Sunday, January 31, 2021

Day 31 of Embracing Your Creative Gifts: Nurture the Next Generation

 


Sometimes, the best thing you can do to nurture creativity is to give your child the time, space and security to do their own thing. – Victoria Wilson, Boost Your Child’s Creativity

Nurturing children is one of the most creative things we can do. In parenting or teaching, we are co-creating with God, working with what God has created to bring forth the best in that child. We want that child to fulfill their God-given potential, to be who God created him or her to be. It is a huge responsibility and honor to play a part of that.

Like each of us, children come into the world with a certain set of abilities and gifts. Children will tend to indulge in play that reveals their natural abilities. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the time and space and love to figure out who they were meant to be. A child who is told what to do every waking moment, who never has time to daydream, explore with different materials and activities, or try various things out, will be much less likely to discern his or her creative calling.

We need to teach children that God made them, that God loves them, and that God has given them gifts to be used to serve God and others. We play a role in helping them discover those gifts. We also must leave our own agenda behind. It is easy to dream of all the things you’d like your children to do and be. Those dreams are not necessarily bad, but when we try to have our children live out our own unfulfilled dreams, we can run into problems. God created our children. The only dream for their lives that matters is His. We need to encourage our children to pray and work toward discerning God’s calling for their lives. His dreams for them are greater than ours ever could be.

Prayer

Dear God, thank you for the gift of the children under my care. Please help me to cultivate their gifts and help them be all that you created them to be.

Action

Do you have children or grandchildren of your own or work with children? How can you help them have more time, space, and love to explore their gifts? 

This is an excerpt from The Work of Our Hands. (Amazon affiliate link)

I hope that you have enjoyed this month-long series on embracing your creative gifts. Please consider purchasing a copy of  The Work of Our Hands for yourself or a friend who might benefit from it.

 


 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Day 30 of Embracing Your Creative Gifts: Thank Those Who Came Before You

 


All things have a history, and creativity is never creation from nothing, but a response to all that has been inherited. – Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering our Creative Calling

None of us live in a vacuum. From the time we are born we are immersed in a given culture. We have a particular family; we live in a specific place; we grow up in a certain community. We are exposed to various influences throughout our lives: the stories we are told, the books we read, the movies we watch, the music we listen to, the conversations we hear, and the images we see. All of these things become part of us, whether we want them to or not.

Our own creativity builds off of the creativity of all those who have come before. God is the master Creator, but each person who has lived has left a creative mark and impacted the future. We are inspired by what we see and engage with. We may be compelled to respond immediately to some stimulus. Other times, something we were exposed to years before can move to our consciousness and require us to create some response. When we take part in a conversation, whether in writing or verbally, we are responding to someone else’s creative output. We are all part of this incredible ongoing creative act.

We owe those who have come before us a huge debt of gratitude for all that they have contributed to the story. By the same token, we are influencing generations yet to be born without even realizing it. Thanks to the internet, our ideas and creative efforts can impact people around the world. We influence people we never meet. We never know who might be inspired in some way by something we have done. We should leave the world at least a bit better than the world we were born into. Our creative efforts are one building block in a cathedral of God’s ongoing design.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for all who have come before me, those whose ideas have shaped who I am. Thank you for allowing me to contribute to the ongoing story of Creation.

Action

What creative influences have most shaped you? If there is a particular person who has contributed a great deal to your creative vision, is there a way to thank him or her? If the person is alive, perhaps you can write a thoughtful note. If the person is dead, offer a prayer for that person’s soul. What creative legacy do you want to leave behind? Is there a way for you to be more intentional about what you put into the world?


This is an excerpt from The Work of Our Hands. (Amazon affiliate link)

 

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