Monday, August 18, 2014


"When there is the encounter with the other, 
when there is mutuality, when there is presence, 
when there is giving and receiving, 
and both are changed in that encounter, 
that is the moment when you can 
begin to move toward transformation."
~Richard Rohr 

We lit a candle in a quiet corner of Panera.

We arrived in time for mid-morning tea, remained through a leisurely lunch, and left just before dinner.  This artist/kindred date that I had been anticipating for months was like a steady and cool stream of water to my soul, filling up my tired, empty places, and saturating my week with color and grace.  It was a soul-space that allowed for breathing and didn't require work; it was beautiful and fuzzy-sock comfortable, as if we were on a couch sharing hearts in front of a fire, or sitting at a sunny kitchen nook laughing through a spring day.

Our table quickly became covered with clippings and pens, stamps and journals, and the conversation flowed above and beneath these things, slipping into the nooks that opened up in our creating.  It struck me that between our creative hands and hearts was an understanding that art and friendship themselves are spiritual elements.  We could feel each other's creative energy through the mess, and always the Spirit of God hovered over our hands as if in colorful blessing.

Certain things in this world are a healing balm – and art is one of them.

Looking back over this time now, I see it even more for the respite that it was.  The simple fact that Erica and I had the opportunity to see each other, accept each other, and love each other, as hatred and  evil danced in tandem in so many other places, almost makes my heart weep with gratitude.

Sometimes it's easy to see the beauty in the "other" {any human soul who is not "me"} but that doesn't make it any less crucial when it isn't.  When I see the way we God-created souls treat other, not only in the physical violence of this world, but also then the social media violence in response, my stomach knots its "why?" deep within me.

I have no answer.  And I choose to pray in silence, where the Spirit who connects us all carries my groans farther than Facebook or Twitter ever could.

Can we please, please begin to see each other?  See the beauty in color, and mess, and chaos?  

Both at tables in Panera, and in the human heart?

This is my request.  Amen.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Year of Art Journaling ebook – Video Introduction and Welcome

A Year of Art Journaling is here!

If you are interested in the creative and deeply personal practice of art journaling, this introduction is for you.

An art journal is a place to collect thoughts, color, mess, and daily life.  It is a creative practice of no rules, and no right or wrong.  Simply put, it is an artistic pursuit for everyone.  

$20.00 US

Add to Cart

This has been truly a labor of love for me.  Within these 116 pages lives heartfelt prompts, creative concepts and techniques, dozens and dozens of links to videos and resources, and vibrant photos of my own art journal pages.

"I read the book last night. It is amazing. Wow. Just fantastic. All the directions, examples, links, videos, photos.  You did an outstanding job. And the proof is that I had an outing that night, but I kept wanting to creep into my craft room and do some art journaling even though I knew I wouldn't have time to do anything."

~Jimmie Lanley, blogger, entrepreneur, and homeschool mom

Join me on this artistic journey! 
{and spread the word!}


Add to Cart

Pssst...if you're interested in my ebook, right now it's in a bundle with 75 other ebooks and ecourses.  A huge savings for so many resources!  Check it out below.
The sale is only going on until Monday!

{this post contains affiliate links}

Monday, August 4, 2014

On wandering...

"You would do well to first see the similarities and deep
identities of things before you distinguish this from that.  I like to 
say you must start with 'yes' and never with 'no'"
~Richard Rohr

I sat out on my porch today and conversed with a melodically-gifted finch.  The weather here in the midwest has been very un-summer-like, and I have consciously stopped again and again, feeling the coolness of the air with eyes closed and spirit open.  This morning as a patch of sun warmed my feet, a patch of shade cooled my uncovered shoulders, and a magenta-breasted bird sang to me, I found myself settling into a peace I haven't felt in weeks.  This breath-centered and God-initiated now-full collection of moments gave me a clarity I have been seeking.  A clarity about spiritual wandering, about fitting in or out amidst the different communities I claim as my own, and about the benefits and pitfalls of self-identifying as lost.

I am no stranger to wandering.  I have wandered both aimlessly and purposefully in a way that my Christian friends might find concerning.  I have doubted and questioned, left faith and returned to faith, white-knuckled and released many many things.  And yet the journey itself remains untarnished.  The spiritual 'X' that I once thought marked the destination, instead merely represents a lone point on the path that I have both joyfully found and eventually continued past.

But now, I realize that I have once again been found, and am no longer wandering in the same way.  I have settled back into the arms of a Savior that is no longer who I projected upon Him to be, but is fully and mesmerizingly real in a very mystical and intangible way.  This settledness would make some of my artist friends uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, here I am.  A wanderer, but not at this moment wandering; found but not rigidly pinned down.  And I realize that I have a unique perspective and can potentially hold hands with the lost and the found, remembering my kairos experiences in both of those places, but only if I am standing with my toes nestled in the firm, alive sands of grace.

In all of this I embrace the fact that I no longer fit into anyone else's mold, or definition, or box, and I chose this week to stand up tall, take a deep breath, and relish this truth.  I can't choose what anyone thinks of me, and I have lost the desire to do so.  My home church, the believing community, fellow artists, the close friends who know me best: I want to be an authentic member of all of these groups, fully and consistently my messy self, but I won't pretend I can control the way I am perceived by others.  As I more fully live into who I was created to be, I can reach out to others and encourage them to do the same.