I’ve long had an image in my mind when it comes to the word “craft” and it involves pompoms, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, glitter, and lots and lots of tacky glue. It’s the “Craft” that follows “Gradeschool” or “Vacation Bible School” or “Daycamp”.
In the last few years, though, I’ve been challenged to expand my ideas surrounding that word. It first began with my publication journey. I’ve been writing since shortly after I could do “crafts”, but it wasn’t until I wanted to try to get a novel published that I started to think of writing as a craft: a skill to be honed through practice and even a semi-apprenticeship as I read other author’s books not just as an avid reader, but as a fellow writer asking questions:
What works well about this storyline? How does this character seem so real? I felt like I was there in that scene; how’d that happen?
Coupled with learning to see writing as a craft was also this recent resurgence of craftsmen and craftswomen. Artists in their field of making and using a skill to either eke out a living, supplement income, or simply do something with their hands that they really enjoy (which is no simple thing at all!).
I’ve long dabbled in a plethora of various “crafts” and crafts…I’m an amateur in many and an expert in none. I’ve developed a theory, though, that there’s an innate need in each of us to create, to make, to craft. Working with our hands not only can lower stress and boost brain function, but when we find something we enjoy making or doing, it can be fun, too!
You may ask, “Why are you telling us all this?” That’s a good question!
Next week, I’m starting a new study, called Masterfully Crafted. We are not only made by the Creator, but inspired by Him to create! There are so many possibilities that we could explore, but here’s how I broke it down: We’ll look at a different area of creativity, of making, of crafting each week. I’ll post four mini-studies Monday through Thursday, and every Friday will be a guest-post by an expert in the field we’re looking at for the week. And their guest-posts will be a tutorial, explaining how to get into that particular craft if you’re interested. Don’t worry–each of them are at a beginner’s level and won’t take a huge commitment of finances. And if you aren’t interested, that’s ok, too!
The purpose here isn’t to turn everyone into a “creative type”, because some are more comfortable with numbers or nonfiction than with paint or novels. God gives us each different gifts and interests for a reason–we all fit together, supporting and complementing and encouraging one another. But creativity surpasses the arts. It’s about tapping into a part of ourselves that is suppressed in this technically-advanced world. We don’t have to make our clothes in order to have something to wear, so many of us don’t. We don’t have to cook if we don’t feel like it, because there are restaurants all over the place! We don’t have to even write with a pen, because we have computers for emails, reports, and stories and phones for the same, plus notes and text-messages.
We’re missing out friends.
Now, I did mention “study” and we will be digging into the Word. Not only to see where some of these “crafts” appear in Scripture, but also to see what we can learn about how to use them in a vocational manner in light of what God says in His Word. In short: we’ll see how to use our craftiness in the service of God and one another, and look at how these crafts can remind us of deeper truths taught in Scripture.
We’re starting next week, so I hope you’ll join me! Download the outline here and subscribe to the blog to receive emails in your inbox every day!