Craftology

Daniel {my husband} keeps giving me the critique that I am not vulnerable enough in my writing. Meaning, I have a tendency to wait until I am confident in my understanding of a particular topic before I publish a post on it.

I guess I just don’t want to write anything that I would have to revoke in the future. I fear failure, being mistaken, leading others astray, being foolish. Yeah, I don’t like looking foolish. That’s what it comes down to.

Caution is good. Chewing on your thoughts before you dish them out at the first impulse is usually wise. But this fear of messing up, of saying the wrong thing to the point that you say nothing at all, isn’t.

A loooooong while back, I confessed I was really struggling to hold a biblical view of  what I referred to as “craftology.” When have I spent too much time and/or money on beautifying my home and closet? How do I know when I’m being unwise or unloving in how I’ve chosen to invest my energy? If it isn’t practical is it right?

I’m still struggling in my heart to understand how crafts and fashion fit into kingdom building {that which involves making disciples and ultimately points to the glory of God}. Enjoying creativity and beauty when I see no glaringly obvious direct link to eternal purpose is often hard for me.

Let me be clear, I see this struggle as a fault. It is a fault. These concerns are often driven out of fear and not of faith; fear of how other Christians view me, fear of wasting my time, an unrighteous fear of God.

And yet, I see profit to the struggle as long as the struggle produces a conclusion rooted in faith and does not abandon me to immobilizing fear.

So here are my imperfect thoughts regarding a biblical view of “craftology.” They may be totally wrong, and I invite you to tell me if they are.

1. We are created in the image of God 
God is a creator {Gen. 1}, and since we are made in His image {Gen. 1:27}, we have been given a creative nature. This is a good gift and a reflection of a good God.

2. God is the giver of creative skill 
If the skills that we possess are from God {Ex. 35:30-35}, then using those skills reflects His greatness and beauty.

3. God’s creation isn’t always practical 
This is what bogs me down the most. My conscience will readily agree to the first two, but investing time and energy in something that has no immediate purpose or practical use really trips me up. Then someone urged me to consider how many things God created that are simply for us to enjoy.

Sunrises/Sunsets – beautiful ones. This was the first example that came to my mind. How beautifully impractical.

4. Having been made in the image of God, we too have a tendency to step back and enjoy our finished work. 
And the end of each day of creation, God reviewed His work and said, “It is good.” This never occurred to me before until I read Doug Wilson’s article on Desiring God. This is why I look back over my shoulder at the clean stack of dishes on the kitchen counter with such satisfaction. It’s a job well done. We admire well-mowed lawns because God admires His work and we are made in His image. I highly recommend this article to you. There is rich, freeing, truth there.

5. I don’t have to worry about how the fruit of my creativity will be used 
I was moved to tears as I read chapter 6 in Loving the Little Years because it spoke so closely to the need of my heart. The author, Rachel Jankovic, remembers an apple tree outside her childhood bedroom window, a tree that annually produced beautiful apples. The apples, she recalls, often were left to fall the to ground unnoticed however. She relates this to the creative art of a mother. She writes:

“Some of [your] apples will fall to the ground and rot. But God uses rotten apples – to fertilize the ground, to start more apple trees after little animals plant them, and just to make the air smell sticky sweet. You cannot know the depth of His plan for your fruit. So throw it out there on the ground when you have no plan for its future. Waste it. Waste homemade pasta {and the mess it makes} on your family. Don’t save cloth napkins for company only-sew a dress your daughter doesn’t need. Be bountiful with your fruit and free with it. The only thing that you can know for certain is that God will use it.” 

6. There is no clear answer to whether or not I should create this or that 
It’s a matter of prayer. Each task, each project, each creative ambition should be prayed over. There is no list of what you should and should not do. It’s different for all. Pray.

 So in celebration of these things I’ll be posting a tutorial for what’s pictured below sometime soon.

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4 comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I can tell you it is reassuring ad refreshing to have a friend who works to be open and honest. And your discussion on beauty in this post was lovely. I really appreciated this.

  2. Loved reading through your list of reasons and scriptures for creativity! As a creative person, I will tell you it has taken me years to come to grips with the fact that God put this love of art and beauty in me. I've always felt I should suppress my love for fashion and interior design and making things pretty, just for me. After all, what is the point? After growing up in a large family, I thought I had to be practical and logical about everything. And let me tell you, I was dead wrong! There is something so freeing to live life in pursuit of your natural gifts and overcoming your fears and weaknesses. One itty bitty step at a time. I can't tell you how you do it, I'm in the middle of it. 🙂 But it's nice.

  3. Thank you Zoe! I just try to be like you, you know 🙂 I love you so much friend!

  4. I'll tell you that it's for this very reason that your blog is most encouraging to me. My law driven heart is so prone to elevate, no, equate, practicality with spirituality. How foolish! Between my desire to be live modestly and not be excessive and the scornful comments I've gotten from people regarding my devloping a spirit of creativity my spirit becomes so bound, so unnaturally locked up. But the Spirit is not content to leave me alone and is drawing me out of my self made bondage and into the liberty of Jesus. How sweet He is. Thank you for sharing your experience. My heart definitely resonates with it.

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