Friday, August 5, 2022

podcast 1

 hi there this is robin norgren i can be found on uh my website at

i can also be found on instagram under robin norgren i'm starting this podcast because i've noticed over the last decade that i have three main sources of knowledge that i'm starting to build that i really want to start to pursue in this new year of bringing them all together and really exploring what the pathway is that i'm on to kind of have a more fulfilling life so in the last 10 to 15 years i have studied creativity i have become certified as a montessori primary teacher and i've also gone to school to become a chaplain in the military all of those pathways weren't a straight and narrow path and yet i can see many ways in which each one has informed the other so as i go along this journey i hope that you are as interested as well to see how in even your life you can have three or four different things that on the surface don't really look like they come together but in some ways they start to merge very slowly and i think the key to that is patience so i first started out in creativity about 14 years ago now i um

start started really pursuing writing so i would write essays i would submit the essays it was something that i'd done as a little girl and i decided i really wanted to see if i could put that label writer on on on my resume and so i would write and write and write never really saw any success that way but then i um went into this new thing at the time called etsy and i used to crochet and i would crochet handbags and backpacks and little bracelets and so i thought well maybe that's what i need to pursue creativity as a handmade goods connoisseur that went on for a little while and then it didn't really give me the satisfaction other than a personal satisfaction so i had tried writing i had tried crocheting i then dabbled as a mixed media artist and in the midst of all of it as i look back i realized the key was just creativity i was experiencing a lot of stress a lot of anxiety my husband had just deployed he not once but twice in a matter of like four years i had a young child and i was literally just all alone a lot and i found creativity really helped me through those long um just unsure times over the years as you know life goes up and down like that i found i kept coming back to creativity and then i wanted to teach it to everyone so i started trying to teach it to adults i ended up landing on teaching art for kids which i adore that's how josie's art school was formed but i still have this nagging in my heart about why don't adults truly understand how creativity works as a means to help us process stress so i want to say back in 2018 i wrote a book called your creative peace find and deepening your creative voice while connecting to god and i thought well i'm going to start a podcast and i'm going to start to share some of those insights from that book through the course that i had done which i'd love for you to follow along and then i would also share some things about montessori and how those two connect together so anyway i if this is something that is interesting to you i hope that you subscribe to the podcast in the meantime let's begin so the name of this course is called your creative peace finding and deepening your creative voice while connecting to god in this course we will explore god's creativity explore the beauty of creativity explore creativity as an act of worship pinpoint your creative journey integrate creativity and spiritual journey more deeply this is my hope for you that as you journey through these next five weeks you will have a sense of how god has gifted you with the creativity that is uniquely yours maybe you already have a sense of where you thrive creatively this may be an opportunity to incorporate this section of your life into your spiritual practice this may be a time to try a new creative medium whatever place you find yourself remember during this point in time you will journey through this course as you need to here's some suggestions on how to use this course you can use this time to work on suggested weekly artistic prompts that i give you or work on your pieces in progress or something you feel like you must begin here's the vision statement this class this class is geared towards those who have a creative outlet already or have an idea of an avenue they would like to explore create creatively those who can commit some time this course is structured into five weeks to explore more deeply their creative processes as an act of worship or spiritual connected connectedness examples of what i mean by creative outlets drawing painting mosaic sewing cooking clay making photography decorating jewelry making baking scrapbooking writing music poetry knitting crocheting needlepoint yoga teaching gardening are you ready to begin

god is creator week one's prompt is this declare freedom the verse for this week is 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.

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 leaves your life 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

i didn't think he understood what i was doing with my time and he really cared whether i was making sure other than i was making sure to live 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 seem to not be able to connect with god anymore i felt like life had beaten me to a pulp i was discouraged disillusioned distraction distracted feeling hopeless my prayers felt empty the words on the pages of my bible waxed cold in my ears 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 god was making a change here's a quote from kurt wassel it is a choice we artists make that is not too unlike love where we find ourselves venturing into a realm of total vulnerable vulnerability i want you to dig deeper here how do you define success has it changed over the years and how so what changes would you like to make in your life in order to redefine success

here's another question for you are success and fulfillment two sides of the same coin or are they one in the same

how about this do you feel like you're fulfilling your life's purpose what first step do you need to take in order to get on track how do you see your creativity playing a role in those changes

now remember the theme for this week is declare freedom as in letting go of how others would have you define your success and your fulfillment begin to think of how you would represent this declaration in a creative way

well thanks for stopping by i hope this is something that you've enjoyed i'd love to hear from you over the next few weeks and months i'd love to continue on here and really discuss more and more how do you have a creative life how do you have a more montessori lifestyle as some people like to call it how do you take these interests that you have and converge them into something that not only makes you a fulfilling woman but if you find yourself with the role of wife and mother how do you integrate those into your role and still allow yourself to be a woman that has a fulfilling life thanks for stopping by

