Renaissance Mom – Rachel Baxter

My heart’s desire for this series, and truly for the book Life Creative itself, is to show that God made us creative for His great gospel glory! We are His masterpieces, indeed, privileged to make masterpieces of our own, but all purposed to point others to the Master Craftsman! Today’s guest, Rachel Baxter, gives us a clear picture of how God’s Great Commission call upon our lives can be lived out, partially, through our inspired, creative, in-His-image design.

Get ready to go on a wonderful ride, to the far corners of the world, with this sweet Renaissance Mom and her dear family.

 

Welcome Welcome, Rachel Baxter!

 

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1.) Please introduce yourself and your family to all of us.

Hi! My name is Rachel and I am married to my handsome pastor and we have six children, Ellie, Sam, Henry, Nora Kate, Charlie and Ben. Our children range from two to nine years old. Let me do the math for you, we had six kids in a seven year span. I gave birth to five of our littles in six and half years and then we spent the last year working to bring our newest son home through adoption. He is two years old and is from China. You can imagine it has been a busy, beautiful, messy, exhausting, hilarious and exhilarating last decade.

 

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2.) What did your art look like before you had children?

The funny thing is I think my children actually helped bring out my creativity. My years in college and the few years after when I was doing college ministry I did not do much in the realm of art. As I was growing up performing arts and visual arts were a part of my daily life, but when I went to college I ended up leaving much of this behind. Having children and being a homemaker gave a rebirth to my love of art.

 

View More: http://christinemasonphotography.pass.us/charlie-backyard-bubble-bash

 

3.) How did art morph and change after children, and what does your creativity look like today?

Performing arts and visual arts had been a part of my life growing up. Certainly becoming a mother revived some of those artistic places in me. Decorating a home, planning birthday parties, photography and doing arts and crafts with my kids were some of the ways my creativity bloomed in this season of motherhood. However, there is one area of art I never would have expected to be birthed from this season – motherhood made me a writer.

 

 

Despite my natural creative bent, writing had never been a part of my repertoire. I started a blog ten years ago to keep friends and relatives updated on our family when social media was in its infancy and so were my babies. My writing and my children grew together. I am not one of those women who can report after ten years of blogging that I run a successful online business, ministry, or have published book, but I can say after ten years of blogging I became a writer.

 

I so enjoy using words to illustrate the story God is writing for our family and I do it in hopes of encouraging others in the trenches like myself. For many women I think having a family has meant letting go of an art form they loved but for me it was the opposite. Being a mother gave birth to my art. Most of my inspiration as a writer has been born out of the mess and beauty of motherhood.

 

View More: http://christinemasonphotography.pass.us/charlie-backyard-bubble-bash

 

4.) Where and when have you carved out time to create in your busy mothering days?

People often ask me how I make time for writing, and I do not have a really good answer because for me there has never been a consistent plan and certainly not much time. Having so many children born or adopted in such a short period time allowed for very little consistency over the last decade. Instead of carving out time for writing, writing has carved me. After too much time being away from it the words chase me down and force me to give up sleep, pass on the Netflix rerun or beg someone to watch my kids so I can go to a coffee shop to get the words out. A practical tip for any writers out there is don’t feel like you have to say it all and write full fledged blog posts or chapters to a book to be able to write. Most of my writing happens on Instagram where I write “instablogs” but when I have more time or I can’t help but write more I write on my blog. The important part is keep writing as often as you can, even if only in little snippets.

 

5.) Motherhood doesn’t have to be the death of dreaming – in fact, it shouldn’t be! We continue to dream even with little ones by our side. What are some of your hopes and dreams in regards to your creativity?

I would love to write a book and maybe a devotional one day and have articles published on certain blogs/websites I deem especially wonderful. But what I really want is to continue to develop and grow in my writing and for it to be used to influence others toward God and the things He loves.

 

6.) If you had one piece of advice to offer a mother who may be struggling with the messy blend of motherhood and art, what would you say?

