I’ve been working through the book, The Artist’s Way, these past few weeks. I highly recommend it for growth in any creative area of life. Each week there are new assignments to enable one to strip away the barriers from creative thinking and doing. This week I am practicing “reading deprivation.” I am not reading anything except the Bible and my assignments from The Artist’s Way. I’ve also chosen not to watch television. The point of the exercise is to allow one to listen to one’s own words, rather than continually absorbing the words of others.
My first day of reading deprivation was a bit unnerving. I kept sitting in front of the computer gazing at it longingly, or wandering around aimlessly with no purpose. I’m settling into it though, and am enjoying fewer distractions. I find myself actually drawn to the sewing machine after much time away, and I’ve soldered some really fun rings. But I do find myself wondering what is going on in your worlds. I miss reading blogs.
Prior week’s assignments in The Artist’s Way have also revealed a great error in my thinking. I am so glad to be set free of this thinking. A burden I didn’t even realize I was carrying has been lifted. This burden was my skewed view of “wasting time.”
Almost a decade ago, my Savior grabbed my heart and changed my world dramatically. I didn’t really know how to be a Christian, so I did much reading about what a Christian woman, marriage, mother, wife, etc. should be like. Then I set out to be like that. In all these very helpful books, I was taught that I must be busy doing something productive all the time or I was not utilizing my time in a way honoring to God. And if I was doing anything other than serving others, I was being selfish. Believing this way of thinking was conterproductive to allowing myself time to be an artist.
I am creative. I amazingly identify myself as an artist now. If God created me this way and gave me such awesome ideas and visions to express and such delight in being creative, why would I be dishonoring Him by spending my time doing such? My art, like my life, reflects my relationship with God. How would He not be glorified in my artistic endeavors? And if my highly creative children seldom see me doing anything but the practical, yet I encourage them to develop the gifts that God has given them, which will they do as adults?
Liberty. No more guilt. No more procrastination. I am free to be the creative individual that God created me to be. I am not selfish for not spending all my time serving my family. Rather I do a disservice to them by not being wholly who God created me to be. I still value the wealth of information in those “how to be a Christian” books. They did teach me to become more organized and manage my time more wisely. I learned a great deal about child training, and how to better meet my husband’s needs. But I became a cookie cutter Christian. In my home I became a Martha, when there was a Mary in me trying to express herself. I would allow Mary very little time to reflect or be still, to sit at the feet of Jesus and soak in His Presence, to hear His Words, and then to act on that moment through creative expression. Welcome home, Mary.