Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Embrace Your Place

Where are you right now, friend?
Yes, I mean right this very minute.

I'm sitting in the quiet of my home, baby asleep, husband planning.

I invite you to take a moment and embrace the space you are in.

Look around, take a breath, be still and embrace who you are, where you've been, and who you will be tomorrow.

Are you okay with that? Embracing your life just as it is?
This season- This time- This space
is just where you need to be.

How do I know this?
Because I believe in the Word
I believe in Jesus Christ.
And I believe in Romans 8:28--that all things are working together for good.

Today I sought to embrace the ugly beautiful. And let me just say it was a beautiful thing.
The ugly beautiful is everywhere, in all we see, all we say, and all we do.
I found ugly in spit up, in trash, in broken glass, and I found it in the dust of my floor.
I found the beautiful in clean dishes, fresh laundry, sunrise, family dinner, and the most amazing video of Carrie Caine speaking to Liberty University. (Her video is posted at the end)

Every.single.word she spoke was God-breathed.
She broke parts of my heart that needed to be broken.
She reminded me that we have a job to do in this world.
Regardless of our job positions, bank accounts, and 401K Plans
We have one job to do and that is TO SERVE.
To serve we must die to self and fix our eyes on the Lord.

Dying to self is hard. It's ugly. It's a struggle.
But when fix our eyes on our great God and follow Him.
There is nothing more beautiful than that.
Living by faith, each day, for HIM!

Whoever you are and Whatever you do.
Embrace your place.
Be okay with where you are.
Remember that "now is not forever"
And go serve.
Our hurting country and our broken world
Needs you NOW!



Take 30 minutes of your day to listen to Christine and I
PROMISE that you will be blessed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

trucks, trains, toys, and a turquoise frame

I often look at Weston's toys and wonder which ones will make the cut?
You know, just like the "Toy Story Toys." Some get boxed up, kicked around,
and some stay around for awhile.

Some of his favorites right now are his truck, his train, and his abacus.

He dumps letters out of his truck, wrecks his train everyday, and moves the beads through the tangles of loops.

I seriously l-o-v-e watching him play.

I know many of these toys may make it to his first birthday, others will be stored away and pulled out out again, and some may be passed along for anoth little guy to enjoy.

I have a favorite. It's not a toy. But, it is something I made for him before he was even born. It was one of the first things I put in his nursery. It stares back at us when we are rocking in our chair. It sits aside a lamp, and it's words will carry in my heart and hopefully his...forever.

It's a turquoise frame.
This one.

I love this simple little quote.
It's a quote I myself need to hear.

"See your road through."
How do you do that?
How do you really see your road through when you're not even sure what road you are on?

But does it really matter if we know the road's name or not?
Or does it matter if the road is bumpy or flat, long and winding?

All we have to do is see our road through.

One day I will explain this to him.
One day...
when he is learning to ride a bike or when he starts school or when he gets his first car or when a girl breaks his heart or when he goes to college.
"See you're road through Weston."
"You'll get there buddy."
"Just watch."

I hope this cheap little handmade turquoise frame will comfort him from his crib to college, from his first home to his last. And one day, after he has lived every single moment of his beautiful life. He will have truly seen his long and winding road through.

May that frame move with him wherever he goes
and the words move through him as he learns and grows
May the whispers of the road keep him on its faint path
and the night's silent music prepare him at last.
See your road through, you'll get there one day.
Just keep moving forward and you'll find your own way.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily- A God-Sized Dream Story

We sing this song when we row our boats, right? I'm not sure about your boat right now
But my boat is unsteady, has a few holes in it, and is going in a direction I never thought it would.

Obviously, I mean my "life" boat. Although I do long to have a real boat one day, for now my 2005 Ford Focus will take me where I need to go

That song sure does make like seem appealing doesn't it? 

Holly Gerth, over at challenged her readers to share a "God-Sized Dream Story." 
I encourage you to read her story on her blog. She is wonderful.

So back to the beautiful boat ride.

Ahhh, yes
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.

My God-Sized Dream started back in the fall.

I thought I had landed my "dream-job"---teaching kindergarten full-time. That dream-job is now being lived out in the walls of my home and behind the walls at 127 South Main Street, Suite F

Funny how our plans are really not ours to begin with. 

