Can YOU still be Creative?

I heard one of our pastors recently say that you aren't going to find friends, you MAKE friends. Well guess what else? You're not going to just find inspiration or creative living until you take action. We are creative people by nature, but as we get older it continues to get blocked out. How & why does this happen? It is stuffed out of our schedules, homes, work spaces & minds. And because we're walking around as seasoned (could we even be scarred & sensitive?) adults.

We start to believe that being creative is not:

  • BEING AN ADULT 

  • Professional

  • A wise use of time

These are some of the things that stop us from even trying. Have you also started to believe... 

  • This is immature
  • People will think its stupid
  • There are already others who do it better

Guess what? Do it anyway. Who cares. My youngest son used to call grown ups "growing ups." I loved this because I think it's best if we just see ourselves as growing ups. We're on a journey & there are things that you love, things you have potential to grow in. Things that you can still do! 

WHAT IF you actually started to:

  • LOOSEN UP! Don't take yourself too seriously
  • Try something you've always wanted to
    • Get a big kid camera & learn to use it
    • Pick up that certification!
    • Start blogging & writing
    • Start music lessons
    •  By a canvas and some paints
    • Open an Etsy Shop!
    • Realize you're good at something & it might even inspire others!

Where do you even start? 

Do you know that you can't even access any good ideas or inspiration when you are on the go, go, go? Your best ideas actually come to the surface in moments of stillness & quiet. I first heard about this in a session from one of the authors of The Power of Full Engagement on Managing Energy not Time. This is why some of your best ideas start coming out at 2am - 3am. It's not your mind's fault that you didn't take a second or an hour to be quiet. Build space into your day. Change your setting. Take a walk outside. Get markers out & draw. Paint a wall. Sit at an instrument & play. 

If you've known me for any length of time at all, slowing down & being quiet is not my nature & it has had to be learned, developed & fostered. Now, I LOVE being alone. I LOVE silence. I LOVE controlling my thoughts & mind. And when I let myself go to that place, the ideas & passion starts to flow - AND I SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT! 

Creative Team Office

Here's the deal. I'm NOT a desk person. I'm actually bad at it. I sit next to my desk in a chair & fill drawers with non desky things like lunch & oils. A few years back, even baby food & diapers. So as I think about the space I want to spend time in, I want to fill it with inspiring things that I love. I'll save you from reading my blabber & will get you onto pics.

Things I LOVE...

  • Farmhouse Tables! We built one at home & for the student ministry office too. The potential is endless! The plans a great DIY site: Ana White. You can also place 2 tables together to seat 20 people long ways, or square. SO cozy, SO hip. :D
  • Black walls - see my friend Bente's post, Black is Not Black. She suggested Benjamin Moore “Black Jack” & every day I love it. It's perfect. It is a warm black & better than any chalk paint I've used too. This color is amazing!
  • Chalk walls/chalk art
  • People & social media - I ordered prints from instragram via Social Print Studio. You log on & select what you want to print. I can't wait to print more!
  • Essential Oils - I keep a diffuser in the room & a handy stock of oils in there. We LOVE Creative Juices & Grey Matter Batter by Aura Cacia, Peace & Harmony by NOW, Stress Away, Peace & Calming & Peppermint by Young Living. It's calming, invigorating & sets a nice tone.

TIme for pics!

Here it comes! My friend & carpenter master Larry, is pulling in the back to deliver! YES! 

Here it comes! My friend & carpenter master Larry, is pulling in the back to deliver! YES! 

I also LOVE rolls of paper going down the table. I doodle, make lists, write inspiring quotes all over & if I'm in a conference call, it's the best way to record notes creatively.

And yay for the chalk wall. My creative brain can lock up & I unlock it by drawing & writing. It's like a big doze of juice for the creative mind! Love it!

Check out @crossroadscreatives on Instagram & also look up #bandfamilypics in instagram for all kinds of fun collage pics of the team!

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The turquoise table is from that wild Easter set of repurposed furniture. 

The turquoise table is from that wild Easter set of repurposed furniture. 

These are the prints from Social prints (link above). We love these highlights & memories! 

These are the prints from Social prints (link above). We love these highlights & memories! 

I LOVE essential oils & keep a variety in our office... Creative Juices, Stress Away, Peace & Calming, Peace & Harmony, Grey Matter Batter. The different uses for aromatherapy is wonderful! I'll save all oily tricks & details for another post! But anyhoo - from refreshing the air,  relaxation & stress relief, and waking up! I LOVE them at home, love them at work!

Create a workspace that you love. Fill it with things that inspire you and remind you of goals & dreams that you can remember & celebrate! It will give you perspective, energy & inspiration in the day to day tasks! Keep on keeping on! 
XO ~ Jessica 

You are to, creative!

I've had too many conversations in the past 2 weeks with people who think they're not creative. Relax & just connect the dots - anyone can do it. Surround yourself with others who also pitch ideas & deliver, connect the dots & go. You may have a big flop or win..you don't know til you try. Laugh about it, move on. Celebrate the wins!

Creativity is Connecting the Dots
Creativity is Connecting the Dots

H&M Knockoff Signage

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It all started on my first visit to a new H & M in Flatirons Mall in Colorado...I loved these signs on the walls. So clear & easy...Kids this WAY...Men this WAY etc..

