chocolate + paper + scissors


Creativity amidst chaos

This week, we've had a few curve-balls - unexpected happenings that weren't on the calendar.  Sweet Boy was under the weather and has been home since Wednesday.  Next: fever, doctor appointment (hand sanitizing!), pharmacy visit. I’ve been under the weather and have been super tired (which = patience shortage).   We are low on groceries.  Our home is out of order (and my desk is missing). Daddy has been out of town.  And Sweet Girl was upset that she had to buy her lunch for the last two days because Mommy hasn't been to the store. 

Things can't always be neat and clean.  Thankfully, we're all doing fine.  It's all about perspective, really.  When you're super tired, things seem much more chaotic than they really are.  So, in the midst of chaos, how do you think creatively when you can barely take care of the basics?

Set all of your expectations of yourself down and allow yourself some grace.  These are some things I find helpful, in completely random order:

Fuel the well.   Rest.  Take a nap.  Eat well.  Hydrate.  Drink hot tea.  Listen to your body.  Lay down with your children when they lay down.  Until you are rested, look away from disorder.  Handle this when you're feeling more rested.
Image from Handmade by Is
Fill yourself with good, happy things.  I remember once that Oprah said, "We are what we read.  So put good things in there."  Read some inspiring words.  Review a favorite book you've read before.  Look at your favorite cookbooks, or cookbooks you've neglected.  Peruse some lovely catalogs.  Flip through your favorite magazines.  Cut out clippings of things that inspire you.

Enjoy being creative with your little people!  Yesterday afternoon, it was a lovely fall day in Texas. We went outside, got out some white paper, crayons and scissors, and we made tons of Halloween decorations.  It was so much fun to color and cut with Sweet Boy!  We laughed and colored and enjoyed ourselves, even being under the weather.

Go on a digital creative excursion.  One of my favorite suggestions from Susan Ban Breathnach in Simple Abundance is the idea of personal creative excursions:  taking time to visit places that really light our creative fires.  But, if you can't get away (or are homebound this week like we have been), do it online!   Visit and catch up on your favorite blogs.  Visit Pinterest to find some new recipes, craft projects or quotes.  (Just beware - don't get overwhelmed with too many projects you want to do.)  Watch some t.v. shows that inspire you - or give you some mental escape so you can take a break.  (Have I mentioned my obsession with Friday Night Lights?)

As part of your digital creative excursion, visit Instagram. Look at the people you follow...and observe who they follow.  You may find some new inspiration immediately!  Instagram is one of my very favorite apps - it's a wonderful collection of visual inspiration + personal storytelling.  I look forward to my Instagram time every night.  

Try to make time for yourself.  Remember the battle of the early birds vs. the night owls?  Keeping rest a priority, try to carve out some quiet time for yourself, morning or night.  Each morning this week for me has been an important time of prayer, writing and mental rest.  And, when your children are awake, I like to save their technology time for when I need productive time.  Right now, Sweet Boy is saving the world on his (very loud) Angry Bird Transformer game on the iPad.  We're cuddled up together in a big fluffy chair in our office (which is totally worth the very loud noises).

Reach out to others.  If you're feeling a little isolated and need some connection today, be sure to reach out to others.  Reach out to your friends and neighbors.  Or, comment on some amazing blog posts you've read recently.  Offer some words of encouragement on Twitter.  Or comment on some photos on Instagram. 

One thing today:  Take time to do any of the above tips.  Even if you have no little people at home today, they still apply!  Don't forget the importance of rest!
Image from Erin Ulrich

Creative resources today:
Simple Abudance by Sarah Ban Breathnach
Your cookbooks, books + magazines
Quiet devotional time

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