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How Will You Express Your God-Given Creativity?

Posted on Oct 13, 2020   Topic : Inspirational/Devotional, Women's Christian Living
Posted by : Michal Sparks

Have you ever had something that you wanted to learn but never did because it always seemed like the timing wasn't right? Maybe you've always wanted to bake bread, sew, or grow orchids. For me, I had always wanted to embroider, an elusive skill that I admired from afar. 

It was 1971. I was five-years old and looking up to my older sister who had already perfected the skill of embroidery. I studied my sister's every move as she effortlessly embroidered our jeans with flowers, butterflies, happy faces, and of course, peace signs. Do you remember when peace signs meant something? 

I loved the shiny threads and the beautiful colors. I wanted to embroider too. I begged her to teach me. However, being the little sister, she shooed me away. "Wait until you're older," she said. Not being sure of when exactly I would be "older", I had to live with her reply. There were plenty of other activities to distract me, like riding bikes, playing with friends, and making my own creations with paper and paints.

Interestingly, God took my life on a creative path and I earned a fine art degree in fiber and textiles, but I still did not know how to embroider. This fact actually started to "needle" at me a little bit (pun intended)! Because of my nagging desire to stitch beautiful embroidery, I tried again a few months before my first child was born. I hand painted, with dyes, a crib bumper of scenes from our farm, adding clumsy stitches to accent the flowers. But my son was born three weeks early and with motherhood now upon me, the unfinished bumper went into the "to be revisited" pile.

After the baby bumper failure, my desire to embroider would resurface from time to time, usually around the holidays. During an attempt to create handmade ornaments, I managed to perfect one simple stich: the French knot. I know this sounds a little sad, but it was all I could do. Because of my lack of skill, anything I stitched, including monograms, was all in French knots. All my letters looked like oddly shaped poodles, but I persevered and pursued all sorts of creative ideas with my French knots. On a whim, my daughter suggested adding some French knots to embellish a greeting card. What? Could you embroider on a card? It got me to thinking...

Inspired by her idea, I began in a new direction. Embroidery now became a creative activity beyond just doing French knots. I began embroidering on photos, painting with thread, so to speak. I discovered that regardless of my lack of skill, I was relaxing and enjoying the whole process and excited to try new stitches. Embroidery offered me time to destress and clear my mind of daily clutter. I stitched on the front porch in the morning with coffee, I stitched in the evenings after dinner. The texture and color on smooth paper gave images a whole new look.. I soon realized that embroidering on paper was an activity that others might enjoy as much as I did.  

There is no time like the present to challenge yourself and learn a new skill or start a relaxing hobby that produces a unique piece of creative art.

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