Creativity is a complex idea. I think most people think of creativity as literally pulling out craft supplies and creating something awesome. Creativity can look different, and that is something I have been learning. I like how Wikipedia defines the word CREATIVE: “a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created (such as an idea, a joke, an artistic or literary work, a painting or musical composition, a solution, an invention etc.). The ideas and concepts so conceived can then manifest themselves in any number of ways…”
When we said “yes” to our foster son, we were saying “no” to other things. Having three boys so close together and a dramatic three-year little girl keeps us busy. My boys are 7, 5, and 5. So, you can imagine the competitiveness that can arise on a daily basis. The Nerf gun wars that run around our house have picked up in frequency. The impromptu wrestling matches have me looking into referee jerseys. When they all roll out on their bikes, it’s like a miniature motorcycle gang has invaded our street.
It is amazing and I would not have it any other way, but it can be tiresome and hard as well.
In the moments where I wonder how many times I have said “please, stop arguing” and “we use our muscles to protect,” I question if I can do this. Do I have what it takes to love, care, nurture and protect these four hearts through this world. The truth is I do not.
I need Jesus and only the love that he can bring. Our foster son goes through a wave of different emotions on what seems like an hourly basis. As soon as I think I have figured out the root causes of his actions, something happens that throws off all of my thinking. It’s like God is saying “don’t try to understand my plans, just trust me in the journey,” so we hold fast and are constantly checking our hearts and words on keeping this perspective. I like plans, I like knowing what to expect, I hate surprises. So, I am being stretched. And you know what? It’s good.
God is in control of our lives. He has my kids in the palm of his hand, and he is their protector. I do my best, but then I am reminded I am not their Savior. In all my deep talks, I was reminded the other week that some of my well thought out and intentional moments with the kids may not even be the most meaningful things. In a moment of exasperation of asking, pleading, and enduring an unusual amount of timeouts, I asked my foster son what was going on. I will never forget what he said. He said, “I think I need some Jesus music”. It still brings tears to my eyes as I replay this story.
That is something I say and quickly turn on Pandora or pop in a CD when I am tired and feel anger and frustration in my heart. He must see it, but that is never something that I would have thought that could have transferred to him. Kids really are sponges.
I say all this to say, I am learning that being creative might not be limited to actually making, creating something with all my supplies.
It might be the words or actions we use to teach our kids how to navigate through this world.
It might be the way we organize our time or our method of getting groceries into the house.
It might be how we get food on the table or nutritious food in their bellies period.
It might be how we share to make it through the day. (you don’t have any socks? Borrow some from your brother)
It might be the way we learn to accept help and stretch ourselves outside what is our norm.
Creativity is a complex thing, that doesn’t always included art supplies, and I believe you have it inside of you too!
I made this sweet little sign to hang in my office as a daily reminder that I can be creative right where I am now. In the moments where kids are my entire day, I can still be creative.
I was looking at the clock the other day and realized how I better take this picture quickly or the sunlight would be gone. So, I used some Lemon Heads as an incentive and got all four kids lined up and eager for their picture to be taken. As I saw them standing there I realized a) two were standing in a puddle in socks b) one had not been obedient and changed into a new play outfit instead of pjs c) one was still wearing her soppy wet clothes from playing in the rain. I sighed knowing this was not ideal but was thankful to just get them standing still all together for a picture.
Now, when I look back I wouldn’t have the picture any other way. It sums up where I am at. Four cute, sweet kids that I love and adore and we are not perfect but doing the best we can to remember love is patient and God is not through with any of us yet. As you are making it through your day, know that I am thinking and praying for you that you would be filled with “a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created” and that it makes a difference for the people around you!
**If you too would like to make a sign like this, I made mine based on the idea with this Love Sign. Have fun!**