31 Days (Creativity)

The One Person You Create For

The One Person You Create For

tell the story

 Who do you create for?

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

This month, the fewest people gathered here at my table. Of the few that gathered, even fewer joined the conversation.

In my early days of blogging, I used to freak out over my blog stats. These days, I barely remember that I have access to them. It’s better this way. Numbers give me hives and my pride is too easily tempted to begin boasting, should anything amazing be reflected there.

Even as I say that I am thinking–you know what is amazing?–that I have a single reader who isn’t my blood kin.

According to WordPress’s own stats, there are 71, 989,735 blogs on their platform alone. (That’s a ridiculous number–I’m getting itchy.)

Tumblr boasts 143.8 million sites.  (I don’t even know what this means). Who knows how many Blogger sites there are, and we haven’t even talked about the various other content online jockeying for your attention.

With that much information and entertainment offered, it is imperative that we remember why we create anything at all.

 I hadn’t planned on doing a 31 Days series. I have absolutely no business doing it–with a Retreat to plan and a study guide to write. But, in a moment, in the middle of creating a graphic for a post, I felt a nudge to do this series on creativity.

I knew it was risky. My readership isn’t really made up of people who love to chat it up about art and creativity–at least, it hasn’t been, until maybe, now.

I didn’t join the 31 Days meme to win readers, (which is great, since I lost a good many over this 31 days). I didn’t host giveaways during the series to make you like me. This whole exercise in this out-of-the-box series for me, started with a nudge, a prompting to explore creativity a bit more and to be willing to embrace my own creativity as a gift.

I gave away a necklace because it was beautiful and perfectly suited to the series. I made a leaf garland for myself and thought it was beautiful enough that someone else might like to have one too. I made a one-of-a-kind photo book because I love inspiring art and wanted to offer a little inspiration to one of you.

None of the giveaways were planned when I set out to do the series. Each one cropped up as the thought occurred to me. If you don’t know this about me, I will go ahead and confess to you now: while I like plans and organization, when it comes to my writing and my blog, I plan very little, and I  am even less organized.

A good handful of you type-A readers just shuddered, I felt the shockwave all the way over here.

There’s no good excuse for me except that I am a middle child.

This series, (like the retreat I’m planning), is an act of obedience. These are not things I wanted to do, they are things I have been called to do. (Believe me when I say my wants and God’s calling are very often NOT the same thing in my life.)

Ultimately,  I don’t create for you–I create as a response, as an act of obedience.

I hope that ultimately, you don’t create for me.

Three years ago, I started signing off with this little phrase, “By His Strength, For His Glory” and repeatedly, when I do anything, that is where I land. I create by His strength, for His glory. So while I always (ALWAYS) want to feed the few who gather here, ultimately, I create for HIM. It is He who chooses when and how to bless the work of my hands. Sometimes, it’s just for one of you. For however many, for however long, is up to Him.

My calling is to obey.

Stop making your art for the praise of man–because when we don’t show up, you will believe the lie that you have failed. Use your gifts of creativity because you are called to–regardless of the size of your audience. 

Use your gifts because in your obedience, you will be blessed. Maybe not with readers. Maybe they won’t be beating down your door for your autograph.

It doesn’t matter.

Often the blessing slips in quietly and looks more like a heart transformation–a gift woven on the inside.

It’s better that way. God looks at the heart.

Tomorrow is the last day of this series. I’ve appreciated the quieter time, and the challenge God put before me. I see my own creativity differently now, and I pray you do too.

And, I miss the writing. I miss the words.

At the end of the day, this is my altar. I will come here, with my shoes off, and set the table for you. I will encourage you to live boldly for Christ, and to die to yourself.

I hope you’ll do the same for me. Because of Him.


31 Days Of Creativity


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  1. Sarah

    I so enjoyed your series, Kris. It was a bright spot in my Feedly for the past 30 days.

    You know I appreciate your example of obedience.

    This is what it is all about, girlfriend: “Often the blessing slips in quietly and looks more like a heart transformation–a gift woven on the inside.” A gift between you and your Maker. It’s a beautiful thing.

  2. Anna K.

    Yes and amen. We are made in the image of God, the ultimate Creative, so when we are creative (no matter what form it takes) we are reflecting the image of God to the world. Every time we create we are penning a love note to the One who blessed us with the very ability we are using.

    I’ve been blessed by your series, Kris!

    Thank you. <3

  3. Your scheduling sounds a lot like mine-non existent. I hadn’t planned on doing a series either and kind shuddered at the thought. I’m way too disorganized and don’t plan ahead for that kind of thing. Yet, here I am. I’m behind, of course, but still doing it anyways. And it doesn’t look anything like I thought it would in my head. God has been showing me to trust Him more with what I put out there and don’t worry so much if it’s perfect or not what I want.

