First of all...do you have a creative outlet for yourself these days? Something in which you use something to express love and the abilities that you have been given?
Right now, in this particular season of my life I would say that there are three things, no four, that allow me to use a tiny bit of creativity.
1.) In a VERY part time manner, I am a Tour Director for a local tour company. They used to call us "escorts", but I suppose that title could be a bit misleading. Now we've been bestowed a more dignified title! Ha! As my husband likes to point out, this is a 'perfect' job for me, as I have a captive audience (unless they try to escape through the roof top emergency hatches on the coach. No one has, yet.) AND I have a microphone. He may find it hard to believe, but I try to keep my mic time to a minimum, as no one needs to hear my voice droning on and on in the background. He (my husband) says you must be both friendly and bossy in this line of work, and thus I was drawn to it like a fly to a fluorescent light. I'm thankful for the company I work for and the fun times I've had going on day trips (this year, they've mostly been to New York City). The only downside is pumping (as I'm still breastfeeding) in the little shoebox of a bathroom in the back of the bus. I feel like a pent up cow and often wonder if the folks outside the door hear the rhythmic wheezing of the manual breast pump. Of course, I have not found the proper way to announce that "If you do not see me in my little tour director seat up here, it's because I'll be back relieving these two about-to-burst wine skins in the shoebox at the back of the bus. If you have to go, tough." See? It's pretty crude. And so I just waddle back with my little inconspicuous black bag and hope that they only think I have a bad case of asthma or something like it.
2.) I do little song and dance routines in front of my daily audience of two. It's usually a hit and if it's really, really good, I get a laugh or two. THOSE little giggles are far sweeter sounds than a million pair of hands clapping. (And should my neighbors see me through the window, I'm sure I'd be on my way to the nut house. It's amazing what I'll do for a laugh. A Sanguine (personality) mom will stoop very, very low to garner love & adoration..thankfully, because children are so willing to hand it out, she usually doesn't have to.
4.) My newest thing: I bake pies (ok...so, I've only baked 4). I'd like to be remembered as the lady who's home smelled of sugar and spice and everything nice. So I called my Aunt Julie, who is the best pie baker I've ever known and asked for her beloved pie crust recipe. (She told me she now thinks Wal-Mart's frozen pie crusts are every bit as good, and ten times easier. The second part is true for sure. But she still always made the best). Anyhoo...I made a pear pie recipe (thanks to my grandma Horst's help) and apparently, it was pretty darn good. Unfortunately for my step-son, the Lemon Meringue that I made especially for him was pitiful. I stood at the counter, holding my crying son for 15 freakin' minutes trying to beat those darn egg whites into a stiff, frothy concoction that apparently was supposed to have 'peaks'. Well, I was so frustrated and there was nary a peak to be found...so I just through it on top of the lemon gunk and through it in the oven. It came out looking like it had a severe case of acne.
Several days later, I built myself back up and summoned a recipe from a good old Lancaster County Mennonite cookbook and ...Waaalaaa!!!! I thought to myself (and said proudly to my 13 year old son who could have cared less, really) "Now THIS, my child, is what a Lemon Meringue should look like!!!! Feast your eyes and prepare your buds for what you are about to receive is holy".
Yes, that is the actual pie. Taken with my little Kodak camera. It's even browned on the top. I actually remembered NOT to forget that it was under the broiler.
And you know what? I made that Meringue as unto the Lord. I really did. Not the first try, but definitely the second. I made it for Him and thanked Him for hands to prepare, the ability to read a recipe and the abundance of ingredients within my sagging pantry shelves.
Not every day does He ask us to lead a multitude into His Kingdom or save a life or scale a huge hurdle. Really, all He asks is for our expression of love for Him.
So whether you hum a hymn or feed your child or ask the cashier how she's really doing or bake a pie...if you do it out of gratitude and in response to His love for you, it is a holy and wholly desirable gift to God.
Oh, before you go...here is a picture of my son dressed up in Goodwill Bin clothes for his "Awkward Christmas Party" at his youth group. Isn't that just the perfect kind of party for Junior High guys??? (and girls). Fortunately for Rick, he has to try to be awkward. For me, at age 13, awkward was a normal state of being. The teeth that came into my mouth after all the baby ones were pulled, looked as though someone had yelled "FIRE!" and they all ran in different directions. And no, you don't get a picture of that!
(If you ever owned a vest like that, and you really still deep down inside like it, my apologies. I'm sure in it's day, it was one 'cool' vest.) :)
Gotta go. Time to play Mad Gab with Rick. It's what we should do on a early dismissal snow day like today.