Monday, April 29, 2013

The chalkboard legacy and how a a typewriter changed my life

I've got two huge chalkboard walls.
One in my kitchen and the other in my studio.

I have them for a number of reasons.

1. I get tired of looking at the same thing and love the notion of changing a wall on a whim.
2. I love the idea that I can use white or colored chalk to bounce art off my walls.
3. My son/students will always have a place to write and practice their (cursive writing) since no one      really cares about cursive anyway.
4. I believe the past must be brought up through the present in order to best understand and provide for the future.

As you can easily see- all four reasons are practical. However, I would like to expand more on the fourth reason because well... it needs to be expanded upon.

I call this bit of prose "The Chalkboard Legacy."

Our generation.

I worry about it often and contemplate what it is we are leaving for those behind us. I have no worries that the generation to follow will know how to troubleshoot computer issues, text at 300 words per minute, and tweet, poke, and block their online friends.

Will they know that students used to write on slates in one room school houses and teachers had to write individual lessons on each slate?

Will they know about the QWERTY connection and how the letters on the modern day computer were put in place because of the typewriter back in the 1700's?

Will they know that the inventions of the chalkboard and the typewriter are major contributions to society's need to communicate?

I hope they will. I have a hangnail of hope, I guess.

In my studio, I have carefully selected items from the past. They stand as reminders for me to land humbly in life. They remind me of the greatness that came well before my existence and because of hard work, determination, and COMMON sense -things like the chalkboard and the typewriter came to be.

 I cherish my traveling, turquoise typewriter. I take it with me to events and other places. I found it while shopping with my Mama Lee in Alderson, WV for $4.00. It's been all over the place and hasn't spoken a word in over five years. It needs a new ribbon. I hope to get it talking again soon.

 It sits on a table beside my brick wall and receives a few taps a day, usually from students who are fascinated by this machine that does nothing but throw letter punches at an ink less ribbon.

Even still, they love it.

I hope I can inspire future generations to remember that our past links us to our present and that God guides us into eternity with the help of some pretty amazing humans.

Tomorrow night is our Chalk it Up Studio Event at A Place to Land.
In celebration of the brilliance that came before us-- We will commit our hands to a night of messy painting as we cover books, trays, frames, tags, and more! Each stroke of paint will mark an item with a reminder from the past.  And to James Pillans, the chalkboards' creator,  thank you sir for the chalkboard legacy!

I don't know about you, but I'll take a chalkboard over a smart board any day!

May we remember friends, we've got two hands.

One to carry the past and the other to embrace the future.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

when a stranger changes you...

"I don't belong here, I'm young, beautiful, and happy," her picture spoke.

She stood out among the others. Her blonde hair was styled,  skin was glowing, and she was smiling.

No one else was smiling.

I noticed her picture in the paper at the gas station. Yes, the paper that sits beside most registers that feature those who have been arrested in North Carolina. I blinked her name into memory and spoke a quick prayer for her. I held onto the prayer loosely and forgot about the girl a few days later.

This week she was still there.

Same smile, same eyes, and the same description of her wrong-doing under her name. Unable to walk away from her again, I bought the paper for a mere dollar.

My mind kept mulling over the question, " How can she smile for a mug shot?"

I thought about it more and less, and a bit more.

Then, a new thought took center stage.

"Why shouldn't she smile?"
She is still alive, still beautiful, and still loved by God.


and truth be known-

all of us should be in that paper.

We are all sinners in need of saving.

Maybe we haven't all been arrested, but we have all been lost, broken, or scared.

I encourage you to buy a NC slammer paper this week.
Pray for the souls screaming on the pages.
Pray for their families.
Pray for change.
And pray for God to work in their lives.

Maybe in the midst of that prayer, the stranger will change you-
 just as that girl-that picture, changed me.

I leave you with a favorite song of mine that echoed in my life a few years ago before I met my husband. I'm thankful that people heard me when I needed them.
In turn, I hope I can hear you. Wherever you are, I'll be praying for you.

Be Blessed Friends!

A Place to Land- Summer Flight Plan

Where have you been and where are you going?