My dream began with fear, hurt, and unsteadiness in my soul.
I could feel God's spirit moving in my life. Taking me out of the comfortable and into the "real"

Those uncertain feelings in my soul have transformed me to my core and left me with hope, joy, and contentment in the now of life. My now is filled with bottle cleaning, extra loads of laundry and moment-to-moment experiences with with son. My now is writing. I am working on my book, day by day. It is slowly making more sense to me, as I know it has to make sense to me before it can make sense to you. I pray you'll read it one day. I pray for a chance from a publisher who believes in my words. My now is a business in my studio where I teach and inspire others to let their creativity shine through in all they do. From birthday parties to enjoying "paint-parties" with my super-inspiring friend Shelley at Art Space--- My God-Sized Dream is happening- now! 

Our dreams happen when we let go.
When we let God use us for His good.

Do you have a God-sized dream?
Are you living yours out right now?

Share yours today!

In the meantime I'm gonna hand over my "oars" in my boat to God.
I'll let him lead me and I'll let him sing
"merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily"
because one day, when my journey is done, and all my dreaming is lived out.
My heavenly home will be just that. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sticks and Stones

Every Sunday afternoon, five of us women meet. We share our lives, our stories, our struggles, and our gifts. We count our gifts as blessings all the while embracing the messy, the ugly, the painful parts of life.

Each week one of us is in charge of being the "gift-giver"
The gift giver brings "unlikely gifts"

Alicia was our giver today. She gave me sticks and and an empty earring box.I knew something would come of both of these gifts.

During our study we talked about how the people of Israel had a tradition of stacking stones as a memorial to remind them of something great that God has done.

To celebrate this tradition we decided to do a littlestone-stacking, but in a different sort of way.

We stacked our stones on canvas. 

As we talked through our study, Alicia painted us a black background on our canvas.
Each of us picked a color for our stone and we painted them on top of one another. Lastly, we chose a word to place on our stones. It truly turned out beautifully.

When I came home I thought about how I could use the art, along with my gifts of sticks and a jewelry box.

All I needed was my two favorite tools...
My glue gun and my scissors.

20 minutes later it was finished.

I call this piece "Sticks and Stones"

Ahhhh this is why I love Jesus!

When I listen to his voice
Things like this happen.

People ask me often how I come up with these ideas.
It's simple. 

When I am closest to Christ, he whispers 
creativity into my soul, and beautiful things happen!

What can you make with a few sticks and some stones?
Look for them this week.
Do something, share something, change something.

Remember to count your gifts and while you're counting
you will receive them as well.

"To receive a gift, the knees must bend humble and the
hand must lie vulnerably open and the will must bow
to accept whatever the Giver chooses to give." -Ann Voskamp

Be blessed this week!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Beyond the lesson plans

Every teacher out there knows we MUST have lesson plans. They guide us, drive us, and keep us accountable as we teach our students. Every GOOD teacher out there knows that many great moments happen when we go BEYOND the lesson plan, when we aren't afraid of teachable moments.

Sometimes we tend to focus so much on what is planned, what we have on paper... we forget about those moments we have with children. Moments that matter.

Sometimes it takes a kid to remind us of such moments.

This morning I worked with my little kinder, Caydan. Together he and I have been venturing through the alphabet, learning letter names and sounds, writing sentences, and blending words. Let me tell ya, this little guy has earned his gold stars, indeed. So, today's session was scheduled for two hours.  I told his sweet momma, we may need to take a few brain breaks, because two hours of straight instruction is not an easy thing.

For the first half hour we worked hard. We read, we wrote, and we read some more.

Soon, it was time for a break.
How should we "break" I wondered?

I looked over at my "art-bar" and thought--- "he needs to paint." He has been admiring my own art on the walls for months now." So without a second thought, we got organized by grabbing our canvas, our palette, our paints, our brushes, and our jar. He was thrilled!

Now many of you know I have started my b. creative nights. So I suggested to him that we put (b. smart on his canvas). He liked the idea. As he painted, I started writing down things he said. He was so focused and so intent on creating a masterpiece. He said things like, " I didn't know I could do this, and hey we are blending paint like we do sounds and words."

I was uhhhhhmazed!
I could have never ever planned for what happened.
Allowing Caydan the freedom to create, opened up his mind.
When that happens, the possibilities are endless.

How often do we do this for our kids...truly give them freedom to create?
Are kids just stifled in thought sometimes just due to the rigor and rigidness
we place on learning?

For ALL of us (teachers, parents, kids)  this is a lesson!
Go beyond your planner, your calendar, your idea of what a day will look like.
Give yourself freedom to breathe, to create, to be YOURSELF!

