I’m God’s girl through and through – and He’s the only reason I do any of the things that I do. I want Him to be famous, not me. I want to help build His Kingdom, not mine. And I definitely don’t ever want to come across like I’ve got this thing on lockdown. I’ve walked through enough cray-cray in my day to possibly earn me a little street cred – but there is still so much about our collective experience here on earth that grieves me, confuses me, and frustrates me.
I’m an artist that was crazy enough to complete 100 paintings in 100 days back in 2009, wrote devotional backstories for each painting and then published a book of my 50 favorites. I think I slept for 3 years straight after that. These days, I’m working a full-time gig as a graphic designer to help care for my fam, but I still love to paint in the margins of my life. Margin? – you might ask – what’s that?! Believe me, I get that on SO MANY levels.
I married later than most – I was 40 – and true confession: met my beautiful bald drummer man John on a Christian singles website. He is one of the most gifted drummers I know and I am his unbridled super groupie. I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to date his amazingness – and train for a triathlon together. This is the part where my close friends fall on the floor laughing, but it’s true. We trained as a way to get to know each other better – and boy, did we?! Cranky, sweaty, ocean drenched, muscle cramps and a biking accident to boot. But you’ve gotta give the man some mad props – our goal was to at least cross the finish line together – but not only did he do that, he got down on one knee and proposed in front of the entire race crowd! The other guys at the race hated him for his obvious genius and cunning prowess.
Like many of you, I wear lots of hats and do more loads of laundry in a week than I could’ve ever imagined possible. There are long, hard days when I want a total reset – or long for an alternate ending to my unique story – not alternate PEOPLE, just an easier path. But one of the most profound things I’ve discovered in my life as a creative, a wife, and a mom is that God is present in the most challenging AND ordinary tasks. It’s such a wild ride – this juggling of tedious and traumatic. Some days my heart feels like it has whiplash! I know from my everyday struggles (and I mean that quite literally) that there are times when it’s hard to believe that any of it matters – because it doesn’t feel exciting enough or look big enough or seem important enough – but take hope in knowing it’s all sacred ground – from managing massive meltdowns to picking up dog poop – none of it is wasted time or effort. God sees it all.
God works His greatest miracles in the mundane moments of life.
John and I love being a creative duo – we’re constantly coming up with killer band names, funny t-shirt ideas, and our own versions of hilarious SNL skits. We’re our own entertainment. (We don’t get out much.) We’re both suckers for popcorn and chips and a good series binge on Amazon or Netflix. Our all-time favorite thing is to serve together in worship – him on the drums and me at the easel. As long as we’ve been a couple, we’ve had a heart to see creatives in sacred communities inspired, encouraged and equipped – so we co-founded a collaborative called Sacred Muse (before life got really complicated.) We’d love to put our energies back into that vision some day soon – but for now you can find us walking our dog Bella or riding our bikes on the greenway trail when we need to clear our heads – and that’s about all we have to give these days. Unless it’s making a drive-thru Starbucks run. But then we’re done. Blame it on #COVIDbrain or distance learning or maybe just parenting in general – but it seems like we’re always exhausted. I wish I was kidding about that.
I am not ashamed to declare that I’m a lover of anything covered in chocolate and an unapologetic special needs advocate for my daughter Ellie. Strange, you say, mentioning chocolate and my daughter in the same sentence, but just ask my family – it’s about even. I love them both SO MUCH! But I would choose her for sure. Except when she’s got her bossy pants on. So then definitely the chocolate. But chocolate can’t hug me or give me butterfly kisses. So definitely her. Except when she wags that head and finger and uses a sassy tween tone. Then it’s undeniably the chocolate. But chocolate can’t paint with me or tell me amazing facts about every animal on the planet or ask me mind-blowingly curious questions about space and biology and life or tell me knock-knock jokes that don’t make any sense. So hands down, she wins. Maybe I should just dip her in chocolate and all my problems would be solved…that’s not a weird thought at all. Because of her, I’ve discovered my inner Mama Bear – and can tell you without a doubt, I would slay for that girl. More than anything I want her to know that she is SO WORTH FIGHTING FOR…and that as family we love each other NO MATTER WHAT. And then I swallow hard, because I know that some of you have had to walk those values out in extraordinary ways.
True devotion requires all that we have to give – and everything that we don’t.
I’ve recently become painfully aware that I’ve had an embarrassingly long list of jobs in my life (I have the epic-length resume to prove it) – but no matter how many job titles have been on my business card over the years, the one title I just haven’t been able to shake is the one good friends prayed over me decades ago: Light Bearer. My heart-whispered prayer has always been that God would use me to take LIGHT into the darkness and speak TRUTH into the lies (and girl, you KNOW there’s a hot mess of those)!
So as we get to know each other a little better, let’s walk through the complexities of faith together – lived out in the hard stuff of life – and as we do, it is my hope that you will once again feel your heart turned toward heaven, become filled with a renewed trust in the goodness of God and be encouraged to navigate your way through whatever comes your way with courage and grace. You in?
For now, let me leave this right here with you: