Below you will find examples of several creative projects anyone can do with simple materials. Use them to symbolize and celebrate the story of your life, to remind you of important truths and to pass these lessons on to others in an eye-catching way. Use them as a special activity for girls’ night, retreats, kids’ projects or small groups. Let me know if you try any of them – or if you have more suggestions.
Collaging is an easy way to capture your thoughts and feelings, making them visible. If you would like a handout on the process (which you can easily duplicate with materials you probably already have), click here: collage handout. This collage is dedicated to some women in my life who have encouraged my heart over the long haul: Debbie, Maggie, Denise, Loisann, Dawn, Lisa and Leanne. May every woman who sees it be granted the signal favor of God in the embrace of her own sister soldiers. If you don’t have any, go out and find some.
An embellished book or list is a great way to remind yourself of those important truths you might otherwise lose in the harried hustle of everyday life. Below you will see a beautiful book which a friend of mine made to remind herself of the things she can do when she feels overwhelmed. First she made a simple list of the things she wanted to remember. You might make and decorate such a list on one piece of paper. That’s a great project to do with kids, for example, with a list like Things To Do When I Feel Bored. Then my friend bought a blank book such as this one from Walmart. Next she wrote a bit about each of the practices on her list, and she embellished the finished product with art work which she pasted onto the pages. When you see this book in person, it has texture and character as well as beauty and truth. You may download a copy of this book by clicking on it as an example for your own use.
Paraphrase a Psalm. The psalms legitimize our emotions as worship. Whether you feel abandoned, angry, vengeful, giddy, depressed or any other of the panoply of human emotions, you can find your heart-state in the Book of Psalms. And what you find is that God accepts ALL these feelings as worship when they are poured out to Him. Sometimes, just getting these thoughts down on paper is enough to soothe them. But in every case, giving them to God makes them an offering. Here is one example, and click the link below for another.
Psalm 31 – O Lord, Be What You Are
You are my protection and my rescuer.
Father, hear my eager prayers. Help me put my trust in You.
This world is a dangerous place; shame lies in wait for us all.
Show me the way down a treacherous path. Protect and rescue me now.
O Lord, be what You are!
You are Savior, God of all comfort.
I come to You for approval because the world has rejected me.
You are not like their dead idols which can do nothing. You understand my pain.
I feel useless, worthless, unloved. Comfort me now.
O Lord, be what You are!
My mind knows that You are powerful and good.
Let those who dismiss You be silenced, for You are a God of justice.
They are all discussing me. My disgrace is unbearable.
But it won’t last forever.
Your justice toward them and Your mercy toward me are real.
Show me Your goodness now.
O Lord, be what you are!
The Lord is my refuge. Our God answers prayer.
Praise the Lord for His love which was my only shelter in a time of destruction.
In my despair I thought He had deserted me, but His people are never alone.
Brothers and sisters, put your trust in the Lord’s hands, for He is your faithful defender.
Wait in confidence and hope − for the Lord will be what He is!
Here is another example, Psalm 102 by Ed Welch.
Poetry has long been considered an effective way of conveying deep emotions. The book of Psalms in the Bible is a book of poetry, and it contains a gamut of emotions, from anger to grief to delight, which are offered as worship to God. Your emotions, too, can be worship. A poem doesn’t have to rhyme or even fall into a regular rhythm. A poem simply uses word pictures and images to help the reader feel the author’s heart. Below is an example of an original poem. What is it that you might like to convey in poetry?
Warm Water in a Dark Sea
Warm water in a dark sea, and the cradle of life beings rocking.
Storm clouds rising in the distance
Signal the rhythm of the unexpected,
Too small in the dizzy vastness, turning on strong, soft swells.
The rising force of invisible currents
Stronger than life,
Water warns and pulls and rises.
Combers fall through wary space and crash with loud report.
Breath of mist and weighty trough,
Light shimmers, a sudden dance reflected on the depths.
Shining stars revolve, as the sea gathers her skirts,
Spewing sorrow and delight,
Pounding waves spring rusty bolts, and precious cargo tumbles free.
Barred boxes holding nothing,
Sparkling jewels all released.
Shapes below the waterline; voices in the dark.
Seabirds welcome morning with their tears.
The current surges forward into day,
Beauty and pathos ride the rollers, disturbed and embraced,
Caught in a tide that is stronger than death,
Plunging toward a numinous shore.
Waves of grace,
Take an art class. In the Orlando area there is a wonderful little shop called Barbed Wire Browns that will help you create your own art, whether you are a beginner or a professional. They hold classes for adults and children, too. There are also art museums, art centers and schools in many major cities where you can take a class.