At the end of 2016, I want to be able to look back and say I really lived this year. For me, that will mean three things…

  1. I worshipped God with my whole life.
  2. I was intentional about building relationships with the people I was given to love.
  3. I cultivated creativity and truly pursued my artistic passion.

I am not proud that it took me until I was 30 to figure out what was most important to me in life, but now that I have, I’m not looking back. I could rehash the last few decades and lament the time I wasted chasing after other things, but what good will that do my future? So far, that tendency has only left me depressed and unable to move one.

The struggle now is training myself to align my days, my thoughts, my energy with what I truly want to accomplish. My habits have to be re-calibrated so that I don’t slip back into my old ways of wasting time on trying to please other people or live up to some set of ideals I didn’t create for myself.

With that in mind, I am really excited about one of my Christmas gifts. Dustin’s brother and his wife are pretty awesome at picking out gifts, and this year they gave me Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. I’ve had this book saved in several places, because I found it intriguing and thought it would be a great gift. Turns out I was right. It was a great gift for me! And it came at the perfect time!

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What I love about this book is that it asks you to step out of your comfort zone and stretch your ideas about creativity. I think as we get older, we forget how to create with reckless abandon. We can find ourselves confined to a box of our own making.

Have you ever watched a kid scribble wildly? Why do they stop that? Because someone teaches them to color in the lines. But scribbling is amazing! Throwing paint on a canvas is a major stress reliever. Why am I so afraid to make a mess? This page was a reminder of how freeing it is to make a giant jumbled mess!

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And what about what other people think? Why do I spend so much time trying to avoid making a fool of myself? Pouring coffee on your journal in the middle of a coffee shop seems weird, but it was fun! It didn’t hurt anyone and I didn’t leave a mess behind for anyone else to clean up. It was a reminder that it’s okay to have your own kind of fun, as long as you continue to respect the people around you.

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Needless to say, I’m loving all the silly ways this journal is stretching me. It’s the start of learning to truly cultivate creativity in each of my days. Thanks for the gift Devin and Leah! You’ve helped me start something beautiful!

If you want to cultivate creativity, why not pick up a copy of Wreck This Journal? Or maybe go to an art class or start a craft group? What ways can you stretch yourself this year? Please share, as I’m learning, too!