Thursday, August 4, 2022

podcast 5

 so um this ad is sponsored by anchor if you haven't heard about anchor it's the easiest way to make a podcast let me explain it's free there's creation tools that allow you to record and edit your podcast right from your phone or computer anchor will distribute your podcast for you so it can be heard on spotify apple podcast and many more you can make money from your podcast with no minimum listenership it's everything you need to make a podcast in one place download the free anchor app or go to to get started

hello this is robin norgren and i'm with as well as i am going through a series called your creative piece finding and deepening your creative voice while connecting with god and i wanted to start today with an interview from marion of miss mustard seed i did an interview with her way back in the beginning of her business and now it's actually a pretty thriving business which is kind of amazing and it just reminds me of everyone that the reality is everyone starts somewhere and you really just need to begin her creative influences were french provincial style in american farm houses and her mediums that she most enjoyed working with were paint and fabric here's her bio mustard seed interiors is a small business that was born out of a love for antiques decorating on a budget and giving old pieces of furniture new life for over 10 years marion the designer and owner has loved transforming second hand fines hunting for unique uh antiques and designing functional and beautiful spaces in her home and the homes of her friends and family in 2008 this passion for diy and home decor became mustard seed interiors mustard seed interiors currently sells antiques refurbished furniture and handmade accessories for your home at the old locket store in leesburg virginia wild rose and company marketplace at uh walkersville maryland chatruce and company in frank frederick maryland and then through her website miss mustard seed creations

marion is also known as miss mustard seed the author of diy and decorating blog miss mustard seed's creative blog and is a freelance writer for cottages in bungalow's magazine her work has been featured in romantic homes magazine and online in house and apartment therapy and many other home decorating blogs

i asked her what are your earliest creative memories and she said my earliest creative memories all revolve around music my parents had me singing as a toddler and encouraged me in that endeavor as far as interior design i loved touring the castles of europe when we lived in germany i would drool over the furniture even as a fourth grader

did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life what did the evolution look like i majored in musical theater in college but left that when i got married and entered corporate america my creativity began to spill out into my home i soon discovered i had a real love and passion for interior design and budget makeovers i also discovered a draw to antiques and european influences which certainly come from my childhood if you had a creative hiatus what event or circumstance brought you back to your creative lifestyle she said when i had my first son i gave up on decorating for a while i was discouraged that all accessories below four feet had to be put away after having my second son i was at a low point i was encouraged to put my creativity to good use and start a business the business and my creativity blossomed how has god been a part of your creative process and lifestyle my business is named after a bible verse in luke that refers to faith mustard seed interiors reminds me that this business is based on faith and is ultimately in god's hands i know my talents and successes are god-given

is there a particular moment where your creativity infused into a spiritual practice marianne says my business and creative endeavors have been bathed in prayer we pray about decisions antique fairs successful sales the blog everything it has really surprised me what an encouragement my blog has been to other sisters in christ who are at a low point and want to start their own business that was a blessing i really didn't expect

so today's topic is god as giver and we're moving into week three and the prompt for that week is declare joy so if you don't really if you haven't listened to my other um podcast make sure and go back and and listen through it so basically this is a an online course i gave back in 2000 2013

and i have a book that goes along with it that you can find on my website at and i took the time to really flesh out how i started my creative journey walking through just the ways in which i started to look for creativity in my life so make sure and go back and listen to those podcasts so this will make more sense so the verse for the week is first chronicles 16 27 splendor and majesty are before him strength and joy in his dwelling place

i had a crafty friend as so many of us have she was the artsy one i secretly wanted to copy her life yes everything about her the way she dressed the way she decorated her house the way she carried her camera around everywhere she went the way she made it a point to document her life on film or on canvas i loved having a crafty friend even if i was too terrified to tap into my own creativity it was nice to talk about those things with someone else who had every once in a while i would tentatively ask her how she came up with the ideas i do not even remember her answers i was so truly intimidated by what i was sure was a difficult breed out of my reach process the idea of living and breathing a creative life seemed way too otherworldly to me and to be honest i do not think she could have given me an explanation of the life as she lived it she seemed to be so quote organic so effortless

