We are makers. We come from makers (our parents), and if we really think about it, we come from The Great Maker, God, Himself.
Because of this, I am in constant conversation with God about what He desires for me, uniquely me, to make. Here is a list of things I’m involved in making: children, marriage, family, community, ministry, writing, food (hahaha), culture, friendship, health, moments, and the list goes on.
Our society calls me a working mom, but I like the idea of calling myself a maker. Because I believe that we’re all makers, this doesn’t put me in a category separate from others, especially my fellow women. Being a maker makes me a part of a greater picture, and that sits with me well. I don’t want to be in an exclusive club, but rather an inclusive community where we all have something to contribute.
As I was on the elliptical machine at the Y yesterday, I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert (writer of Eat, Pray, Love) on creativity, and she shared this quote by the accomplished writer A.S. Byatt:
“I think of my writing simply in terms of pleasure. It’s the most important thing in my life: making things. As much as I love my husband and children, I love them only because I am the person who makes things. I am who I am is the person who has the project of making a thing. And because that person does that all the time, that person is able to love all those other people.”
I love the exercise of filling in the above with your words:
“I think of my _______________ simply in terms of pleasure. It’s the most important thing in my life: making things. As much as I love my ________________ and ________________, I love them only because I am the person who makes things. I am who I am is the person who has the project of making a thing. And because that person does that all the time, that person is able to love all those other people.”
How cool would it be to identify what you love making and to recognize that we can only love others well when we are first connected to what we are making in life and who has created me to make that.
But if I’m really honest, I have a fear about the things that I’m a part of making. What am I truly afraid of? I’m afraid of putting too much of my identity in any one thing… my kids, my husband, my ministry, Ethiopia, my church, my community, my friends. I’m afraid that if own too much of things that I have a hand in making, I will begin to feel like a little God of entities of life that I ultimately have no control over. I can pour my best into these beautiful things, but I cannot control their outcome. It’s like holding a handful of sand; eventually it seeps out from between your fingers back into a greater pile of beach.
It’s a tough thing to wrestle with. Am I holding on too loosely or too tightly? Am I afraid to take full ownership of the things I’m involved in making, for fear that whether they succeed or fail, I will feel too much responsibility?
These are big questions I grapple with as a mother, wife, and person in ministry. Is my identity too much in one thing? Am I creating from a place of His Spirit, being a co-creator with Him, hopefully not trying to dictate the things He has created for me to make. I pray that I am dancing well with His Spirit; being a good listener and acting upon His call to action.
Because we come from a Great Maker, who is always creating and inviting us into a partnership with Him, there is always hope for new creation. I believe that even when we fail miserably, that just gives us hope and space to create something new with Him.
Let’s identify what we’re called to make. Let’s recognize that we are at our best for others when we’re connected to His voice, leading us to things to make for His world; things that help others see God, grow in God, and ultimately enjoy a relationship with Him.