When Your Creator Invites You to Join Him in the Garden

by Cathy Baker

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1
On a recent date night with the hubster we dropped by Mr. K’s Used Books, a favorite spot. I picked up a book with this series in mind and a sweet giveaway in the near future!
Georgia Heard, author of Writing Towards Home, shares what I believe to be a great outdoor date with our Creator. Doesn’t spending time outside make you feel a wee bit closer to God? It does me. That is, until a bee pulls a kamikaze move and then my mind wanders elsewhere. But I digress. Back to our date!
“Sometimes a way of translating what is startling or painful is to make a metaphor. T.S. Eliot call this the objective correlative, where an image from the outside world carries the meaning of the world inside. Let your mind rest on something that’s difficult for you, see what images come to mind that might be connected. Write them down quickly, put them in a drawer, and make a date with yourself to look at them again in one month or two or three.” – Georgia Heard, Writing Towards Home
Save the Date:
One of the first places God spent time with his creation was in a garden (Genesis 2:8), as well as one of the last (Luke 22: 39-46). Now it’s our turn. 
You’re Invited:
Head outdoors. Find a place to sit and rest awhile. As you notice the details of your surroundings ask God to open your eyes to see beyond the obvious. Maybe there’s a lesson or a word of encouragement waiting just for you. Did you catch how the wind gently blows yesterday’s petals from their pedestal but the flower itself remains? What’s one takeaway from your simple study? Remember, metaphors are powerful. Jesus used them in His teachings. He was the master of metaphors and the best teachers I know use them today. They are profitable for writing, deeper comprehension, and most certainly, life.

Yet, Lord, you are our father.
We are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the product of your labor. Isaiah 64:8
[As always, I welcome any comments you would like to share! I’m at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference this week so it will be a few days before I can respond.]

Inviting Your Creative Self On A Date

by Cathy Baker

Your creative energy called. Yet the only thing it heard on the receiving end was a busy signal: 

Beep. (My schedule is packed.)
Beep. (I’m not a creative person.)
Beep. (Who has the energy for creativity?)

No wonder it feels a bit neglected, even forgotten. It’s time to take the artist within on a date. 

The Artist Date is a basic tool of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. She asks her students to undertake one Artist Date per week. 

“I tell students to seek mystery, not mastery on their dates. I urge them to explore with childlike wonder rather than adult intellect. Artist Dates are intended to be fun.” – Julia Cameron

If at this point you’re asking why you should continue reading this post, remember: in whatever way(s) our Creator gifted you, there is a place for creativity…for He is most creative of all. 

Save the Date:
The first Artist Date Julia proposes is this: go to a park. “A park is a very concentrated dose of beauty. Note the plantings carefully plotted out. Note the diversity of the vegetation. You may wish to carry a camera. Record your favorite sight. Allow yourself to dawdle. Soak in the season. Give yourself at least an hour. Scoop up a pine cone. Fill your pockets with acorns. Feel your mind unkinking. Say hello to your soul.” 

You’re Invited: 
What nearby park would be the perfect place for your first Artist Date?

“Art is an image-using system,” I tell students. “Imagine yourself as having an inner trout pond filled with images. When you use your creativity, you are drawing from this inner pond. When you draw on it heavily, you will over-fish your pond. Images will be harder and harder to come by unless you begin to consciously replenish your store of images. Taking your Artist Date replenishes your pond.” – Julia Cameron
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