National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day | JOY for Today

(Updated 12.7.2023)

We, formed in the image of God, were made to create. It is the cry of our hearts, an act of worship, a way to find understanding amid chaos. Through the creation process we come to understand ourselves, our world, our creator. Ultimately, understanding ushers in JOY unspeakable.

A painting of a Puebloan house and woman with similarly tan hued sky in background with Exodus 35:35 quoted in front and a reminder that January 31st is National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
Painting by the Mr.'s Grandmother

JOY for Today Offerings:


Did You Know:

  1. Creating is tied to being human? Cave wall art displays 39,900-year-old evidence of human creativity in the form of hand outlines and animal sketches. What's more, human creativity contributes to survival in the form of tools, shelter, cooking, and medicines. (Medical News Today)
  2. Art creation has proven effective in trauma therapy? Researchers Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel found that visual art creation helps people communicate experiences that are too difficult to communicate audibly. (Medical News Today and National Library of Medicine)
  3. Expressive writing results in positive, measurable physiological changes? A study of patients with HIV found that patients who routinely wrote expressively benefited from a boost of CD4+ lymphocytes - which aid immune system functioning. Studies also note improvement in frequency of doctor visits, stress hormone and blood pressure levels, as well as social, academic, and cognitive functioning. Furthermore, patients self-reported improved mood, overall physical health, and pain tolerance.  (Medical News Today and National Library of Medicine)
  4. Music helps lower stress levels? Decreased stress results in an immune system boost, which means music helps us maintain our physical and mental health by restoring emotional balance and calming the activity of stress-inducing neurons in our amygdala. Calming amygdala activity results in reduced heart and respiratory rate, oxygen demand, and cortisol levels. (Medical News Today and National Library of Medicine)
  5. Acting fosters growth in many domains necessary for academic success? Routine participation in performance arts activities results in improved language skills, memory, historical and cultural knowledge, communication skills, empathy, self-confidence, and creativity.  (The Camford International School)

We'd Love to Know:

In which of these domains are you most likely to create?

Wolfe Stew Connects

Consider something you've made - the work of your hand. 

Think through the process it took to create it. Recall the moment inspiration struck. The colliding of ideas clattering for approval in how best to express your idea. Count how many you discarded until one idea rose above the rest. Relive the thrill of the creation process, the struggle to refine it, and the moment you finally decide it's good, not finished - never finished - but good.

Now, feel the anticipation as you present it and nervously wait for the reaction. Do they relate? Is the message you agonized over communicating successfully received? 

What if it's not? What do you do then? How important is your creation to you? Do you return to your workspace to revise it? Do you scrap the original design and start anew? Do you abandon the idea entirely and move on to a new topic? Or do you walk away from creating altogether? 

Imagine you commit to your creation and give it free will. Sure, you made it, but you give it freedom to do whatever it wants. And it flexes that freedom liberally, in complete opposition of your original design: a message of peace morphs into hunger for destruction; well-ordered lines bend into abstract chaos; joyful colors fade into monochromatic bleakness.

What do you do now? 

What if you looked at it and instead of seeing rebellion and hate you saw confusion and a longing for love and understanding? 

Gently, carefully, inspired and profoundly attached to your heartfelt creation, you guide it back to what it was always meant to be. It works with you now, realizing its folly, and your creation shines more brilliantly than before because the will of it and its creator are one.

This inspires my heart: My Creator will never give up on His masterpiece. 

His masterpiece. That's us! We are highly valued art undergoing constant revision. Rest in The Master's hands; He has great plans for you!

In response:

  1. Create something that expresses your relationship to Your Creator.
  2. GROW in understanding your value by joining us as we seek to understand Proverbs 31:29. Or engage in last year's growth opportunity and learn to CHOOSE decisions that reflect your values.

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses

  • "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1 NIV
  • "Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." Isaiah 64:8 NIV
  • "He has filled them with wisdom of heart to forge all the works of an engraver, an artisan, and an embroiderer in blue, purple, scarlet and in fine linen, as well as weaving - they can perform every craft and ingenious designs." Exodus 35:35 TLV
  • "He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJV
  • "And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns." Philippians 1:6 TLB


  • "A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light." - Leonardo da Vinci
  • “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." - Pablo Picasso
  • "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." - Pablo Picasso 
  • "The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science." - Albert Einstein
  • "To be an artist is to believe in life." - Henry Moore

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote inspires you to create?


Activity Suggestions

From a short prompt to long-term classroom changes, we're inspiring you with tangible art related ideas. Download a printable version at our Teachers Pay Teachers store.

The Mr.'s Suggestion:

Draw a heart!
Use these tutorials: simple heart, cute heart, realistic heart or go your own way.

The Mrs.' Suggestions: 

Integrate Art in Any Lesson

Discuss "Would You Rather..." Questions

  • Find inspiration in an art museum or a library?
  • Visit the sculpture or pottery exhibition in an art museum?
  • Create nature or culture inspired art?
If you would like three "Would You Rather...?" questions for every January or February day, download these Wolfe Stew PowerPoints. 

Take on the Family Challenge

Create something over the course of the week. Then, share and comment on each other's creations. When sharing, discuss the inspiration behind the creation, the challenges of the process, what the creator hopes to communicate, and how the creator might change or adapt it.

We'd Love to Know:

About a creation of yours that holds personal value.

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Come back next week for...National Inventors' Day!

Your Partners in JOY Finding,
Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.


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