From the time I was a small child, my healthy imagination has met my constant need to make things: prose, poems, pictures, pages, paintings, pots, and far too many things out of yarn. It seems to be a healthy way for me to connect with my inner P–that is, to focus on process, since very many of these endeavors yield less than perfect products.
I’ve also learned, especially in the last few years, that creative freedom is something I look for and value in a work environment. One of the teachers I observed and field-taught some lessons with was very by-the-book, here’s-what-I’ve-always-done, and wasn’t always open to trying new things. I will be the first to admit, though, that my conflict with her originated in no small part with my own need to prove myself competent by refusing to use her materials. And of course, once I became a teacher myself, I realized very quickly the value of using things others have developed–but it’s not often that I don’t add my own twist to things, if only because of the population of students we serve. Maybe it’s the 7 in me that is always asking, “But can we do this differently…and better?”
When I returned to Columbus this summer, I was able to reconnect with my church and joined the newly-founded creative team. The rationale was that we needed to balance the often cerebral tone of our Sunday discussions with emotional, artistic expressions of faith, whether through videos, music, imagery, or making prayer beads. It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience so far, not only because it lets me flex my creative muscles, but also because it has helped me connect more deeply with the people at church. (We are also extremely efficient during meetings, which pleases the J in me immensely.)