Tag Archives: Creativity

Finding Time to Have Fun

Finding Time to Have Fun When There is Just so Much to Do! @JessicaMWhite.com

Even before kids people would ask me how I managed to find the time to do things. After kids, they REALLY wanted to know how I managed to “do it all”. Not just the menial day-to-day that we ALL have to do, but the other things that are the fluff of life: Reading, blogging, quilting etc.

Finding Time to Have Fun When There is Just so Much to Do! @JessicaMWhite.com

It’s a very simple answer, but most people aren’t willing to do it. There’s this thing called “Guilt”, ever heard of it? People very often will feel guilty if they don’t handle all of the must-dos, before the would-like-to-dos. Because of this, and the endless list of must-dos, the would-like-to-dos never happen.

Guilt aside….what’s the answer: I don’t do it all. Bottom line.

I leave the dishes in the sink some nights. I don’t keep up with the laundry. My living room sometimes goes days {or weeks} being trashed. I don’t always cook fanciful meals. I do the absolutely necessary and leave the rest to when I have time. Sometimes I’m on top of all these things and sometimes I just let them go, so that I can work on a quilting or writing project or head to bed early to read.

That’s what most people struggle with: Letting themselves NOT fall into the traps of what they are supposed to do, giving themselves the freedom to let those things slide so they can accomplish the things they enjoy, the things that fill their tank.

We are a great culture for guilt…if we don’t fill the presubscribed ideology of what someone should do, then we feel like a failure. In the mean time, we feel like a failure anyway, because we can’t EVER get all those must-dos done. I hate to say it, but sometimes I do have a “why bother” attitude about certain aspects of homemaking.9780800723484_alt5

{I’m sure my German grandmother is rolling in her grave right now that I don’t prioritize the must-dos.}

There’s this book that recently came out by Jessica Turner of TheMomCreative.com called The Fringe Hours. The premise of which is the importance of self-care and the importance of making time for those things that you love to do. Most of the book focuses on addressing the guilt we feel when we do the things we enjoy, particularly when the must-dos are not done; as well as how to better use the in-between minutes of our day. It’s a great book. It’s the book I wish I’d written.

That said. To me….my house is not a priority. My kids are. My husband is. My creativity is. That’s how I find the time to do the things I love; I don’t do any of the other things I’m supposed to.

*To read another of my posts on this topic, visit here: Thoughts on Creativity: Why I Make Creating a Priority from April 2013

**You can pick up your copy of The Fringe Hours at Amazon.com or DaySpring.com {these are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission on your purchases at no additional cost to you. You can read my Disclosure Policy here.

From Busy to Blessing – Conclusion

I’m so glad you joined me this month, during my 31 Days of How to Use Your Martha to Be a Mary! I certainly hope that this little series has given you HOPE as to how you can bless those around you, despite an already busy schedule.
From Busy to Blessing How to Use Your Martha to Be a Mary @JessicaMWhite.comIt really is about priorities, about thinking a bit more about the things we’re already doing, and quite a bit about changing our hearts, because honestly, our hearts are where it all begins. Anything you do can be used for God’s glory and to bless others, as long as your heart is in it.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10

We don’t have to worry about the details or the hows or the whats: If we seek only to glorify Him, to step forward to do the work He has called us to do we will be successful.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:33

Doing God’s work, doing what He has called us to do, doesn’t mean that we won’thave bumps in the road, that things will go absolutely perfectly. Sometimes those bumps are part of the road, part of the lesson that we have to learn…to trust Him and let go. Boy, would it be a lot easier to know we were doing His work if everything went without a hitch.

I continue to challenge you, to think beyond the immediate: There is a way that God has planned for you to bless those around you. Ask Him to show you how. It may not be something huge, it may not be as grandiose as you think it should be, it can be as simple as a smile on your face and His song in your heart, while you go about your day.

