Could the joy and delight that come from a new creative outlet be an opportunity to experience God’s joy and delight in us? Jen Scheuermann thinks so.
Joy sparked by creativity.
Reminding myself this decision could be temporary, I sighed and closed my Etsy shop. For 10 years I’d been designing and selling stationery and invitations, an endeavor that grew from a digital scrapbooking hobby and morphed into a side business when I began making invitations for my children’s parties and others. Looking back at my life and hectic schedule during that time, it seems crazy that I kept it up as long as I did.
I worked more than full time and had two young children, but somehow, every minute spent designing invitations was worth it. When the demands of daily life drained me, flexing my creative muscles filled me. And during a period when I felt particularly unseen, creating for others brought purpose and joy. But my season of life was changing, and our family calendar was even harder to keep up with. Now called in other directions, I knew it was time to close shop. But the joy this creative outlet brought into my life would not be soon forgotten.
Fast forward many years to 2022 when Live Today Well, an online Catholic women’s ministry with which I am affiliated, announced plans to produce a digital magazine filled with thoughtful captions and beautiful photographs. As plans for the magazine began, I started to picture it. Literally. Each time I closed my eyes, I could see the magazine.
Now, let me be clear: As an LTW writer I knew I would contribute to the magazine, but no one had asked me to be involved in its design. However, that didn’t stop new ideas for its style and layout from flooding my mind. I simply couldn’t stop thinking about it, and each time I did, my excitement grew. Finally, I grabbed my laptop, dusted off my digital design skills from long ago, and began designing sample pages for the magazine. I soon realized I wasn’t concerned with other's opinions of the pages or even if they’d be used. I was excited just to make them and to once again experience the joy that stemmed from this creative outlet.
My racing brain becomes an answered prayer.
I parked my car and walked to the Adoration chapel. Pausing at the door to settle my random thoughts, I briefly recalled a question I had asked in prayer the previous day:
God, can You help me believe the things You say about me? Can You help me experience Your Love for me?
I walked into the nearly empty chapel and took a seat. Taking a slow deep breath, I savored the silent peace that filled the room. But no sooner than I exhaled, my mind began to race.
Oh my goodness! Stop thinking of the magazine!
I picked up my headphones, searching for the soft piano music that helps when I struggle to be still. Clicking play, I relaxed as my racing brain settled. But this, too, was short-lived …
Stop. Thinking. Of the Magazine!
I turned to my Rosary app, once again hoping to stop the barrage of magazine images that filled my head. That worked… for about two minutes.
Finally, I grabbed my prayer journal, hoping that by writing of my feelings for the magazine, I could somehow stop myself from thinking about it during my entire holy hour.
And it was in that moment, as I wrote of the joy and excitement that stemmed from thinking about and creating the magazine, that God spoke into my heart:
Jen, you don’t have to stop thinking of the magazine. The excitement it brings you … the joy you feel thinking of it … the delight you experience creating it … this is but a fraction of the delight and joy that I experience in your creation.
Time stopped as God’s words washed over me. Everything—including my racing brain—was finally still. My joy and delight grew until I thought my heart would burst. Tears fell from my eyes as I realized God had answered my prayer. He had provided a personal way for me to not just read about His feelings towards me, but also, to experience them.
We’re all creators.
I believe each one of us is gifted with a spirit of creativity. Now, before you argue that you can barely draw a stick figure, I’d like to suggest the gift of creativity is not expressed the same in everyone. Afterall, how boring would the world be if we all had the same talents?! Although some may express their creativity through more “traditional” methods, such as painting or music, others’ creativity may be expressed in less traditional ways—such as creating a wonderful meal, a welcoming home, a successful business, or even a joyful experience for others. But ultimately, since we’re all made in God’s image, and He is the Creator, I believe we all have a creative streak running through us.
But now I wonder …
What if our creative gifts are about more than what we create? What if they are also ways for us to know God better? What if they are ways for us to experience His delight in us?
Without doubt, God wants His Love for us to be known. And though His Love is too great for us to fully comprehend, I believe He wants us to experience it as a real thing—not just an abstract idea. And perhaps each time we experience the genuine delight of creating something, we have an opportunity to do just that.
The next time you find yourself caught up in the excitement of creating a new thing, when you can’t stop thinking about it, and when even planning it brings a smile to your face, I invite you to pause. Savor the moment. And consider that those feelings mirror God’s very feelings for you.
Copyright 2023 Jennifer Scheuermann
About the Author
While living out her vocations of marriage, motherhood, and health care provider, Jen is often found on the sidelines of a ball game, searching for shade while cheering on her sons. An early riser, she sits with Jesus while it’s still dark and blogs about their conversations at Early Morning Coffee With Jesus. Get to know her more on Instagram or Facebook.