Amanda Jolley

Reflection on pattern and abstraction of the subconscious

Redeeming the time

A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity [10th Anniversary Edition]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.

amanda ∞

0 Comments on “Redeeming the time”

  1. I definitely understand need/requirement to always be busy. I so love creative or even restorative projects but I have troubles fitting them in. My to-do list never includes these projects. I hope to come by a similar revelation as you soon. I does help that my children are becoming older.

    The rings are fun. Wow, your own Etsy shop! Good going!

  2. Amanda, I am looking forward to what you learn. I have myself banned from reading parenting books. I have found that I learn much more about how to parent when I stay as far away from those as possible.

    I don’t think I can stay away from the printed word though. I love books. I was reading a devotional once and the author suggested we stop reading other books and concentrate only on his message. He even told us to stop reading revelation, you know the Bible. I didn’t get very far in that book. Can’t remember what I was reading. Shocked ~

  3. Sounds like you are on the cusp of some beautiful changes. Isn’t it wonderful how God shapes and molds our understanding of Him, a little at a time as we are able to handle it.

    4 years ago I allowed myself to be the artist He created me to be. I used to think that I had to have all else in my world perfect before I could paint or draw. All the laundry, the house, the kids needs, hubby’s needs came first….oh, I was so unhappy, but not anymore. As a bonus, my family is now happier too. Happy Mom, happy family…funny how that works.

  4. Remember the parables about using your gift wisely! God gave you your gift and He did not intend for you to bury it. I have often wondered about the value of my artistic drive in relation to my Christian walk.
    One of the blessings of creating art is that I can use it to encourage & uplift others by sharing it.
    Thanks for being so transparent.
    Blessings to you.

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