Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Encouraging one another

I had some great thoughts to write this morning. they were all planned out.

But things change.

I spent the first 20 minutes of my morning talking to a discouraged person.
We've all been there.

Can't figure out why we re doing what we are doing. (I was contemplating that lately myself).
We lose sight of why we do things, why we started something, how God has used it, and how He will continue to use it. We give up on something because it doesn't seem to be working out like it should (or like we thought it should anyway.) We give up becasue we have lost the joy.

I've discovered, in sharing with this other person, that sometimes discouragement occurs when we lose sight of why we started doing the 'something' in the first place.

For instance, crafting. If you are a crafter, why did you start making things? Did you learn to make your first craft thinking, "I'm going to make these and make a lot of money, " or "I'm going to make this so people will love it and think I'm wonderful," or "I'm going to make these so I can be in a frenzy of shopping for supplies, and crafting till all hours and neglect other important things in my life, including my family and friends."

No, I doubt that any of us went into crafting thinking those things. We learned to make something because of the challenge. We wanted to see if we could do it. We saw something we loved and maybe couldn't afford, that we loved, and wanted with our own hands, to duplicate. We wanted it to reflect part of who we are inside.

We desired to do it because God put that desire in us! He is a creative God, and wants His children to be creative, in whatever way He has gifted them, whether it be crafts, music, drawing, ability to help others learn, parenting, what ever it is. He wants us to use it, but with the right attitude.

Now the frenzy of shopping, and doing so much crafting that other things got neglected, those may have happened along the way too. The desire to sell may have come along to, whether for need/want of extra money, or for the accolades we got when others saw it. None of these things are bad things.

But when we lose sight of the pleasure that it bought at the beginning, the calmness, the peace of mind and satisfaction, of why we learned it in the first place, of the fact that we are gifted with these abilities to serve others and bring them enjoyment too, the joy leaves us. We become discouraged, frustrated, exhausted and confused.
We wonder why we ever started the whole thing. It has all grown out of control. Our focus has changed.

How do we go back to the beginning? To the place where we started and it brought so much joy to ourselves and others?
Here are some ideas:

Take a break! Give yourself some time to reflect and evaluate.
Close the craft room door for awhile, just for awhile.
Turn off the computer, and go for a walk.
go to a movie
Call a friend. (maybe they need someone right now)
Sit and read a magazine, and have a cup of tea.
Sing a song, any song.
Singing releases something in you.


Take a deep breath.
Ponder. Reflect.
Take time for yourself.


Don't throw in the towel! Don't throw your hands in the air and quit!
God doesn't make quitters.
He made us to keep going, keep trying, keep plugging away.


He will give you rest, comfort, and direction.
He will renew your mind, body and soul.


Thank the creator of the universe for the talents He has given you,
and for what health and ability you have to enjoy them, and share them with others.

Barbara Jean

just a thought:

I have used crafting as an example here. You can apply this to other areas of your life, like serving, and being burned out. Take a break. Take time for yourself. Reflect on it.


Fete et Fleur said...

Wonderful post! I've been in a place where I let a situation in our lives sap away my creativity. I'm trying to break out of it now. I've realized so much in the process.


Arlene said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I am going through some of the things you mentioned, I do this almost every year in Jan. and Feb. I think cabin fever is the culprit or maybe the desire to hibernate. Spring will arrive, someday.

Wren Cottage said...

Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts... very well put and excellent advice that I can use :)
Thank you for stopping by my little world!
Hope you have a beautiful day...

ksarra said...

Your reflections today hold true for many of us. I wonder how many people had a HOBBY that they loved, that let them be creative and relax, and then somehow that HOBBY turned into too much work, and no fun at all.

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Dear Barb,
such an insightful post ~ I love how you said, we are creative because "God put that desire in us!". I do enjoy visiting!
Kindly, ldh

Nanna said...

know excatly what you mean ,I loved being in my sewing room, people laugh becasue I say I miss my sewing room, but there was a time when I begrudged being in there working on orders , it began to feel like I had to be in there, I had lost sight of what made me gleem with joy to be in there, my passion had turned into a job!I am so thankful that I'm back to longing to be in my little world at the back of the house & missing time with my sewing machine, listening to my gospel cd's or having an old classic movie going, yes I even watch It's a wonderful Life all year round LOL so we have to be careful not to let our passion turn inot a job, just as in serving the Lord should not be a chore but a passion!

My Vintage Studio said...

I enjoyed reading your post this evening. I am so glad, after reading the comments on this post, that I am not alone. The comments were from some well known artist and bloggers. I think the fun and enjoy of creating comes to apart when we get confused and unfocused. Now I just need to get refocused, reorganized, and reenergized. Thank you for your email. Hugs, Sharon