I continue to be amazed and excited by the way God is using the material in The Artist’s Way to stimulate thinking and encourage me in operating more freely in the creative part of my soul. The way He’s leading me through this, drawing my attention to parallels between what’s in the book and what’s in the Christian life, then providing confirmation, sometimes almost word for word in Bible class is really exciting.
Today (Sunday) I begin Week 2, which is called Recovering a Sense of Identity. (Week 1 was Recovering a Sense of Safety). Week 2 focuses on the things which will come in to attack and hinder the concepts taught and gains made in Week 1. One of the tasks for this week is to read through daily the “Basic Principles” that were listed on page 3.
One of the things I’ve been doing as I move through the course is to make it mine. When I first got the book, brand new from Amazon, I was reading it at the dining room table and drinking iced coffee. Barely had I started when I set the glass down wrong and it fell over, the entire contents flooding the book. After picking off the ice cubes, I mopped up the mess and spent a good amount of time sliding pieces of paper towel between all the pages. Yes. ALL the pages. There is not a single page untouched by coffee and some have a delightful, distressed look about them. At first I was dismayed and asked the Lord if this was some kind of sign. Was I not to read it after all? Instead, I got a laughing sort of thought: “Now it’s no longer ‘precious’ and you can feel free to write in it.”
Ahhh! Very true. So I have done exactly that — underlined, highlighted, circled, starred, commented in the margins, crossed stuff out and replaced it with other stuff. Thus, I have amended the Basic Principles to my own liking, (You can find the original HERE) and I share them with you now:
1. Creativity is a God-given part of the soul, bestowed for our blessing and benefit.
2. The Bible is full of songs, poetry, imagery. The book of Job was originally performed as a play. Jesus told stories in his teachings – the parables. Both David and Moses composed melodies and songs. David danced in the street as he worshiped the Lord. We are commanded to sing praises to the Lord, to “make” melodies. Angels sang for joy when God made the universe. God is the one who made flowers, birds, sunsets, the sea, clouds, mountains, lakes, trees.
3. God is the only one who creates out of nothing, but we echo His creative aspect in creating new things out of the materials He’s placed around and in us.
4. He has made each of us unique, with unique and specific creative gifts that come with the desire to use them. Sin, lies and distortions stop us.
5. He has a specific will and destiny for every person – for the unbeliever to be saved, for the believer, a specific journey or calling in which to glorify Him, a calling which no one else can fulfill.
6. He has given me creative gifts to be used for His glory and my blessing.
7. Part of using those gifts involves nurturing and encouraging them through filling the well with imagery and experience, and giving them time to be practiced.
8. Refusal to encourage my creativity and provide material for it to play with is a refusal to walk through the open door of operating in the gifts He’s given me.
9. When I open myself to exploring the creative part of my soul, I open myself to discovering and living in the full person God has made me to be, and to learning more about Him. He is the Great Creator and He is in me.
10. Functioning in and nurturing the creative side of my nature is as important as functioning in the logical, orderly side.
11. Why wouldn’t I want to open myself to His leading me into increasing creativity?
12. We must love ourselves before we can love others and in loving ourselves we must know who we are. As part of tending our own vineyard we nurture our creativity, for it is a vehicle by which we glorify Christ, as much through the process of living in it and enjoying it, as through whatever it produces.
13. Special word from Bible Class today (the day I typed this up for the first time): Some people who would never walk into a church or listen to a message will read one of my books. Or read my blog. And I am able to continue to witness to others through the art of card making.