About the book (from the publisher):
Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart (Kregel Publications, 2016)
What was God thinking when He created you creative and then gave you children?
Creative moms often feel as though they must lay their passions down. But God had something special in mind for the creative woman during this intense season of mothering.
In this Pinterest age of handcrafted children’s parties, Instagram photos of beautifully decorated homes, and blogs filled with poetry and prose, it is clear that we are in the midst of a brand new artistic renaissance. Not one born in Italian cathedrals or Harlem jazz clubs, but rather in kitchens, nurseries, and living rooms around the world. Mothers, working in the cracks and crevices of each hectic day, are adorning the world with their gifts, and they’re showing all of us the beauty of this Life Creative.
In this book, you’ll learn:
—Why the world needs your art
—How this Life Creative begins at home
—When art can turn a profit
—Your part in this modern day Renaissance
Life Creative paints the stories of moms, just like you, who are fitting their inspired lives into the everyday, ordinary places of motherhood. Women like home decorator Melissa Michaels and jewelry designer Lisa Leonard, author Angie Smith, recording artist Ellie Holcomb, and many more.
This book begins with a solid case supporting how God is the first Creator, and He created each of us to create in unique ways, too. The authors continually reiterate that every mother is a creative in her own God-given way, be it writing, crafting, baking, leading, etc. Each chapter contains personal anecdotes as well as stories of other mom creatives, and the chapters progress from acknowledging our creative nature to balancing momhood and creative work and even to what happens if that gift eventually supports your family financially. The authors are very conversational in tone and ready to affirm and encourage every reader.
I enjoyed most of what I read, though I actually found myself not fully agreeing with some of the statements and sentiments the authors share. For example, many of the ideas and suggestions seem to suggest that the mother reading will have a disposable income (to be able to drop kids off at daycare, for example) or time when kids are in public school. This, of course, isn’t the case for all families, so this may feel alienating for some readers. (But the authors do share many examples and often say it’ll look different for different moms.)
Another example, on page 32, they say: “And I’m not saying I don’t want them. I simply want me, too.” And (I think) I see what they’re saying here. We are all our individual selves before we become moms. But, I think I view it a touch differently. The change also becomes part of me. I will never not be a mom now, no matter what the future holds. And “mom” (along with “wife”) are my most favorite titles. I can’t separate being a mom from any of the rest of me now. I am Mom. But I am also a creative. I am also a writer. I am also a wonderer. These things are all as much a part of me as before. So “me” is still here while I am “Mom” because they aren’t exclusive of each other. But, just as I can’t ignore the Mom part, I also can’t ignore the creative part. It’s all part of who I am. I don’t want to separate any of those parts (though that doesn’t mean I don’t need a break from one or another part at times!); I want to grow into these parts together more fully. This does mean life looks different than pre-kids and will continue to look different as we all grow. (And I totally agree with the messy part!)
This said, every time I found a statement I possibly disagreed with, I had these kinds of reflective questions and conversations in my head. And, to me, that’s a sign of time well spent. This book allowed me to reflect on me and what that means as I try to live my life as God created me.
This book weaves creative life with living for God, a creative Himself. The stories shared about other creative moms (many whom are well-known in the Christian blogging world) are certainly inspiring. The tone of this book is graceful and welcoming. I imagine it will encourage and inspire most of its readers, as the subtitle suggests.
What encourages you as a mom to embrace your creative traits?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book via Litfuse. This is an honest review, and all opinions expressed are my own.
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