Journal / News

Creative Chaos

Have you ever felt as though something is bubbling just beneath the surface? As if you need to say something, or do something, or make something…but you haven’t quite pinpointed what yet?

I have felt that same simmering many times, that itch in my fingertips for something more, and lately its been right there. Driving me batty as I try to figure out what words or images or inspirations are waiting to meet the world. As a creative, its not uncommon for me to feel this way. But as an administrative type I tend to sacrifice creativity to make room for my to-do list. Lately though, I have been in a creative frenzy. Jumping from unfinished project to unfinished project, trying to figure out how to calm the chaos just below the surface, and yet still never really getting anywhere.

My room, my personal space, seems to be in a constant state of disarray lately. Paper cuttings, pens, journals, paints and craft supplies are strewn haphazardly across any free surface, where they landed at midnight one night or another as I gave into sleep or that dreaded never-ending to-do list.

And then today, I visited my blog.

I was confronted with yet another space where creative ephemera has been sprinkled haphazardly around, but little has been accomplished. I started sharing poetry and re-blogging posts with you for two reasons.

  1. I love those things. Those posts. Those words.
    And I wanted you to experience them too.
  2. I also was at a loss for words. Or time. Or inspiration. Or motivation.
    It was the easy way out.

When I scrolled through my latest posts and found that I had simply shared the words of others with you more times than I had shared my own, and that there are 3 or 4 reposts in a row, I was challenged to rethink the purpose behind this blog. What am I really here for, what is this online space really supposed to be doing? Don’t get me wrong, I 100% believe that it is important to experience, enjoy, learn from and share the work of others. And I will always do that, when I encounter something particularly beautiful, engaging, or thought provoking. Always.

I suppose the question I asked myself this morning, though, was if this was a place to learn and grow and share and teach and build community.

Or if this is just a catalog of interesting things.

Truth be told, the internet probably has enough of both.

But the former sounds to be more productive, more engaging, more interesting, and ultimately, more fulfilling than the latter.

I’ve been reading an interesting book the past month or so. I’ll admit its not my favorite book, its not earth-shattering or anything like that, and admittedly its taking me longer than it should to get through it. However, Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus, has some interesting things to say about creation and our identity as human beings, created in the image of the ultimate creative. We are children of God, created baring the image of that creative God, and its an intriguing thought that we have a bit of that in each of us. The premise, so far (again, not finished reading yet…), is that the true artisan is one that lives authentically out of that image, with the understanding that any given moment is an opportunity to share the part of them that bears a bit of the same creativity, the same character, the same grace and talent as God.

The idea is that the true artisan is the one who can take hold of whatever talent, passion and purpose they have been gifted with, and run wholeheartedly with it. Whether you are an artist or a musician or a writer, or you happen to be an accountant, or a construction worker, or a farmer…whatever you are and whatever you face in your day, there is always the opportunity to mold your day and your world and ultimately your life into a work of grace, love, passion, and inspiration.

When I revisited Twenty Three & Counting this morning, and looked at the chaos that is my  living space right now, I wondered if that is what my artisan space would look like?

Honestly, my creative space will likely always be chaotic, unorganized and a tad messy, but would it be as purposeless?

Today, I was challenged to revisit the purpose of Twenty Three & Counting. To look at what this years focus was supposed to be, and to challenge myself to step back into that space and begin creating again.

My goal for this year was simply to be grateful. I didn’t set any resolutions, or 5 step goals. There are plenty of big things happening this year and the path to each one is exciting but also terrifying, difficult, complicated and full of unexpected things. As such, my only goal is simply to be smiling and thankful through as much of the journey as possible.

To be intentional about seeing the beauty and the blessing of the rain, even when my boots get stuck in the mud and I feel I’m getting dragged backwards.

So basically, what I am saying is, I’m back!

And I’m excited to put these itching fingers to work…


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