Come fly with us! This summer, A Place to Land will be offering summer tutoring on Tuesday's and Thursday's. Each student will receive their own personal flight plan, detailed with goals they will be working on throughout the summer. Together, we will look at where your child has been this past school year and where they would like to go next on their educational journey. Along with a flight plan, students will receive a passport of places they would like to research. Boarding passes will be distributed and they will receive punch-outs on their passes for successes and good behavior.

Along with tutoring, A Place to Land and Art Space are offering three summer camps. Our Garden Camp will kick off the summer, June 17-19. Students will learn about how plants grow through reading, writing, and art. Our cupcake camp is July 16-18 and students will read books about baking, paint cupcakes on canvas, and travel down the street to a local bakery for some cupcake fun! Lastly, our Pet Camp is July 29-31. Each camp will be packed with creative challenges, voracious reading, and encouraged imaginations. Registration is now open. Contact us about registering on A Place to Land or Art Space's facebook page. If you don't have facebook contact through email @

Sunday, April 21, 2013

a city on a hill cannot be hidden

My husband, at a very young age, watched the movie, Salem's Lot. I have yet to watch this movie, mainly due to the fact that it's scary. Scary movies usually get placed in my "never-watch" box. 
Because of this "vampire" movie, Daniel carried a cross into his basement many times, just in case he needed to ward off a vampire that could possibly be staked out behind the couch.

We laugh about that.
But what he did is what we should all do

He carried the light, the cross, the protection of Christ into the darkness.

How easy is it for you to take your light into the dark, into the scary, into the unknown?
For me, it's tough.

I like to think I have courage, but time and time again I find myself running away, right back into my safe world.

Matthew 5 reminds us that we are the light of the world and a city on a hill can not be hidden.

What's the closet city to your home?

Daniel and I are able to see the tip- top of the Bank of America tower in Charlotte from our front porch. I am reminded of God's great love when I look out on the horizon and see the airplanes flying east to west and north to south, and see that small little red light. Our city.

There is a hill immediately outside of Jerusalem's walls that hosted the most brilliant light ever known to man. A light that healed the sick, loved the poor, and came to save us. A light hung stretched, pierced and beaten. A light that died, burnt out, but shined bright days later. 

When that light left the world, he offered us a light by giving us the holy spirit. That spirit guides us through the dark, through the ugly and into the beautiful.

I don't know where you are in your walk.
But I do know that YOU were made to shine.
Start right here, right now.
Be the light. Find your city. And go get on your knees.
Boston- Waco- New York-Charlotte-San Francisco- every city in our nation needs prayer.
I leave you with a wonderful song by Toby Mac, City on our Knees.

Thanks for landing, enjoy your flight.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Let this weekend inspire you...

What does your weekend runway look like? I plan to ease slowly on this weekend's runway and take off full throttle this afternoon as we celebrate my father-in-laws birthday!

Weekends give some of us freedom to rest, others freedom to move, but all weekends, like everyday- give us freedom to inspire. Let the beauty of the weekend move you gracefully from one place to the next.

Maybe you will be inspired in your kitchen, or outdoors, or maybe you will hear a song that makes everything okay for that moment.

1. Kitchen Inspiration

Do you have an old pan, or a cake mold that you haven't used in a long time?
Fly over to and check out her super easy/cute tutorial on how to make a wreath using a cake mold.

I am working on mine and will post pictures when finished!

2. Outdoor Inspiration

Try something new! Plant something you have never planted. Grow veggies. You just may love it.
This year I am adding lavender to my mix and can't wait to see how it grows.

3. Music Inspiration
Find a theme song for the weekend. Something that represents where you are in your journey.
This weekend I'm letting Ellie Goulding's anthem, Anything Could Happen, ring in my ears, bounce through my bones, and saturate my mind as I'm in a place (as we all are)-- where anything could happen in a moment.

Thanks for landing friends...

Enjoy your next flight!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Shower Power and then some...

Great thoughts come to me in two places.

1. The Shower
2. My Car

I've had many a great conversation with friends about the magical, creative capabilities you receive in the shower. Let's just call this "shower power" for the time being.

