Monday, June 22, 2015

Not the creative type.

I've been doing a lot of creating with my children lately, and since I see in them a great gift for creativity, I try to teach them skills that I never developed.  For most of my life I have believed that I was not good at art...I didn't have the knack for it (or maybe the patience), and I had other interests, so I never took an art class in high school, and I really never tried to stretch myself in that area.

Fast-forward to today, while I was out with my kids and picked up a book on how to draw horses, and through careful instruction and trial and error, I was able to sit down and draw this horse.  This and other recent experiences with art got me thinking about how nutty it was for me to think that I couldn't do these things.  I guess I told myself that some people are born with certain talents and I just am not, but I know now that this is not exactly true.  

People who are good at art aren't necessary born that way...a great deal of work went in to learning how to do that, and that's what I try to teach my children as well.  If we see a great painting or sculpture or impressive drawing, I say, "Wow, that person must've worked really hard to learn how to do that and then took time to create something so didn't just happen.  It took desire, work, and practice."

I also noticed while drawing that if I didn't draw the line correctly the first time, I needed to erase it and try again and again until I molded it into the picture I wanted to create.  Our lives and our testimonies are a lot like this process.

Being creative with my kids this summer has brought me a lot of happiness and more insight into who I am, and who God is, and how he works.

In "Happiness, Your Heritage," President Uchtdorf taught, "The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.
Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.
You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.”
If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.

But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy. 4 Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.
If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day, in this life or the next.
You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. 5 The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes,family memories, flowing laughter.
What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.
If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it.
Nearly a century and a half ago, President Brigham Young spoke to the Saints of his day. “There is a great work for the Saints to do,” he said. “Progress, and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations. In the mean time continually seek to adorn your minds with all the graces of the Spirit of Christ.” 6
The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters, trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you."

In what ways can you be more creative in your daily life?  Perhaps, you could start by reviewing your day and writing down ways you've created something that wasn't there before!  I love President Uchtdorf's suggestion that even inspiring a smile that wasn't there before is a way we can all be creative in this world!


  1. I love creating with words in poetry and on my blog!

  2. This was very inspiring. I think I will put some thought into something I can learn how to do that I don't think I have the talent to do. I enjoy reading about all the fun creative things you do with your children; I truly admire you for that. I enjoyed the quotes and I thought your horse drawing was awesome.

  3. When I was young, I was quite envious of my younger brother, who my mom said had talent for drawing. So I spent a fair amount of time practicing drawing pictures from magazines and got better. These days I've been practicing my writing more.