It’s the end of the year, the best time for me to reminisce what have I learned.
I just like to let you know that I have four words to work upon this coming year, these are Frugality, Simplicity, Health and Creativity.
Let me share to you the word “Creativity” in this post.
Looking back, I can’t believe that I am always creating since 2005 after I discovered blogging. I experimented a lot on my Blogger blog and right now settled here in TQL because here is where my personality shines the most. Here is where I can share to you my faith, my love for hand lettering, doodling and writing which is really me and which are the things that I love doing for the rest of my life.
Although, I am not quite satisfied with all the artworks I’ve shared here because most of them are crappy, out of my whim and just a sort of practice I am still proud to let you know that I learned a lot… and I was helped through and through. To be popular with my art is not my goal from the very start; I am here to encourage Christians to create if they feel that there is a seed within their heart for the love of art.
I know some of you might think that “hey!” I have no right to draw much more to blog about art because what I am doing here is just the inferior kinds. But you know what? For the incoming year, I can be bolder and more shameless in sharing my Art for the glory of God and as a means of my communion with Him, Why? Because what’s important here is for us to use whatever we believe is the talent we receive from God.
It’s not how it looks for the first time or however it evolves (if ever it is), it is how you give a channel for your desire to create and how you execute what that small voice within you is telling you to do. In the end it is always how you use it to proclaim His message to the world.
“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;” – Romans 12:6
So today let me share to you the lessons I’ve learned from a year of daily Creativity, 2016 which will also become my advocacy for the TQL blog in the years to come.
- We can use our talents for the glory of God. I cannot re-iterate this enough because it is really one of the essential goals of TQL. After all, what is a talent if not used to advance the purpose of the Lord, right? The only thing about blogging and creating art that gives my full joy and keeps me motivated is to do it as my service to the Lord. This gives me the inner reason. This made me feel that I am in the right direction because I am under His guidance. For me, this becomes my highest calling, something that I should never get tired of doing over and over again. Why? It exceeds my selfish ambition which is to blog for myself and be popular or at least earn. I am not only blogging now to share myself and more so, I feel that the things I want to do in my life are now aligned to the will of the Father.
- There is nothing to be shy about in sharing our creativity. Cliché but it’s true, our Father in Heaven gave us an irrevocable gift that only we can share to the world so, no matter how crappy or how trashy our works seemed to be for us, God still wants us to share them.
When I was a child, I sang in front of the church for the first time. I sang with all my heart for the Lord, unfortunately because I am nervous, my voice trembled that almost everyone who heard on that congregation vowed their heads, silently wishing that I stop. My cousins teased me when we got home but my father stood by me and said, “At least you’re able to sing for the Lord and He is well pleased by your courage.” Imagine that? If I got shy that day, I will never ever reach the point when I overcome my stage freight and maybe, I will never ever gain the confidence that I have now.
Everything that we do for the Lord, great and small is well-appreciated. He is like us, mothers who are touched by the doodles of our children. So, there is nothing to be shy about our works.
- The day to begin is NOW. Don’t tarry and don’t ever think you are not good enough. You are! In the sight of the Source of our gifts, we are fully equipped by the things we needed to succeed. Just make sure that your success is measured by how much you please the Lord and not by the measurement of the world.
I’ve started despite of my own disbelief with my own talent. I just follow what my heart is dictating me to do. I took the chance and the courage to share and now I am here with some of you as my followers. Why? Because somewhere, somehow, there will be a person who will appreciate your work and who will believe in you. Maybe, it is the way of God to tell you that your work for Him will never be wasted and well-appreciated. Soon enough, it will touch the heart of whom God will send it with.
What’s great in the will of God is it always requires faith and obedience. He will always whisper to you His plan then, all you have to do is to follow and have faith. The rest, we will leave with Him and the end result is really amazing.