Shower Power is a gift and fortunately we can receive this gift every day, if we know how to open it up. There is an extensive amount of research out there linking creativity and quietness.
Now, while in the shower you not only have quiet time, but you have warm water falling on you from above.

So my formula for shower power is:
Water + Quiet = Creativity
Add some fruity shampoo or soap and LOOKOUT, this will take your creativity over the edge!

As for my car, well---great things happen there too, but in a different way.
Usually my first thought upon entering my car is... Do I want to sing? or Do I want to listen?
Some days I have a lot to say through singing and other days I need a voice, a whisper of grace, or a funny joke.

All this being said, I challenge you to take an intentional shower tomorrow morning. Step in with the intention to quiet your mind so you can hear what really matters. Step out with a new perspective, idea, or answer to a problem.

Get into your car-- sing a new song, listen to an inspiring speaker, or just be still and know you are okay. You will benefit from both!

I will leave you with this quote

Creativity is often spawned by a quiet mind
- united with a challenge.

Be blessed and be filled with shower power!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Connecting, differently.

I've never been a big fan of fitting in. Most who know me well, know who I am, where I stand, and that I tend to look at life sideways or upside down.

To me a cardboard box is an empty canvas.
An old book is an art project.
And a dead stick is the perfect stem for a paper flower.

I guess I just connect with life in my own little weird way.

It's like that with people too.

I usually try to find someway to connect with the cool, the confused, the left-out, the understood and misunderstood, the young, the old and anyone in between.

We can learn from EVERYONE!

Today I had the opportunity to connect with a new student.
He was not thrilled that he was being pulled out from his room to take the mock end of grade test.
He wanted to stay in his classroom.

This not so happy camper was in my testing group. I received fair warning about this student and was reminded to "be tough" on him. I try to "hear" advice given from others, yet I usually listen to what my heart tells me instead.

I walked over to him with my testing container, smiled at him, and said "Can you please carry this for me, it is so so heavy?" He said "sure" and grabbed the container from my hand. The oh-so-very-light container surprised him and he laughed. Connection made.

That's all it took. A smile. A simple joke. A laugh.

Here is a snippet from our Sunday study in regards to connections.

An incandescent bulb uses heat caused by an electrical current.  When electrical current passes through a wire, it causes the wire to heat.  The wire, or filament, gets so hot that it glows and gives off light.  Every incandescent light bulb has within it a filament made of tungsten.  Since the hot tungsten would quickly burn away if it were exposed to oxygen, it must be placed in a sealed glass bulb which is either evacuated or filled with a gas that won’t let it burn.

We are the light bulb. And Christ is the current, moving through us with grace and love as the and lighting our souls as servants.

Unlike the light bulb, we are not made of Tungsten and oxygen is our source of survival. We don’t need a seal. We don’t need a glass bulb around us. And we can’t get too much of our great God.

Did you connect with our creator today?
There is still time.
Make a connection my friends and be blessed. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

My airplane is quiet.

Sometimes I crave the quiet, especially in the morning, when my mind is still waking up.

In my home library I have a children's book called, The Quiet Book. This sweet book explores the different kinds of quiet that fill our mornings and nights.

This is how is begins:

There are many kinds of quiet:
First one awake quiet
Jelly side down quiet
Don't scare the robin quiet
Coloring in the lines quiet
Hide and Seek quiet

It ends like this:

Bubbles in the bathtub quiet
Story time quiet
Bedtime kiss quiet
Sounds asleep quiet

If I could insert a line of my own into the book, I would say...

Riding on a airplane quiet
Looking out the window quiet

Usually (not always) airplanes rides and so quiet and peaceful to me.

This morning my airplane is quiet.
My airplane is thankful.
My airplane is ready.

Think about the kind of quiet you love most.

May your soul experience peace that passes understand, love that anchors faith, and hope that bridges the past, present and future.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

b.Cause- Madison's Missions

b.Cause we are called to care.

Taking care of people in our world is one of God's greatest calls.
Have you ever seen God in someone before?
I do all the time.

I see Him working in Madison Collier's life.
Madison is a college student at UNC Chapel Hill and attends First Baptist Church.
I met Madison a few years ago when Daniel and I helped with youth group.
I immediately noticed her leadership and love of Christ.
Fast forward a few years and she is still leading, living, and living!

This girl is on fire for God and has a passion for missions.
She blogs humbly at
Here, she tells about why she felt called to go to London and what her purpose is in going.
Her words resonated in my heart and lit a fire in my soul to help out.

I’m excited to have God reveal to me the need in London more and more each day and how I get to be exposed to it and be a light to it for an extended period of time.  How many people get to go out in faith like this?
And it gets me thinking, what else have I memorized but have not yet mobilized?
As I dive into my sins on that last note hopefully you can ask the same thing for yourself and realize you were redeemed for a purpose and empowered to do it by the authority of Christ.

Memorized, but not yet mobilized.
Don't you love that?
We must move, people.
We must do something.

Madison is my first b.Cause.
For the next few weeks a portion of my sales from A Place to Land will go towards Madison's mission. She needs to raise about $5,000 and I have no doubt she will reach her goal.

I ask you to search your heart.
Can you help?
Maybe you can donate financially?
Maybe you can donate your time to pray for her?

If you are interested in donating to b.Cause for Madison, please send me a message on facebook or email me at

Maybe you already have a cause.
Maybe you are looking for one.

If you don't, pray about it.
Our world is hurting.
Out world needs you!

b.Cause I believe everything we do and say matters
I wish you all the best Madison Collier.
You will do great things.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Bible's First Verb

The fifth word in the bible is a verb. 7 letters. and one of my favorite words ever.
Do you know what it is?

That's right, created.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. That verse is the most awesomely/extraordinary/mind-blowing/ verse in the Bible's entirety. At least to this
simple-minded gal.

Today I taught my students about understanding the main idea in a passage. I talked with them about how our hearts and our minds are two organs we must have in our body in order to think and breathe. We talked about how those two organs are major parts, kinda like the major part in a story being the main idea.

The main idea of this verse is that God created.
Have you ever stopped and meditated on this verse?
I have been lately.
And the more I crave understanding, the less I seem to understand.

All I really need to remember is that God created.

That being said. God defined creativity. He delighted in His work.
We read throughout Genesis that God saw that His work was "good."

How do you use the creativity God gifted to you?
Do you delight in your work and call it "good"?

Try it.
Make something this week and regardless of what you think, call it good.
The more you do this, the more you will value your work.
And the more you value what you create, the more you will value our Creator and the creative gifts he has wrapped within you.

Place a verb after your name and make something friends!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Creative Christianity- Session 1

Good Sunday evening friends.

Over the course of the next weeks my blog will highlight happenings from our latest women's study, Creative Christianity. The purpose of this study is to shine a light on the creative gifts that our God has uniquely wrapped inside of us. Each gift was wrapped in love with a purpose and a plan.

Picture your eight year old self, opening up all your gifts on Christmas morning. You are tearing through each and every one-- filling the air with ribbons, tags, and bright colored paper. You get to that last package and look around at your mess. It's over. Just like that is open and ready to be loved.

What if God gave in that way? What if you woke up tomorrow and he gave you all the fruits of the spirit, blessed you with numerous spiritual gifts and left you with all the wisdom life had to offer?

Sounds beautiful and grand, but honestly- I'm not sure we would know how to handle such gifts all at one time.

God's gifts are given to us in His time, in His way, for His purpose.

As our character develops, our strength is built. Strength increases faith and soon-after wisdom abounds.

Think about what creative gifts God has uniquely equipped you with.
Here are a few of mine
1. writing
2. singing
3. teaching.
4. decorating

Now think about your spiritual gifts. How can you use your creative gifts to fulfill your spiritual gifts?

For example-- My spiritual gifts are primarily compassion, discernment, and encouragement.
I can use my writing and singing to relate and bring about courage in others.

Try writing a Creative Life Statement

God has uniquely equipped me with the spiritual gift(s) of __________________.
As a child of God I can use my creative gifts of _______________________________________
to __________________. (how will your use them)

This week I will pray for you. Yes, you...whoever you are and wherever you live-- I pray that God will bless you in new ways. I pray that he opens your eyes to your beautiful self and makes known your gifts He designed for you to use.

b.creative and b. blessed