    We make our plans, but God determines our path. So glad you obeyed, what a blessing.

  4. Kris,
    A great message. I am sorry I haven’t had time to read all your posts. But now that I know it was on art I will go back. I scanned and saw one on prayer. May I use that one for Under the Cover of Prayer. I don’t print everything just a hint and then send back to your site.
    Many blessings,
    And yes we don’t do this for the glory of us but for the glory of God. I love not feeling pressured by numbers or likes, or comments. Although I must admit kind words are like a balm over me.
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

  5. Love your heart Kris, and you are such a whiz at creating beautiful messages with photos. I have gone back to look at several to get ideas. I am so relieved tonight that we are finished. It’s been rich but I’m ready for a break. I want to explore art journaling, thanks for the inspiration.

    1. I am equally ready to be done, Shelly. I have SO enjoyed your series, but I know you are ready to move on too. I can’t wait to see what unfolds in your heart through your art journaling. It is such a fantastic outlet for those of us who are a bit more on the visual side 😉 XO

  6. Oh, Kris, amen, amen, and amen. It’s all about feeding the lake, yes? About becoming one of the drops in the stream of God’s mercy flowing down to the sea. How much bigger the lake becomes because of my drop or yours matters far less than our willingness to plunge into the stream and let Him bear us along that river of grace. This is such immensely good news–that the size of the lake is not up to us! We do what God asks; the rest is not our business. Thank you thank you thank you for this timely reminder.

    1. Kimberlee,
      I’m pretty sure I owe you an email. (Sorry) Thank you for these kind words of encouragement. There is such power in this, don’t you think? We feel sometimes, that because we are one droplet as you say, or our offering is one droplet, that it doesn’t matter. But when I think of a pond, resting still, and think of a droplet falling in, it makes a ripple, doesn’t it? It makes an impact. It affects the pond. Our art matters. I am so grateful that in this place of learning to obey and create, I have found you as a friend. Much love for you and your brave words. XXOO

  7. Kris, this writing comes to me at a time I am sitting with a dying father, having heard last night that my sweet lab died at 17, it has been a place to be filled with God’s hope and joy again, to affirm that each of us are where we are supposed to be and to continually trust that our Father is working through each of us…Thank you. ~Sweetie

    1. Oh friend. Oh, my heart aches for you today. Praying you’d experience the filling of the Holy Spirit in this difficult hour, that you’d feel the presence of His love over you, and find rest for your soul in knowing He is WITH you now, in all the moments of grief and heartache. God bless you, sweet sister. ((hugs))

      1. Kris, thank you. Our living, our loving, our creating, our giving is our altar to honor and be obedient to a God who gave us this gift…and like you, my writing is a place that not only allows me to release my heart, but search my soul. Your words have been a balm to me, like a favorite old friend I have yet to meet, and I have read and read your words…and the moments have been a quiet companion among my fathers labored breaths…and a gift to help in a time where my mind and heart so wishes to be near God…and present between care. We were made to create…whether it is care for others, words for paper, math for supporting…and your art…the living of your life and sharing it through words…is beautiful.

  8. Lindsay

    I’ve personally loved this series. Sometimes we find ourselves closer to God in the simplicity, and that is ALWAYS a beautiful thing! I love your blog – thank you for opening your heart to all of us! God Bless You!

  9. I have been so rushed all this week but kept coming back to your post. I think I reread this 4-5 times. Thought provoking and made me step back and look at my blogging too. I thank you for this.

  10. Emily Wierenga

    oh friend. this, this is why i love you… your heart, it just beats so beautifully and truly for HIM alone. this is a HOLY post. applauding wildly.

  11. Andrea

    I enjoyed your series. It was in my email that is packed with garbage and a few nuggets, every day. It was refreshing to see your posts. They left me with a calm and peace, and the other garbage kind of stilled (if that makes sense). I have fallen away from the creative and spontaneous in my season of working and raising three kids and trying to keep my marriage vibrant. I have lists, I have places to be… my thought for the last 11 months has been to stop doing and start being. So this spoke to me.

    Thanks for you obedience.

    Now to get busy making a list to be more intentional in my creativity… (just kidding).

  12. Karen

    I’m reading this on Monday morning in the UK. It was just what I needed too hear. Especially Stop making your art for the praise of man–because when we don’t show up, you will believe the lie that you have failed. And the paragraph about the altar. Thank you so much.

  13. Margo

    Hi Kris. I just read this post (2 months after!) and have been really blessed by it. I count numbers. On my FB page, on my blog. My blog hasn’t had any comments in quite a long time, which makes me feel unworthy, unimportant. My FB page has lost “friends”. Again, makes me feel…. this was such a good reminder to me that it is not for THEM. It is for Me, and for Him. Thank you for the reminder!!!! XO


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