Creativity and Motherhood by Hannah Lugibihl
Being a creative and being a mom...some days those two roles feel like they go perfectly hand in hand, but some days it’s more like a fist fight. We can feel like we have to choose between being one thing or another, instead of trying to find some kind of balance with both. But what does balance even really mean?
Balance is a word that is constantly thrown around, and it’s become this elusive thing we all seem to be trying to attain. Being a mom, being a wife, being a creative, homeschooling, working, etc. Balancing it all seems next to impossible most days, but for some reason we are still trying to hold all of these “plates” in the air, doing all we can not to drop one. As soon as one “plate” seems to be doing well, the others feel like they’re tumbling down, and then the guilt sets in. It’s a vicious cycle; one we have to make a deliberate choice to stop.
Here’s the truth: we weren’t called to live a life that fits into little compartments and time slots with off and on switches. We were called to live a life obedient to Christ. But what does that even look like in regards to creating and motherhood? We start by remembering what being a creative means in the first place. You were created by God, the Creator of everyone and everything. Not only did He create you, He created you in His own image! To me, that says that we are all wired with creativity inside of us, and we get an opportunity to each uniquely express His life through what we create. That could be with art, music, writing, crafting, designing, cooking, make-believe with your kids, gardening, nursing, or teaching; the list is endless. Creating doesn’t look just one way, it’s not just art. That creativity inside of you is a gift straight from the Father, and with it you have the opportunity to serve others, including your kids, and bring God glory. Andrew Peterson says in his book Adorning the Dark, “Since we were made to glorify God, worship happens when someone is doing exactly what he or she was made to do.”
If God intentionally gave you your creative gifts, we know that He also intentionally made you a mother. Giving you your children wasn’t a wrench thrown in His plans for you. It wasn’t a mistake that He gave you both dreams and ideas and also children. He intricately and intentionally designed every fiber of your being and every word in your story. What He is asking of you, of all of us, is to trust Him with the things He’s given us. To hold it all open-handed and say “What now, Lord?”
We know He’s given us this creativity that longs to be expressed. We don’t want to push it to the wayside, and we also don’t want to resent our family or our work because we don’t have the time we’d like to be able to create (super guilty of feeling this way sometimes!). Some days there may be time that you can carve out to dedicate to your craft, whatever that may be. However, sometimes the blank canvas will be there longer than you’d like, and you’ll feel like you don’t even remember how to paint by the time you get to pick up a brush again. It’s hard, there’s no sugarcoating that. The struggle inside is legitimate but remembering the truth about who created you and why helps.
Remembering that just because your time looks different on this particular day or this particular season doesn’t change the truth about who He has made you to be and the gifts He has given you. The time and efforts you put into creating in one season may look different in this one, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. We can squeeze in the time when possible. I’d venture to say that we have to express the creativity somehow (all my fellow creatives know what I’m talking about).
Practically speaking, we can put our phones down and create more than we consume. We can wake up a little earlier on some days. We can pull out the pen and paper or the paint instead of turning on the TV.
We can create alongside our kids, and show them how life-giving it is to do something because you love it, not just because you have to. We can show them how mom is walking in her calling, both in creating and raising them. Most importantly, we can teach them that they, too, were created intentionally by a God that is so crazy about them, and that they have that opportunity to express His life in their own unique way as Image Bearers.
I would love to give you a five-step plan on how to balance your life, but there’s no meaning to be found in that. We have to bring everything back to the foundational truth and let that be our starting point in all we do. Changing your perspective changes everything. Might it still be hard some days? Yes. Might you still mourn the fact that you have ideas inside that you feel like you can’t get out right when you want? Yes. I’ve been there, and I’m assuming you probably have, too. You were gifted with those ideas and gifts and your precious babies by a good Father who loves you. Trust that He has a plan for all of it, even if it looks different than how you thought it would sometimes. He wastes nothing.
Hannah is the wife of her college sweetheart, Jonathan, and mama of three boys. They are a homeschool and mini-homestead family, two things she never thought she’d say about herself, but now wouldn’t have it any other way! She is also a photographer, artist, and blogger, aiming to use her creative gifts to point people to Jesus.
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