I’m nestling into the corner of a brand new coffee shop in town. I’ve been waiting and waiting for them to open so I won’t have to drive across town to escape working in my home office. Don’t get me wrong! I really, really love my 15 step commute. But, occasionally a girl needs to get dressed and hear some live conversation (I’m an introvert, I just need to hear it!). Today, I needed to quit looking at the laundry, the kitchen that needs to be cleaned and the carry on that needs to be unpacked from last week’s trip. I needed to get away from those distractions so I can sit for a few minutes and catch up with you.
There’s a very stylish mid-century modern leather chair right here across from me and endless coffee. Come join me! Maybe we’ve never met and you’re new to my world, or maybe we’ve been friends for a while and I need to catch you up on what’s going on, or maybe you’re one of my biggest fans and you love everything I produce (everyone needs a few superfans and know that I sooooo love and appreciate you!). No matter how long you’ve been aware of my corner of the internet, I love that you’re here today with me and I’m so excited to catch you up on what God’s been doing in me, with me, and where he seems to be taking me.
What God’s Doing in Me
I’m about to tell you about all the things….but as I started working on them, God let me know that while my knowledge of online business would be helpful, whatever was about to happen would be done differently. He said this business would be built by prayer. As I sit here and remember that, I realize that again today, God’s gently reminding me of my need for him. He’s teaching me dependence. He’s teaching me to seek after him first. And I realize again that I have a long way to go. Our personal and spiritual growth is so important—not for our own benefit—but because he has kingdom plans for each of us. This is all worthless if it’s being done simply by my own competence. I’m especially learning how to do life with God. Not how to hear from him and then do it on my own.
What God’s Doing with Me
This Spring has been a whirlwind. The calendar might say it’s still Spring, but if it’s over 90 degrees, in my world, that has summer written all over it. The last few months have been some kinda crazy. I’ve been traveling, released my first book, and launched my heart project.
I hate devotional books. I’m still shaking my head in amusement that God had me write not just one, but two of them (the second one will be available later this year). Who God Says You Are is a 12-week devotional to help you soak in the truths of your identity. Not the identity you might share with me if you were sitting in that leather chair right there, but your true identity.
If you were to tell me about yourself, you’d probably share your roles in life (mom, wife, friend), your circumstances (where you work, your past, what activities you’re involved in), and your achievements. We tend to define ourselves by what we do, what we look like, and stories others have told us about ourselves.
But I have news for you. None of those are really who you are. If you’re a Christ-follower, there are dozens of things God says are true about who you are. And none of them have to do with the size of your jeans or bank account.
Which brings me to the devotional. I could have written a book that you could read and simply agree with. But I want more than your understanding and agreement. I’m hungry for transformation. I want your freedom! I don’t want any of us chained to a life defined by anything less than God.
Building our worth based on God’s truths takes time. We have to dismantle the lies we’ve believed and soak in the truths of scripture. That makes a devotional the perfect vehicle. Small bites, consistently applied over time will give you the freedom you need to live confidently in the truth of who God says you are.
I also launched my heart project. Heart project because it’s close to my heart, but also because it’s a way to shape yours into what God wants it to be. It’s called SoulShapers. As Christians, we know we need to spend time with God. But…life. And work. And kids. And ohhh soooo tired!
Maybe life is overwhelming right now and the idea of finding quiet moments (quiet, ha!) to sit with God seems impossible. Or, maybe you just don’t have the mental bandwidth to make one more decision in your day. Maybe you don’t know where to start.
SoulShapers are designed for you! Short audios delivered daily that guide you through time with God in worship, the Word, and prayer. All you have to do is find 15 minutes and push play. In the car, in the dentist’s waiting room, or washing dishes.
I’ve been in church leadership for years and I still struggle with consistently spending time with God. Truth be told, I struggle with consistent anything, but this is the product I needed for my spiritual health. SoulShapers is now a real thing and we’re going through the topics in my book these first few months, so it’s one more way to let the truth of our identity simmer in our lives.
Where God’s Taking Me
Now, we get to the exciting part of our coffee shop meet up! Confession time: I don’t actually drink coffee. Mocha is the best ice cream flavor ever, but I just can’t drink it. Green tea, now that I can wrap my fingers around and have a moment with! So, I’m about halfway through my tea and just getting warmed up on the inside (Nashville insists on summer indoor temperatures of about 45 degrees) and now I get to tell you the cool part. What does the future look like?
Some time ago, I was in my home office hard at work (I own an online promotional products company) thinking about how I’d rather be working at my art table. I began to sense the heart of God in a physical way. Over the next 30 minutes, he impressed on me that at my art table was where my future would be. The very clear message was to “move in the direction of your art.”
That sounds fairly dramatic, but it was pretty confusing in the aftermath. I struggle to call myself an artist. I didn’t know what “moving in the direction of my art” really meant. And, I’d just started training as a coach. It meant turning away from a known path to an unknown one. Sounds a lot like God, right?
So, I quit my training and began following the voice of God, my own curiosity and exploring what that directive meant. It wasn’t a direct path and I’m still fighting it in some respects (that’s more confession right there, y’all!). It did eventually lead to a book with my art on the cover.
It’s also led to exploring the idea of art as a spiritual practice. I was recently certified as a Painted Prayers instructor. This means I can facilitate experiences helping others hear from God through creative practice. It’s about the process of creating, not the end result. You’ll see more of this as I begin to post examples of my own practice and begin to create opportunities for others. I’m praying about options for workshops, retreats, or an online membership. I’m excited to see where God takes this as I begin to weave the practice into my own life.
Art on the Road
Another direction God’s taking me with art is quite literally a new place. In about a week, I’m taking an international trip with an Athentikos team to provide an art camp for at-risk children in rural Guatemala. Richard Rohr says “pain that’s not transformed is transmitted.” I AM ART camps help kids learn to transform pain via the creative arts within the context of God’s redemptive story. I’m super excited about all that this trip will mean for the kids there, for me, and rest of the team (my fourteen-year-old son and my boyfriend are part of the team as well).
Speaking of the trip, I need to finalize the plans for my workshop (I’m teaching collage), so I’d probably better head home from the coffee shop and get to work on those details. Hope you’ve enjoyed catching up with me and hearing about what God’s doing in my world. I’d love to hear from you. It’s so encouraging to hear how God’s moving, don’t you think? Imagine you’re here drinking coffee with me and tell me, what’s God doing in your life right now?
P.P.S. If SoulShapers would be helpful for you, sign up here to be the first to find when it’s open for enrollment again in August.