Thank you Lord for a blessed day with a SMART young man!
You are going to do great things Caydan!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Creativity is intelligence having fun.

Albert Einstein is the creative mind behind this quote.

I wonder how he had fun?

Studying theoretical physics, quantum theory,
and coming up with the idea of relativity???

That was probably fun for him because he just "got it"
For me, studying physics for an hour would complete
and utter torture!

His point behind this statement is that when we
make time to add a bit of fun to our lives, creativity
will soon follow.

Since I moved into my studio in November I have had
more opportunities to have fun and use my creativity
in new ways. From parties to bible studies and days of
quiet just to read, write, and create-- Each experience has
been fun for me!

Our next event at A Place to Land is themed as

On Tuesday March 5, we will be making colorful frames and talking
about ways to add fun to your frame.
Chalkboard Paint? Cricut Cutouts? Scrapbook Paper?
Pinwheels? Buttons? Paper Flowers?

We will also be playing with different fonts.

My favorite font right now is Traveling Typewriter.
 Do you have a favorite?
I have also been practicing doodling with this font type.

 Beth Greene, owner of Busy Bees Gifts found this super cool
 font for me and used it to create my vinyl sign outside the Summey Building.
(find her on facebook-- her work is f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s)!

I leave you with this question?

How do you have fun everyday?

I am eager to hear from you on this one.

If you can't leave a blog comment, just
hop on back over to facebook and leave
one there.

I truly enjoy hearing back from each and every
one of you and sincerely appreciate you taking
time from your day to read my blog!

Have a super fun day my friends!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

teach us to pray

Okay my friends, if you have some time...I have a little assignment for you.

First, go get quiet.
Unplug, find a chair, and take a big deep belly breath.

Now, open your bible to Matthew 6:9

Ask the holy spirit to renew your mind and slowly read the words on the page.
Remember to go slow.

Our father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,  and the power
 and the glory forever.


It's the perfect prayer.
The prayer Jesus spoke.
The prayer we should speak daily.

It represents all that is
and all that will come.

Okay, I still need you for a bit longer.
I want you to listen to the beauty of this song.
It is by Christa Wells and Nicole Witt
(yes, they are coming to Mount Holly)
It's called "Teach us to Pray."
When I hear this song, I can hear the Holy Spirit.
Listen closely, keep your heart open, and be blessed!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

He twisted his index finger slowly around a strand of my hair. His eyes turned to the floor and his head dropped to my shoulder. Peace. At least for a bit.

He suddenly pulled his head up, arched his small back, and met my eyes. His arms reached for the side of the chair. He tugged, he fought, he tried to hold on.

There's always a struggle, isn't there?

Even for an 8 month old, there is a struggle to fight between sleep and rest. Today he wanted the best of both worlds, as he spent 5 minutes deciding between the two. Sleep always wins with him. Today it just took a harder fight.

Just as a parent knows their 8 month old needs sleep to develop, our God knows the same for us.
He knows we struggle. He knows there is a fight internally. He knows our greatest needs.

Everyday we fight between the way of the World and the way of the Word.
We fight between God's upper and lower story.
Life on Earth and life in Heaven.
Doubt and Hope
Fear and Faith
Justice and Mercy

The beautiful thing about this struggle, this ongoing fight we all at times face, is that someone already been declared the winner.

His fight on the cross, gave us free victory.
His torment, his pain, his grief.
It was all for us so we wouldn't have to fight.

As we celebrate the day of love, remember the greatest love that came to Earth. He walked. He breathed. He witnessed. He taught...And he died. For you. For me. There is not a love greater than His.

Stop fighting
Let faith, love, mercy and grace take dwelling in your heart
Today and all to follow.

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Journey to the Cross

Today marks the season of lent.

Our pastor, Kendell Cameron encouraged us a few years ago, to consider not just "giving up" something but adding something more to our faith.

Although there are many "things" in my life I could give up that take the place of Christ daily, instead I want to make a promise.

A promise to journey daily to his crucifixion.
A promise to remember his grace, his love, his sacrifice.
A promise to commit the Sermon on the Mount to my heart.

My mother-in-law bought me a gift for Christmas that I will forever cherish.

The Way of Light Wreath, made by Ann Voskamp's son, Caleb.

This circular wreath, made of oak, extends to a 40 day candle holder that is a visible connection towards Calvary. Each day our family will move the candle and Christ carrying his cross around the circle, while paying reverence to the greatest sacrifice our world has known.