about four years ago this friend began to give me cards created about by a company called curly girl designs and if you have not seen her designs make sure and look her up she is amazing and i knew knew this was something i wanted to tap into but for now i just collected the cards and i would just stare at all the details the cards were thought provoking powerful works of art this was my first exposure to art that was messy and yet put together strategically these cards were just another step in my journey do you have friends who are into the arts what about their creative process intrigues you have you engaged them in conversation about your creative interests do you have any sort of residual hesitancy about sharing your creative interests with other people

have you been doing the weekly prompts and if so how has that been going for you

are you finding that this creative time that you have set aside to be um to be just set towards purposefully being creative has that been a positive experience for you what drawbacks are you experiencing

one of my first cards that i did in imitation of curly girl designs was a girl and she was standing in a pair of boots and i wrote the words she purposed in her heart from this day forward that she would hold fast to the dreams that it helped her hold on to hope

i mentioned i began to grow bored with crocheting my projects were getting stockpiled in the closet and by this time my friend had opened her etsy shop and she encouraged me to do the same we are we were officially artisans selling our wares and we were still getting together for our weekly crafting jaunts somehow during the course of one particular conversation my love for curly girl designs came up and i decided to start crafting doing a crafting boot camp where i would create a piece inspired

by her cards i would show up at my friend's house with scrapbook paper and markers and sketchbook and i would give myself two hours to create something with my first pieces i would simply try to copy what she did just trying to get behind how she was doing the textures and colors and how they work together and soon i began to try on my own doing my own thing i would suddenly think of a tagline and then try to capture it in a work of art i would begin to piece together something and it would add on to it as i saw the muse showing up again speaking to me i have another one of a some flowers and it says our hearts reach up toward our maker

well thanks for stopping by i've given you plenty of food for thought i hope that these are little vignettes that you can take and listen to and hope uh it sparks you as you continue on your creative journey thanks so much for stopping by make sure and find me over on instagram under josie's art school and say hello tell me what you think


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

podcast 4

 hello this is robin norgren thanks for joining me over at creativity montessori and the meaning of life you can find me over on instagram at josie's art school or on my website that's j-o-s-e-y a-r-t-s-c-h-o-o-l

and then i also run a company called bright child montessori where i take my expertise as a montessori primary teacher and i create daily lesson plans to take the overwhelm out of being a montessori teacher on a daily basis let's get started with today's segment on your creative peace finding and deepening your creative voice while connecting with god

so in 19 in uh in 2009 i wrote down my top 10 time wasters is what i called them of the reality shows i was watching at the time number one was project runway i would sit and wonder how you could get that proficient with a sewing machine and who designs their clothes and why wouldn't you just go to the store but i loved it number two is top chef basically the only ingredient i was familiar with um they that they used was chicken but i loved watching that one too number three was america's best uh next top model i would watch this and root for the plus size model who was a size 10. number four was hell's kitchen okay i would have to sneak and watch this one because my husband hated it he said he had flashbacks of being a cook at marie callender's restaurant chain in the u.s on mother's day and that is why we do not go to restaurants on that day number five was a another food network show a chefology i'd love to hear um that either paula dean or rachel ray actually never went to culinary school but it did not make me want to cook any more than i normally would number six was the next food network star okay is this the fourth cooking show i mentioned i promise i do not like to cook number seven was top design an interior design show that was a bit over the top and not as witty as most shows in this genre but hey it was replaying on bravo so i watched it number eight nine and ten okay this is kind of embarrassing it was all forms of the real housewives orange county atlanta new york um yeah anyway so that's my list i'd love to see yours i was still clearly in a place where i felt stranded in my own life i was not adjusting well to full-time motherhood and add to that single motherhood since my husband was deployed for long periods of time i wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and yet i felt trapped there we lived in a small apartment so i felt i had to constantly be on the go so i would not go stir crazy yet we were on an incredibly tight budget weekends were the worst i was lonely now that i had begun to crochet i would sit and watch television and crochet the problem was i created the same things over and over again scarves and hats muted colors muted life until i went to my local craft store and they were clearing out novelty yarns they were different colors and textures of yarns that might give these projects of mine a little bit of a pop i did not know what to do with them but the practical side of me could not pass up the sail these are the same yarns that later generated the tote that i dreamed about here's a quote from e e cummings suppose life is an old man carrying flowers on his head

slowly i began to move forward but i was still feeling boxed in i did not know that a change was coming here's some questions for you to ponder describe a time when you felt something you created was truly inspired prompted by something within or outside of yourself what has god begun to show you about your creative life are you sensing some immediate changes that you need to make with your time energy commitments

what are your thoughts about art as therapy

and where do you find inspiration

what do you think about that e e cummings quote suppose that life is an old man wearing flowers on his head

