Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Afternoon Tea

It feels like autumn this week. Gosh, it could almost be early winter from the morning temperatures. It is time to reach for the Good Earth Original (Sweet & Spicy Tea & Herb Blend) for a delicious cinnamon taste. A favorite cold weather tea that goes so well with the tastes of autumn.

As usual, my Sunday ponderings have everything to do with the day to day activities of my family in the past week. I've been thinking about creativity a lot lately, especially with the expectation of cooler weather and the Holidays just around the corner.

A brainstorming list was begun last week, just the beginning scribbles of possible projects, recipes, gifts, and decorations... the genesis of ideas planted on paper to consider more carefully at a later day when there would be time to carefully plan and ponder.

Also, my son has spent evenings steeped in a creative project of his own... a way to relieve the stress of his world right now as he combines classes, a part-time job, tennis lessons, Bible studies, teaching a Sunday School class, and finding time for his "old" friends who now attend the University (most have left for "foreign" surroundings, places of higher learning away from friends and family).

We are a creative people, formed in the "image" of One who spoke and all came to be. If God is anything, He is creative. I am happiest when I'm in the middle of an afternoon when ideas are flowing and results are beginning to shape in my very hands. Perhaps it is a loaf of bread, or a bowl of soup, a salad, or cookies, or trying a new spice for the very first time in a familiar dish. I also love those days when I take pen to paper and the words flow as if inspiration is being God breathed at that very moment.

I have enjoyed many creative outlets throughout the years. There was my season of quilting (which I hope to return to soon), painting classes in high school, putting together Bible classes for women, writing curriculum for teaching homeschoolers at the co-op, standing before vice presidents in a Fortune 500 corporation to assist in helping them find creative solutions to challenges, sitting in small groups of ten or fifteen employees and managers to brainstorm ways to resolve conflict... all needing a creative idea, all needing a spark of the Creator Himself.

How I enjoy being the benefactor of creative people I've never met before but whose lives touch me every day. I am surrounded by the work of craftsmen and women, artists, authors, dressmakers, knitters, and the guy who keeps my car running. I adore the words put together by favorite song writers and how they inspire my faith as well as day to day activities.

John Denver and Rich Mullins are two of my favorites, both gone from this world now. Two different men, one writing songs that made me cry because of the beauty of the earth around me... the other whose songs made me feel closer to the One who created this bit of sod. On a more personal level, when musical talents were being handed out by Heavenly Hosts, I must have been at Starbucks. However, I can listen and enjoy... :)

God gives us a passion within, that which if we don't do it we'll just wither up and blow away where the wind takes us. I love to be in the kitchen while I have friends who sigh and make their way to their least favorite room in the house as they must leave their own "precious" to make dinner for the family... left behind is perhaps a beloved sewing machine, a typewriter, a computer, a garden, a guitar or a piano.

My daughter and I have both been known to eat at a restaurant and then go home and recreate a similar dish for the family, having the ability to "taste" the ingredients, at least most of the time. I think in terms of butter, flour, sugar, and eggs (dangerous thoughts for a diabetic!). I have great respect for friends who can whip up the latest in Indian or Asian cuisine. My culinary creativity for the most part has boundaries within the Midwest.

You know how I love words, the sound of words, the way words look on new pages, the scent of an old book with familiar words, words that heal and words that inspire, words that correct and words that instruct. Oh, I can write here and there... ponderings and journals and such. However, I have such great respect and admiration for those who have a passion and a gift that enables them to write entire books.

For they enable me to snuggle on my cozy sofa, with the winds blowing outside, safe and secure in my little brick house at the edge of the forest while my imagination is taking me away in the pages of their words... begun perhaps years before in a spark of creativity when the correct sentence comes together and the pages almost write themselves... after days of attempting to bring a jumble of thoughts into a cohesive sentence... for they have the patience to wait, not giving up and throwing a manuscript in the fireplace. For that, I am very grateful.

Another passion for me is having a home that is a canvas for creativity, making or finding new items (the less expense, the more fun) to create my own world-within-a-world. I think often of a conversation I had with a friend who was visiting in a former home. She walked in my kitchen to find a paper towel and I heard her chuckle, "Even your paper towels are pretty". I don't remember my exact reply as that conversation took place long ago but it went something like, "Shouldn't they be?".

It really is about Passion... our individual gifts all come out of God given passion for "something"... creative parenting, art, music, decorating, cooking, baking, sewing, quilting, knitting, taking pictures, writing, teaching, praying, leading, training a dog or a horse (our cats train us), talking before groups, making plays and filming movies, telling stories to little ones at night or groups at schools, building a computer, finding answers with science and math... lots and lots of creative seeds planted.

They all need time spent pondering and learning, classes taken, how-to books read, pages cut from magazines, instructive TV or videos, a neighbor showing us how to can tomatoes, a grandmother instructing the making of the perfect pie crust, a daughter sharing what she learned from a neighbor, a son explaining how he figured out the perfect paint to use, an e-mail arriving to offer suggestions for a new paragraph in a book, public speaking critiqued and suggestions given, meeting with a mentor or teacher over coffee as they listen and advise... all part of us being made in the image of a Creator.

As for me right now, the hour is late and I have the rather unglamourous job of washing dinner dishes. However, a reward when finished will be a small pot of tea and the vintage Miss Reed book I saved for this evening. Tomorrow morning I will awake refreshed and begin some baking, perhaps some scrapbook journaling, and "tweaking" the autumn decorations on the porch. Tonight I will enjoy the creativity of others as I read and enjoy my tea...


Shelly @ thePINKbarn said...

Brenda.........I soooo enjoyed reading your blog this evening! Life without passion....can't imagine. One more thing, Stop by my blog I've given you an award! :-)

Heather said...

Thank you for this thoguhtful post Brenda! I wonder if you feel as lost as I do when I am unable to practice the creativity that God has placed within my heart. I am learning that taking time to be creative not only rests my body, it feeds my souls and brings joy to my day. I used to 'reward' myself with time to create only when I had completed the daily tasks - which was such a rarity I began to loose my passion to create. Just lately I am learning that I must take time to be creative even in my everyday persuits or else I feel like something is missing. I am happier, and so are my husband and children. It is better to snatch moments of creativity, than to 'starve' and be miserable!

Heather said...

I really shouldn't type in the dark .... sorry! Your post is thoughtful, and I have only one soul!

Anonymous said...

Brenda, I found this blog yesterday, and it's quickly become a favorite. I think you might like it also.
joanna :)

Mary Isabella said...

Your posts are so wonderful.I always enjoy your posts. Blessings Mary

Becky K. said...

Thanks for stopping by Hospitality Lane. I am enjoying peeking into your lovely blog.
I'll visit again soon.
Becky K.

Vee said...

Don't be selling yourself short now! You have a wonderful way with words yourself and such a cozy oasis is created here that folks like me can spend a few pleasant minutes every day and be refreshed and inspired. I always look forward to your next post just to see what the day brought you.

Anonymous said...

Brenda, I am so thankful to be one of the recipients of the results your special talent (and it's free, too!). I love books, but your blog is like a daily devotional, with the added benefit of getting to know a real person at the same time. I will print this post out for my binder of writings that inspire me.

Barbara said...

What a wonderful post. Youwrite so well.
I toolove John Denver and Miss Read.
Thanks for sharing with me your Autumn decorating and thanks for visiting.

smilnsigh said...

I so hope your new Victoria magazine was in your mail box today/Monday. As mine was! :-)