i should really quit.

I don’t even know why I keep crocheting.

I have thrown in the towel (hook?!) several times, vowing I was through.

But then mid-October rolls around and I am helpless to stop the urge to put in just one more row before bedtime (that came and went an hour ago).

And in my relationship – if it even merits being called that! – with crocheting, I see a microcosm of my whole life, my relationship to art and my creative Father. 

I believe that in each of us there is a drive to be creative and it seeps through the pores of our existence in different ways, even for those of us unskilled with paintbrushes, unsteady in voice. For years I have wrestled with this inner desire to create, to admire beauty and take it in as the gift it is, but also to produce something, anything, in response to the world around me and emotions stirring inside. My challenge has been in finding a medium I can stick with.

I can be fickle, a perfectionist, not talented enough to really excel in most of the things I’ve tried my hand at. For many years I loved playing and writing music, but have felt dried up in that area for many reasons, including loss of bravery and youth that once led me to enjoy it so much. Some forms of art require loads of time and attention, supplies and space and emotional energy and for now I’m busy with family and kids and endlessly dutiful to laundry (thatsajokeifyoumissedit) and other things.

This stage of life is not something I resent – in fact I see it shaping and influencing my perspective and joy, giving me inspiration. My children are brilliant as muses in the way they open my eyes to miracles that I have grown dull to. The poignant struggles our young family endures help me to know more intimately the shadows that every author knows a genuinely gripping story needs. But the margins in life are pretty small right now and I don’t have much to pour into growing in creativity by the end of the day.

Art for me in this stage of life is impractical, like my ridiculous inability to truly give up crocheting even though I’m terrible at it and it brings me to fits of rage. But I keep coming back to it, and I can’t stop. I don’t want to stop. I feel like to be the most vibrantly-alive version of myself I have to not only “indulge” in the whimsical and beautiful, I have to nurture that side.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” {C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves}

I think God is calling me more to enjoy the creativity of the day-to-day, and to infuse our routines with more art and joy. I want to take longer, slower walks. Read more poetry with my babies. Listen to more and better music. Maybe I’ll sit down and draw with the kids instead of just passing out supplies and cleaning up after. And when I can, maybe I’ll turn my hand to perfecting some signature recipes, challenging myself in photography, maybe writing more or picking up my guitar.

I think the point for me is that even though there are thousands that can make art better than me, I need to do it. My art matters. To me, to mine, to God.

For now I am giving myself permission to dabble, to screw up, to put in lopsided rows. To try to be brave, and create even if there a pretty hefty chance it will not “turn out” as desired. To engage in the creative arts for the exercise in thankfulness and joy, the satisfaction and worship of the thing – not just an end result to hang on the wall or be proud of.

❤ jc

“I don’t believe there is one great thing I was made to do in this world. I believe there is one great God I was made to glorify. And there will be many ways, even a million little ways, I will declare his glory with my life.” 

“Being his workmanship doesn’t mean we are all poets. It means we are all poems, individual created works of a creative God. And this poetry comes out uniquely through us as we worship, think, love, pray, rest, work, and exist.” {Emily Freeman, A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live}


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s