Take another look at your children and really consider how they effect your art. I think we often view our kids as the barrier to our art but maybe they are something more. In my first years of motherhood I saw my kids as the thing keeping me from my art but more recently something clicked and I realized they were the reason I have any art to give. I struggled in the early years of parenting wanting to have the perfect mom job. I wanted a job which allowed me all the benefits of mothering but also all the accolades of working in a public setting. I saw my friends being successful work at home moms as photographers, writers and artists and in my heart I struggled terribly with envy. The envy led me to punish my kids and my husband for taking this away from me. But God got a hold of me and opened my eyes to see these children were not to blame instead they were to be praised. I was becoming a writer because of them not in spite of them. It is through the mess of of motherhood I have found some of my deepest and most beautiful inspiration.

 

7) How can God use our creativity in His Great Commission call upon our mothering lives?

I love that you are asking this question! I think often we divorce our creativity from our discipleship of our children when really God intended them to go hand in hand. God is a creative and he made us in his image. His intent for his people is for us to use all that we are to glorify Him. When we are using our gifts to point our children to Jesus it shows them the wholeness of the Great Commission. We are called to make disciples, disciples are not soldiers in an army all following the same orders they are unique creations, each different than the other following the same leader, Jesus. Each disciple is given certain works they are to accomplish for God’s Kingdom. Specifically for me, one way I use my creative writing in the discipleship of my children is through creative storytelling. Often when I talk to them about the Bible I use story. Not just stories from the Bible but I will use stories from my own life and relate them to Biblical principals, they love this and they get it, because story resonates. Story reaches into their little hearts. My kids obviously don’t read the things I write for my blog or other publications but when they see me write it shows them that I take seriously the creative gifts God has given me. It shows them the truth that God has made us creative beings and we can use our creativity to glorify God and bless others.

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photos courtesy, The Archibald Project

 

8) How did creativity play a part in your recent adoption story?

One of my great surprise joys in our adoption journey was how much my creativity came out through this process. From coming up with creative adoption fundraisers, to inviting a team of talented photographers to join us in telling our story, to personally writing about our story as we lived it out, creativity has been enfolded throughout the process.
We had to raise $30,000 to bring our son home and I knew I didn’t just want to ask people for money. I longed to bring people into our journey in many different ways. So I put my creative cap on and went to work. One of the fundraisers I hosted was a weekend crafting retreat called “Made to Create.” We transformed our neighborhood club house into a craft house, ate yummy comfort food, had women come to speak about how God is using their creativity for the kingdom and, of course, crafted! The whole time I couldn’t believe I was holding a fundraiser because this was way to much fun. I continued to use my creativity throughout the fundraising process and it was really life giving to use my gifts in bringing my son home.

 

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The other way creativity was woven into our adoption was through story telling. I knew I wanted to tell this story but not just in the old fashion way. I wanted to use as many avenues as possible to take this story forward. Not because our adoption story is unique but because God uses stories to reach deep into people’s souls and change them. I knew how other people’s stories have changed my life and I desired our sons story to change others. Since Instagram is my favorite writing and story telling platform I chose to write there as we experienced it. I wanted people to feel like they were there with us. I tried to share the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and emotions we experienced each day through my words.

My deep desire was that in doing so it would ignite in people a sense that they had come along with us, and that it would lead them to see that they too could care for the orphan. We took it a step further by partnering with the Archibald project to tell our story.

 

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photo courtesy, The Archibald Project

 

The Archibald Project is an orphan care advocacy organizations using creative avenues to help people see the wide variety of ways we can all care for the orphan. They use storytelling through the medium of photography and videography to advocate for the orphan and the vulnerable child. I wanted to bring them along because I knew they had the creative ability to tell Ben’s story even better than I could alone. Many of the photos in this post are from the Archibald project.

In November, for adoption awareness month, they will be launching the video they created for us to better tell our son’s story. God has made people emotional beings and telling stories through multiple mediums helps reach deep into their souls and elicits change in a way just reading statistics on orphans can not. I am hoping through our creative story telling many families and individuals will be moved to action on behalf of the orphan.

 

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8) Rachel, how can we follow along with you and your family after this dynamite interview?

Yes, absolutely! I blog when I can at www.rachbaxter.com, but I’m always pretty active on Instagram  and Facebook

And of course you can find more of my family’s story, along with other inspiring adoption stories at The Archibald Project.

 

Thank you, Rachel, for being so generous with your family’s redemptive story. Your willingness to share your lives creatively with readers has great gospel power!

 

1471421589984Dear friend, if you are a creative mom and desire to use your writing and picture taking, your clever home decorating and craft making and hospitality for God’s great glory, our new book, Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom is for you!

 

In this season of parenting all our people, it is common to feel confined most days to home. But, it is absolutely possible to travel “to the ends of the earth” with The Good News of Jesus Christ through this digital age.

 

We believe that your creative bent has the power to bend people to the Gospel!

 

Let us encourage you.

 

 

 

 

Order your copy of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom today!

 

Interview with a Renaissance Mom – Stacey Thacker

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Welcome back to our (hopefully) inspiring new series, Interview with a Renaissance Mom! Today’s featured artist has found the key to her Great Commission Call from the comfort and confinement of her own cozy home! Author Stacey Thacker shares with us how her words have wings to go beyond the practical places of this parenting season.

 

 

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Please introduce yourself.

Hello friends! I’m Stacey Thacker. My husband Mike and I have been married for 22 years and for the last 14 or so we have lived in Central Florida. We have four girls ages (almost 7, 10, 13, and almost 17).  We also have a crazy dog, but that’s another story. I grew up in a small town in Southern Indiana and graduated from Indiana University.

 

At Life Creative we believe that art morphs as a woman transitions from season to season. This is especially true of creative personalities. What did your creativity look before children, and what shape does it take today?

I’ve always loved music and starting singing in church at a young age. Throughout the years, I played in the band and sang in various school choirs. Today, I’m blessed to have the opportunity to lead worship at my church on a regular basis. This is one of my sweetest gifts.

Words have also been a large part of my life. I always wrote letters and kept a diary as a girl. This somehow got buried in the baby raising years. My husband was smart enough to know I needed a place to work out my words and encouraged me to start a blog about seven years ago. As my words found a rhythm of their own, God began to open doors for me to put them on paper once again. This time, his plan involved books. I’m still in awe at being an author. Honestly, I didn’t see it coming at this point in my life.

 

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In the busyness of motherhood it can be hard to find the place and the space to fit your passions within the practical places of family life. Where and when have you carved out the time to create in your busy days?

Writing happens in the nooks and crannies of my life. Sometimes that involves a quick trip to Panera on a Saturday or hiding in my bedroom while the kids play together and hopefully do the dishes. I grab time when I can and of course when I’m under a deadline, I’m more aware of the value of those precious times when I can pour out my heart on the page.

Music was something I also had to step away from for a couple of years and I can tell you I sorely missed it. But a few years ago, God brought it back around in a way that fit into my schedule as a mom. I attend weekly rehearsals for the most part and lead worship about once every six weeks. My husband is key in helping to make that possible when I need to be at an early sound check on Sunday Morning.

 

I believe that God purposed our creativity to be one of the vehicles through which we respond to the Great Commission call on our lives. How has God given you opportunity to share His love with others through your creative gifts? In your home… your local community… and even out into the world.

Throughout the years, I’ve had the chance to lead small groups and travel the world to tell others about Christ. I have a heart for women to be in the Word. Yet, as a mom my time is not always my own. There have been seasons where I’ve simply needed to be home. As a writer, however, my words can go anywhere. They can stretch to the far corners of the globe while I stay home in my pajamas fixing breakfast for my kids. I can’t always go speak or be part of global mission trips. But my words—they can fly.

 

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We spend our days caring for “our beautiful creations” but there are other creations we long to pen, sing, paint, stitch and bake. It’s hard to embrace any other dream during this dream-come-true season of mothering.  Share one of your dreams with our readers?

You know, it sounds a bit hokey I’m sure, but I think I’m living it right now. I said it before, I’m the one most in awe that God has made me an author. My dreams involve projects that bring women together around a table with the Word of God between them. I also might have a song or two hiding in my heart. Perhaps He has something for me along those lines as well.

 

Would you share with us one of your “creative crushes” – another creative mom who inspires you and why.

I love watching women who have a passion to encourage and build up other women. A couple of years ago I had the chance to meet with Lysa Terkeurst and her Compel writing team and talk about writing words that matter. I learned so much during our time together. I came away with a deep respect for her passion to help women in ministry thrive. I pray I’m able to do that for other women as well.

 

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If you had one piece of advice to leave us with, concerning this awkward dance between faith, family and the flourishing arts, what would it be?

God has a way of working it out. He has a plan, simply trust him. Also, bring your family with you. Be honest with them and say, “Hey, mom has this opportunity and I want you to be part of it. I can’t do it without you.” Talk through your stories with them, ask them for their opinion on your latest creation, and if you are baking something wonderful in the kitchen, make sure they get a portion of it as well. It doesn’t always have to be one or the other. Once when I was worried about the writing and taking time away for that, my husband encouraged me with this: “Just think about what it will mean to the girls for their mom to be an author.” I realized that pursuing my dream would encourage them to do the same with dreams of their own.

 

Where can we find more of your work and connect with you online?

You can find me at staceythacker.com, on Instagram and Twitter @staceythacker, and Facebook @officialStaceyThacker. and my new book, Fresh Out of Amazing: Opening Your Heart to God’s Unexpected Invitation is now available!

 

Thank you so much, Stacey, for inviting us into the Renaissance story of your own Life Creative.

 

To find out more about Stacey’s experience as a Christian author, smack-dab in this intense season of mothering her girls, hop on over to her blog to read today’s post!

 

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We hope these interviews inspire you to celebrate your own

Life Creative.

Order a copy of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom today and join our Renaissance Faire! As a special incentive, purchase Life Creative by the end of September and receive our free downloadable resource, “Five Stepss to Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Thriving Business.” Confirm purchase and receive your free gift today!

 

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Interview with a Renaissance Mom – Becky Leach

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SIGNS SIGNS SIGNS- Many of today’s Renaissance Moms are creating handmade signs with paint and pen and computer graphics. Some hand letter their missives of encouragement while others salvage reclaimed wood and frame up canvases.

These word-centric works of art hang above our mantels, above our beds, above our couches, ever-reminding us of what is true and right and nobel. Adorning our homes with lovely things, decorating our minds with lovely thoughts! 

In the old testament book of Deuteronomy, God declares the most important commandment of all, to Love Him with all we have (our heart, soul, and strength) then He goes immediately on to tell us how the love should flow out from within us – out into the lives of our children and into our homes, as we write His Words upon our doorposts and our gates. 

Signs!

Today’s Renaissance Mom is the sweetest sign maker you’ll ever meet. Many of Becky Leach’s happy works of art simply cheer us up with an “Oh Happy Day!” while others cheer us on with scripture promises. 

I’m so pleased to introduce you to, Renaissance Mom, Becky Leach

 

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1.) Please introduce yourself and your family to all of us.

Hey y’all!! My name is Becky and I am the artist and owner behind the hand-painted sign shop, Little Branches. I am married to my hunky high school sweetheart, Jeff and we have three kids – Brady, Charlotte and Landry. They are 8, 5 and almost 2 respectively.

 

2.) What did your art look like before you had children?

I graduated from college with a degree in Interior Design and worked at an architectural firm until I had Brady (about four years). I didn’t have any time for my “own” art to be honest. The creative part of my brain was spent by the time I went home every day, even though I LOVED my job so much. I, of course, moved furniture around in our little home all the time (now Jeff is just used to this), but I wouldn’t have even considered it my “canvas” at that time. My job took all of my creative energy during those years – happily so.

 

3.) How did that art morph and change after children, and what does your creativity look like today?

After I had Brady, I knew I wanted to stay home and so, despite my husband being in law school at the time, we decided that’s what I would do. The first year or so was HARD. I missed being around people (read: adults) and it took me a while to realize that I also missed my creative outlet. For a handful of years I basically started to make. Make what? you might ask – make EVERYTHING. I started cooking elaborate meals that were wasted on our children, but that we so loved. I taught myself to sew, I did lots of DIY home projects and I got really into Project Life – and this was all before Pinterest.

In 2012 I knew I wanted to start my own business – focused on whatever I was making at the time. It somehow turned into painting signs after I opened it. Looking back on it, it was divinely orchestrated, because I wouldn’t have set out to do that in any way. But painting signs connects my love of being creative with my love of words – and only God could have put those two things together in that way!

 

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4.) Where and when have you carved out time to create in your busy mothering days?

I love having a creative busness – I thank God for the opportunities (almost) every day. But with the blessing of having this business there is also a downside – and that is that I don’t make for myself anymore! I NEED to do that more – paint for myself and for my friends, and sew! I would like to find time to sew – it’s just hard to fit it in!

My youngest goes to mother’s day out twice a week during the school year – so I tend to have two days a week solo for a few hours. This is where the bulk of my painting time happens… however like I mentioned above, this time could also be spent ordering supplies, shipping or hammering out details of a new blog post. Rarely is this time used purely as creating for myself! I need to get better at that! Today, in fact, I have some construction paper and crayons set out for my older two when they get home from school – and perhaps I can sit down and make right alongside of them!?

 

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5.) Motherhood doesn’t have to be the death of dreaming – in fact, it shouldn’t be! We continue to dream even with little ones by our side. What are some of your hopes and dreams in regards to your creativity?

Oh gosh, Wendy. My dreams. My dreams scare me. I tend to get stuck somewhere in between what I want for myself and what God wants for me. What I’ve been learning though, is this: when I lean into Him, He molds my desires into His and His into mine. It’s a weird thing, isn’t it?

But in order to not evade the question here we go on my dreams : I have a book outlined that I want to write on dreaming big within the roles we play as women. I want to somehow see my painting and my call to write, speak and lead be integrated. (Only God can do this.) I want to pour creativity into my kids. I want to learn to take risks. I want my kids to see me take risks. I want to learn that it’s okay to fail. And I really want it to soak into me this idea that success doesn’t look the same for me as it does for the next sign shop. That God built my business differently – just like He built ME differently.

My greatest dream is that I would wake up and find myself (someday) fully content with who I am in Him both creatively and professionally. That one day I would realize that I don’t have to do it all at once, but that God has given me this creative passion today for TODAY. For this moment right here. I dream that one day it wouldn’t matter if anyone else recognizes the beauty of my artwork, but that it would truly be all for Him and that would be enough to make my heart full.

 

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6) At Life Creative we believe that our creativity may actually be an important part of our Great Commission call. How has your art allowed you to share God’s love with the people in your home, your local community, and out into the world?

With my artwork, that’s an easy answer. I send works of art to other’s homes with God’s Word painted across of it. But that’s the easy answer. The hard answer is that it’s really an opportunity to BE different than the world. The hard answer is that God – through my artwork – has given me a platform to share His love and I often don’t do that well. I try to be raw, honest and vulnerable but sometimes I know I hold back. My biggest desire is for people to love Jesus more and be reminded of him after seeing my artwork or reading my words.

 

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7.) If you had one piece of advice to offer a mother who may be struggling with the messy blend of motherhood and art, what would you say?

KEEP GOING. Weary mom – you are NOT alone. You are normal. God has you right here and you are doing a GREAT job. There is no such thing as a perfect balance – or not one that I (or anyone who is being honest) have found. Make time to create each day – even if it’s just for a few minutes. Sit down and do something with your hands. Sew, paint, write, draw, create, cook, make. It might not look the same as it did five years ago, it won’t look the same in five years – but you were made to create TODAY. Don’t put it off because the desire will catch up with you and some day you’ll wake up and wonder what happened to the you that you once were! Even if you are sitting with playdough in your hands or sidewalk chalk in the driveway, just create.

 

8) How can our readers follow along with you online?

Yay! I would love for you to follow along online! My blog is www.bloglittlebranches.com and my shop is www.shoplittlebranches.net // I update my Instagram account @littlebranches most. I hope you’ll hop on over and say hi!

 

Oh Becky! This conversation was so much fun. I especially love your dreams – all of them! Thank you for joining our Renaissance Faire, and inspiring the rest of us to live our Life Creative as unto the Lord!

Wen

 

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We hope these interviews inspire you to celebrate your own

Life Creative.

Order a copy of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom today and join our Renaissance Faire! As a special incentive, purchase Life Creative by the end of September and receive our free downloadable resource, “Five Stepss to Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Thriving Business.” Confirm purchase and receive your free gift today!

 

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Interview with a Renaissance Mom – Melissa Fischer

 

fischtales3Today’s Renaissance Mom is an artist I’ve been following online since Kelli Stuart and I began writing Life Creative two years ago! This sweet lady’s pretty little squares on Instagram kept us going when we wondered if this messy blend of motherhood and creativity really held any gospel influence at all. 

Of course, the answer is a resounding, YES IT DOES! Read on. 

You are sure to love this Bible-bound artist as much as we do. And, perhaps, you’ll find yourself inspired to fit your own God-given creativity into the practical places of family life. 

God did a good job when He created you creative and then made you a mom!

 


 

Welcome Melissa Fischer! I often talk about “Creative Crushes” and you’re one of mine.

 

1) Please start by introducing yourself to us.

Absolutely. I’m Melissa Fischer, artist behind Fischtales… and Fischtale Designs. I live right outside of Memphis TN., in a little town called Oakland. My husband Scott and I have two pretty awesome kids named Ella and Elias. My little ones are now 12 and 10 – and oh how the time is flying by with them! I have been blessed from the beginning to have the opportunity to stay home with them. Its not always easy financially but I work in between school hours now giving me the chance to catch field trips, class parties, and stay home with them when they are sick. Being a stay at home mom has its challenges, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

 

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2) At Life Creative we believe that art morphs as a woman transitions from season to season. What did your creativity look before motherhood? And what shape does it take today?

I was always a creative child, but pretty shy. I clammed up in the spotlight and I think that is still true a bit today. I didn’t take any art classes until my Senior year in high school and I kind of bloomed there but never thought about going to college to major in art. My grandmother was very stern with me one day, and told me that I was going to college for art. After a small argument back and forth (mostly about how artists don’t make any money) I lost and she took me to the University of Memphis to meet with a mentor to start my degree in Graphic Design. I LOVED every minute of it!! So, I can say my grandmother was right, LOL!

I got married my senior year in college and three years later had my first baby, Ella. I stayed at home with her and struggled with finding time for me and my art, but I found little outlets here and there to create. I was one of those mother’s that created the ultimate birthdays, and my kids loved it! They still talk about them to this day. It was a way to create for them and me… it was too much fun.

Slowly I started painting again and sold hand painted canvases at art shows and online for awhile. It was a challenge but I will never forget working on orders with my children playing at my feet or coloring beside me (and a few times having to start over again because someone took a crayon to a custom canvas). Now, both of my children are in school full time and I try to find a new balance with work and family. I have more creative work time during the day but there are still challenges. My children love that I work from home, they understand that not every family gets that chance…so we know that is truly a blessing.

 

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3) In the busyness of motherhood it can be hard to find the place and the space to fit your passions within the practical places of family life. Where and when have you carved out time to create in your busy days?

The days now look different than they did a few years back. When my kids were little it was very hard to balance having a small business and finding time to create and I am sure there were many times I did it wrong. There were many melt downs and tears as I tried to fill orders some nights but I tried to find balance to make everyone happy. It can be difficult to not loose your own passions while taking care of your greatest passions in the world, your children.

Today I try to shut work down when I leave to pick up kids from school and I try not to work on the weekends. There are times that I find it creeping into family time and I try to stop and remind myself that I need to time manage my days better to change that. Don’t get me wrong, I do not have it all figured out! I have always struggled with balance, and mommy guilt. There are times it’s hard to get everything done in the day, especially when you’re a one-woman show running a business.

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4) Our creativity can be one of the many vehicles through which we respond to God’s Great Commission call on our lives. How has He given you opportunity to share His love with others through your creative gifts? In your home… your local communities… and even out into the world via the internet.

I have found a great need on social media for positive and inspirational posts. People really are longing for a positive message in a dark world. I get the chance to share my paintings and watercolors on instagram on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s paintings in my bible, other times it’s s a sketch I threw down on paper, but most of the time it is inspired by scripture or something I feel God is leading me to share with others. What a blessing to share – spreading light instead of negativity on the Internet. But it is also a big responsibility.

 

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5) We spend our days caring for “our beautiful creations” but there are other creations we long to pen, sing, paint, stitch and bake. It’s hard to embrace any other dream during this dream-come-true season of mothering. Share one of your dreams with our readers?

One day I hope to have a large studio space again to run my small business out of. I had a small studio space in our little starter home where I worked – my children had a little space to be with me and create along side of me. When we moved three years ago I gave that up to have a bigger house and yard, and now I work out of a small walk in closet. Don’t get me wrong, it works in this season… but I dream of a big beautiful studio with light flooding in. Large tables covered in art supplies and my kids running in and out! One day that will happen, but I am learning to be content and feel blessed that we had the opportunity to move in the first place.

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6) Share with us one of your “creative crushes.”

I adore Ruth Simons from Gracelaced on Instagram. Her heart for God is contagious when you read her posts  each day. She makes you want to strive to be a better mom and see the beautiful in every day life. She has to be my number one “creative crush”.

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7) If you had one piece of advice to leave us with, concerning this awkward dance between faith, family and the flourishing arts, what would it be?

Don’t believe there is a perfect balance. It is always a juggling act and no one has a one-size-fits-all formula. There may be some moms on social media that look like they have it all together – but no one has it completely figured out. Life as a stay at home (creative) mom is beautiful, hard and messy sometimes. But I do believe that you can love and honor your family with your time and attention, while still finding time for yourself. If you don’t… it is very easy to loose yourself. I believe my heart needs nurturing just like every other person in my family.

 

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8) Where can we find more of your work and connect with you online?

You can find me on instagram under “Fischtales” and “Fischtale Designs”

I am also on etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/ruthonesixteen

www.etsy.com/shop/fischtaledesigns

 


 

Thank you, Melissa, for taking the time to remind us that our nurturing is paramount too. There’s so much mommy-guilt when it comes to self-care, even soul-care. But you are absolutely right, we’re simply another heart within our home in need of TLC.

And thank you for taking the time to paint this inspired piece of art in the pages of our new book, Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

 

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We hope these interviews inspire you to celebrate your own Life Creative.

 

Order a copy of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom today and join our Renaissance Faire! As a special incentive, purchase Life Creative by the end of September and receive our free downloadable resource, “Five Stepss to Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Thriving Business.” Confirm purchase and receive your free gift today!

 

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Interview with a Renaissance Mom – Lee-Anne Haggett

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We are continuing our series, “Interview with a Renaissance Mom,” with one of my favorite creative mamas ever. She’s part flower-girl, but all God’s girl! The way she captures the beauty in everyday moments with her 4 little people, absolutely captures my own heart! I love her use of natural light. And the bold use of color throughout her home (both indoors and out) are the absolute best! Honestly, I dream of flying her out to my home one day to decorate my backyard with me, and then take pictures of my family frolicking around the fire pit! It sound ridiculous, but wait till you see this girl’s fun style and you’ll want her to help you frolic too!

Welcome with me, Renaissance Mom, Lee-Anne Haggett

 

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1) Please introduce yourself to us by sharing a little bit about yourself – who you are and where you live, and a bit about your kids.

My name is Lee-Anne and I am from the Ottawa area of Canada. I have been married to my best friend + high school sweetheart for 10 years this August. We met in grade 9 and have been inseparable since! We now have 4 beautiful children and yes, we were crazy and had them all within a 5.5 year span! Our oldest is 6yo and her name is Priscilla, a year and a week later our Maelle came, Malakai is almost 3yo and our little Clementine is 8 months old. They are the sweet balance of chaos + beauty every hour of the day!

 

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2) At Life Creative we believe that art morphs as a woman transitions from season to season. This is especially true of creative personalities. What did your creativity look like as a child, throughout school, or in your adult years before motherhood? And what shape does your creativity take today?

Oh goodness, my art has been all over the place! I have always been a crafty person, even as a young child. I loved painting + drawing growing up. I took art class all through high school and then decided I wanted to go into hairstyling. I went to a trendy little school in Toronto for hairstyling that I specifically chose because I would get to do runway hair. I was the head hairstylist for a few different runway shows during Toronto Fashion Week. It was such a rush and I absolutely LOVED it! I even got to be a model for one show because a model didn’t show up. It was AMAZING!

After hair school, I knew I didn’t want to be just a regular hairstylist in a salon but Ottawa didn’t have much opportunity for wild + crazy runway hair. I got a DSLR camera and started taking random photos around home. Friends loved my photos and I received an opportunity to have a payed gig photographing an anniversary party. That led to my first wedding and my husband tagged along taking photos as well. We had so much fun shooting together that we decided to make a go of it! My husband started researching you tube videos on photography and when he learned something, he would show me. Over the years we got better + better and more people wanted to hire us so we started a little business.

Once we started having children, it was the perfect business to let me stay home with the kids but still earn some money to supplement our income. That’s how Luke and Lee Photography began!

I have also picked up sewing! My hubby found an old Singer at a second hand store years ago, and for about 2 years I refused to even touch it. Finally I brought it to my grandma and she showed me how to thread it, and since then I’ve been making random outfits for my kids. I am always tinkering away at a craft of some sort, whether it be something for around the home or for a gift for a friend or family member. Creativity comes in many shapes + forms around our house!

 

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3) In the busyness of motherhood it can be hard to find the place and the space to fit your passions within the practical places of family life. Where and when have you carved out the time to create in your busy days?

Oh this is SO TRUE! There are months were I look back and think, “Man, I have barely done anything creative!” and then other months where you will see me huddled at the kitchen table over my sewing machine every night or tinkering away in the darkness on something.

I keep my camera available in my dining room so when an opportunity arises throughout the day, I can quickly grab it and snap a photo. It keeps my eyes sharp and my heart soft to the beauty of the everyday when I can so easily just pass over it.

It is such a struggle but it is so life giving when you can set that time aside after the kids have snuggled up in bed or you have given them a pound of play dough to keep them busy as you work away beside them.

 

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4) I believe that God purposed our creativity to be one of the vehicles through which we respond to the Great Commission call on our lives?

It starts in our home. I think just seeing the creativity that is flowing out of my children is such an honor to the Lord. To see that they have watched me and learned from me and are now creating masterpieces on their own for their loved ones is so amazing!

Beyond the home, God has given me many different ways to use my creativity to bless others. One is decorating our church each season. I would have never thought that such a simple act would bring so much life to the body. And, of course, our photography has brought us into so many different lives, people we would have never met or spent time with otherwise. For a wedding, we get to spend a good 10 solid hours with a couple that may not ever have had a personal relationship with Jesus and we can be a light. One of the first questions most people ask when we show up at a wedding is “Is photography your full time job?” and we get to respond with, “Actually no, Luke is a pastor!”. It is pretty cool and often leads into more discussion which is totally God!

 

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5) We spend our days caring for “our most beautiful creations” but there are other creations we long to pen, sing, paint, stitch and bake. It’s hard to embrace any other dream during this dream-come-true season of mothering. Share one of your dreams with our readers?

Oh the dreams!!! lol One of my dreams is when all of my children are in school, I would LOVE to go back to school and take a fashion design course to learn how to properly make clothing and I would love to start up my own clothing line with funky clothes and bright colours. I love creating things with my sewing machine and I feel like it would be such a life giving opportunity!

 

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6) Would you share with us one of your “creative crushes” – another creative mom who inspires you and why.

One of my favourite “creative crushes” is Joy Prouty. Her simple beauty for life and the way she can make a spec of dust look beautiful behind a camera is so magical! She has a raw sense of life but in that rawness, there is so much truth and encouragement. Follow her on Instagram.

 

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7) If you had one piece of advice to leave us with, concerning this awkward dance between faith, family and the flourishing arts, what would it be?

Simplicity. Simplicity is everything in a world that is moving so fast. Do what you can and let go of the rest. This life is so busy, especially when you have little ones. Don’t pack your days so full that you give no opportunity to create or let your littles create. You will find your balance. And do not compare yourself to others. You were made to create, let God show you how in this crazy dance!

 

8) Where can we find more of your work and connect with you online?

www.facebook.com/lukeandleephotography

www.instagram.com/laughterechos

www.instagram.com/lukeandleephotography

 

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We hope these interviews inspire you to celebrate your own Life Creative.

 

Order a copy of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom today and join our Renaissance Faire! As a special incentive, purchase Life Creative by the end of September and receive our free downloadable resource, “Five Stepss to Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Thriving Business.” Confirm purchase and receive your free gift today!

 

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Wendy Speake — Welcome To My Living Room

It's an odd modern age, when we meet together in digital Living Rooms, delving deep over a virtual cup of tea. So let me invite you in, as I would at my open front door, and say: “You are welcome here."

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