When your teenager makes you angry

Alright my dear friends, I have stepped over the edge of raising little people, into the unchartered waters of teens. Let me start by acknowledging that teenagers can bring a brand new set of triggers. Shoot! TEENAGERS CAN BE TRIGGERS! Strength cased in flesh, pushing for independence, sure they know more than we do and fast to tell us so… Of course, they are also WONDERFUL: interesting, thoughtful, and surprisingly unique.

But what’s a mom and dad to do…

 

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Here’s our story:

It really began in those pre-teen years for us, when emotions flared (whether sad or angry or overwhelmed) and he turned suddenly to his room and tears flowed. I was thankful then that I had read books and blogs beforehand to prepare me for this sudden shift. Simply knowing it was coming helped prepare me for some of the changes. Not that I had all the answers, but I knew that my battle wasn’t with my emotionally explosive / fragile boy; this battle was to be fought at his side, teenager and parent.

He needs me on his team, sometimes even holding his hand, as we walk through this transition into manhood together.

As for the most practical advice I can give: When his moods swing and his demands are unrealistic, I remember what it’s like to have hormones shifting and shooting through my own body on a monthly bases. Sometimes I feel (and even act) like a crazy woman! Taking a look at my own hormonal tendencies helps me to parent form a place of grace. Of course, this is what the Christian life is like in all our relationships, inside and outside of our family. We’ve been forgiven much, and so we are quick to forgive. God has been long-suffering with us, and so we must suffer-long with others. God has been just and required righteousness from us, training us through His Word, and now we have the privilege to walk alongside our children as they grow up, pointing them to righteous choices and behavior… even when they are overcome by moodiness and anger.

Grace, long-suffering, and on-going discipleship will look different for each one of us – and different for mothers and fathers and daughter and sons. Ask the Lord to give you insight into what this will look like in your brand of family. For us, my husband has started getting away one-on-one with our boys for “man time.” I have friends with girls where the father’s have taken to “dating his daughters.”

As a mom of boys I bring the Word with me to the breakfast table, over pancakes on Saturday mornings. We still read good literature aloud around the dinner table too. And I still flop down on the bed at night with my oldest, and make myself available to hear his heart.

There are plenty of nights I tickle my man-child’s broad back or rub his gangly, hairy legs, and explain to him that just as his body is changing, so are his hormones. “Your voice is getting lower.. your smell is getting stinker…. your emotions are shifting from little boy emotions to man emotions.”

Sometimes he wants to talk, other times he just needs me near – not judging or lecturing or nagging about the emotional melt-down he’d just had.

Now that we’ve made the leap into teenager-dom, these hormonal shifts have come more regularly. And sometimes I forget what is happening in his body and respond in a primal, quick-tempered, knee-jerk sort of way to the behavior that is annoying and obnoxious! But the truths about gentleness we learned when they were young still apply today… perhaps now more than ever!

Ladies, whether your kid is 8, and working through angst going to school; or 3 and figuring out his place in this family with a new baby stealing the show; or 14 and transitioning into high school, finding his own two feet to stand on amidst peer pressure and a heavy school load… whatever they are going through and however they are acting out, our kids need us to slow down and remember that their behavior is just the branches of a great big tree, waving in the tempest storms of present circumstances. Of course we see the leaves falling and the branches whipping in the wind… but God is calling us as parents to look deeper – perceive what is happening down in the root system of our children’s lives.

And if you still can’t get a grapple on your short tempered emotions, you must take a look at the roots going down into the soil of your own life. Are we planted steadfastly by streams of living water, drinking deeply from God’s transforming Word? Or are we on social media complaining with our girlfriends about our teenager’s (or whatever age) behavior? Where are we drinking from? Where are we turning to for wisdom? Where are we going for discernment each mothering day, each mothering stage?

I feel so honored that many of you come to this place for encouragement and wisdom. I pray that I use every opportunity to turn your attention to the One who gives all wisdom when we ask; provides all strength when we are weak; and gave us His Holy Spirit to counsel and guide us through each life season (ours and our children’s.)

Ladies, today, take your questions and your burdens to God; ask Him for insight in whatever it is you need right now.

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
(Psalm 121:1-2, NASB)

 

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For more encouragement each triggered mothering day, sign up to receive email updates. And if you would like to delve deeper into God’s transforming love, trusting Him to help you through your angry-mom tendencies, I suggest you grab a copy of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. By the sheer grace of God, hearts and homes are being transformed through the pages of this book (beginning with mine.)

 

Additional Resources

For those of you who would like to understand what is happening in your teen’s developing brain, Your Teenager is Not Crazy, by Jerusha and Jeremy Clark, is a wonderful, educational read!

Parenting Teens with Love and Logic, by Foster Cline and Jim Fay, is an exceptional resource when trying to understand and apply real life, natural consiquences that will help teenagers prepare for adulthood.

 

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affiliate links were included in this post.

Interview with a Renaissance Mom – Ruth Simons

ruth11 Welcome back to our series: Interview with a Renaissance Mom.

