31 Days of Good Enough: for the Imperfect Creative

by Christina Hubbard

We come to the table with pen and brush. We walk to the park with camera and dreams. To the kitchen with fresh ingredients. To the guitar with a soulful tune. To the stitch with a killer design. All the while we’re wondering, is this good? Behind that question, bound up in broken questions of worth, lies another: is it good ENOUGH?

We’re tackling this topic with all its baggage and hopes for the #write31days challenge. I say we because I’m inviting 31 creative friends to join me. (I can’t create alone, and neither can you.) I picture each of them talking to me and you over cozy cups of coffee as we help each other in the keep-on-keepin’-on.

Our mission? To lead, encourage, and love one another in heart matters.

The state of our heart affects our art.Tweet This Let’s wake each other up, to take ourselves and our work less seriously. Take the pressure off. Work for the only One who gives us worth.

In creative communities, I hear a silent ache roar like wind rushing through a deep gut canyon, right between not enough and too much. It’s the place where good enough grows, if we let it.

Right in the middle of imperfection, good enough is:

Where we strive and rest,

Where perfection surrenders to grace,

Where giving up hooks its caribiner to hard work,

Where self-hatred stops fighting God’s love,

Where past hurts heal by hitching onto the living Word,

Where courage moves us forward and compassion envelops us whole.

Good enough is good. Maybe it’s an A++ or a curvy C. Heck, it could be a bold F. That’s the point. There’s no grading system in the kingdom of God. Likewise, I believe there’s no grade in good art.

Megan Willome quotes Lianne Mercer on writing good poetry. Apply it to any creative endeavor, and we start leaning into the relativity of good enough-ness.

“What does that mean? What do they think ‘good poetry’ means?…To me, good poetry is when my heart beats on the page. I think it’s good if it moves you, if it makes you cry, if it makes you laugh, if it makes you say, ‘Oh wow!'” –The Joy of Poetry

You can make art which moves the heart, but God is moved by you.Tweet This

Take His love or reject, but His love for you remains. God is outside of time. That means He’s pretty much loved you forever.

During October, I’m giving away a free PDF to new subscribers: Ten Habits of the Spirit-Filled Creative. Get it here.

Love,

 

 

 

 

Links go live on the corresponding day of October at 6 A.M. CST.

  1. The Work of Worship
  2. The Ancient Tell
  3. Create Beauty Like Farmers and God
  4. Hope Past Your Ideals
  5. Trust and Your Less Serious Side
  6. A Prayer for the Story-Logged
  7. Hold Fast to the Memory of Your Making
  8. A Blanket Truth for All Creatives
  9. Your Well-crafted Elaborate Plan
  10. I Beg You, Listen to Love
  11. Remember Your Why
  12. Go Be a Letter. Write Life.
  13. Invite Shame to a Safe Space
  14. Try Enough
  15. In the Tide, Remain
  16. Read the Earrings
  17. What’s Dark Will Grow
  18. Share Imperfect Things
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What’s Dark Will Grow

by Christina Hubbard

I know I am not good enough and neither are you. But God.  Still, how does one grow from such newly-sprouted knowledge? Live from tender tendrils trying to grasp on to a firm, guiding rail? We start our journey in autumn, when things will soon surrender to winter, but we are green. Oh, so green.

We will be cut back again and again by shaming wind and bitter doubt. Winter will humble our unfurling foilage down to the crown of our roots.

Did you know, fall is the best time to plant trees and bushes? Winter, fierce as it is, beds what’s underground in protection unseen. Layers of soil, mulch, and snow cover what we know is finding it’s way deeper and deeper. Stay put. Even when you feel like you are dying, wondering if you will see the end, He is adapting what’s dark for the utmost thriving revival.

Love from a Fellow Creative

The Enemy loves it when I sit down to write and instead am paralyzed by comparison or stopped by self-doubt. I recently returned to blogging after a long absence and more often than I care to admit, have found myself drowning in feelings of inadequacy.

I’m confident we all have days when the doubts and whispers rise up, and I wonder if you, like me, might need a little encouragement for the journey when they do. When we surrender our writing to our Creator, we can be reenergized by the truth that He created a writing lane of influence specifically for each one of us.  He has uniquely gifted us with this calling to write and placed us here to share our stories for exactly such a time in history as this. As Jo Saxton likes to say, “Your calling is calling!”

So together, let’s recommit to owning our stories as well as our influence.  Let’s press into our fears and continue to show up and write.  May we practice the courage of connection as we seek to find our flocks of fellow writers.  Let us promote and cheer wildly for one another as we press forward in this worthy pursuit. Our words matter, and we are absolutely on this creative journey together.

–Sarah Leimer, a writer & seeker of beauty. Sarahleimer.wordpress.com.

And I’m an olive tree, growing green in God’s house. I trusted in the generous mercy of God then and now. —Psalm 52:8 MSG

How is God growing His enough-ness in your roots?

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Read the Earrings

by Christina Hubbard

I have one unmatched orange earring a friend gave me. She attached a note and read it aloud to me: “You are unique, like this earring. You have a story to share.”

Frankly, I didn’t like the earring all that much. It was both wirey and feathery, sort of strange and bent out of shape. I hid it away because I believed it was nothing like me.

Being creativity can feel paradoxical, lonely, and frankly, weird. We make because we have to, but not always, because we believe so.Tweet This

Once a year I find that note in my overstuffed hidden drawer, which looks like it’s part of the woodwork, unless you know where to pull. I unfold the paper and read it to myself and believe again. The earring? Long gone, for a pair of dangly silver and gold arrows, more my style and story.