It is my hope and prayer to continue this tradition each year with our children. Teaching them what true sacrifice really means.

If you are interested in purchasing a wreath from The Voskamp's, here is a link to there site.

I encourage you this season, wherever you are in your journey, to add something more to your faith. Show grace, love as much as possible, seek forgiveness, and be thankful for all the gifts from our great God.

Take up your cross today my friends.
Remember His journey.
A journey of grace, love, and death.
Death brought us freedom.
Death brought us eternity.

Be blessed today and throughout the lenton season.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

what is it that really keeps us going?

A friend wrote a beautiful post today about the things that keep him going.

Although the entire post was amazing...

The end was my favorite.

"...and finally my incredible wife who works so hard to keep everyone happy. Who has believed in me even when I gave up on myself. At the end of the day when she reaches across our bed and pats the mattress looking for my hand...I fall in love all over again. I smile like its the first time i've ever held her hand. I'm the most blessed man in the world! and falling asleep with her hand in mine makes my problems disappear...and reminds me to be thankful for all of these good things! This is what keeps me going...what about you?

All of us could list the things of life that keep us going.
Many would list family, friends, God, career.... all good things

So, he asked.... "what about you?"

Well Roger, for me....

It's my heart.

Yes, biologically it keeps me going day in and day out,  pumping oxygen-rich blood to every living cell in my body. 

But it's more than that....

I've "lost heart" many times throughout my life, even though my heart was still beating. 
I've also "put heart" into many days of my life.

I'm convinced there is no way you can "put heart" into everyday. 
This is where our minds must join in.
Our minds  enew us.
Our minds remind us to be thankful, when we become disheartened. 
Our minds can count the good, even in the mess.
Our minds can remember the Word if we have it stored in our heart.

Where are you right now in your journey?
Have you lost heart or are you putting your whole heart into everyday?
For me, I have days I do both.
That's the heart of life, I suppose.

As Valentine's Day is yet around the corner, make a promise to look into your heart and ask yourself "what keeps me going." 

While you think about it, enjoy a sweet song by John Mayer, The Heart of Life.
This song is for you, Drake (my super cool cousin) -- Just keep going-- You ROCK!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I can not tell you how many people I hear say " I am not creative."

I never let anyone get away with this.

Everyone--yes---every single person has a creative side.
Some people are musically creative. Others use their creativity 
with numbers, some with art, cooking, gardening, writing... just to name a few. 

Here is what I have been wondering lately...

Can creativity be taught?"

I am not sure it can be taught, but it can be nurtured, nourished, and encouraged.

This is where my idea of having (b.) nights at my studio came to play. I decided to decorate the top of my chalkboard in my studio with the words b.Creative and in all the frames below there are words that encourage you to just (b.) It is a bit hard to see the small frames. They say things like b. funny, wise, scientific, beautiful, calm, fun, bright, different...etc.


Our first night is called b.Creative. Together we will talk about what it means to be creative and where we feel most creative in our life. We will also create a canvas and just enjoy one another's company in the process. Each (b.) night will offer something a bit different. 

Future events will be 

just to name a few

Every event will involve creative discussion, coffee, and a project to take home. 

I am really excited to see where this goes and who will land in my space in the next few months. 
What is most comforting, is that God is my pilot right now and when He leads, life is always more creative!

I have our calendar of events planned through May. If you are interested in signing up, send me a facebook message. Each month I will send out personal invites and post events on facebook!

Be Blessed!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dear you,

Today I woke up needing answers.
Answers to questions I have no control over.
Answers that require others to take action.

That's a hard thing.

I called mom.
She said, "Just be still and listen today, Andrea."

So here I am
being still
still worrying

I find stillness when I write.
I hear things that I can't when I talk.
I read things I can't understand if I'm moving.

So in the midst of stillness I found this. Enjoy a moment of peace, as I did. You will surely be blessed!

The author is Julia Fehrenbacher. She is also a painter. You can see her work at

Dear you
you, the one reading these words
you, with your ancient, wanting heart
you, wondering if you'll ever
get it right

I invite you to pause
for a moment
to listen to the space
these words
to the space where softness
and hunger

to the space that so
asks you to
the thoughts
that doubt your worth
to stop the voices that compare
and leave you feeling

There is no less
there are no shadows or shoulds, no pretty or good
no bad or broken, no right or wrong in

There is only this breath
and that which breathes it
there is only You
and your giggling, fully blossomed