We worked together shoulder to shoulder for a season and I found her wise. She, a bishop’s wife and mother of three. And she would spout gently like a mother dolphin. She’d spout jewels of wisdom and I, younger wife and mother would catch the droplets of sparkling gems.
We worked together in the lab of the creative. And we enjoyed fellowship of two business partners, entrepreneurs in a business for the home.
The words she said that day were one’s I thought I would never forget…the verbatim of her phrases of mini-teaching. I, the student she, the teacher, we workers in the field of creativity with meaning.
But I have forgotten though I have tried to remember. There are many years between that time and this. But the core of what she said I caught and held the heavy weight of wisdom in my hands. My heart vowing never to forget.
What I have not forgotten is the sweet fragrance of her words. I smell the fragrant offering of their meaning. The words she repeated often like a loving metronome, ticking off in repetition only to help with learning. And more importantly, the beautiful art she created for the home, from the overflow of her heart.
We create an environment in our homes. We create a place for God there. We create and make – environment.
And it wasn’t to justify our work. It was to realize and recognize the importance of the work of creating. Aren’t we more like Him when we are creating, making, forming, sculpting, molding. Doesn’t He long for us to make, offering back to Him from what we have, the what He has given.
Doesn’t it matter. Our work as mothers. And the whispers from our home into the lives of others.
I look around at the turquoise and brown sofa with piles of pillow, square art on a rectangular sofa. And my daughter studying her vocabulary words there. She is comfortable and she is safe. By a fire in a fireplace with an old mantel which my husband chose from rubble or an antique thrift shop or a reclaimed wood store. These are the places he looks for treasures for our homes.
And my husband says is there anything better than this…and this was my dinner last night. I created nourishment, but it was more. At my hands I cooked up statements of love from my kitchen. It conveyed Comfort through the foods, chosen, prepared.
She was right you know. The books they speak, the art it speaks softly hanging on the walls. Each piece says quietly constantly it has a story to tell, are you listening. Of beauty, of another time, of a mother and daughter together in an embrace, a woman thoughtfully lingering in thought by a window.
We create an environment in which our families learn and live and love. And it’s important work. At and by our hands we create a world within the world. A place of peace and love, a place of mercy and forbearance. Of joy, pure joy and comfort by the things we set out and set before.
But most importantly by what we create with our words and arms’ embrace. The tenor of the home sets the stage for the actions of the heart.
All the pieces come together to form an environment. The blank canvas that was is now brushstroked by our very hands, as creatives, as mothers, as wives and women.
And our very lives, a blank canvas, wait and long for the touch of creativity to mark the white space with meaning and beauty and love.
To launch children out into service, out into a world in need of hope and mercy, in need of grace.
Our homes, a launching pad into the world. A place for recharging, reigniting, re-energizing, reconciling, rejoicing, and re-connecting. For regeneration.
First marked by His touch. First created by His hands. First breathed on by His holy breath.
Created in love by Him. Created in love for Him.
Created to create.
A Prayer For All Creatives
Recreating and creating daily, endless opportunity. Unfathomable possibility.
Releasing our hands and hearts and art over to Him.
But please first. But please preface all my work by making a new creation in me. Take my old and take my dull, take my tired and take my weary and create in me a living new offering to a world that needs art and beauty and newly born lives, relationships and attitudes of the heart.
First before all else, please cleanse me and re-create all that I have and all that I am.
Mold me first.
Shape me in your image.
Make me more like You.
Take me in your hands, making me pliable, moldable, shapeable, bendable.
Make me something you can use.
Before I create, create in me.
Before I offer up art and words and a gift back with the gifts you give, first.
First, change me so I reflect, more.
So first, I reflect You. So I am the servant and the artist and the creator of the beautiful message you desire.
Create in me so I can create for You.
First, make me new so that I can make new..
Words for healing, words of hope, words of grace…because of Your creation in us, in me, in this world.
Thank you for the fabric you give, that we may give back. Thank you for the gifts you give that we can turn into art and worship.
But first, we offer all the gifts back to you.
And thank you for the canvas, our lives, the tools, your gifts, and the desire to create alongside You, in partnership with you, humbly by your side, and in Your Holy Shadow.
Joining Emily and others for Imperfect Prose. (So privileged and honored to now be a part of the Imperfect Prose team. Thanks Emily for the opportunity.) Today’s word prompt is Create. Join me over there, won’t you.