Today we’re featuring one of the mom-artists who helped start it all. Back when the book, Life Creative Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom was just a dream, I reached out to artist Ruth Simons and asked for her thoughts on motherhood and creativity. This is what she wrote: “Never has there been a time like this for creative and artistic women to embrace the high calling of motherhood and the unique giftings God has given to each of us. There is indeed a movement– a renaissance — of the creative woman, the creative mom. I’m grateful that Wendy and Kelli have chosen to encourage this generation of women, right now, to embrace their God-given creativity to the glory of God, and to steward it well. This book is right on time.”

And so it is with great joy that I introduce you to the art of Renaissance Mom, Ruth Simons.

 

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photo credit: Elizabeth Wells Photography

 

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

I’m Ruth Chou Simons. I’m married to Troy and we live in Albuquerque, NM with our six boys, ranging from age 3 to 14. I am the founder of GraceLaced, a blog I began almost 10 years ago that expanded into an online shoppe featuring my artwork. I share daily from Instagram and am looking forward to the release of my first published book this Fall.

 

 

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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 into your early adult years before motherhood? And what form does it take today?

I always loved art, drawing, painting, and pretty much every form of creative arts. But being raised in a Chinese home and community, studying art seemed not acceptable if I was an over-achieving straight A student. I began college at UC Berkeley while still in high school, and prepared for a major in Biochemistry. Despite being on track to succeed in culturally approved ways, I soon realized how much I truly loved art and writing, and I ended up graduating with a fine arts degree instead.

Ironically, I set aside my art degree for over a decade when we started a family. I served alongside my husband as he pastored and headmastered, but I never stopped creating…with food, with fabric, with crayons, and even with paint when naps were in session. I never could’ve imagined that God would ultimately use my talents and desires in this way (business, book-writing, speaking) many years later. I am grateful for this path where He has showed himself faithful instead myself capable.

 

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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?

Even though it is now my job to create, I still have to find time to create for the joy of it, and not simply to fulfill deadlines. Sometimes that looks like a Saturday alone while the boys and their dad hike or do yardwork, but most of the time creating happens in the middle of all the family activities, and next to my kids. I’ve been known to paint in the living room while the rest of the family is watching a movie together.

 

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I believe that God purposed our creativity to be one of the vehicles through which we can 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?

I planned to be a missionary. I planned on my graduate work at seminary taking me overseas for the rest of my life. But, the Lord chose instead to use my words and my art to first minister the gospel to my kids –my most important mission field– and then online, through the platform that GraceLaced has become. I really had to decide what I was online for, and how I was willing to share, sell, and spread the word on my art and the words that accompany it. For me, it became a decision to adorn the gospel…share the truth of our hope in Christ…through social media, writing, and each print that ships out from GraceLaced Shoppe.

 

 

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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?

 

I dream of having a physical place/space that would bring together my business, art studio, heart for hospitality, and love for gathering women. I don’t know if that looks like a conference, weekend workshop, or a boutique for the business, but I know that the Lord never wastes anything He gives us, so I look forward to seeing how He will use all that He’s placed on my heart and in my hands.

 

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

I’d have to admit that Joanna Gaines inspires me. I’m of course inspired by her creative entrepreneur journey, but I’m mostly inspired by how she involves her children and is unwavering about who she is and what she stands for.

 

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?

Think process before product, always. Get caught up in the living out of the art in your personal, unseen life first, and all that you hope to produce flows so much more easily from that. Nothing depresses my creativity more than trying to perform my way into a creative existence. God is the original artist and creator; when we live in Him, we reflect His artistry and creativity so much more naturally.

 

 

 

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Ladies, today is the launch of Ruth Simons’ brand new Be Still Series, a small collection to encourage us to wait on the Lord and trust Him through seasons when He blesses…and when He takes away. This series reminds us to rest in His sovereignty as we pray and await Him to redeem all things and make all things new. We pray these new prints, canvases, journals, and notecard sets will bring assurance and peace as we remember that God is STILL on the throne. Use Coupon Code BESTILL for 15% off your GraceLaced order today!

Check out all of the be still prints (some were featured in this post) over at the GraceLaced Shoppe:

Shoppe: gracelaced.com/store
Instagram.com/gracelaced
Facebook.com/gracelaced

 


 

Thank you, Ruth!

Watching you blend your palette is always fun. However, hearing how you blend the art of home and the art of motherhood amidst canvases and paint brushes is most inspiring of all.

 

Ladies, if you have enjoyed this interview, check out our conversation with Renaissance Mom Mellissa Fischer, who listed Ruth as her “Creative Crush.” And don’t forget to grab a copy of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom for yourself, or the creative mom in your life. (It would make a fabulous Valentine’s gift alongside one of Ruth’s beautiful prints!)

 

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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.

 

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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 no doubt you get weary. Sister, so do I. But God isn’t calling us in our weakness to do anything He can’t muscle with His strength, so bring it to Him – morning, noon, and nighttime too.