Love from a Fellow Creative

Do you know what I’ve discovered? Even as creatives we often spend all of our time trying to fit in. However, a quick review of the life of Christ reveals He is a non-conformist. Jesus didn’t come to earth and start looking like every other rabbi out there. He taught in synagogues, but he interpreted Scripture in a whole new way. He had followers, but he picked guys no one else would ever dream of choosing. So, be like our Savior! Keep coloring outside of the lines. He gave you the creativity you have and He wants you to use it. There will be some who “don’t get it,” but there will be others whose lives will forever be changed because of your brand of beautiful.

-Michelle Nezat, podcaster & writer. MichelleNezat.com.

Read it for yourselves in Scripture: That stone the masons threw out is now the cornerstone! This is God’s work; we rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it! —Mark 12:9-11 MSG

What symbol helps you remember God made you uniquely His?

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In the Tide, Remain

by Christina Hubbard

Stay put as courage stalwart.

An ancient marker

You will be.

 

Crumble only if water washes

you away. Until then,

Remain.

Love from a Fellow Creative

Remember:

  1. You are capable of more than you can see right now.
  2.  Even the people you think have it together are just trying to figure it out too.
  3. I see fruit today from efforts I invested in over 6 years ago. Success takes time.

Sincerely,

-Lilah Higgins, fine artist & graphic designer, The Higgins Creative.

When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed. —Luke 8:47 MSG

When you doubt your enough-ness, what helps you remain?

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Try Enough

by Christina Hubbard

Wearily, I write this on a Thursday night. At 9:45 A.M. my phone was full up with demands having nothing to do with today. The world wants so much from us.

Our time.

Energy.

Sanity.

We don’t have to give it all to everyone around us. I say, we MUST not. We can give it to the Lord. This is not easy talk, kitschy churchy bandaids, glossing over hard things.

Surrender is an effort for some of us. It’s a mindshift, a tension of handing over our hearts in trust.

Wouldn’t it go better if we stopped pushing through, proving to ourselves and whoever else we think is watching?

We know it, deep in our bones and boies, in our hands as they type, our legs as they run, our mind as it races, our heart as it pounds so loudly the walls reverberate with its beating.

We know God cares for us. We know He loves our need. Our dependency on Him—this weakness we’ve tricked ourselves into thinking isn’t cool—it doesn’t mean we dont serve or pour ourselves our in sacrifice and love as Christ Himself. It means our whole being is His—every desire, action, strength, weakness, and text message. Every fail, fumble, and fall-apart.

Every thing we did not get done. Every thing we will every do.  All of it, His.

We don’t have to do one more thing to show the world what we’re made of.Tweet This

In our time, our energy, and yes, most definitely, our sanity, we try to let go.

Love from a Fellow Creative

Throughout my life, I have struggled with not feeling good enough. A few years ago, God spoke to me through this verse.

I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter into this wide-open spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feels comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small but you’re living in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively. –2 Corinthians 6: 11-13 MSG

My creative wrestling always comes back to feeling inadequate, but I know deep down God does not feel that way about me, or you. His love for us is expansive. His desire to use our creativity for his glory is deep, wide and long.

He stood me up in an open field; I stood there saved-surprised to be loved.  –Psalm 18:19 MSG

—Lisa Van Engen, writer. LisaVanEngen.com

What would happen if you tried to let love in fully?

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Invite Shame to a Safe Space

by Christina Hubbard

Send shame an invitation to come

Where she can vent.

Your table.

Your patio.

Your couch.

She comes, (which never surprises,

She’s always there,”

Listen to her spew

Sad tales: cannots,

Shoulds, shouldn’ts

Would haves and won’ts.

Look her in the eye

See her.

Really, see her.

Squeeze her wanting hand

Then simply, curiously ask, “Why?”

She will either flounder

Or flee.

Love from a Fellow Creative

Most of my life, I’ve defined myself as “less-than.” It’s only as I’ve braved pursuing a heart desire to write that God has brought me face-to-face with that lie and dismantled it in my heart. As I learn to write WITH Him, He’s showing me who I am in His eyes—beloved, precious. And, as I trust Him with this journey—trusting His direction and His timing—He offers peace and confidence to walk in the creativity He’s gifted me (us) with. —Jeanne Takenaka, writer and photography-lover. Jeanne Takenaka.

God, who gets invited

   to dinner at your place?

How do we get on your guest list? —Psalm 15:1 (MSG)

Get curious about your shame tapes. See what compassion can do.

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Go Be a Letter. Write Life.

by Christina Hubbard

It took me four months to write a thank you letter once. I wanted it to be perfect, and there never seemed to be enough time to give it my all.  So I didn’t do it for four months. We do the same with our creativity.

Ideas. Material. Resources. Potential. Time.

Ability. Creativity. Flexibility. Stability. Capability.

There it is. A list of our lack. Scarcity shouts, “There’s never enough!” Not enough of us. Not enough of knowing ourselves. Not enough me. Not enough you.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul calls the believers in Corinth a letter written on his heart.

Did you know you are a letter? You are known and read by those around you, not with pen and ink or typed onto a laptop. Your life is written with the Spirit of the Living God. That’s the confidence of enough.Tweet This

One day I wrote that thank you letter quite imperfectly, terribly late, but more than enough to express what needed to be said. The recipient was glad to know I was still alive. Go be a letter. Step out of scarcity today. Don’t keep the world waiting.

Love from a Fellow Creative

  1. You’re always writing, amiga, because you are the story!
  2. Sacred pauses make room for God to work in you.
  3. I’m proud of you.

—Carolina Cisneros, poet & writer. Cisneros Cafe.

Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.

We couldn’t be more sure of ourselves in this—that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 MSG

What can your life write today?

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