We do have to begin, to take that step. But, the end is what it is all about: The end result of our actions, the end result of words, the end result of our lives. Whether we allow the beginning to occur so that the end can be to His glory.

Again, thank you for join me this past month. I know it’s been intense having a blog post to read every day. Those of you who have commented and read along with me on this, thank you for your words, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. It means so much as a blogger to know that what you are saying is reaching someone.

I’ve put all of those posts together on one easy page, so that you can pin just ONE thing and have all of them together. That said, I also hope that you’ll continue to pray for me, as I begin to turn this collection of posts into my first ebook! Not sure when that will happen, but eventually it will.

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to find out more about my future ebook, as well as to get an easy access for all of posts from this series.

We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging soon. Tomorrow our first born is FOUR! so you can be sure there will be a birthday post, some Halloween cuteness, and some updates about things that have been going on in the White House. I even have a few giveaways already slated for the month of November, as well as some great gift ideas! See you on the blog!

Blessings!

From Busy to Blessing – Using the Hobbies You Love to Love Others

Just as we are all parts of the body of Christ, all parts must be used for the church to function in a healthy and useful manner. If we choose not to pursue our talents, always to His glory, then we are saying that God was wrong, that He must’ve meant for someone or something else to be His will. That He didn’t know what He was doing: As such, we are questioning His sovereignty over our very lives.From Busy to Blessing Using Your Hobbies and Skills to Love Others @JessicaMWhite

That said, that doesn’t mean we can’t question HOW He wants us to USE our talents, because honestly, I think we all wonder how exactly we can use our gifts to His glory. Not every gift’s usefulness is obvious.

How does a talent for business help the church, or meal planning, or child care build His Kingdom? Even a talent for trouble can be used by God, showing others His providence in pulling you, once again, from the error of your ways. If you do all to His glory, allowing Him to shine through all that you do, then people will see Him in you.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
1 Peter 4:10

It doesn’t matter if you have a talent for investment, a talent for cooking, a talent for sewing, a talent for construction, or a talent for comforting others. What matters is that you DO: Once again, trusting Him to use your words and actions for His purposes.

Maybe you have an avid interest in cooking or in doing hair and makeup. Maybe for you it’s sewing or knitting. You want to do all these different things, but have no idea who to pass the end product onto. Find someone who needs it. There are countless organizations across the US that need the help of willing people, even people right within your church and community.

Here’s a quick list of national organizations {I found all of these through a quick google search}:
Knitting
Quilting
Beauty

Take those interests of yours and BLESS others: Make lap quilts for babies in the NICU, knit shawls for the nursing home, volunteer your cosmetic skills at a women’s shelter, cooking at a soup kitchen. No matter what you have an interest in there is something, someONE, that you can bless with them.

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing

Using Your Martha to Be a Mary for Yourself

God created each of us as individuals, unique: He doesn’t make carbon copies. As such, we are all blessed with different interests, abilities and talents: Aspects of our self that we can either put to work for His glory, or bury in the sand. From Busy to Blessing Using Your Martha to be a Mary for yourself @jessicaMWhite.com

There is a parable that Jesus told about the servants, who were each given a talent. When the master returned, two of them had put them to good use and prospered for their master; the other buried his and was cast out {Matthew 25:14-30}.

While the parable isn’t specifically speaking of talents, in the modern sense. The word for a unit of measurement, as used in the Bible, is the origin for what we now know as “talent”: Defined as, “Natural aptitude or skill” (Merriam~Webster).

Just because you, or others, deem your talent as lacking or not something that can be used by God, doesn’t mean that it can’t. God would not have given you that skill or interest if He could not use it in the building of His Kingdom.

Spend the time with God, discover your talents, develop them, and turn them to His glory. How much better will it be to hear….

“‘Well done, good and faithful servant! Yo
u have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in
charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
Matthew 14:23


This week’s challenge: What is one talent that you have, a hobby that you enjoy, that you can put to use to bless others?

