Summer, Kids & Creativity: A Journey

It hit me today. Summer break starts next week.

I knew in my head it was coming – my planner and list of things to do have been screaming at me for quite some time. But today it really hit me.

How am I going to keep this habit of creative thinking through the summer?? I had visions of a wild eyed mammal loosely named “mom” clawing after every minute of peace and quiet so she could create and do the writing God wants from her… DANG IT!

Yeah. That’s not going to work.

So I began to think. Rapid fire thoughts began blend together until this idea emerged. I need to model what creative margin looks like. I don’t want them to “leave Mommy alone because Mommy is being creative right now” (which translates to: this is not something you can do – just mommy) and if I’m not proactive about it, summer will sit like empty boxes on calendar. No one likes a vacuum – literally or figuratively.

So. Next Tuesday will be our first step into this “something” of building creative margin.

Each of them, whether they see it yet or not, is created to create. Numbers, paper, pencil, marker, paint, doodles, words, sentences, ingredients, balsa wood, Legos… we cannot help it. Our Creator is worshiped when we reflect Him. I want them to see this.

These things aren’t simply rewards for time well spent (though managing time is a good thing too), but they are actual ways to praise the One who made us.

Tuesday is my jealously guarded weekly writing day, but this summer I will hold it more transparently. They will get to see how “being creative” isn’t starting a project only to get bored with it and leave the mess and move on. Sometimes you need to sit and look at the mess and think about it: Why am I annoyed by this? Is there something about it I could change and find I really love it? Am I afraid to start something because I don’t think I can do it “right”? Why did I give up? What if I kept going and made the mistakes part of the project? 

I don’t expect these Socratic questions to come from my children immediately, but I do intend to help them learn that this too is part of understanding that knowing God matters in their everyday parts of life.

If you come to my house next Tuesday, I guarantee a few potholes and a few false starts and probably more than a few relational tension moments. But I’m praying they will begin to see this as more than just “being creative” and maybe in a few years be able to see this as a way God brought them closer to Him.

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Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash
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