Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spark and Inspire: You have the Idea You just Need a Little Help

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The quest to run a successful business seems at first glance something

you have to take on solo. And at the beginning that might need to
happen. The details of how your vision comes forth has to be done in
the heart first and then, once you take the leap, you can bring in
trusted guides to cheer you on, give you straight talk, share in the
burden of the hard work and the uncertainties.

Sometimes, you may not have a community of people around you who
are passionate about a vision, have no desire to jump into the deep end
and create a business. And for a time this will be OK. Again it helps to
challenge how high your commitment level is for this idea you may
have been kicking around for awhile.


When you have finally set your course


When you have been smack dab in the middle of this idea of yours and
really want to hear from those who have felt the victories and the
disappointments of taking such a brave leap, community and inside
advice with no expectations or strings attached… well you need it.

Within these pages you will find the voices of over 40 creative
entrepreneurs who run their businesses both online and in brick and
mortar stores, who run workshops and sell in shows, who have a range
of experiences and have been in business from 1 year to more than 25
years and who offer you no nonsense information on their processes
and how they have been able to keep moving in tough economic times
and how they have found a way to let good ideas go when the money
was not in line with the dream. We are talking on a range of topics
from collaborations to big leaps that did (and did not) come together as
planned. We are talking about how to get at the soul of your business
and how to stay excited about the work you offer the world.

30 days worth of questions that you can take and use as a
30 day diagnostic for your idea, vision or business.

THIS IS What the book Spark and Inspire is all about

To purchase Spark and Inspire or Any of my Faith and Creativity Resources:


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Faith and Creativity: Maybe It's Time that You Got a Hobby

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Day 3:
Over the next few days, I came up with this idea that I needed a hobby.  I went to a retail chain craft store in my area and roamed up and down the aisles.  My eyes fell upon this children’s make a crocheted scarf  kit and suddenly remembered that my mom taught me some basic crochet stitches when I was a little girl.  And so I purchased it.  Four MONTHS later I completed the scarf.  Can anyone attest to the FACT that trying something new is hard? 

I was so proud of myself!  And I began to crochet another scarf.  In the midst of this, I reconnected with a former coworker who wanted to tap more into her background as an artist so we decided to meet on a regular basis.  And every week, I would make a scarf. 

Once I mastered the pattern I was using, I bought a book on making hats and took a class to help with reading a pattern (yeah I am still kind of hesitant when it comes to reading a pattern!).  And one day…I got my first visit from the “muse.”

I had a vision for a tote bag.  Now I do not know how to sew.  I could only partially understand the pattern that I came across that was similar to this idea that at this point was simply a flash of a picture in my head.  But I kept going.  Could I do it? 
18 hours later (not all in one sitting!): SUCCESS! Crazy, validating, euphoric, calming.
A new connection with God had begun.  Soon I began to think more about God as creator.  I began to consider how I might be creative just like HIM.

 Time to Ponder...

This weeks verse: You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body.  You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.”  Psalm 139:15
1. Spend some time thinking about how this verse is penetrating your life at this time.

1.     What do think about this idea of “the muse”?  How does it display itself in a Christian’s life?


2.     Have you had a “muse” experience?  Is it a recent experience? Is it a regular experience? If this has not happened to you before, do you believe it is possible?  Is it possible for you?

To Purchase this book "Your Creative Peace"  or to find my other Faith and Creativity Resources 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Faith and Creativity: Have You Reached a Breaking Point in your Faith Where you MUST have Answers?