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing

Creativity as an Act of Worship

Over the last few years, and more this past year, a handful of people have told me that my children should be my priority, that this is not the season for me to spend frivolous time on my writing {and blogging}, sewing, photography or reading {for fun} or any other non-necessary creative endeavor. That I somehow am doing wrong by my children, if I continue to pursue these avenues.Creativity as an Act of Worship @JessicaMWhite.com

My responses have been lacking any sort of gumption: Some mumbled words about not losing my identity because I’m now a mom. Which is absolutely true. I’m not going to stop doing things I enjoy, simply because I am now a mom. I will how ever do what I can to balance those things with the needs of my husband and children.

I think it is good for my kids to see their mother creating, that their mother has skills and interests beyond them. That I’m not just some sort of maternal robot, here to serve them with no other facets of interest or personality.

People sometimes ask me when I find the time to be creative: Honestly, it doesn’t happen as often as I would like. Most of the time it is delayed or interrupted by sibling spats or daily tasks. Sometimes it is months between projects, sometimes projects don’t get finished for a long time {I started a quilt when I was on maternity leave and waiting for Ave to be born….it’s still not even to the point of having the blocks finished}, and sometimes I get on a roll and am able to finish several creative ventures in the course of a few weeks.

Overall, I stay up way past my bedtime and sometimes I will be a bad mom and stand at the kitchen counter, with the laptop {I can see the kids} and write or edit photographs…sometimes, I even go hide in the office to write for a few minutes, which is only another 8′ away. Or I go in the dining room, a few feet in the other direction, to work on a sewing project, while the kids play or watch a show. {One of the perks of a small house}.

Honestly though, these past few months have been hard. Especially with sewing and writing. I feel like there are constantly ideas swirling in my head, but to find time to sit down and execute them is near impossible.

My “sewing room” is now our actual dining room {since we can’t fit a full size table in our kitchen}; I can’t just leave projects lying about, because they would inevitably get destroyed. Writing happens in the evening, after the kids are in bed, if I have my thoughts together and Matt doesn’t claim the laptop. Sometimes I do go sit in the office with the heater on, but only if my brain is burning.

With such demands on me wouldn’t it just be easier to not bother? Absolutely, but I can’t. It is something I HAVE to do. I HAVE to create. I HAVE to have that outlet for my thoughts and hands. I find the time to be creative, I eek it out wherever I can, I do whatever creative thing is within my grasp, because I have to create.

“Creativity is good theology – God began with creation.”

Those were the words that Ann Voskamp spoke at Allume; words that have just filled me. Knowing that my God began with CREATION somehow releases me from feeling as though I’m not allowed to create during this season. This season that is already so difficult, because there is so little time for Mommy’s own interests.

I heard it a while ago, and I’m not sure where now, that we are created in God’s image and God is an artist, He is THE Creator…so why should we expect ourselves or others to put away their creative nature, simply because it isn’t something that we have gads of time for, or because we have other responsibilities. We shouldn’t. We were MADE to create, to share beauty, whether with words or images or textiles or dirt. We create, because He first created us! {rephrase of 1 John 4:19}. { <——CLICK TO TWEET }

Creating is an ACT OF WORSHIP and wonder at GOD’s CREATION! Not only were we created to be creative, the creativity within us is meant to be unleashed to God’s GLORY. Being creative, putting time in to creating beautiful things can be a form of worship, whether to God’s glory through creating or to His glory by providing for our families’ needs.

My sewing, cooking, photography, renovations, painting are all ways to create beautiful things for our home, gifts of love for family and friends, clothes for our children, and a means of trying to save a bit of money while doing all of these things. It is our calling as women to do all of these things, and to do all of them for His Glory!

No, no more will I feel guilty about taking time to create, to pour out of myself the gifts that God has given me. No more will I question whether sewing or lying in the mud to get a picture just right is a good use of my time. No more will I try to justify something God Himself has put inside of me. I will embrace these gifts and use them to His Glory.