Lessons From Art Camp

I just finished up a week of “Celebrate Arts!” Camp last Thursday. There’s this awesome organization called Lancaster Creative Reuse and they started an arts camp program for the first time this year.

I don’t consider myself to be “artsy”. I never mastered painting or ceramics. But I still know art is so important, especially for kids. That’s why I spent 6 hours a day hanging out with kids and helping them channel their artistic aspirations.

The group we had this week were really great. They for the most part all got along really well. Some of the older boys weren’t into art at first, but with some encouragement and concentration, they came up with some great ideas. It just goes to show that anyone can be creative, even if they don’t consider themselves to be artsy.

I really don’t like when people say that they are not artsy. I think it bothers me because I used to say the same thing. I believe there is creativity in everyone, it just manifests in different ways. My creativity definitely manifests in baking.

One day I was helping with a group of younger kids (6-9) and we were making homemade clay. After cooking a few ingredients, the kids got their own lump of clay to make into whatever they wanted. Before that could happen, they needed to work the clay to get it to the right consistency. One of the younger girls started complaining about it sticking to her fingers. I showed her how to clean off her hands, but she had already given up. It was too sticky, too hard, she said. I sat with her for awhile while she kept whining and told her that in order to be able to make something cool, she needed to stick with the difficult part. I don’t think she got the point of what I was trying to say, but eventually, she managed to clean off her hands and mold a flower. I felt pretty good that I had this kid get through what was in her opinion, a really difficult situation.

Then today I was baking scones and got to the kneading and rolling out the dough part. It was extra sticky and it got all over my hands and between my fingers. I started to get annoyed, but I thought back to last week and the lecture I gave that younger girl. It made me smile, but I also realized that this analogy also applied to life.

Life gets sticky. Life is messy and difficult. Things don’t work out the way we plan. Relationships fall apart, people get hurt in accidents, or a big life plan changes drastically. So we want to give up and complain about how things are just not going our way. But just like that girl and I learned, you just have to work through it.

Life is an ever-changing flow of good and bad. I’ve found that pushing through those difficult times are when I have found Jesus to be most present in my life. Choosing to look to Jesus in those times is the only way to to work through it and come out stronger than before.



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