Squandered Creativity

I am taking a writing class using the text, “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity”. I love the text, the daily homework, and the weekly zoom class. I am excited to see how the Lord will use it to move my writing in new directions … to give me new dreams to pursue.


However, sometimes the text makes me pause. I want to respond to the author and say, “No! Wait! That wasn’t my experience! Let me explain!”


pg. 6 “Many of us find that we have squandered our own creative energies by investing disproportionately in the lives, hopes, dreams, and plans of others. Their lives have obscured and detoured our own. As we consolidate a core through our withdrawal process, we become more able to articulate our own boundaries, dreams, and authentic goals. Our personal flexibility increases while our malleability to the whims of others decreases. We experience a heightened senes of autonomy and possibility.


Ordinarily, when we speak of withdrawal, we think of having a substance removed from us. … (however), in creative withdrawal … we ourselves are the substance we withdraw to, not from, as we pull our overextended and misplaced creative energy back into our own core. … (Then), we begin to excavate our buried dreams.”


There is so much in this passage …


While I did spend 36 years “investing disproportionately in the lives, hopes, dreams, and plans of others”, I do not in any way see it as “squandering my own creative energies”. Oh.My.No. God blessed me with 12 beautiful children; He called me to a life of homeschooling. Not one minute of those many years of parenting was squandered; not one ounce of my energy was wasted.


While my children’s hopes and dreams and plans did “obscure” my own life, it was not in any way a “detour”. No. It was the exact path that God chose for my life. I would not trade that path for anything! It was my path … my journey of faith … my calling.


Now that my youngest child is 19, my personal flexibility is able to increase, while my “malleability to the whims of others” is able to decrease. Now that I am not on-call 24/7 for the needs of my children, I am better able to “articulate my own boundaries, dreams, and authentic goals”. Now that all of my children are adults, the Lord is leading me down new paths; He is uncovering my buried dreams.


When the Lord showed me this summer that it was time to leave my job at the elementary school, He was showing me that it was time for me to withdraw … not from anything, but to myself. He showed me that it was time to pull my “over-extended and misplaced creative energy” back into my own core. Now, He will be able to use me in new and exciting ways … through writing … through speaking … through teaching … through baking …


There are so many buried dreams bubbling to the surface, as I have withdrawn enough to be able to dig down through the mud to find them again.


What does this look like on a daily basis? I must take my Writing & Speaking Ministry and my Bake Shoppe Business seriously. I must make time for each of them. I must learn to tell myself that my calendar is not “empty” … I DO have things to do … goals to meet … projects to work on.


After 37 years of parenting, it is taking me awhile to figure out who I am … to see the gifts and the beauty in just being me … to uncover the person that has been hidden beneath the title of “Mother of Many” for so many years. I still love that title, and I am still the Mother of 12. I have also been blessed to add the title of “Nana of 18” to my identity. But, I need to not forget who I am … who God created me to be.


Have your creative energies been invested disproportionately in the lives of others? Has your identity become, “Just a mom”? Are you wondering who you really are … what gifts you have … how you can serve the Lord as “Just me”? I encourage you to take some time to withdraw, and to seek the Lord as to what buried dreams He wants to help you uncover.

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