The Gift Of Creativity: Oh! What a Feeling!


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My story—in my own voice!


Joy sparked by creativity.

Reminding myself this decision could be temporary, I sighed and clicked the button to close my Etsy shop. For 10 years I had been designing and selling stationary and invitations, an endeavor that grew from a digital scrapbooking hobby and somehow morphed when I began creating invitations for my children’s birthdays. In time I started making invitations for others, and before I knew it, my personal hobby had blossomed into a full side business.

Looking back at my life and hectic schedule during that time, it seems crazy that I kept it up as long as I did. I worked more than full time and had two young children, but somehow, every minute spent designing those invitations was worth it. When the demands of daily life drained me, flexing my creative muscles filled me. And during a period when I felt particularly unseen, creating for others brought purpose and joy. But my season of life was changing, and our family calendar was even harder to keep up with. Now called in other directions, I knew it was time to close shop. But I also knew the joy this creative outlet brought into my life would not be soon forgotten.

But I’m not a writer.

I paused my scroll as the now familiar post from the online Catholic women’s ministry, Live Today Well Collective, filled the screen. LTW was accepting applications for writers
and once again I could not scroll past the post without stopping to read it.

Why are you looking at this again? You’re wasting your time.

LTW was specifically looking for women to join their VOICES team. Every other month VOICES writers submitted a short caption about an assigned theme. These captions were then displayed on the LTW Instagram page.

Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you’re a writer.

Soooo I kept scrolling. But I also kept going back and rereading the post.

This pattern of Instagram stalking, followed by heeding that inner voice, continued for days. The stumbling block, and what nearly prevented me from applying, was that I don’t consider myself a writer. Even this blog exists only because of God’s persistence and faithfulness: He keeps insisting that I share my story here, and each time I sit down to type, He meets me in the keyboard! The idea of being assigned both a topic and due date gave me great anxiety. Regardless, I could not ignore the quiet—but persistent—inner stirring each time I saw the post.

Finally finding the courage to ignore the voice of my inner critic, I submitted a writing sample. And when learning of my acceptance to the VOICES team caused that quiet stir to grow into unmistakable excitement, I knew I’d made the right decision. Reflecting on my first year writing for LTW, it is clear God called me there; He spoke to me through each and every assignment I was asked to write.

A new direction.

In 2022, LTW announced plans to display their VOICES content in a digital magazine. As initial plans for the magazine took shape I began to picture it. Literally. Each time I closed my eyes, I could see the magazine.

Now, let me be clear: Although I planned to continue writing for the magazine, no one had asked me to be involved in its design. But new ideas for its style and layout flooded my mind. I simply couldn’t stop thinking about it, and with each passing day I became more excited. Unable to hold myself back any longer, I grabbed my laptop and dusted off my digital design skills from long ago. As I began designing a few sample pages for the magazine, I realized I was not concerned with other's opinions of the pages or even if they’d be used. I was excited just to make them and to once again experience the joy that stemmed from this creative outlet.

My racing brain becomes an answered prayer.

I parked my car and walked towards the Adoration chapel. Pausing at the door to settle my random thoughts, I briefly recalled a question I had asked in prayer the previous day:

God, can You help me believe the things You say about me? I want to live fully rooted in my identity as Your beloved daughter. Can You help me experience Your Love for me?

I walked into the nearly empty chapel and took a seat. The afternoon sun streamed in through the stained glass window, and the faint scent of a candle hung in the air. Taking a slow deep breath, I savored the silent peace that filled the room. But no sooner than I exhaled, my mind began to race.

Oh my goodness! Stop thinking of the magazine!

I picked up my headphones, searching for the soft piano music that helps when I struggle to be still. Clicking play, I relaxed as my racing brain settled. But this, too, was short-lived…

Stop. Thinking. Of the magazine!

I flipped on my Rosary app, once again hoping to stop the barrage of magazine images that filled my head. That worked… for about two minutes.

I finally picked up my prayer journal and pen, hoping that by writing of my feelings for the magazine, I could somehow stop myself from thinking about them during my entire holy hour.

And it was in that moment, as I wrote of the joy and excitement that stemmed from thinking about and creating the magazine, that I heard God speak into my heart:

Jen, you can keep thinking of the magazine. The excitement this magazine brings you … the joy you feel when you think of it … the delight you experience creating it … this is all but a fraction of the delight and joy that I experience in your creation.

Time stopped as God’s Words washed over me. Everything—including my racing brain—was finally still. My joy and delight grew until I thought my heart would burst. And as my tears overflowed I realized God had absolutely answered my prayer: I am His beloved daughter. And He had provided a personal way for me to not only read about his feelings, but also, to experience them.

We’re all creators.

I believe each one of us is gifted with a spirit of creativity. Now, before you message me to say you can barely draw a stick-figure, I’d like to suggest that this gift of creativity is not expressed the same in everyone. Afterall, how boring would the world be if we all had the same talents?! Although some may express their creativity through more “traditional” methods, such as painting or music. Others’ creativity may be expressed in less traditional ways
such as creating a wonderful meal, a welcoming home, a successful business, or even a joyful experience for others. But ultimately, since we’re all made in God’s image, and He is The Creator, I believe we all have a creative streak running through us.

But now I wonder…

What if our creative gifts are about more than what we create? What if they are also ways for us to know God better? And ways for us to experience His delight in us?

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:18-19

Without doubt, God wants His Love for us to be known. And though His Love is too great for us to fully comprehend, I believe He does want us to experience it as a real thingnot just an abstract idea. And perhaps each time we experience genuine delight as a result of creating something, we have an opportunity to do just that.

The next time you find yourself caught up in the excitement of creating something, when you can’t stop thinking about it, and when even planning it brings a smile to your face: I invite you to pause. Savor the moment. And know that those feelings mirror God’s very feelings for you.

Praying, as always, that God breathes life into these words.


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