Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Creative Outlet

I feel the need to greet you, reader, as though we've not talked in quite some time.  It's been about a year since my life started to slow way down and speed way up all at the same time.  It's been a great and, more importantly, significant year that has taught me how much I need to grow further.  And for that, I'm very grateful.









So, now that life has shifted around a lot and I've gotten (sort of) used to the movement, it's really important for me to write more.  As I've said before, this writing is little about you the reader or some number of page views, but about my health and as such, the health of my family.

By nature, I'm very sensitive (quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences) AND I process through words (talking or writing, expression somehow).  What that combination means in everyday life is my brain is constantly on, I have the tendency to vomit words in the name of processing and that part of my personality is a drain or stumbling block in relationships.  Either I never want to stop talking or I say everything on my mind and probably criticize too much.  THEREFORE, when I say I need to write, it is a certifiable NEED.  I need a verbal and creative outlet to use up all of the thoughts and observations that flood my heart every day. 

And while we're talking about it, having an outlet of expression in your life is important.  Maybe you consider yourself a professional or 'not like that', but I bet you're wrong.  As humans, we're designed to express and create.  The beauty of it is that no one has to be/is the same.  Mr. Butler's creative outlet of choice is woodworking.  My mother prefers singing.  The point isn't about what outlet, but making sure you have your own.  You know that person who never stops talking? Or the one who flies off the handle and you're always terrified of what inappropriate thing they are going to say?  They need a creative outlet.  When we don't have one, things build up and start to turn sour really fast. 

As a parent, I can see it in my kids even clearer.  Their play is their creative outlet.  That tells me just how important play is to life itself.  The phrase let them play is relevant to the needs of our children, but we also need to join them!  Expectations and responsibilities change as adults, but base needs do not disappear. Just as our children are required to perform certain skills (go to the bathroom, feed the dog, eat with utensils) but still need ample play time, we are the same.  Do your job as unto the Lord, but also allow yourself to enjoy His creative world!



"I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man. I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him."

Ecclesiastes 3:10-14 ESV


Monday, June 16, 2014

Judge Dread: A Dreamer's Stumbling Block

Dreading things.  Dreading a conversation, a deadline, an ending, a big job, a rejection, a separation.  We all bump into dread, just like a dog underfoot sometimes.  Ever since my days in elementary school, I remember searching for the next thing to dread.  When it was far off, my body issued a sigh of relief!  Deadlines or in the heat of the moment pressure panics me quite a bit.  I just don't think well on my feet.

I do dream well though.  I've always gotten flashes of beautiful places, sometimes out of my hoped for future and sometimes from an Anne of Green Gables scene.  My heart lives to dream! So, what happens when the two parts try to co-exist?  Well, I dream up things to dread! :) Everything from fantastic scenarios where people ridicule me to all the possible events surrounding mine or a family members' death.  Ri-diculous.

Tension, judgement, assumptions and loads of dread can often billow up like smoke into notions that never really were there to begin with.  I'm slowly learning (sometimes it seems verse by verse) that the Bible says things for a reason.  Because they are true.  Because they work.  The things we allow ourselves to dwell on will change so much of our world.  How many fights or worries have you had that were based on wrong information - or worse, information that you imagined?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

-Ephesians 4:8

And besides all of that, dread is presumptuous and divisive, even if just to our own selves.  Today, and most days, I need to be reminded that everything I need to carry out what is in front of me is at my disposal if I only seek and ask for it.