Podcast 1. What is creativity?

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m not creative?”  

I have. When I hear someone say it, I often ask myself, “I wonder what they mean by that. Do they mean that they are not making art? Or that they don’t have time to think about creative things? Or that they don’t like projects?”

Usually, the context for “I’m not creative” is from someone who sees a craft idea and does not want to make that craft. They would rather not have it in their home at all or prefer to buy it ready made. I think what they really meant to say was “I don’t like to make crafts.” 

Can you see the HUGE difference in these two statements: “I do not like to make crafts” vs “I am not creative?” There is an important difference. One declares your preference not to use hot glue and felt, while the other is kind of an unkind thing to say about yourself. Making crafts is not the same thing as being creative. 

I would like to suggest that we change the way we talk to ourselves from “I am not creative” to “I am creative.”

To me, when someone says “I am creative” it means that they identify as someone who makes something, thinks something, or does something that wasn’t there before, or combines existing elements in new ways. Creating is integral in our ability to problem-solve, think, build relationships with other humans, reproduce, eat, and to exist in the space around us. 


We are creative because we are the children of God, who is the great Creator. As his children, we are innately creative. 

We can create both positive and negative things in our lives. I use the word “Creative” to mean the positive things we intentionally incorporate in our lives. 

I have been thinking about the idea of creativity for years and took some time to write a list of ways that people can be creative. It was an important exercise for me. Many things on my list pertain to my role as a wife and mother and professional teacher.

Consider making your own list of ways that you think people can be creative so it is a custom fit for you. 

Here are some positive examples of creativity. 

All of these creative things are actions that we take as people, present in the situation, using our senses and brains to do something new. 

Problem-solving. Have you ever found an inspired solution? If so, you were being godly and creative. 

I remember one difficult sewing project. I was fitting a jacket made out of a wool blanket to my husband, Stan. The hood and shoulders did not fit and he asked me to fix them. I got most of it right and then got stuck with how to make the hood fit. Keep in mind that this was a several-day process. 

I’m not going to lie. I was very frustrated. I cried and prayed and was pretty angry about not knowing how to do it. In the middle of the night, I feel like I received inspiration from God about how to do it. I saw a diagram as if it was drawn on the jacket about where I should cut and reattach the hood. I even saw how much I should cut off of each section. I got up in the morning and finished it, and it worked exactly. It fits him very well now. (He has worn it maybe 3 times in 10 years since it’s been finished, ha ha.)

Have you ever problem-solved to fix a car, finish a math assignment, cope with a difficult co-worker, or design an appropriate laundry system for your family? Then you were being creative too. 

Cooking. In her book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat Samin Nosrat gave a great example of creativity in cooking (p. 198)

“A great recipe, like a great photo, tells a story and tells it well. Lesser recipes may not connect all the dots. There are plenty of reasons for this, and while some of them may have to do with the skill of the cook or the accuracy of the recipe tester, or frankly, whether the recipe has been tested at all, they’re not important. Simply put, no recipe is infallible. You are the one cooking, you are the one who is present; you are the one who must use all your senses–most of all common sense–to guide you to the result you hope for. Over the years I’ve constantly been amazed by the way good cooks give up thinking critically and independently when they begin following recipes. 

“Instead, once you’ve chosen a recipe, don’t let your own intimate knowledge of your own ingredients and kitchen and most importantly, your own taste be overridden by what you’re reading. Be patient. Sitr, taste, adjust.”

I love this quote because it shows that it’s the human, fallible, experienced, imperfect, decision-making parts of us that make us creative. 

Here are more things from the list.

Having original thoughts and ideas

Seeing something in a new way

Seeing someone in a new way



Sparking joy

Making music (composing, playing, improvising)

Keeping things in order

Creating systems in a family

Creating spreadsheets

Growing plants

Keeping bees






Cultivating relationships with other humans and God



Carving wood



Putting together a cute outfit


Serving (buying a pizza and taking it to someone who had a hard day)


Thinking positive self talk in your own brain

Building a healthy body through diet and movement

Encouraging and building people up

Speaking kind words

Showing up at an event that’s important to a child or someone you love

Flower arranging


Creating digital photo books

Reading (Creating a well-read mind)


Choosing meaningful presents


Sharing quality time

Gathering others and helping them make connections

Building the Armor of God


Leading forums or discussions

Setting goals and working on them

Creating travel itineraries

Going on family outings and making memories

Surfing. My awesome cousin is a surfer. He creates the most stunning photos of waves, sharks, and the ocean.

Developing a new skill 

Practicing an old skill that you want to retain or improve (guitar?)

Arranging the furniture and decor in your home


Processing our shame (naming it and reframing it)

Practicing yoga

Creating a healthy relationship with our bodies

Finding bargains

Fixing broken things

Planning the family schedule

Making videos

Taking photos

Digital editing and graphic design


Learning to manage our own emotions

Helping kids learn to manage their emotions

Tidying and cleaning

Interior design

Planning activities for kids

Making scientific discoveries

Making soap, lip balm, lotion


Thinking outside the box


Using computer programs

Writing computer programs

Building websites

Making a robot or simple machine



Learning Languages

Making speeches or giving talks

Being genuine

Acting in a play or movie

Playing sports


Planning retreats

Choosing a positive attitude when life seems hard

There are hundreds more. What is something else that is creative that you are passionate about? 

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