are you finding a rhythm to your creative journey

i felt like my life moving on this continuum between wanting a more creative life and yet not feeling like this was a valid identity for me i still do not understand got understand god's orchestration behind it up to this point the vision for the tote bag still felt a bit odd the idea of a muse as some people call it or inspiration as others called it did not feel like it pertained to my situation it felt like a fluke like i imagined the whole thing i had never considered myself to be creative i was feeling like i was mimicking my mom's hobby

i did not necessarily love the act of crocheting i loved the meditative aspect of it i loved having something to show for my efforts i seem to be more settled than i was many months ago but i felt like i had no outlet

but i kept this outlet a secret for the most part afraid of what people would say about this new obsessive behavior of mine but i did feel like god was closer to me and that somehow this act was making me quote okay again on the inside

around the same time i reconnected with a friend who has an art degree and we began to get together and allow our creative activities to be the focal point for our gatherings creating in community what an interesting idea little did i know that this is an idea that's been around for centuries this decision felt like a good next step for me my friend was honing her skills in bookmaking and was soon turning out stunning handmade journals i began to talk to her about this site i heard about called etsy her products seemed like a gorgeous fit i loved watching as she prepared to take the leap to have her own online craft business description writing photographs pricing dreaming researching encouraging i loved every minute of watching her business come together

have there ever been any activities that you have truly disliked after trying them was there anything that you see god teaching you through that very act of trying did it somehow lead you to something else you ended up enjoying

are there thoughts words pictures that are coming together as you work through this prompt called declare peace

are you finding connection between your inner life and your art

are you finding a particular creative medium that you especially find more beneficial in calming your anxiety doubt and fears

so i have definitely looked at my life over the last i guess 10 years now since this book was written and i see that there is a lot of pieces to a puzzle that are coming together even as i sit here this morning i'm on my way to do a sub job at a school in my neighborhood and i'm still amazed by how i got into teaching many of the reasons why i'm in teaching now is because i started working on this creative outlet of mine 10 years ago and it has caused me to be able to be brave enough to do some amazing things but just like any new thing there's there's a there's a sense of terror with it what if this is the time you fail or you're found out as a fraud

and you have to be willing to still move forward even in that fear because that fear has a way of producing either the best in you or the worst in you

and you got to choose so

as i prepare to walk into this new next step for me i invite you to think about

what has creativity meant to you in your life

the montessori piece in all this is being willing to have your whole person come into a new endeavor

many times we want to put ourselves in a box and if we have children we tell them not to be in a box and yet we show them that it's safer to stay in a box

so i challenge you today as you think about these questions that i've posed and i invite you to go back to the other

previous episodes so you can see the chain of events coming together that you really start to think about what is it that you're trying to find out about yourself

thanks so much for stopping by

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

podcast 3

 so um this ad is sponsored by anchor if you haven't heard about anchor it's the easiest way to make a podcast let me explain it's free there's creation tools that allow you to record and edit your podcast right from your phone or computer anchor will distribute your podcast for you so it can be heard on spotify apple podcast and many more you can make money from your podcast with no minimum listenership it's everything you need to make a podcast in one place download the free anchor app or go to to get started

hello this is robin norgren and i am here with creativity montessori and the meaning of life thanks so much for joining me um today i wanted to kind of go in the different direction and i wanted to introduce you to a creative person that i met about a few years ago and i wanted to just share her story about her walk with creativity and the way she connected it with her faith in god her name is jill metz and her company at the time was called true original her creative influences were god nature and family and when she thinks about being an artist that inspire what inspires her most she surprised when she thinks of picasso she says his work is so free and diverse you can see he was on a creative journey and not afraid to explore the limitlessness of art

as far as influences go she says i think i've been truly impacted by every artist i have seen but especially my mother her perform her preferred medium of creativity was mixed media and collage though she loves abstract too she says i've been married to the love of my life for over 12 years and have been blessed with two children a girl and a boy i went to college for a year where i took classes in art psychology and child development i'm mostly a self-taught artist who's had the pleasure of taking many amazing art classes and workshops all over the country in the last ten years i have owned my creative business for four years and enjoyed watching it grow and evolve according to god's perfect timing

she says one of her most earliest her one of her earliest creative memories came from a very because she comes from a very long line of creative women on her mother's side she feels it's been a blessing passed down through each generation she says one of her earliest memories is helping her mom collect flattened soda and beer cans so she could paint a character on them according to the shape of the can as a six-year-old she says it was so amazing to see my mom bring a piece of discarded trash to life

when asked if her creative habits have made a smooth transition into her adult life she says um smooth no she says i believed for a very long time that my creative habits were more of a curse than a blessing since i saw and did things in a very different way than most people why can i be normal i would ask myself it has only been in the last 10 years that i have truly embraced this side of myself and stopped fighting god's gift to me