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Day 2
One day stands out in particular as the absolute breaking point for this type of empty living:  my daughter’s third birthday.  My husband was deployed to Kuwait with the Navy so communication between the two of us was incredibly sporadic.  During the first three months he was away we talked on the telephone one time and I received about 1 email a week.  My daughter has had breathing issues since birth and this day she was having a hard time with her illness.  My car had a flat.  The weather was dreary and overcast.  One by one the guests of the birthday party were cancelling due to sickness and inclement weather.  I had spent way too much money for a party I was not even interested in throwing.  I FELT ALL ALONE.
 The party happened.  I made my way home feeling unheard by GOD but desperate because there was nowhere else to turn.  I put my daughter to bed.  I went in the living room, turned out all the lights and laid on the floor… and cried and KEPT CRYING.  And I remember pleading, begging toward the ceiling with words something like, “GOD I can’t take this.  You have got to do something in my life.  I am alone and feel desperate for something ANYTHING TO DO to feel that my identity is valuable to you.  I have nowhere else to go LORD.  

 "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
 -John 6:68
So, I prayed the prayer that night and I went to bed with that feeling of being heard but with no real idea what was coming next.

 Time to Ponder...

1.                  Has there been a time in your life where change was occurring in a way that was unexpected?  Are you in a place right now where change is inevitable/unavoidable?  What does change look like to you?  What area of your life SPECIFICALLY do you need change to happen?

2.                  Look at the following verses to see other examples of “suddenly” moments and write down what you find.  Is there any particular one that speaks SPECIFICALLY to this point in time in your life?
Genesis 37:7
Number 16:42
Judges 14:5
2 Kings 2:11
Job 1:19
Proverb 28:18
 Isaiah 48:3
Daniel 5:5
 Acts 2:2
 Acts 9:3

1.                  Do you currently have a creative outlet that you allow yourself to use as a time for worship?  What has that activity done for you personally and in your life’s circumstances?  How much time are you able to devote time to this?

2.                   Have you considered trying a new artistic medium? If so, what things do you need to do to begin exploring this?  What roadblocks are in the way? 

 3.                  Describe the last time you let yourself “Play”. How can you make space for more of that time in your life?

To Purchase this book "Your Creative Peace"  or to find my other Faith and Creativity Resources 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Faith and Creativity : God as Creator - Why that is Important to your Understanding of How Creativity Works

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Week 1 Creative Prompt: Declare Freedom

Verse for the week:  “You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body.  You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.”  Psalm 139:15
Day 1:
Recently, I read through the best selling book “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren.  He touched upon something that I find sits in a very deep place for me: being successful and fulfilling your life’s purpose are not the same thing.  Have you noticed that in your own life?  Do success and fulfillment go hand in hand?  I think it depends on how you define success and whether or not you have figured out what areas in your life leave you feeling fulfilled.  

For many years I had not answered these questions for my life.  I was just living.  Were the bills paid?  Are my kids healthy?  Am I fighting with my husband?  I did not have any real sense of purpose.  Definitely I did not think it mattered to GOD what I was doing with my time other than making sure I lived a moral life.  I would have been content to live this way but…GOD in His mercy for me (AND FOR YOU) allowed the events in my life to shift in such a way that I had to TAKE NOTICE.

One of the things I found in my life is that I seemed to not be able to connect with God anymore.  I felt like life had beaten me to a pulp.  I was discouraged, disillusioned, distracted… feeling hopeless.  My prayers felt empty.  The words on the pages of my Bible waxed cold in my ears and on my heart.  The disappointments and discouragements felt too great to overcome.  I found that I was living in a shadow relationship with GOD.  He was there but I had no desire to connect, no entry to connect, no vehicle to connect.    What I did not know was that God was making a change in my life and I would start to find a language to express fulfillment on a deeper level.


1.                  How do you define success?  Has it changed over the years? How so?  What changes would you like to make in your life in order to redefine success?

2.                  Are success and fulfillment two sides of the same coin or are they one and the same?  Explain.

3.                  Do you feel like you are fulfilling your life’s purpose? What one step do you need to take in order to get on track?  How do you see creativity playing a role in those changes?

The theme for this week is Declare Freedom as in letting go of how others would have you define your success, your fulfillment.  Begin to think of how you would represent this declaration in a creative way.  

To Purchase this book "Your Creative Peace"  or to find my other Faith and Creativity Resources