- You can improve through practice. Like you, I’ve started with a lot of frustrations. At firsts, I can’t even write a whole sentence in English. I can’t even understand the color combination, too. I love hand lettering, but I don’t know how to make it appeal coherent. It took me a lot of reading and researching and studying other artist’s works to know everything I need to know. Then, I practice. On my blog, I made a lot of trashy writings, too. I’ve experimented tremendously until finally I have the grasps on what really works.
I found out that giving-up is not the answer to improvement. It is in persevering to master your craft, of minding it, of owning it as your calling and through constant practice. Those who will notice it will just come… don’t worry. God will do the rest to reward your every effort.
- You will always encourage someone through your creativity. Even if what you are making is the most simplest art, or your writing is not as compelling as that of others surely, YOU WILL ENCOURAGE someone. Maybe, it is through your message. Sometimes it is through your story. No matter how, someone out there will be encourage by your works and soon they will tell you so.
This I believe, no matter how you spread the Word of God. Be it through blogging, writing, giving, speaking and art… it will accomplish to where it was sent because “they are spirit and they are life.” It will always touch someone else’s life.
- There are plenty of benefits in creating art. As a working mom who’s always exposed to stress, creating for the Lord becomes my meditation and a form of relaxation. As someone who’s growing older and older each day, and someone who’s experiencing a lot of pain and sickness, creating becomes my worry buster and it becomes part of my healing. This also becomes my way to cope with life’s difficulties. Whenever I am problematic, I create. The time that I am supposed to be spending in too much thinking becomes a productive time that made me forgot the terrible situation that is pulling me down at the moment. These are just few examples, there’s a lot more that you will never experience unless you start to create today.
- Criticism should never stop you from creating. I know how hard it is to hear harsh criticisms because I am a very sensitive person, but I never mind all of those today. I learned to create despite of them; after all if you showed your talent to the world, this will become inevitable and ultimately, becomes normal. What I focused on is what my Lord will going to say to me, that’s what really matters. If my Father in Heaven said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” and then He still provided me with all I need to continue with my humble creation, the noises of this world vanished all behind His Word. Friends of TQL, let criticism be the last reason for you to quit creating.
- Your creativity helps spread beauty and joy. In the City where I am in, where there’s no trees and mountains and flowers in sight, I learned to enjoy the beauty of art everywhere. I found myself spending a lot of time examining a lot of beautiful artworks. I became more observant of how others create hours and hours. I enjoy their beauty and yes, I am happy. Even Gretchen Rubin once tried to discover the happiness behind creating art in her book The Happiness Project. This is one proof to us that there is…there is joy in creating. But one cannot understand it unless he/she has the gift and if ever they have, if they’d never tried to release it from herself, they can never experience the fullness of joy in this arena.
TQL friends, use your talents and keep on using them, knowing that all things we do for the Lord can never be wasted. There will be success in here that you might not yet realize but in His time, all will be revealed, but right now offer your talent to the Lord, first.
I’ve known a lot of people who would like to create and some who can really create but they are spending their lives doing other things. Please, remember that even I is working in a field that I do not like doing. I am also spending hours after hours striving in my workplace. But I never lose sight of the fact that I am working to provide for what I am passionately doing. My work is just a fuel that keeps my passion running so I take time… I take time to draw, to watercolor, to hand letter, to write…
I am not seeing any future here and I am not looking for one. I am contented to do and share what I know I want to do in the first place. I don’t want to waste any more time. I don’t want to set aside my passion and just wait for the right timing… perhaps when I am old or when the children grows old. That time might never come.
What I have is now so I will spend some of my time doing it today. So, every day, before and after work I found myself in the comfort of creating and I never regret this. This keeps me alive and motivated. Why? Because even if I am doing things in the office that I don’t like, it was being balanced by the fact that I am also doing the things that I most like. I am also able to do what my God requires of me… to reach the lost sheep until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
As I close year 2016, let me leave you a promise that these lessons that I have learned this year about Creativity can be a backbone of TQL for the next year. I promise to keep creating and I promise to create a longer, more valuable and creative post each week as long as my strength never fails me. Please still join me and help me in this journey.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.