It’s hard to be creative when you don’t feel well. It’s hard to be creative when you don’t feel well and it’s your job. It’s hard to force creativity. It seems the more you try to force it, the harder it is to find it. I haven’t stepped into my art studio for some time. I’ve done small things here and there — I’ve sketched ideas, made prints, but I haven’t done any painting.
However, recently, even though I wasn’t feeling well, I walked into that room, put on my paint smock, put on some music and started grabbing all the paint colors that were calling to me and waiting for me to get back to painting. I grabbed one of my wooden crosses, and I just started to paint.
I loved squeezing the paint out of the tubes. I loved the feeling of the cool, smooth paint under my fingertips. I loved seeing the colors move and blend on the wood. I loved watching the clear water turn colors when I swirled my brush in it to clean it off.
I loved every moment of all of it.
I wondered why I hadn’t made myself paint sooner? I still didn’t feel the best, but that didn’t really matter. For that block of time, my heart was all about the joy of blending colors, worship music, and the meaning of the cross.
Later in the day, I noticed some green paint under one of my fingernails. No matter how much I wash my hands after painting, there always seems to be bits of paint that make it through. I pointed it out to my husband, “Look at this gorgeous color of green I was using today. I don’t typically use this color, but I am loving it.” Happiness welled up inside me, and I smiled when I realized I was pointing out the paint color on my nails instead of the changes my autoimmune disease was having on them.
It seems that has been all I’ve been noticing lately — the hard things, the sad things, the struggles, the illness, the disappointments. It was so refreshing to have changed my perspective to something beautifully simple, like paint — to a pretty green paint to be exact.
It really is hard not to focus on the struggle. It’s hard not to let our attention stay on the problems and issues and worries. And it’s especially hard when we’re in the middle of the struggle and it’s all we can see around us, behind us, and even in front of us.
Don’t let struggle steal your joy.
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves, or have someone gently remind us, that it’s okay to just let it go for a moment. Yes, it’s still important. Yes, it probably needs at least some of our attention. Yes, we can’t just ignore it, but we can set it aside and take a break from it.
Turn your attention elsewhere. Enjoy every bit of something else — the sun on your skin, the smell of fresh air, the sound of birds, the feel of book pages, the taste of your tea or coffee, the rhythm of music, the feeling of paint on your fingers. Find joy in the small things because God meets us there. The big things are in the small things because God is so good!
This is the day which the Lord has made; let’s rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24 (NASB)
Whatever you may be facing today, set aside the hard and have a moment of joy. God will help you handle what is ahead, but take the time to enjoy an incredible, awe-inspiring, soul-lifting moment with Him.
God has made this day! Live full of His joys!Leave a Comment