I think one of the most difficult things about life is the sacrifice of all of the things we want to do for the things that need to be done. This is true for the stay at home mom, the work at home mom and the work from home mom alike. We all have this drive for the creative, for the fun, for the things that excite us and bring us joy and we at times have to set them aside in order to do things that bring us money so we can have the basics we need. Food, clothes, a roof over our heads. If we are lucky, the money comes from doing the things we are passionate about and we can be creative and make money at the same time. Other times, we have to carve away time to be creative.
I am looking around my home right now and I see evidence of both the creative and the mundane that are before me: Laundry to be folded, books to be read (both for work and pleasure), a piano left untouched for weeks, clean dishes in the dishwasher, toys to be put away and so on and so forth.
Lately, my job and the kids are absorbing both my time and energy. And I love them both. I am grateful that I can study and teach, invest in others, and work with a team of pastors at my church. My kids make me laugh and fill my heart with so much love as I watch them grow and try to figure out how to teach them to thrive as themselves.
Yet I miss certain creative outlets I used to put more time into. It’s no secret or surprise to you who have read my blog for some time that this is one of them. I feel I am constantly coming back to The Toothless Grin after prolonged absences that make my heart ache in an inexplicable way. I miss reading for fun without feeling like I’m ignoring my family because there’s a book in front of my face. I want to watch an adult movie from start to finish without interruption – or without staying up way past my bedtime.
The problem of time has made me feel like a prisoner to the life of the mundane. I’ve come to believe my hands are tied and the creative part of my life just can’t exist anymore – or at least at this time. But the deep longing inside of me to create is not quenched and in fact it cannot be silenced. I’ve started to wonder, how can I incorporate a little bit of creativity into my life day to day? What can I do that will stir the right side of my brain and the left a rest?
After all, I do believe this is a spiritual discipline. Using my God given talents, I can create something that communicates my relationship with God, my understanding of God, and the beauty of God. As I reflect on Him while I write, I understanding Him better. As I work through a page of music on the piano, I evoke a deep emotion recalling our lives of love and struggle. As I crochet a baby blanket, I communicate the deep love God has for a newborn. All of these things nourish my relationship with God as I connect with His heart and love in a way that stirs my senses while I produce it.
So, I started thinking, 5 minutes a day. 5 minutes a day of sitting at the piano, of writing anything, of crocheting a row… 5 minutes. I think I can do that. I often don’t start creating because I think it will take too long, but if I can commit to 5 minutes, I can produce something. And that’s better than nothing, right?
So, today I still haven’t finished the laundry, the table is covered in papers to be filed and Jack is watching “Max and Ruby” while I write. Ok, maybe this has taken more than 5 minutes, but I don’t think those chores will mind. They can wait.
And I can create.