Last week I came close but chickened out. I tried to tell myself I could do it but inside, I knew it was hopeless. I’m destined to be a “normal mom”. When my daughter put on a completely mismatched outfit I made her change her clothes. My free-spirited alter ego berated me with questions. "What happened to nurturing her creativity?" She’s creative enough already! "What happened to letting her be her own person and making her own choices?" I hardly think that making her change her clothes is stifling her independence. "You said you wanted to stop worrying about what other people think. You said that it shouldn’t matter how she’s dressed as long as she looks like her mother loves her." This is true. I do want to stop worrying about what other people think. I’ll get to that tomorrow. Today she’s taking off that striped shirt and putting on a solid!
In his book, "The Art of Creative Living", Thomas Kinkade speaks about the “Passionate impulse”. He says that each of us have a creative passion that makes anything and everything possible. He believes that every human is destined for greatness and the only thing hindering that greatness is the lack of creative expression. In essence, when we cut loose and live outside our comfort zones, we are nurturing the creative drive within us and opening the doors for miraculous things to happen. This is why I aspire to be like my friend, Suzie. She allows her girls to live. When they get dressed in the morning, they grab whatever feels good, looks good, and fits right and they put it on. Solids, stripes, polka dots, or paisley, it doesn’t matter. They are dressed and they are happy and more importantly, they are feeding their creative impulses in the simplest way possible.
What’s so miraculous about a kid who wears clothes that don’t match? For starters, this child isn’t thinking about how other people see her. She’s comfortable in her own skin and happy with the choice that she’s made. She’ll go to school and ace the math test because she feels competent in her abilities. This child has a mind of her own and isn’t afraid to use it. She says what she thinks and excels in activities where she can be a leader. She’s popular and people look up to her for her strong people skills. She’s got the makings of a teacher, lawyer, or CEO. Good stuff isn’t it?
It’s all good except for one problem. As much as I want to, I can’t be like Suzie. While it’s important that my child is loved and accepted for the beautiful creature that she is, I don’t know that I could send her out the door in a striped shirt and a busy, paisley skirt. It’s just not happening. Does that mean that I’m hindering her creative drive? I doubt it. My seven year old daughter is already writing remarkably entertaining stories that are anything but boring. Even though she loves being around people, she’s still somewhat of an introvert and would rather write about a story than go and find one. So while I may not be able to encourage her to walk on the wild side with her clothing choice, I can certainly lend a hand when she needs help in finding her creative voice.
As I delve deeper into Mr. Kinkades’ book about creative living, the end of each chapter gives me a basic principal that I can instill in my child as well as myself. Creativity is my birthright. I was born for greatness. Veer off the beaten path and be spontaneous. Be open to possibilities and discovery. Dare to be adventurous. Never underestimate the power of influence.
My daughter and I are both learning to stop worrying so much about what people think of the choices we make. Who knows? There may yet come a day when we’re both wearing paisley and stripes at the same time. If you happen to see us, please don’t snap that picture.
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As a mom, I can relate to what you're feeling. I came to a point when I just let my daughter be herself, when I stop telling her what to do and what to wear. I told her instead, "Dare to be different." I can only pray that she makes the right choices. I like the message in this article. Very well written. Keep it up, Sherry! God bless.