I arrived home yesterday from a week of retreat. In one of the common rooms in the retreat house they put out a variety of art supplies for retreatants to use. I’m no Creativity clip artartist, but I learned many years ago that the creative process is a companion to spiritual growth. Over the course of retreat I did some sketching and coloring based on insights from my prayer. My mind returned to the Hand’s On Summer Art Camp in New Orleans earlier this month. Occasionally we were able to try our hand at some of the projects the campers were doing. It was fun and also brought a new level of awareness. It seems as if the summer is inviting me to expose myself to creativity and to reap the spiritual benefits in my “regular” life.

What about you? Is there some creative, change-of-pace activity that this season is offering to you? It may not be painting or drawing, but perhaps music, dance, making jewelry, or trying new summer recipes. It might feel awkward at first, and you’ll be tempted to quit. Don’t. Stay with it. Then over time notice the difference in how you think and feel and see life around you. Give thanks.