These doorways needed signs to show parents where we want the babies to go, and where to have kids go. Seems to me like they're begging for the H & M signage!

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I wrote them out on an iPad app, PAPER. I love the fountain pen on PAPER. The pen stroke is just what I needed for this application too.

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I sent them to Timothy Brister!! WOOOT! ...A fabulous graphic designer & Crossroads-Creative who sent the file & measurements to his friend that prints decals. This is vinyl die-cut that we apply like a sticker.

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Creatively Creating Culture...

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What is the culture like on your team? Are you frustrated by it? Happy with it? Proud of it? I read a blog a few years ago that stuck with me: You Create the Culture, Punkby Ben Arment. Read it! As leaders, we need to own the culture we're creating. If you're not happy with how yours sits right now, go after it and fix it. There's no time to waste—without change, you risk losing those you most want to keep around.

Second, and not-so-heavy, question: Do you share your Sunday set lists week-to-week? Are you a blogger? One thing I’ve found to be fun and informative, to our church and my social media followers who LOVE worship music, is to share our weekend experience each week through my blog. I get many requests asking about specific songs; sharing the set list weekly has helped our team to direct people to the post. I am able to include links for videos that we’ve done, a link to the service page on our church site (where the podcast, notes, and video are posted weekly), the songs with the writer information, and a fun piece of my blog that I call “BloggyBits” (where our behind-the-scenes culture really shows up—more on that at the end).

The reason on bring up culture first is because I'm so proud of my team and the culture we’ve created. Yes, we audition all participants and the skill level is high—a certain level of ability is required. But the cultural “fit” is also important, and we talk about that as people join the team. We have a climate and culture that is fun and relaxed; people have great attitudes, we serve one another, we are highly skilled (instrumentally/vocally), and we are ultra-prepared. We work hard and prepare hard; in our down time, we're laughing uncontrollably and playing hard together.

Culture doesn't have to mean a specific age or style, either. We are a multigenerational, multicultural team. We have teens through 60-somethings, a psychologist with a PhD, a former Billy Graham worship leader, a stay-at-home mom, educators, IT and computer programmers, gigging professional musicians, married couples serving together in the band, self-taught musicians, and people with Masters degrees in music. You want a relaxed, fun team with amazing camaraderie. The culture starts with you—you set the attitude and expectations; you own it and lead the way.

Back to the blog...

A fun way that I share our culture and weekly serving experience on my blog is called “BloggyBits.” These are simply wild, fun, random moments behind the scenes of our weekend together. I'm going to share some with you, in the style of my BloggyBits. These are highlights of this year:

The epic roof shot...

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Family pic with some of choir too...

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Eating together during a service, missing our friend & team member who was out of town.Sometimes I take "Players of the Weekend" pictures & post them. Love every one of them..Half of the band sneaking away to Sonic, seeing if they can do it in time & texting me the pic....Having a birthday party for our sound man and friend, Josh!Seeing who can still do a handstand/cartwheel in a upstairs, back hallway during first.Family pic in the photo-booth last Christmas...

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Eating together at my house. Of course, we HAVE to do this way more often. Andrew, our worship leader had just found out about his cancer...So, he missed Christmas but came to one of the services...family pic with Andrew!Praying for Andrew in all of the services...

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Now we're rocking his WITT-Strong bands...

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So is choir as we group picture around his guitar while he was out getting treatments.

Crossroads band rockin' a mega BLIZZARD!

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Electric guitar player, smashing one of those weird cysts on our violin player's wrist on Easter. We were SCREAMING laughing!

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Tailgating in my new RV out back before I flipped it.Yay!! This tech team had problems ALL weekend long & fixed everything with smiles & skills!! The band's green room - my RV now glamorously flipped!

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There may be beef jerky in my piano on stage.I always include others' instagrams or fb posts in the bloggy bits & now many people on our team will send me their pics from the weekend for the blog.You should think of doing this! One tip that helps me, is if I post the songs portion before the weekend so that I can gather pics & commentary after church on Sunday - then share. ...AND lastly, don't underestimate how a culture shift can impact your team & ministry...lead the way! 

"In this Church" Wall

Here's where it all began: PINTEREST! AH! Ok, so of course I love this for my house too. But when I first read it. I thought, "In this church..."

I shared it with my creative friends & they explained that it would be very easy with vinyl letters. 

We started with me sending Timothy Brister a blank wall, then he can do some mock walls with colors to help people "see" what we're thinking... 

You can see the paint swatch at the bottom....

We loved this red one best, so nailing down our red happened next. 

O.M.Gosh - it's happening! Thank you Gib for painting! 

What a transformation!

And here's Timothy Brister now! Applying the letters to the wall. My colors are off, the red is a bit orange in the shot. 

Fabu!

Perfect!

****Fast forward 15 months****

We've now added a spanish language ministry, Pacto de Amor & they have their worship service upstairs at 1pm on Sundays. 

We have also talked about wanting this decal upstairs en español! 

So, here how it happened...I found it online..and my brilliant friend Tim, became composing it.. 

Now it's going up...

Wow!! EXCEPT, Ohhh emmm gosh...we have a big misspelling...

"En Esta I

N

GLESIA." NOW WHAT! Then wow, our brilliant friends realized that we could just peel part of the "N" off to fix it. It worked & looks AMAZING!

It's still a lil shiny in the "N" spot...that went away. 

Tada! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!