Creative Expression: Stop, Look, Listen

creativity-takes-courageI don’t look at the usual to find the unusual. I don’t follow the mundane to find the creative. I also stopped listening to the myriad of echoing sounds to find my voice. It’s all about being Debra, not anyone else. It is not self-indulgent to proclaim this at this time in my life. I have labored under misrepresentation for so many years that I breathe a sigh of relief when I find peace in Christ in me. My creativity is grounded in the One who knows me through and through.

The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you; therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message (Colossians 1:27 Message)

Living “out of the box” has been added to a long list of clichés that currently exist. I myself have been known to say it so many times that I often bore myself at its repetition in my life. So I have decided to turn the tables on myself and stop talking it and start walking it. It’s time to live “out of the box”. Time for me to look outside my self-imposed boundaries that have placed a lens of normality over my eyes to where I don’t even see the new opportunities. I catch a glimpse of something new, something fresh and it is tempting to retreat into the comfort of the ‘crowd’ out of fear of failure or fear of the unknown.

So what does it mean for me to be creative and think out of the box? Well, first and foremost, creativity does not exist in a vacuum but is dependent upon relationships that add dimension to my life, visual stimuli that impart creative ideas to me, or reading interesting books whose words carry the seeds of creative ideas that burst open within me. All in all, creativity is dependent on movement in my life. Moving out of the stability of what is comfortable into what is innovative and fresh. This path can and often is accompanied by internal fears but do it anyway. For me, it’s all in Christ.

We live and move in him, can’t get away from him (Acts 17:28 Message)

The LIght Goes OnA practical example for me this very day set my heart afire within me. I saw a running video in my head that had me grab my journal to write down ideas. Then I talked briefly to my young friend in Finland, Jenna (by the way, READ this gal’s blog. It’s great.) I shot ideas by her and we have determined to bring forth the manifestation of this great idea in the beginning of 2014, God willing. Timing is crucial but if not then, it will manifest soon, very soon. What matters the most is that the creative journey sparks life in me. It is who I am and it is how I stay alive and adventurous day by day.

New ideas start to come when we press past the norm. And then, the new ideas may be nebulous in form because they are so new or different that we reject them at first. But then they start to take hold and they form into purpose and then we launch out to try, to do, to make, to create. It’s a good day.

Why Creativity?

creativityCreativity, creative expression, moving in the Spirit – these are my topics for the next ten-twelve days in the blog challenge. I want to mix it up a bit and focus on a topic that is close to my heart.

My friends know I am an avid fan of Project Runway, blogging about the lessons that I learn while watching it. I observe the extraordinary creativity that flows through the contestants. I am not as concerned about who wins, but about watching the creative process and flow.

I always try to listen to the sounds of a creative beat, so I attended an apparel design program for many years. Unfortunately, I quit the program right before I finished the last classes that were required to get the certificate. I draped, I sewed, and I sketched. I loved it. To this very day, when I look at what someone is wearing, I can take the garment apart in my own head, analyzing the pattern and structure. But, I quit. Why?

About the time I dropped out of the program was around the same time that I became a Christian. To me, the two didn’t mix in my heart or in the religious heart of the church. Fashion design seemed a bit insignificant. I sold it all – my machine, my serger, my fabric and everything else. I even used God as an excuse to people, telling them that He told me to just sell it all. You know, that suffer with Jesus routine that forms the foundation of religiosity. There is no one to blame. I made the decision. But, why?

I did the same thing in university. I wanted to go the route of the arts. My dad wanted me to do something with more substance, like teaching and nursing. So, again, because of external pressure and deep insecurity and guilt, I caved and walked into teaching. After graduation, I taught two years to discover a simple fact. I didn’t like teaching, at all.

1288452919_w30I wasted so many years, trying to be what I am not. Trying to fit in to who I am not. Then along came Rivers of Eden, our ministry. Through this ministry, I tried to do the same thing – listen to the voice of external pressure to be, fit in, conform, and follow the pack. Obviously, if you have been reading my other blogs, this definitely did not work. So, now I say “Absolutely not.”

In blogging these next ten to twelve days, I am blogging about my creative journey in Christ. Our mandate in Rivers of Eden is to BE the creative expression of Christ in the earth, today, right now; all of us diverse, unique and creative, flowing in the Holy Spirit. To this day, there are three of us on our team that are walking on a new path, creatively, outside the box and outside the walls of the institutional church. Follow me on this journey in this blog. Aren’t you sick of being templated into another person’s vision? Aren’t you tired of robotic, formed religion? I am………………..Walk this way!