I’ve loved to create as long as I can remember. From the time I was a little girl creativity has encompassed everything from collage art kits to paints, food, home decor, and even words. I love to express creativity in a million different ways and have always appreciated that about others too. But in a season when I first had children, that bone in my body seemed to grow brittle and felt like it might break. And over the years I’ve resurrected some of my creative first loves, and the truth is that they really never left.
My dear friends Wendy and Kelli have written the most beautiful book celebrating creativity and motherhood, and it is my pleasure to welcome them to my little corner today. You will love these women and how they encourage us to break out of the spin cycles of life and really live creative.
The Art of Love
by Wendy Speake
There is a sign that hangs upon the wall in Logan’s house that simply states, “There is nothing more artistic than loving people.” (Vincent Van Gogh) And I think that just about sums up this season for so many creative moms today. In the midst of mothering and wife-ing and home-making, we may long desperately to express ourselves creatively… but the most impactful form of self-expression is always love.
I read a story once of a woman, a poet, who walked about her father’s field midday. Without warning she felt the earth beneath her feet begin to shake, like a railroad train was coming her way. She sensed it in the air, all around her, this massive thing moving toward her. Only instead of a train, she knew instinctively that this thing was a poem she needed to catch fast before it passed her by. Desperate for a pencil to capture the inspiration barreling down upon her, she tore through the field, fierce and fast, as the roar of words caught up to her, breathing steam at her neck. Tearing through the farmhouse, up the stairs, and to her room, she reached for a pencil and paper to record the words that begged to be written. Sometimes she’d make it in time to catch the wave, the poem tumbling over the tips of her fingers, dotting the page with beauty. Other times, however, she missed the wind of inspiration as it rushed right through her before pencil met paper.
I get chills when I envision that girl running wild for her house, hair flying, trying to catch the words before they thundered past. I know that dreadful, wonderful sensation of inspiration coming down hard. However, I am not a child anymore, not barefoot in my father’s field, not free to run whenever I’m inspired—run for a pen, for my laptop, camera, paintbrush, pottery wheel, guitar. No, now I am a mother with children of my own to tend.
To drop what I’m doing for the sake of a song, a picture, or the perfectly nuanced first line to a short story isn’t always possible. Sometimes it is, but other times running off would mean leaving my kids behind.
“I thought of Nanny, and how she’d missed the art that was her children, right in front of her, for all of her wanting to be an artist. How she’d missed the beauty in the lines of her children’s jaws, in the swinging of their arms, in the graceful dance of their limbs. And I picked up Aiden, almost reverently, said into his wide unblinking eyes, ‘You are my greatest creation.’” (Emily T. Wieringa, Atlas Girl)
Running off to catch the mid-day muse would require missing the baseball game and the field trip, the long-promised walk to the park and a lemonade stand. And so, instead of sprinting each time inspiration bids me come, I pull back the covers, plant my feet on the cold tile floor before the sun rises, start the coffee maker, and pray the Lord sends the inspiration upon me then, in the only quiet I’m afforded each day.
But once my children stir, I slowly, reverently, turn my artistry away from my work and fix it securely to the art of home, the art of family, the art of mothering, the art of love – because the most impactful form of self-expression is always love.
For the ministry-minded creative, this art of love is where all gospel-influence resides. Though we long to sing our gospel-song, paint our scripture-art, write our own personal gospel-story, home is where we live it out day after day after each live-long-loving day! Home is where everything starts.
If you are a creative woman longing to express your faith life in the midst of family life through a flourishing creative life, Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart have written a book just for you. Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom will cheer you on as you commit to live your inspired life in the cracks and crevices of each mothering day – in your home first and foremost, and from there out into our local communities, and beyond, to the farthest corners of the globe through the power of this digital age.
As a special incentive, order a copy of Life Creative by the end of September and receive Wendy and Kelli’s free downloadable resource, “Five Stepss to Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Thriving Business.” This isn’t another formulaic “how-to build a platform” guide, this free gift IS A GIFT because it continues to view our creative pursuits through the lens of loving our people well. Wendy and Kelli know how hard this dance can be and have chosen to dance it with us! So head on over to Confirm your purchase and receive your free gift today!