Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. — Luke 2:19
Each year during the holidays, our family pulls out the home movies, loads a bowl with truffle-salt popcorn, and settles in for our absolute favorite trilogy of the year: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Honey, I Blew Up the Kids; and Star Wars. No, I’m not talking about the feature films that made over a billion dollars at the box office. I’m talking about the short films inspired by them, starring the Lyons family, circa 2006–2007.
As new parents in our twenties with almost no energy to spare, Gabe and I received some valuable advice from Mark and Jan Foreman, our mentors and friends, who had managed to raise their kids to become creative adults. Mark and Jan championed one big idea:
when our children come to us with a crazy idea of an experience they’d like to create, our answer should always be yes.
At age four Pierce wanted to make films, and what better place to start than our basement? The first short film would be Honey, I Blew Up the Kids. Cade was the baby, Kennedy was the babysitter, Pierce was the professor, and Gabe and I were, well, the parents. The growing machine was our vacuum with its detachable suction tube and the Hot Wheels cars and racetrack made up the city once Cade was blown up. In five short minutes, after terrorizing the faux city, Cade was shrunk back down to a normal size and reunited with his mom and dad in our minivan in the garage, all while the cameras kept rolling.
Then came the Luke Skywalker lightsaber phase. Wearing a sash, my brown western boots, and a fuzzy eye mask strapped around his head for a beard, five-year-old Pierce played Luke. I was Princess Leia with two braided side buns and a white bathrobe. Cade was the villain in a voice-activated Darth Vader helmet and Gabe’s black coat. My favorite scene is the finale, where Luke brags to Leia how he was “pushin’ ’im and shovin’ ’im” (Darth) until victory was won, all while drinking a can of Coke.
Saying yes became the way we engaged with our children. It challenged us to be creative, even when they asked for improbable experiences like making feature films. But it also offered me something just as valuable — especially on rough days when I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. I was motivated to push apathy to the side as Pierce or Kennedy or Cade asked me to join in their wild creativity.
Imagination precedes creativity.1
When we break out of the cycle of drudgery and focus on creating memories with those around us, we start to find the wonder in life.
The next time you find yourself at the end of a difficult week, instead of disengaging or escaping, what if you made a memory? What if you completed some kind of family project or made a family film? What if you baked Christmas cookies in July or created a silly new game? Making memories helps us step outside ourselves, even if just for a moment. In seasons of great stress or anxiety, it might be the very thing that turns everything around.
Are you feeling stuck in an endless loop of To-Do lists? When was the last time you said yes to something creative and fun? Make a memory this week. And once it’s made, take note of how it made you — and those you love — feel.
1. Dan Hunter, “Imagination Precedes Creativity,” You Can Only Imagine (blog), H-IQ, July 6, 2017, https://hunter-iq.com/imagination-precedes-creativity/.
Excerpted with permission from A Surrendered Yes by Rebekah Lyons, copyright Rebekah Lyons.
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What are you doing that’s fun this week? Make a memory! Do something unexpected! Your family will always remember the time you did something unusual and memorable. Come share with us what it was. We want to hear from you. ~ Devotionals Daily