Sunday, November 9, 2008

52 Blessings: Creativity

Thursday through Saturday I was at our Fall Scrapbook Retreat. Scrapbook retreats are magical times. Dozens of women who remain happy while scrapbooking for hours—days, really—and yet functioning on very little sleep. Deb, my retreat organizing partner, and I have yet to go to a bad retreat, even when the cook backs out at the last minute and we cook and wash dishes in a bathtub, the retreats are still good. After each retreat, I marvel at the experience. I think there are two big contributing factors that make these scrapbooking retreats so great:

One, the connecting of fathers to children and children to fathers, otherwise known as the Spirit of Elijah (Malachi 3:5-6): As these women (as of 2008 we haven’t had a man join us) work tirelessly to preserve memories for their families, there is a euphoric and cheerful feeling. For all the jesting of scrapbooking, it can’t diminish the reality of miracles as people connect generations through pages of pictures and memories, sprinkled with memorabilia. Hearts of fathers do turn to children and the children’s hearts do turn to their fathers. Miraculous.

Two, the opportunity to create: As Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul . . . Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. . . As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.” At these retreats, we have as many styles of scrapbooking as we have women and each style is so incredible . . . and personal. It doesn’t matter how new or seasoned a scrapbooker is, the creativity expressed is amazing as women make beauty of paper, photographs and memories. Amazing.

I love the scrapbook retreats for other reasons as well:

-new friendships

-old friendships

-laughter (it never runs out)

-sharing (licorice, fiber, ideas, encouragement, tears, shampoo, blow dryers, talents, conversation, popcorn, equipment, supplies, circle journals)

-good food (lemon bars, chocolate chip cookies, salads, grilled chicken, hot chocolate machine, warm rolls)

-happy chatter (I overheard two sister-in-laws telling each other how lucky they felt to be married to their husbands and how glad they were to be chosen by their husbands. I also heard mothers talking about children who made decisions they didn’t agree with and how they found hope and solace anyway. I heard memories relived and new plans made.)

-beautiful location (mountains, pine trees, snows, warm lodge, fireplace)

-bonding time spent with family (at least one of my family member usually attends--Cali, Ande, my sister, Rachel, as well as nieces, Jesse, Maddie, Jenny--have all attended)

-teaching skills (others show me how to do new things or teach me how to unplug my laptop so that I can have internet connection again)

-Calvin always has a hot supper waiting for me when I return (last night was steak and shrimp no less)

and . . .

-uninterrupted hours to create

Even though I slept less than seven hours, I feel so recharged and refreshed—grateful for the energy that comes from creativity.

Where do you use your creative talents?
What do you like to create?


mdr said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. What a great productive weekend we all had and thank to you and Deb we all got to focus on ourselves for a change.

michelle said...

Wonderful! I loved President Uchtdorf's talk and I know that creating soothes my soul.

I haven't been to a scrap retreat in a long time, but I don't remember the sharing of fiber part... too funny.

Kathy said...

I wish I were a scrapbooker, but my talent is gardening for now. I love your post!!!!!

hennchix said...

I thought of you this weekend, scrappin' your heart out. Let me know as soon as you have the date for the next retreat!

Kim Sue said...

what a wonderful time...a couple of years ago, a friend of mine had Friday night scraps at her house once a month. She has a fabulous room, perfect for a small group to spread out and create. She has too much on her plate right now and we haven't had those nights and I really miss them. The thought of 2 days, away, with the girls just hanging out visiting and scrapbooking makes me smile really big. So, glad you had a wonderful retreat!

Marie said...

That entire talk of President Uchtdorf's was wonderful, but I think you picked out my favourite part. And he's right too, you know. I am happier when I have created something recently. Whether it was updating the scrapbook, making jam, or planting in the garden. It just feels good.

Your retreat sounds heavenly. I'm so happy it was wonderful. But then, how could it possibly have not been?

Donna Chapin said...

Thank you for your post, and I couldn't have said it better. I am so grateful for you and Deb for making these retreats happen.
Thank you.

Julie said...

It sounds like a wonderful time. I can't wait to join you in a few years!

Becky said...

I really wish I could have been there :) Maybe someday I will!

I love to be creative and I felt so motivated and so understood when I listened to President Uchtdorf's talk...

I love to bake, to write, to scrapbook and make gifts, to take pictures, to make my home feel inviting, to play the piano and sing...I wish I knew how to garden well, sew well, arrange flowers, and do a million other things!

It sounds like you had a highly successful weekend :)

HeatherM said...

Jane-Another truly fabulous weekend. Thank you so much. You and Deb never fail to put on a fun, energizing, yet relaxing weekend for us all. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You're the best.

Nicole said...

Jane, Thank you for the wonderful weekend! You and Deb are amazing! Thank you for all of the hard work that you put into the weekend!

Lucy said...

i do love to create and while I don't usually do it with scissors, I'm not opposed to using them in the future. Right now, I enjoy my relatively mess free creations (blog posts) but someday, I'd love to be a knitter and quilter.

Looking at pictures is one of my favorite things to do. Next time I'm passing through, get ready to show me your handiwork:)

Miller Family said...

Jane, thanks to you and Deb for such an amazing weekend. The seven of us from Royal really got to know each other better and were able to meet some fun, amazing ladies. You are so generous to give of your time and talents to us ladies who need these three days to rejuvenate. It's funny how much we can accomplish on so little sleep and not be too tired, but once home, it really hits.

Thank you again. I look forward to next years retreat. Email me at with your email address so I can invite you to my blog. Michelle

Leslie said...

Dear Jane (and Deb),
Thank you again for a truly wonderful weekend. Leanne and I appreciate all the hours of preparation you two put into making it not just a fun retreat, but a positive, inspiring, productive, but also relaxing time with a wonderful group of women. We left feeling renewed and happy. As we drove home, we talked about how much we hope that we'll be able to make it again. Lots of hugs!

Amie said...

I love this post. I totally agree. Even when I threaten to quit I know there is no replacement for the tangible memories that scrapbooks create.