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Entries in Creativity (3)


Be Creative!

Want to Upgrade your life? Create something beautiful.

There is something you can do to create beauty. And remember, if you are a Christ-follower:  to God, your life is beautiful because He sees you in Christ.

Michael Hyatt says in his post, "Why You Need More Art in Your Life (and 5 Ways to Get It)" - "... art is indispensable. Art gives us meaning."

But also, "... art requires something of us. At the most basic level it can stir us to gratitude.

And don't we all need more gratitude in our lives? Creativity is a gift from God. Thank Him for your creativity today.

What are you doing lately to express your God-given creativity?

Dawn Wilson, founder and President of Heart Choices Ministries, is the creator of three blogs: Heart Choices Today, LOL with God (with Pam Farrel), and Upgrade with Dawn. She is the President of the San Diego chapter of Network of Evangelical Women in MInistry (NEWIM San Diego). Dawn is the co-author of LOL with God and contributed "The Blessing Basket" in It's a God Thing. She and her husband Bob have two grown, married sons, three granddaughters and a rascally maltipoo, Roscoe.



Leaving a Creative Legacy

My grandmothers left me a rich creative legacy, and I asked Dena Dyer to share how she leaves a creative legacy in this Family UPGRADE.

"Leaving a creative legacy is something I strive for," Dena says.

God created all things (Colossians 1:16; John 1:3), and we are designed  in His creative image. I [Dawn] get sad when I see families where parents or grandparents fail to help their children and grandchildren develop creativity. It takes time and intentionality to nurture the gifts God places in the younger generation.

Dena continues

On my mother’s side, I come from a long line of “creatives.” Which is a nice way of saying our family is a little whacked-out.

My great-grandfather Pappy wrote many unpublished short stories. His daughter Nanaw was an artist and writer. Her husband Dadaw was an amateur inventor, and my mother is a talented stained glass artist, children’s music teacher and decorator.

Each of my late relatives lived life with panache and turned ordinary moments into memorable experiences.

Pappy allowed his pet parakeet to drink coffee out of his cup in the mornings. Nanaw and Dadaw danced to the Muzak in the grocery store, much to my mother’s chagrin. While they waltzed around the frozen food, she hid behind the stacks of canned goods, praying no one would see her. Their defense? “We can’t let this good music go to waste!”

Once, the stories embarrassed me. Then they amused me. Now, they inspire me.

In fact, a Dyer family motto is “Why be normal? It’s so boring.”

I long for my kids carve their own paths, instead of following in the footsteps others have forged.

I’m grateful that my husband, a professional musician, shares my philosophy of parenting, and I’m also extremely thankful for grandparents and teachers who’ve come alongside us.

My younger son’s drama teacher, who took a break from the classroom for several years, told us, “The main difference I noticed when I came back was that the kids were much less creative. They didn’t know how to use their imaginations.” She attributed the change to a rise in electronics use, overscheduled families, and school curriculum which elevates standardized instruction over discovery-based learning.

I found that incredibly sad … and disturbing.

In our family, we love our computers, tablets, and smart phones as much as anyone (and they can be great tools for both discovery and expression), but we try to balance non-creative electronics use with active play.

  • Often, creativity is as simple as changing a routine: “Put some music on while we clean.”
  • It might mean instituting a silly family tradition: “Let’s go to Sonic for a cherry limeade—in our pajamas!”
  • At times, it occurs organically—after the “b” word slips out. (My boys know that if they say, “I’m bored,” I will put them to work. So they create their own fun as a last resort, just to avoid chores.)

We’ve also arranged our family budget to include funds for art and music lessons, creative experiences, and supplies. It’s more important for us that our sons have memorable experiences than name-brand clothing.

Of course, we don’t always get it “right,” and there are times when laziness or inertia sets in. For those days, I cling to God’s grace.

In the future, Jordan and Jackson might seek therapy for the way we’ve raised them. However, they might also thank us. I’m praying for that alternative.

Luci Shaw writes, “I’m convinced that the whole world is better when we, as individuals, capture and savor each moment as the gift that it is, embrace the challenge or joy of it … and thereby transform it with the magic of creative possibility.”

I think Pappy, Nanaw and Dadaw would agree.

What are you doing to leave a "creative legacy" for your children or grandchildren ... or even some children in your sphere of influence?

Dena Dyer is a wife, mom, author and speaker from Texas. A version of this story appears in Grace for the Race: Meditations for Busy Moms (Patheos). Her newest book is Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts (Kregel), co-authored with Tina Samples.


Getting Your Creative 'Mojo' Back

Melissa Mashburn's ministry is authentic, relevant, passionate and Kingdom-focused. In this and future posts, she will share how to do ministry from the heart and to the glory of God.

“Ministry is in a constant state of change,” Melissa says. “What worked yesterday may not work today and almost certainly will not work next year.”

That is so true. With the changes in culture, there are changes in ministry opportunities, and we need to prepare for them. More than ever, we need God-given creativity.

Melissa continues …

When change comes, and we know that it will, there are a few things you can do to stay current and fresh.

That isn’t always easy when you are neck deep in an overflowing email inbox, ministry demands, the responsibilities of your family, and—let’s face it, ministry isn’t a 9-5 job. It can be overwhelming at times, that’s for sure.

Here are few things that help me get my creative mojo back:

(1) Pray First

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33 NIV). 

If I leave it up to me and my own personal creativity, then I severely limit what God wants to do through ministry. By taking time to stop and pray before you do anything else, you allow God to take over.

(2) Change Your Location

  • Get Outside - Go to the park, sit on the back porch or go for a walk.
  • Go on One-day Getaways - Visit a coffee shop, go on a scenic drive or picnic in the park for a day.
  • Go on an Adventure for the Day - Go to a museaum or play, or be a tourist in your own city.

(3) Change Your Music

If you are like me, you always have some sort of noise going on around you, whether it is the kids, the boss, the husband or the ministry team. And let’s not forget the people in the coffee shop. I love all those people and all the noises that come along with them, but sometimes you need to do more than just changing your location. You might also need to change your music.

"Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and what, whence and whereto." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Change things up a bit by changing the music you are listening to. Some of my favorite Pandora stations are:

  • Epic Soundtracks,
  • John Coltrane,
  • Classical Music

(4) Surround Yourself with Creative People

There are creative people all around you. Ask one of them to meet with you over a cup of coffee. (Hint, if you ask them, then you should buy their coffee.) You aren’t going to copy them, because you aren’t them, but hearing their heart and what they are passionate about may help to ignite a new idea for your own ministry.

Getting your creative mojo back is a process.

Taking the time to figure out what works best for you is not always easy, but it’s worth it when you can step back and see God’s hand all over it.

What are some things you do to get your creative mojo back?  Which of the four things mentioned above might be something you are going to try?

Melissa Mashburn is a woman passionately pursing God by taking her everyday, ordinary life and placing it as her offering to Him (Romans 12:1-2). With authenticity and a ministry about “Real Women, Real Life, Real Faith,” Melissa shows women their uniqueness and special calling. An author, speaker, Pastor’s Wife, and Kids & Women's ministry leader, Melissa is mom to two incredible teenage sons. She and her best friend Matt, married for 20 years, live and enjoy ministry in sunny South Florida. Visit

Photo Image in text: Ernest Hemmingway House, Key West, Florida at