 

 

There’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned cry session. Let the kiddos hop out of the minivan as you go ahead and lay your head on the steering wheel for a bit and cry. Tell Him all about your weak and weary places. However, if you truly want to see the power of God flow into your powerlessness, don’t just cry… CRY OUT. “Lord, I need You. I need You to show yourself mighty and strong today.”

Bring your burdens to Him, without ceasing. Siphon His strength by grabbing hard to the hem of his holiness.

Like the woman with the issue of blood, who dared take hold of the frayed corners of Jesus’s cloak… come to Him in faith, with all your own issues. What’s issuing forth from your life right now? Issuing out of your mouth – out of your heart and into your home. Perhaps it’s been an issue for years – exasperated sighs and unholy thoughts, words that tear down and hands that have lost all gentleness.

Reach out and cry out, and press into the hot water of refinement, remembering that the cleansing has already been done on your behalf and mine. He has healed every disease threatening to issue out of us again. Believe it, when you’re tired. Believe it when your children continue to struggle with issues of their own. Believe it and cry out:

 

I love the LORD, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

For You have rescued my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling.

I shall walk before the LORD
In the land of the living.

(Psalm 116:1, 8-9, NASB)

 

Reach out and cry out, yes, but also keep walking it out. Walk it out before the Lord in the land of the living, in the midst of the people you are living with.

They need you to keep doing your job, day after day.

When there are dishes, do them.

When there is homework, help them.

When there are fears, quiet them.

When there are growing pains, rub them.

When there are dirty clothes, clean them.

 

When there is sin, recognize that your job is to correct, and then correct.

When there is joy, recognize that your job is to celebrate, and celebrate.

When they are melting down from too much sugar, recognize it is your job to help them eat healthy. And you do that too.

And when they are tired, whining at the end of another long day, recognize it is your job to help usher them to bed. And you grab a few winks yourself.

It is so easy to feel the victim each mothering day, but they are simply children being children, and they need you to keep on being mom.

 

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One foot in front of the graceful other.

Keep walking it out, taking your issues to Him. Remembering, He didn’t make us victims in our weakness, He made us victorious by HIs strength. He didn’t make us victims, He made us moms!

 

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If you don’t miss any future posts from our on-going “You are not a victim, you’re a mom” series, sign up to have them delivered straight to your email inbox.

It’s common to find yourself overwhelmed by your children’s wrong behavior in this intense season of mothering. However, if you are exploding in inappropriate ways toward your loved ones, I encourage you to grab a copy of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses today.

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!

 

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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.

 

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(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 my encouragement.

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,
Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.
He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot;
He walks upon the wings of the wind. (Ps. 104:1–3)

This passage of Scripture is beautiful all on its own. God-breathed poetry.

However, the picture posted on Instagram took the verses to a new level of beauty. Utilizing colored pencils and her artist’s eye, Shanna Noel drew a masculine hand over the words of her Bible. As God’s fingers gently guided swirling waters across the page, Shanna drew us deeper into this Scripture than I had ever gone before. Right there on Instagram, in front of God and everybody, a personal faith was illustrated, uploaded, and shared with the world.

When this Renaissance mom of two young girls first began illustrating her faith, she did so as a form of private worship. Right there in the pages of her journaling Bible, the Word came alive as she offered her drawing and scrapbooking skills back to the One who made her so creative. Shortly after, at the start of 2014, Shanna heard a whisper. “This is meant to be shared.” Hesitant, she kept up her creative worship in the quiet of her own home until one day she felt a clear, strong push to snap a photo.

That one post on Instagram ignited a wild fire as creative women everywhere reached out and excitedly affirmed this beautiful new form of worship. Within months, the Illustrated Faith movement took off and Shanna found herself at the helm, encouraging and equipping women to not just read the words in their Bible but to really explore them. Using simple tools from the scrapbooking industry, the Illustrated Faith community took to Instagram and Facebook, inspiring thousands of women to pursue a deeper knowledge of God through His Word.

Years ago, Shanna’s gift would have likely been confined to her family’s
enjoyment, a legacy passed down to
grandchildren and great-grandchildren
perhaps. Possibly she could have blessed her local church or women’s ministry with her skill set too. Today, however,
it’s ignited a worldwide phenomenon, a
revival so to speak, thanks to the digital age. One woman’s faith, filtered through the lens of her unique abilities, then shared authentically in the online realm of social media.

When creative talent and gospel love collide with the power of the Internet, a tidal wave of impact flows far beyond our reach. This is the effect of social media, flowing out from a creative’s heart to the ends of the earth, a visual wild fire of gospel-infused artistry.”

 

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If you are creative mom, eager to use your talent for God’s glory – even in this intense season of motherhood, “Life Creative” was written for you! We believe that your unique gifts make you uniquely equipped to share the gospel right in your home, in your local communities, and even out into the world in this digital age! Order your copy of Life Creative today.

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*Bible art featured in this post is by Renaissance Mom, Melissa Fischer.

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!

 

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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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