is, after all, the author of everything inspiring.
“Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
While God’s Word is foundational to my inspiration, and I highly encourage you start there, here are five of my favorite ways to spark a little creativity other than the internet:
1–TAKE A WALK. A normal walk will do, but consider stepping out of your comfort zone. Take a walk through the woods or down the corridors of a hospital. Visit a cemetery or a soup kitchen.
2–TRAVEL. Go somewhere new. Experience a new culture or a new climate. Near or far. Drive on inner city streets or country roads. Go to a third world country. When your perspective changes, you change.
3–GO BACK. To where you started. To your first attempts. To places of your past. Remembering the good–and the bad. What have you learned from the struggles and the fears–and the victories? Remember and reflect on the ways you have grown–and be thankful.
4–MEET SOMEONE NEW. Visit a nursing home or ask a teenager for his perspective. Hold a brand new baby. Talk to a stranger or listen to someone’s story. Connecting with others has a way of helping us to see ourselves more clearly.
5–GIVE UP SOMETHING. Fasting is a biblical concept, but regardless of your reason, giving up something that you rely on can reveal your true colors. What really matters. Give something away or take time off to serve someone else. Sacrifice doesn’t have to be a negative term. Whether you’re cleaning out your closet or clearing your calendar, the result can be a renewed focus and a refreshed spirit.
What inspires you? Do you wait for inspiration to come, or do you pursue it?
I have become a morning person, and with coffee in hand, I love the quiet stillness of the morning before the busy-ness of life begins. Every year I choose a focal verse that I don’t just memorize, but one that I choose to come back to over and over again as a reminder of something that God is teaching me. This year it is Psalm 4:4, “Reflect in your heart and be still.”
Being still may seem to be the opposite of being inspired, but it is more than just calm, quiet moments before the world awakens and the day begins. Reflection can come while you are driving down the road or sitting at a stoplight–or doing any of the five things I mentioned. “Being still” happens when you direct your thoughts to The One who created you and focus on who He is and what He is doing.
“For the one who wants to love life
and to see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit,
and let him turn away from evil
and do what is good.
Let him seek peace and pursue it,
because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are open to their prayer.”
Quiet reflection is always healthy, but so is exercise and fresh air. “Being still” for you might mean stepping away from what is your normal routine to enjoy a new perspective. God ordained the Sabbath as a day of rest, but our world has turned it into a day of catching up and scurrying through activities before a new week begins. Resting is biblical. He knew we needed it, and yet this opportunity is often squandered away.
In the book of Isaiah, God is sending a message to His people: “You carry out a plan, but not Mine…” , “You set out…without asking My advice…”, “a rebellious people…” The problem was not inactivity–it was that they were willing to set out without seeking Him first, and the consequences would be devastating.
For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said:
“You will be delivered by returning and resting;
your strength will lie in quiet confidence.” Isaiah 30:15
Whatever your inspiration is, let God be the one who guides you. He is waiting for you.
“Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. Happy are all who wait patiently for Him.” Isaiah 30:18