Last Thursday I felt very heavy. I can not remember ever feeling so physically loaded down with life.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with “it,” but I knew I had to do something that day or it would literally push me down into the earth.
Having respect for the spiritual traditions of the Catholic Church, I thought about going to St. Hubert’s and asking for the Priest to hear my confession. I needed to unburden, but what did I need to confess? What did I need to say?
I had nothing to say. I had already given-up everything to God, returning the joys and sadness that he had shared with me. I had prayed the prayers I needed to. I had no inclination to unburden my troubles even with the most amazing friends.
This weight had been growing over the last few weeks. To add to the daily concerns of raising two young children and the long road of ministry, the death of a church member I had visited often, the time coming short for another, and the general impact of visiting seasoned people who are dealing with difficult issues had left their emotional imprint.
I needed to unburden, to lift the weight.
I needed to process. To step back from all of it. To take a mini-retreat.
It just so happened that my morning visit had been cancelled, providing me with time to myself and a house to myself with a husband at work and the kids at daycare.
I ignored the general mess the house is always in (I live with a tornado and a hurricane, both with two feet) and took to the sewing machine.
I pushed the kids’ toys to the side, dug out the supplies, and pulled from the dusty corners of my mind the various techniques I had seen on Sewing with Nancy, Sew it All, and my quilting skills. I made a pattern from a hand-me-down dress from a neighbor, used an ill-fitting undershirt of my husband’s for the lining, and added pockets as my little girl is fascinated with them right now.
After 5 hours of focusing only on the process of creation, the weight had lifted. I was re-charged and ready to go.
In fact, I had an emotional conversation later in the afternoon – but I was only truly present with the person because of the relief I had earlier.
I fully believe God has a hand in making things happen. God knew what I needed. I needed the appointment to cancel so I could have time alone to create. I needed time to get out of my head and into my hands. I needed to bring physical life to an idea that had both form and function – with the bonus that my little princess danced around in her new dress!
In a life where there rarely is an outcome and most endings are real departures from this world, the opportunity to create is something I needed to get back to.
Creation is a real spiritual practice. Just look at the original Creation stories! Out of God’s love and creativity came something real. In the unique details of the dress my daughter can see the love of its maker, just like we can see God in the world around us.
We are co-creators in this journey (Gen 2:19). God gave us the gift to create, so in creating we can share love, be renewed, and praise the ultimate Creator.
God, thank you! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to transform ideas into reality – from little girl dresses to ways to feed empty stomaches and hearts. Thank you!!!