Hi! I’m Jenny Williams and this is my blog about the joy and struggle of creativity.
Do you struggle at all with your creative desires? Is creativity sometimes a wonderful outlet for you, but other times a source of frustration? Read the words below. If they resonate with you, you’ve come to the right place, and I’d love to be friends.
“God made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.” -Eric Liddell
Think about this: God, as the fount of all creativity, created humans to be creative.
And after creating us, and every other part of the world we live in, God rested.
No one understands more than God that our human creativity is exhausting and frustrating, but also pure joy, and an actual necessity in our lives.
And yet, labeling ourselves as artists, or simply “creatives”, is uncomfortable. We feel like it gives us too much credit, or implies that we have a portfolio of work on standby.
But we long for that title, just the same.
The disconnect lies in the fact that the world tells us that we are the source of our own creativity – that it starts within us, that we just need to keep peeling back the layers until everyone takes notice.
Until everyone says, “Ah! Now there is someone who deserves the spotlight”.
Until it points right back to us.
And in that sense, who is brave enough to call himself a creative? To do so would be to suggest that we are our own precious fossils, and we just need to be unearthed.
It is true that we cannot tell our story until we know who we are.
But how can we know who we are apart from knowing the one who created us?
We try to do it, and no wonder we are exhausted. The belief that we are our own creative source is rampant, and yet horrifyingly impossible. And most importantly, it is wrong.
Our relief comes in knowing that not only is God a never-ending wellspring of creativity, He is our resting place.
And thankfully we need not grow weary while we refuse to believe that so much falls upon our shoulders.
This belief that the world tells us at every turn: it is our burden to prove something. To show the world. To justify.
But do you know what? It is finished. Christ rose from the dead. He accomplished everything.
Praise God, there is nothing to prove, there is only to wait.
To wait, and to share, and to proclaim: that God is who he says he is.
As a lifelong creative and a Christian I have struggled most of my life trying to figure out what I am “supposed to do” – what I am supposed to create. It has taken me well into my adult life to finally come to a place of contentment in my creative pursuits.
And by contentment, I mean being at peace in the place that I am, knowing that His work in me is not yet finished.
A few minutes on social media might motivate us to be more disciplined in our art or hobby, to be more diligent in keeping a routine, or to post beautiful photos more consistently.
And there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with any of that.
But what we really want is to feel centered. We want to feel anchored. We want to feel we can safely revolve around something that keeps us from going off course.
That center is Christ.
For some, creativity may be a thriving business. For others, it might just be the habit of daily creating. And yet for some, it might simply be getting through a difficult day.
This blog is for creatives (of all definitions and degrees) wanting to feel anchored in their passions.
It’s for women who love God, and want their creative pursuits to point to Him, yet feel they don’t always know what that means, or looks like.
It’s for women who want to be braver in sharing what they create, without losing sight of the important things.
And if we believe that only by knowing God do we come to know ourselves, then our confidence will grow as our identities grow in Him.
It’s that lens, that clarity, that we long to call our own, that’s ours for the taking.
And it’s that peace that will steady our wandering hearts, and remind us that we create only because of our Creator, and that our creating must have Christ at its center, or it’s not creating at all — it’s just a sick kind of plagiarism.
To go about creating in any other way would be to enter a navel-gazing state of existence – a spiraling inward, chin tucked to chest, that ends in an exhausted heap on the ground, which has been the fate of many a war-torn artist before us. But it does not have to be ours.
“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” -C.S. Lewis
This blog is about refusing to settle for the mediocre in our creative pursuits. And now that we have glimpsed a holiday at the sea, let us leave the world of mud pies behind us, and never look back.
Jenny E. Williams moved to Washington D.C. to begin a career in politics before she realized she couldn’t escape her creative leanings no matter how much she told herself they were just “hobbies”. She married a creative native Virginian and eventually moved back to her home state of Oklahoma to pursue a more creative life. Her days are now filled with taking care of her energetic toddler, reading, writing, illustrating, and running her business inspired by Anne of Green Gables, and dedicated to literary heroines: Carrot Top Paper shop.