Have you ever had thoughts about something you have pondered for years and years and had done nothing about it? “One day,” we say to ourselves, “One day we will accomplish that thought.” When will it be that day?
For me that day had arrived. I write nonfiction normally through blogs and articles but about 12 years ago I was given the challenge by my writing group to write a children’s story. We were told to write something that was close to us and could tell a story.
This short, picture book story came right out of my head and onto paper. It was easier than I thought, so I wrote another one and then another one until I had finished eight stories. It was a surprise to me that these stories were there. I tucked them away and told myself that someday I would find a way to hire an artist to draw the pictures to publish these stories.
That day has come. I never considered myself an artist but I did take a drawing class about 30 years ago at a local community center. It was very relaxing and I developed a creative streak for drawing and doodling. Last week, my daughter and I, with her two daughters, went to participate in a pottery class. We didn’t make the pottery but designed what would be drawn and painted on the outside. The pottery place would fire and glaze what we created. I was inspired to draw a particular scene on the mug which was shown as an example. The results were surprising and I felt that I could not stop drawing. I couldn’t stop painting. I was so motivated I decided to draw those pictures for the children’s story myself!
It will take time and practice but I want to do it. A quote kept coming into my mind that I remember hearing at a General Conference from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. In the October 2008 General Conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said:
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.”
So my mug is a reminder to me of what I am capable of when I put my mind to it. Like President Uchtdorf said, we all have the deep desire and yearning to create something that did not exist and in my creating those pictures for my children’s story I am fulfilling a deep need to share what I have created.
He goes on to say in that same talk:
“Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty..”
In the age of electronics with monitors, cell phones and I-pads, getting your hands dirty in creating something from nothing is food for the soul. Not that the electronic world isn’t creative as it does have its own quality of creativity but taking a break from what we do everyday allows us to stretch ourselves in fulfilling a yearning within.
We don’t have to be gifted in our chosen enlightenment. We can practice at it to develop our own style. Like me practicing to find the right drawings to match my children’s stories, it takes practice to develop the best you. Whatever your own style of piano playing, your own style of pottery spinning, your own style of baking, your own style of whatever you feel inclined to create and keep creating is what brings that joy. I love the process.
This is a gift to us and our families as Christmas approaches and we set ourselves on the road to create something from within. Just like the Little Drummer Boy, we can give our best to the world and to our Savior. A creation which will help us move closer to God.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.