BY KAITLIN CHON
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Our God is a creating God and we, who are made in His image, are made to create. Some create awesome algorithms to figure out what they will purchase next at Target. Others create beautiful music. And some of us like to create crafts with our hands.
In the fall of 2014, I was experiencing a deep season of rest while I was house swapping and living in Tysons for 4 months. I had a 5 minute commute to work and a lot of time on my hands. I got a lot of rest and had time to create.
It started with a friend’s idea to make coasters, which led to bringing supplies to gatherings with friends to create simple and practical things. We made them for ourselves and we made them as gifts, but mostly the activity brought us closer together as we chatted and glued pretty paper to a basic white tile from Home Depot. In hindsight, I realize that I needed time to slow down to be able to have the bandwidth or margin to create.
Our God is a creating God and we, who are made in His image, are made to create.
Developing the capacity to listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit often starts with the very practical things. Our God is the God who gave design specifics to the building of the Ark of the Covenant (check out Exodus 25:10-22) and He is the creator of the exquisite vistas in nature. He knows what He likes and He creates beautiful things.
Jump to the spring of 2015. I was looking for a trinket tray, a small tray to hold my often used jewelry. I went to see what they had in the stores but nothing caught my eye. They seemed too trendy for my taste and so I thought I could make one – often where my brain goes, sometimes to my demise. (Perhaps a little too much HGTV in previous years.) I thought I would check out what they had at the local thrift store. I found a glass tray and remember distinctively hearing a great idea in my head, but knew it wasn’t from me, if you know what I mean.
“How about some pretty paper underneath the glass?”
“Great idea!” I thought.
And so that’s where it began. From there I’ve been led to try several different things with my reverse decoupage plates and in the process, I found myself making lots of pretty plates as gifts, hosting craft parties, making plates for a couple of fundraisers, hosting fellowship times with sisters, and even participating in my first craft fair this past November. I was pleasantly surprised to find a community through crafting with folks ranging from novices who don’t even like crafting to others who are well versed in their own medium. It has brought about a deeper appreciation for those who work with their hands and greater collaboration with friends. It has brought me great joy in the process.
I grew up watching my parents being overworked at their little carryout restaurant for over 20 years. It was such a strong lesson that I had made a vow of never running my own business. It was sooo much work for them – fourteen hour days, six days per week! As the Lord healed me of these fears, I was able to surrender this vow. For God, it wasn’t just about me making cute crafts and making friends, which has been wonderful. But through it, He was building my confidence and teaching me to grow in uncomfortable areas like finances and even starting up my own small shop. Mostly God was concerned with growing me to depend on Him more. His ultimate goal for us isn’t to make a pretty trinket tray but to thrive on many levels in the process.
Kaitlin Chon leads Centreville Women’s Small Group and serves in ODPC’s Prayer Ministry.