We live in a small house. There are only so many places to be. I find it difficult to keep my small house in order because we are living on top of each other. My daughter and I have similar personalities. You know the type that fills the room. Yeah, that makes our home feel even smaller. We are both strong-willed. Once an idea gets set in our minds we expect everyone else to fall into line. My daughter and I rarely see eye-to-eye.
I am convinced that someday she will became something along the lines of interior designer or event planner. She is constantly rearranging cushions, taping artwork to the walls, drawing on things that she shouldn’t like my resume. She will spend hours in her room with scissors, markers, and tape setting up museums, boutiques, and carnivals for all of us to enjoy. She creates entire worlds within her world.
This used to drive me crazy. We are both creative people who seek outlets for our creative energy. But because she uses different mediums than me, I didn’t see the value in her “mess”. Until one day I read somewhere (on a blog I am sure) that when our children spend hours creating a “mess” we dishonor their efforts in creativity by dismantling their efforts in pursuit of order. Then I started paying attention to what she was doing.
One day I was annoyed yet again, by more papers hanging from the counter. I sighed. And then something whispered within me to pay attention to the small things. My eyes were opened and my heart melted. I turned to her and said, “Baby, you make my life more beautiful.”
How honoring is it to her and her creator to recognize her God-given talents and praise her for them instead of chastising her.
In trying to control my environment and maintain a spotless house, I was missing the splendor and awe of a child’s imagination. I started paying attention to the small things and have developed an eye and an appreciation for her genius. She is truly gifted in ways that I may not understand, but I want to embrace and encourage her interests. I no longer want to stifle these gifts simply because they are “messy”.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” NLT Ephesians 2:10
Her yearning to create and re-purpose is a reflection of the Creator Himself. He has amazing things to do through these gifts, and it is my job to help her to cultivate them. My job to allow her to be her in order to bring Him glory.
This post is a part of #TheSmallLife series.
Link-Up with: Holly Barret on Testimony Tuesday, Holley Gerth on Coffee For Your Heart, Simply Beth on Three Word Wednesday, Jennifer Dukes Lee on #TellHisStory, Woman2Woman, TheWeekendBrew
This sounds like my story too. My daughter is just like me. Strong willed and we clash a lot. She too is very creative and our house is also smaller than what I would like. I feel like I am constantly cleaning up after her creations but now it just dawned on me that I haven’t really been looking at what she has made but what a mess she has made in making it. She is only trying to use her talents to please her family. I should probably take a step back and praise her artwork first, clean later. I’ve been doing the opposite. They are only this age for so long and I need to cherish these moments with her.
Thank you for my wake up call Jen!
I had no idea that this post would help so many people! I was just reflecting on my own experience. It is so wonderful that it resonated with you. Blessings to you and your family.
What a beautiful post. And what a creative soul your daughter is. Thankful you listened to the Holy Spirit and allowed yourself to see the beauty all around you.
Barbie, Thank you for the comment. I believe all children are gifts to be stewarded well. I fail a lot, but I try! One Thousand Gifts definitely helped me to see this!
Jen, this is just beautiful. A message to really take to heart and remember. It convicts me even with a grown child in the house. Thank you so much. Blessings. xoxo
Thank you, Beth! It is about slowing down and appreciating the gifts God has given us. You have been such a model of this since your husband has been home! I love delighting with you in the simple joys of togetherness. Thank you for sharing your life though pictures!
Jen, your photos are precious and I love your daughter’s creativity. Our daughter is also very strong-willed. We kept saying, “if we can only get her to channel it for good, she’ll be able to do anything.” Now she’s got a little of her own. She is still very determined, but in a good way and we are so proud of her. Way to go Jen. You’re honoring the Lord with your encouragement.
Thank you for your precious comment and encouragement! How wonderful!
Hi Jen! Wow, how very creative your daughter is! I enjoyed looking at her art so much and hearing your journey to putting aside the ‘order’ that many of us mom’s desire in our homes to encourage and appreciate her creativity. This spoke to me today to pay closer attention to my little ones too and to be thankful for the beauty their gifts bring to our family and the world. Thank you!
Acknowledging their gifts is such a blessing.
I have creative daughters, too. Their art has matured as they have, and it graces our home. We still have some art displayed from years before. When I look at it, I smile and remember the joy of those younger years. They are treasures! Thanks for sharing these glimpses into your world!
I am excited to see how her art matures. For her to find her own style.
Wow, Jen, I love this! I have a son very similar to this…and for a while I got so upset with all of the stuff he would make and pile up and not let me throw away (AGH!!) and now I see he is expressing a true talent. I started taking his best masterpieces and they hang around a doorway and he is so proud. I’m so glad I learned this lesson with him and hope to do better with my daughter. And your girl? Yes, she’s talented!! Can’t wait to see what she does with all of that creative energy one day. 😉 Maybe we will be buying her creations in the department stores! 😀
Meredith, It has changed our home since I have relaxed for sure. There is something about having the freedom to be yourself that has a calming effect on a person!
I’m your link-up neighbor at Holley’s today and I love the creativity of your daughter! I enjoyed your post because I love a clean and organized house, too and it’s much easier for me to achieve without children or pets (since I’m single!) but I think that you have the far better beauty in your home from your children than any amount of organizing would achieve! Blessings to you! 🙂
You are too sweet, Valerie. Thank you for your warm comment!
This is most definitely a reminder that I’ve been needing. These words are terribly convicting to my heart, “In trying to control my environment and maintain a spotless house, I was missing the splendor and awe of a child’s imagination.” I’m so glad that I visited you today.
I am glad you visited too! 🙂
Your little girl is going places, Jen! Wow! It’s so refreshing to see these images instead of children sitting in front of a TV or video game. Your ability to encourage her is going to make all the difference!
She does watch plenty of TV, but it is mostly fantasy based stuff that spurs on her imagination. 🙂
I was that kid! My dad and I are really similar (other than I read practically a book a day and he refuses) but both extremely creative. I was always up to some weird art project, making my siblings act out a play, or decorating the house and he was always great about letting me, buying me art supplies, and letting me use my imagination.
So wonderful that you had a Dad who was so supportive!
Jennifer, your post caught my eye on Coffee for Your Heart. Your daughter sounds JUST LIKE MINE! Thanks so much for giving me a renewed perspective. My daughter is 15 now, but she continues creating and making messes. “You make my life more beautiful” is a wonderful thing to say to a child!”
I am smiling so big after reading this! Love your pictures!
🙂 Thanks for dropping by, Sarah!
You have a pure creative artist on your hands. I thought of a quote, I am small women, watch me create beauty and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. God has brought you to a place you are beholding the beauty. My grand daughter, five, just brought me another piece of paper that she wrote on, especially for me. Not sure where I will find room on my fridge door to put it but I will…trust me I will. Sweet and profound post.
Yes, we will keep making room!