Welcome to the study of The Creative Call written by Janice Elsheimer. I will write a post each Wednesday as I work my way through the book. I hope you will join me.
This week we will talk about Chapter One: Beginning. The chapter is divided into sections:
- A New Beginning
- What is An Artist?
- Try to Remember
- The Fine Art of Intimidation
- and What to Expect
Janice begins the chapter with scripture from John 1:1-3. That scripture is a favorite of mine. I remember when it was first brought to my attention that Christ was with God from the beginning. I was blown away. Janice uses these verses to remind us that we were created by God and God is our creative source. What a sense of relief it gives me knowing that God is working right along with me as I try to use my creativity.
As we begin this study using prayer is emphasized. Prayer can be used to help us become refreshed and renewed in our creativity. Janice gives an Artist’s Creed as a daily prayer if your own words do not come. There is also an appendix of prayers in the back of the book. I am particularly fond of the “Prayer to the Holy Spirit” on page 187. That prayer seems to express the feelings I am having lately.
Some of you may wonder why we should pray during this study? Janice stresses that it will help you have a closer spiritual connection with God. When we are connected closely with God we can become the creative artist God wants us to be.
You may be saying to yourself, “I am not an artist.” The chapter discusses what an artist is and how as children we had no problem using our creativity. As a child we were never intimidated by others or ourselves. Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I believe that is true. Some of us get caught up in the responsibilities of life and leave our creative artist behind.
Janice reiterates this thought as she asks us to think back on our childhood. She asks us to describe how we feel when we allow our artist to take over. My response was, “I feel alive, happy, and fulfilled.” Then Janice asks how we feel when we are being responsible and not engaging in creative endeavors? “Stuck, resentful, and bottled up,” describes it for me. As you work your way through this study you will get a chance to look at yourself and see how you are feeling about your artist within.
As we moved into adulthood many of us grew intimidated by the word “artist”. I remember how hard it was for me to tell people that I was an artist. I sometimes felt that maybe I was on an ego trip. I knew there were so many artists out there that were much more talented. I was afraid I would be found out. Some of us may have experienced a negative reaction or a critical spirit from a friend or family member. We may have stopped painting or writing or singing because we were told, “Art can’t pay the bills.” Or maybe someone said, “Being an artist is a silly pipe dream!”
So out of intimidation or fear we stop doing our art. We hide the fact that we have talents. When we bury or hide our talents we are not doing God’s will. Now change that statement around to be more positive.
When we create and use our God given talents we glorify God! Isn’t that uplifting? Repeat that positive affirmation over and over throughout the day.
Take time as you read this chapter to determine what may be holding you back from using your creative potential. Each individual will have their own unique reasons. Janice explains that the first four chapters in the book will help you look at what caused you to stop developing as an artist.
These are the steps Janice asks the reader to commit to in order to get the most out of The Creative Call:
- To read the weekly chapter and do as many of the exercises as you can.
- To memorize the scripture verse for each week.
- To write at least five times a week in a day book or journal.
- To pray daily that God will be in charge of the changes that will take place in your life as a result of doing this creative work.
- If you are in a group, commit to begin and end each group session on time and in prayer.
- Believe that God gave you your artistic gifts for a reason, that he wants you to use these gifts, and that, no matter how old you are, it’s not too late.
Isn’t it wonderful that we are not alone in this journey. We have God by our side and we have each other. I appreciate all of you that have come to read this study. I hope you will make comments. You may have been hit by something that I left out. We are all in different stages of our artistic lives. Please share any insight you may have. We have much to learn from each other.
I want to end this post with a prayer:
Thank you so much for Janice Elsheimer and her book. Thank you for placing her book in my life at this time. Be with us as we study today. Bless the efforts of all that are participating. Help us to accept our creativity. Bless us with knowledge of your will. Guide and inspire us to be the artists you desire. Fill us with the right memories, motivations, actions, emotions, thoughts, and words. Grant us a closer spiritual connection with you. In Christ’s name. Amen.
You might be interested in the first two articles if you missed them: