When Mom Needs a Good Cry… CRY OUT!

When Mom Needs a Good Cry… CRY OUT!

I drove clear across town multiple times yesterday, back and forth between homeschooling one and shuttling two. Wednesday’s are long. At day’s end we made it home and I made dinner, then we made our way out into the dark night for youth groups at church. Hours later, when the kids were finally tucked in bed, I turned my attention to the kitchen sink, piled high with dinner dishes, and I felt an old familiar pang. I felt like a victim again.     It’s been a while since I added to our ongoing “You are not a victim, you’re a mom” series. If the term resonates with you on a gut level, you may want to start here at the beginning of our journey out of the pit of a victim mentality and on to the high places of sweet surrender in this sacrificial role of motherhood. Ladies, God did a good job when he made you mom to your specific kids and placed you in your specific set of circumstances. Though the dishes and the laundry and the bills all pile up… your family needs you to keep putting one graceful foot in front of the other. As you plunge your hands into scourging sink water, remember your own hot refining and lean into the heat. When the suds rise up, remember the cleansing God offered 2,000 years ago, once for all. For you and me and our complaining hearts. Lean into the purity that belongs to you, clean and covered. Don’t fall into the mud again, dear mom; the mud of bitterness, of harsh nagging and complaints. I’ve...
There’s Gospel Power in Your Bible Journaling

There’s Gospel Power in Your Bible Journaling

Instagram is fun! So fun. But, for the gospel-driven artist, it can be awkward. We paint in God’s Word, hand-letter His promises, color our way through our personal Bible study, and hope beyond hope that each time we upload a picture to social media, we’re pointing people to Him. But often, as we read through the comments, it’s our artwork that they’re praising. That’s okay. Grow your skills with the hope of growing God’s Kingdom!     But still… it can be awkward. Today a generation of creative, Jesus-loving women are using their artistic bent to bend others toward the gospel. Creative women of faith, many of them smack-dab in the midst of motherhood, are doing the awkward business of uploading faith inspiring pictures, with the ultimate hope of showcasing God’s Word for all to see. One of my favorite ministry minded creatives is Shanna Noel, founder of the Illustrated Faith community. Her life is a beautiful portrait of how Gospel-power can flow out of a creative woman’s life. By example she inspires us to press into the awkwardness of platform building, with the hope of standing upon that virtual stage in order to hold up our Word-centric works of art.     (The following is an excerpt from Life Creative) “The first time I stumbled across one of her photos, I gasped. Literally gasped. It was all right there, faith and art intersected in the most worshipful of ways. I didn’t really expect to find God on Instagram, not wrapped up in such fresh creativity, but there He was. His Words brought to life, then captured and shared for...
Renaissance Mom – Rachel Baxter

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!     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.     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...
Interview with a Renaissance Mom – Stacey Thacker

Interview with a Renaissance Mom – Stacey Thacker

  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.       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...
Interview with a Renaissance Mom – Becky Leach

Interview with a Renaissance Mom – Becky Leach

  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     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...