Thursday, October 6, 2016

When a day holds many memories and thoughts on creative ideas...

For some reason I was drawn to this picture today when looking for a photo of my mother-in-law, JoAnne Rowley, to share on this blog.  This photo was taken in 1967 and I decided to use it not only because it is of JoAnne, but also because it is her in the boat that Ken loved on the lake that Ken loved - Lake Malone, KY.  Today is her birthday and she would have been 93. She died in 2009 but  I always remember this date because it is also the anniversary of my engagement (which happened to fall on her 50th birthday).  She was not happy about turning 50 and she was not happy with Ken's decision to marry me.  So in many ways this day represents some very mixed memories.  I am thankful that Ken's mom and dad were around when my children were small and I was able to use them for "emergency" day care when it was absolutely necessary.  Gwen has some pretty sad memories of being with "Close Grandma" when she was sick when Grandma had some "old fashioned" ideas of proper care of a sick child.

I was especially thinking about her creative spirit today.  She was a crafter in all senses of the word.  She knit and did needlepoint.  She sewed.  She was an accomplished painter.  She made baskets.  She did pottery.  She made all kinds of crafts.  One of the first really good memories I have of spending time with her was the year that we made the Santa and Mrs. Clause figurines.  They were made out of foam covered in plaster and then decorated.  It was quite the project that took several days to finish.  I gave my pair to my mom and they were always displayed on her TV at Christmas time.  She just loved them.  JoAnne attempted to teach me all the different needlepoint stitches (which I had never done before).  She had me make a pillow with 12 different stitches so I could practice.  That pillow is still sitting on a shelf in my closet.  It represented so much work for me that I just can't bear to part with it.  Gwen remembers that she had a large weaving loom in their family room and one year she made me a set of placemats that I still use!  As a matter of fact, one of those placemats in currently on my coffee table!  I can't imagine that she thought I would still be using these, but I really love them and appreciate the amount of time it took for her to make them.

I guess I was thinking about all of that creativity because yesterday I heard a prophetic word from a well known teacher about a new spirit of creativity that was being released especially over writers.  As you know, it is impossible to decided to be creative.  You either have that talent or you don't.   You might be able to learn some new skills and even copy what someone else has done, but that spark of true creativity has to come from deep within your spirit.  It takes a certain spark to come up with something that is new and different.  To see something from a totally different perspective and/or to give something a new "twist".  I'm sure we can all think of well known people who have changed the world through a new and creative idea.  We wouldn't have cell phones or computers if someone had not thought of them!  

Thinking about this creativity over writing is interesting.  This could mean a new approach to a familiar subject.  Or it could be a new revelation or a new idea.  Really the possibilities are many.  Many years ago I started writing a document that I thought might become a book.  And I have many notebooks full of ideas that could be shared in some way.  What I need is that spark - that new spirit of creativity to open up the path for these ideas to reach others.  I can only imagine how many other people have notebooks (or computer documents) filled with ideas that have not caught fire and made it to publication.   

Yes, remembering JoAnne and thinking about that creative spark do compliment each other.  It is not an accident that these two ideas came on the same day.  JoAnne did not believe that her creativity came from God.  As a matter of fact she told me that she didn't believe in God.  But I know that Jesus was seeking to reach JoAnne with every painting she painted.  Each of the flowers and landscapes that she painted were a testament to the creator.  And as she captured them on canvas, the Holy Spirit was showing her a glimpse of Jesus.  Even the word "creative" harkens back to THE creator - God.  It is just that creative part of His character that is being expressed through us in any creative thing we do.  

So much to think about and consider in this today.  Remembering who the CREATOR is and honoring Him!  And longing for that new anointing of the creative spirit to spark into new written creations that will bless the world.  

Jesus, thank you for JoAnne and all of Ken's family.  Holy Spirit, continue to show forth the character and nature of God through creation.  Pour out that creative spirit on each of us and fan into flames that spark of creativity.  Unleash new projects and ideas that will change the world and bring many to know Jesus.  Amen

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