14 June 2012

What to Do With Our Down Time

We've all been there. When we don't have the energy to pick up our pinking shears. When our sewing machine gets dusty and the hinges to our craft room door gets rusty. When the site of our hot glue gun makes us want to curl up in a ball and wish it all away.

Ok, please tell me I'm not the only one!

For the past 3 months I've been in a crafty funk. Now I must tell you that for the last 3 months I've also been hard at work growing a human being. So at least I've been busy making something.

But if it's not a baby it's something else for sure. We get busy. Life throws us challenges. We get tired. We are needed to focus our amazingly skilled creative talents elsewhere. No excuses needed.

We sometimes just get in a creative rut. Which is normal, and important, and perfect, and sometimes needed to come out refreshed and more crafty than ever!

So what do we do with this down time?

1. Pray about it lady. Whatever is causing you to be weary in this season, take it to the Lord. He wants to know your thoughts and troubles. He wants to talk with you and allow you to listen to His plan. Ask Him for direction through this time. Pray for ideas, motivation, and an newness with how you approach the creative parts of your life.

2. Journal about it too. Reflect on this time and write it down (and for heavens sake, just go buy a journal, no need to be crafting one out of fabric scraps and vintage sheets right now). My favorite part of journaling isn't necessarily pouring out the hard times into the blank pages, but it's when I go back and read how faithful the Lord is (yet again!) through this season in my life.

3. Dust out the bucket list. I know you have a billion things that you'd like to do someday. While you're not feeling particularly crafty these days, maybe turn your sights on some other interests in your life. Dust off your bike, whip up a new meal, spend more intentional time with family, call up an old friend. If you've gone some crafty down time, don't fritter it away. Give it to other important things in your life that you love!

4. Get back to the heart of things. Why do you create? Why did you start in the first place? Reflecting on those questions might help give your creative juices a kick in the pants. Does crafting help you elevate stress? Does it help you express emotion/prayers/problems/praise? Do you craft and sell your items to support your family and what has that business helped your family do?

5. Don't feel bad about it! Last week I cracked the door to my craft room for the first time in weeks. I finally had more energy and was getting excited about new ideas. With the baby due in the fall and the hopefully possibility of staying at home and providing for our family through my shop, this gave me a renewed sense of purpose. By the end of the night, the hot glue was flowing and momma-to-be had found her groove. But you better believe that I almost hit the "my store is on vacation" button about 100 times during those first few weeks. And I don't feel bad. I did what I needed to do for me and my family. Making pretty things for my shop and my home is important to me (and vital to my sanity), but I don't feel bad for needing to step away. And you shouldn't either. If you do, email me and I'll give you a pep talk!

Now please know that just because I'm giving a voice to these words, does not mean I have it all figured out. I am writing this as a reminder to myself more than anything! If you find yourself in a dry season, relax and enjoy the fruits of free time!

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