Keeping creative at home
Staying occupied during the long weeks of lockdown have been a struggle for many of us – even if we have work to do from home or household chores, it can be hard to keep fulfilled during our downtime. Movies and tv will only go so far!
Everyone has an inner desire to create things. God is the original Creator – and we, in His image, hold that inside of us too. We can see and appreciate all that God has made (The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 91:1)
There are many instances in the Bible when God called skilled craftsmen to create for Him. While we’re not all going to get called up to create bronze and gold fittings for a temple, we’ve all tried to create something at some point in our lives, following the desire to create that God has implanted in us.
For some people, this desire to create is obvious, if they have a hobby like painting. But a lot of people often feel as though they’re not creative, because they’re not “artistic” or “musical”. You might be surprised at the number of ways you can be creative, using the gifts God has given you to His glory (and for fun!)
Here are a few ways you can be creative at home, during the remainder of lockdown and afterwards…
If you play an instrument or sing, you might already spend time practising at home. But it can be even more fun to practise with other people! While we’re kept indoors for the lockdown period, this sounds impossible – but there are ways to get together and play. If you have friends who enjoy music, you could meet them outdoors on a nice day to practise safely.
There are also digital options. The Bristo worship group has been recording parts of songs using Bandlab, an online platform for musicians, putting the tracks together to make recordings of worship songs. If you have musical friends, this can be a fun option.
Something else to consider, for those already skilled at music – have you ever tried writing your own songs? This might be the next step to expand your gift.
Learning lines from a play or movie is its own type of creativity – many people enjoy the social experience of community theatre, as well as the fun of acting itself.
This might seem impossible to do from home. But with a few friends, you can organise a read-through of one of your favourite plays or screenplays.
This can also be something that kids can enjoy – maybe even with costumes! (Or puppets…)
Getting up close to flowers and plants can be a big mood booster for many people, and a vase of flowers can make a huge difference to your indoor space.
The art of flower arranging goes back hundreds of years, and there are plenty of things to learn if you’ve never tried it before! If you want instructions, there are plenty of Youtube tutorials available.
This is also a practical skill to learn, for any event in the future that requires flowers – you can also arrange your own bouquets as unique and personal gifts for friends or family.
This hobby can be a little expensive in terms of materials, and might be easier for those who have their own gardens. However, if you want to splash out every week or so, it can be a relaxing and peaceful hobby to enjoy. (Not to mention low-stakes… flowers are always going to look good no matter what we do with them!)
There are many types of sewing, knitting and embroidery to try. If you’re after something potentially calming, a lot of people find cross-stitch to be a contemplative and relaxing activity. Once you know the basics, you can focus on creating your own patterns and pictures, experimenting with new ideas.
Knitting can also be calming, once you’ve got the basics down. The physical feeling of making stitch after stitch and watching your creation grow is really enjoyable. And you’ll never be short of scarves!
There are endless projects you can make with a few sewing skills. And this is a pretty easy hobby to get started with at home, during the lockdown. There are many books and video tutorials with easy to follow instructions to get you started.
If you ever wanted an incentive to create something, cooking and baking provide the perfect balance between effort and reward.
Just by following a recipe, you’re creating something (which you then get to eat…) but with practice, you can start creating your own recipes. If you’ve never invented a recipe before, it can be fun to find two similar recipes and use them to create your own version of the dish.
Other challenges might be to buy an ingredient you’ve never used before, and try to make a dish using it. If you live with someone else who enjoys cooking, you could try your own mini version of Masterchef, with a little friendly competition. Maybe each person could make their own sauce for the same piece of chicken or fish, and the winner can be decided with a taste test!
Baking is another way to get creative, as there are usually more decorative options with baked goods. Even a basic batch of biscuits can become a fun project with a few different colours of icing!
Not all creative endeavours have to have a big audience – sometimes, they can have an audience of one! A nice letter written to someone special can be a creative exercise, and it can also be a great way to set an easy goal for yourself: you know you’ll only have to write a page or two, not a whole novel!
A letter can also take other forms. You can include a picture or short poem for the person you’re writing to (if you don’t like writing your own poetry, pick a few lines from a poem you like, and maybe explain why you wanted to share them.)
You don’t even have to write the letter. You can record yourself speaking to the other person and send it, maybe as a WhatsApp voice note. You could even film yourself speaking to the camera, and send a video letter!
A prayer journal is a great creative activity, and one you can add to daily. Writing down your thoughts, feelings and prayers can be a healthy exercise, as well as a creative one. Taking your inner thoughts and putting them onto the page can help you take a real look at how you’re feeling.
While all of the ideas listed in this blog can be done as your own form of worship – appreciating the abilities God has given you, and your capacity to enjoy them – bringing creativity directly into your time with God can be particularly powerful.
You don’t have to write in a journal, if you don’t find yourself connecting to writing. You could draw, dance, sing – or listen to the Spirit’s prompting for ways that you can include your unique talents in your worship time.
Ask for guidance
If you’d love to start creating something but aren’t sure where to start – just ask!
Of course, you can ask those around you for help and tips, as they might have noticed something you enjoy doing that you hadn’t thought to pursue before.
But this is also something you can bring before God. He was the one who made you and gave you your talents and desires. Even something as seemingly small as a new hobby can make a difference in your life – and He knows what you’re going to love doing!