Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Compulsion to Create

 Creativity is invigorating.

Being a mom can be really hard at times. Each mom is forced to deal with her special mix of issues, created by her special mix of kids (not to mention her special mix of self). Somedays, by no fault of their own, the kids run me into the ground. With a sprinkling of PMS and a bad night's sleep, incessant questions and tantrums, doctor's visits and therapy sessions, grocery store runs and playdates, and last but not least piles of laundry on top of piles of dishes, after which you clean up you then have to make dinner!...well you get the picture, and moms, if you are reading this your saying, "Ehmmm. I LIVE in that picture."


I've always been a creative person, from as far back as I can remember. Most of my first memories are of drawing or crafting in some fashion. So when life gets overwhelming, there is nothing better than creating or growing something. Both things introduce life and life is one of the happiest things there is.

When you grow or make something, whether it's a sprouting tomato seedling or simply doodling for the sake of doodling, there is a satisfaction that washes over me and it refreshes me. Sometimes just gazing at those little sprouts breathes life into this weary mommy.

Aren't my baby sprouts the cutest? I love how they crave light. They uniformly lean their little slender bodies towards the slightest bit of light. I like to change things up and turn them around, just so I can watch them move again.

Maybe it's because I'm so desperate for Spring, or maybe it's because I need a mommy break badly. But I find myself craving to create like it's a drug. Anything! I don't care what it is. I put a puzzle together for the first time in years, a couple of weeks ago. It was so much fun!

 Did I ever tell you I love all things Alice in Wonderland? Well, I do -since I was very small. It's currently in the works to turn my kitchen into a Wonderland kitchen. I will have to do a post on that...

Here's the rub: when you are rundown, tired, overwhelmed or frustrated, taking that time to sit down and create something can be yet, another thing on your to-do list. And instead of becoming an oasis that it was intended to be, you find it annoying. BUT, if you flip it, view it as a "spa time" for you, and only do something YOU want to do, (this kind of creative spa time does NOT include the following: putting together a toy for your kid, doing a science fair project, or trying to figure a "creative" way to keep the cat from pooping in your potted plants) and the great thing is that it could be as simple as taking some pictures of the budding trees in your backyard, or tying a bright pink ribbon in your ponytail or hanging that picture in your dining room that you know will just "make it".

But if you have a little extra zing that day, whether it be from an extra cup of coffee or your mom has the kids for the day (or even an hour), don't spend that time doing laundry! Use it to feed you. I often times find that the most impromptu creative moments are the best. They are so surprising and leave me with a glow all day.

It's in our nature to create, as humans. I think it's the ultimate high. It's where I most find God. Creativity is like my secret door to the secret clubhouse that God and I have together. In that tiny window of time, I'm co-creating with Him. It stirs conversations and healing. It awakens hope in some of dark corners of my heart. It relieves the burdens I continually choose to carry and reminds me that He will gladly carry them for me...all while doodling my latest idea for the kitchen decor or pressing tiny seeds into a planter to grow, He speaks.

I love that creativity is not bound by rules. It is what you want it to be. Its an indulging of the heart. There is no right or wrong. It could be baking a pie or painting a mural. Sometimes just breaking the ground for where your garden will go, can be as thrilling as a final stroke on a painting or piano key.

And then there is the creating in the midst of chaos, which can be the "quiet" you are looking for. Even when the kids are screaming and running, or my Tiny is tearing up the tupperware drawer for the 19th time that day, I will make a pie. I know, it seems nuts, but I don't have the luxury of always waiting for the "perfect moment" to create. Often times, it's more like a quick fire challenge on Top Chef than as leisure pie baking session with grandma. It's occupying the kids in smashing the graham crackers to smithereens so I can make the custard...but I'm still creating and loving it.

The other day, I was cleaning up the kitchen to make yet another mess and I laughed to myself as I cleaned up the oils and ingredients for my cosmetic making endeavors, the potting soil from the seed planting and the paints from the kid's craft time. As soon as I got that all away, I was reaching for the cutting board to start dinner. So my kitchen (as I'm sure yours is as well) is not only a kitchen, but a science lab, greenhouse and an art studio. The thought of that makes me so happy.

I also wanted to follow-up with you concerning the last post, Potatoes and Prayers. If you have not heard, Monet's sister passed last night and joined her son in heaven. It's such a tremendous loss. If you have not, please stop by her blog ( and flood her with support. We love you, Monet. This photo I took the other day, made me think of your sister today.

Love ya, Foodies!
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