when asked if you've had a creative hiatus and if if you did what event or circumstance brought you back to the creative lifestyle she says i spent most of my twenties trying to live mainstream and really blocked my creative reality which caused me to make some very poor choices i was trying to fill the hole in my heart i didn't acknowledge god i didn't acknowledge my true self and then after some time really hitting one of many bottoms i let god back into my life and i let him do for me what i couldn't do for myself which was healed the brokenness of my childhood

when asked how has god been a part of her creative process or lifestyle she says most of the time i work on a piece and i invite the holy spirit into my heart into my art it was evident in my results when i have forgotten god in the process it truly amazes me how god does this so when i paint well i know it's him the same holds true in my daily life when things are good it's god and when they suck it's me

she says i work every day to put god first in all i do i say work because this is not always easy for me sometimes it is but mostly it is a choice i have to make daily

jill's been playing a lot with ink and alcohol not the kind of alcohol you think and enjoying abstract results very much since she works very intuitively trying to let god lead she says i never know how any of my artwork will turn out recently she began taking a figurative painting class and enjoys getting back to the fundamentals though it is a bit challenging a lot like picasso she says i too am on a creative journey and i am also enjoying the ride

so that's jill metz if you want to look her up online her last name is spelled m-e-t-z i wanted to begin with that because last episode i talked about the muse and how there are different ways that we describe that inspiration but there are also moments where you are very clear that it did not come from you and it's way out of your comfort zone and so as i've talked with many people about this idea of the muse i've experienced it and i've seen others talk about or heard them talk about it and i realize that's part of this creative process you have to start somewhere and then once you begin and you really get committed to the journey that's where the inspirational spark really starts to come forth

today i want to tackle more about the idea of god as a sustainer and this week's prompt is all about declaring peace the anchor versus second corinthians 12 9 my grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness

people explore many avenues in an effort to experience passion working eating sex drugs alcohol motherhood marriage singlehood all can be used as vices to substitute this need for purpose and for passion have you noticed a shift in how the world views creativity things like music sewing singing cooking dancing seem nowadays to be views viewed as time wasters yet reality shows have tapped into our need to be passionate about something i find that i have spent a good amount of time watching these reality shows it began as merely curiosity on my part but quickly turned into a means to vicariously live out some of my secret goals too much fear surrounded my desire to try something new interestingly rather than fueling me to try something new these shows seem to somehow quench my thirst for really going out and trying something new on my own what may have started as a potential spark for me to move a bit more deeply into my own life quickly turned into an escape from my own reality and just another time killer today i'd like you to think about any hesitation that you may have felt about doing a creative project and we talked about this more in the last couple episodes if you want to go back and listen to it i want to ponder the things that got in the way the successes you felt the changes you took or the chances you took or did not take the revelations you came to about yourself personally and then for fun i'd like you to jot down three or four shows that you watch without fail and think about what draws you in do they enhance or minimize your creative energy

i leave you with these questions what are your thoughts about the pa idea of passion in a christian's life have there been situations in your life that hinder the idea that passion could be god inspired

i want you to look through the bible in a way that may be a little different to you there is this book called the concordance and what it is it's a tool you can use with your bible where you can take a word kind of like a keyword search and you can look up all the verses of a particular word so for example if you look up the verses of passion i'd like you to look that up and then challenge your thinking on those on those verses and and why or why not passion could possibly be something that's god inspired now remember to write down those three or four must-see shows do any of them draw you deeper into your creative life do you find a pattern in your viewing habits are there any shows that actually have inspired you to be more creative

and thinking on your creative endeavors are you finding that you're excited to start this process and continue with it or are you having more fear around it

and then have there been any aha moments for you

i want to thank you for stopping by this is based on a course that i um i wrote a few years back called your creative peace finding and deepening your creative voice while connecting with god if you'd like to follow along in book form there is a copy of it in my etsy shop over under josie's art school so go ahead and check it out download your copy or purchase a hard copy or feel free as you're listening to the podcast just to write notes and create your own little journal where you have all your thoughts logged together so you can see your evolution over the next few weeks thanks so much for stopping by again if you want to see more of what i'm doing my name is robin norgren n-o-r-g-r-e-n and my websites are josie's art school dot com j-o-s-e-y-s-a-r-t

s-e-h-o-o-l or you can check me out at bright child montessori where i also offer leaders guides for montessori teachers

Monday, August 1, 2022

Deeply rooted Episode 17: Where is God and why do I feel so ALONE?

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