This month’s Self-Care Sunday series focuses on Sabbath Rest. Today, we’ll explore the connection between creativity and rest and how taking time to rest from creative endeavors is a form of self-care. Come back next week when we explore how to nurture ourselves with physical rest.
The mound of blue fabric sat on my sewing room table, along with pattern pieces from several different pattern packages, lace, a zipper, the right color of thread, pins, and scissors. I had no idea why I’d agreed to make a dress for a student. Ok. I knew. She asked me to, and I couldn’t resist her big brown eyes and plea to make her a ‘princess dress.’
She sent me a photo of what she wanted, and I told her I’d try my best to recreate her vision in a dress that would fit her. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to find a pattern, and knew I’d have to wing it to create her dress. I also knew that no matter how long those pieces sat on my sewing table, the dress wouldn’t make itself. If I wanted to fulfill my promise, I’d need to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
Five hours later, my sweet student had her beautiful blue princess dress. I rushed to pack my suitcase for the trip to Phoenix to take my daughter and grandson to the airport. As we drove, something nagged at me. Perhaps I had forgotten something I needed. Or maybe I had left the iron on.
Three hours later, I finally figured it out. In my rush to finish with a project and move on to the next thing, I had forgotten to celebrate. I hadn’t invited the princess dress recipient over to try it on one last time. Nor had I snapped photos of the creation.
The failure to celebrate left a little void in me.
The Truth About Celebrating Through Sabbath Rest
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand that in order to feel completely satisfied at the end of a project, I need to celebrate. And by celebrate, I don’t mean throw myself a big party and invite lots of people over to share in my accomplishment. No, a simple acknowledgement that I’ve completed something big and creative will suffice.
Perhaps this need to quietly celebrate explains my love of ticking things off a to-do list. Checking the item adds a period to a sentence I’ve labored over. Not all projects require the same level of celebration and rest, but all creative endeavors require some level.Not all projects require the same level of celebration, but all creative endeavors require some level. #Sabbathrest #creativity Click To Tweet
The bigger the project, the more rest and celebration we need when we finish it. Our need for celebrating when we finish with creative projects comes from our origin. I am a created being. A Creator God knit me together in his (some might say ‘her’) image. That means that I take after my Creator.
We often overlook what God did at the end of creation—he rested and celebrated.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.Genesis 2:2-3
So, if God, the Creator of the universe, took a day to rest, why do we think we can hustle along seven days a week without rest? We can’t. Well, we can, but only for so long.
Celebration and Rest
Celebration and rest go together like dark chocolate and almonds. When we stop to celebrate, by definition, we engage in rest. Try celebrating while concentrating on your next project. I can’t do it.
To celebrate means that we make publicly known, proclaim, to praise, or to observe or commemorate. For many of us, Facebook and Instagram have become the de facto forum for celebration. We create a quilt or a beautiful cake and immediately snap a photo and upload it to our feed. We then eagerly await the likes and hearts that pour in. They validate our celebration.
If you read the first chapter of Genesis, you’ll notice a pattern for creatives. Create, review, and proclaim. Genesis 2:2-3 shows us that in addition to the little celebrations as we make progress on a project, we also need full-day celebrations and periods of rest.
The Sabbath provides the perfect space to rest and fill up our creative tanks.The #Sabbath provides the perfect space to rest and fill up our creative tanks. #rest Click To Tweet
Ways to Celebrate Creativity on the Sabbath
1. Don’t do anything creative.
It sounds counterintuitive, but remember, you want to celebrate—which means you have to stop or pause. So, put away your quilting project, and take a break from writing. You need to rest.
2. Let your mind revel in someone else’s creativity.
Read, enjoy an art museum, listen to music, go to the zoo (a great place to see the results of God’s creativity).
3. Celebrate with someone else.
God wants us to do good on the Sabbath. Write a note to someone and compliment them on THEIR creative endeavor. Reach out to an artist or musician and thank them for their creativity through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (just don’t get sucked into social media for hours on end).
4. Examine nature.
Find a pinecone, a flower, a bird, or anything and spend time examining it. Think about the creative power behind what you examine and celebrate the Creator.
What ways have you discovered to celebrate your creativity?