Can You Even Imagine How Boring It Would Be?

A few weeks ago my friend Jennifer Rizzo came to Colorado to photograph our home for her new Christmas DIY and Decor book coming later this year.

After all the work was done it was fun to shop, talk and have some down time.

One morning at coffee I had been telling her about the movie The End of The Spear.

Later that night we watched the movie and no matter how many times I have watched it…it moves me to tears.

You can’t help but wonder how these women had the strength to live with the Mincayani tribe after this same tribe killed their husbands.

It made me think about how we each choose to use our gifts.

It had me thinking about our passions and the heart we have for people and places.

My mind started racing thinking about one friend after another that was living their passion.

Not one friend is doing the same thing.

I am surrounded by the most amazing women using their gifts just the way the Lord intended.

Their gifts are bringing joy to their lives.

Their gifts are blessing those around them.

Their gifts are honoring of Him.

Not everyone is supposed to dig wells in Africa.

Can you imagine if everyone had the same call on their lives?

Can you imagine if everyone used their gifts in the same way?

Can you even imagine how boring it would be?

This week I watched with pure JOY as my long time friend Courtney Walsh launched a lifetime dream with her out of this world creative husband.

If you knew the moving, job changes and questioning over the past few years it would make this story that much more incredible.

When things don’t go as planned…make a new plan.

What are you waiting for?

Who else is going to do what YOU were born to do?

Did you know that nothing is too small for the Lord to use in a mighty way?

EVERY gift with passion…has great potential!

Don’t compare.

Your gifts and your passions are exactly what they are supposed to be.

If you don’t know what they are…I would start asking the Lord to make them clear.

He put them in you to lavish you.

He adores you.

You are His favorite:-)

Take a moment to look at what my friend is doing.

Before you watch this and think they are so gutsy or so talented (they are these things) or that you could never do this..

I want you to know that this was a CHOICE they made when they could have done what they have always done or they could finally decide to GO FOR IT!

Just watch…

I dare you not to watch this one over and over and over….

I had tears after I watched that trailer for an upcoming class.

I was just excited for them because they took the leap…they are doing it!

Dream Maker {Everyone Should Have One}

I always had the mom that told me I was special and talented and could do anything.

You know…the mom that tells you amazing things about yourself and you roll your eyes.

You think your mom tells you nice things about yourself only because she is your mom.

That is part of it.

The other part is that she can see past what you see.

She can see the good and the bad and the potential.

She can see what your gifts could look like once you grow your character and see past yourself.

Moms don’t look at you through rose colored glasses…they look at you through the eyes of love and hope.

So, here I was a girl that had grown up with a mom that spoke life over me.

Life.

As a young adult she spoke hope over me.

As a woman she believed in me and continued to pray for my future.

When you have someone speak life over you…you think differently about yourself.

You look for different in others.

You believe and search out what is best for you.

That is how I found my Kelly.

I first noticed him because he was handsome.

I later loved him because he was good.

So, so good.

When we had first started dating I remember sitting in a restaurant with Kelly and it felt like he was planning out the rest of my life for me.

In reality it was only the weekend but I felt myself panicking:-)

I was 26 years old and had really tried to protect myself and heart very well by then.

Sometimes you have a huge list of all the things that won’t happen to you and it can take you awhile to realize that you won’t have good things if you are always protecting yourself from the potential harm.

I had rules in my head about how, what, when….it kept me safe.

At least I told myself that.

I had all these things I didn’t want to become.

I had watched what “becoming” can look like and it scared me.

Marriage scared me.

Even though I wanted it and hoped for it…I didn’t at the same time.

So, here I was with this new boy that I had only been dating less than a month and he was planning out what we were going to do one day after the next.

I panicked.

I felt myself instantly wanting to push him away and then a very strong voice spoke in my spirit.

Don’t.

Just tell him.

This is good. It can be good.

Just tell him.

So, I did.

I asked this boy to slow down. I told him how much I liked him and wanted to really see where this could go but I needed him to slow down.

And he did.

He listened.

We were engaged four months later and married eight months after we met.

So much for slowing down.

To read our story you can go HERE and HERE.

I don’t want to talk about that tonight though.

Today is our 15th year anniversary.

Tonight I want to tell you that Kelly has been my dream maker.

He has been my balance and calm.

He has been my exhale and safe place.

He has been my quiet and best friend.

He has been the man my mom prayed for me.

She knew I would need a man like him.

A man that wouldn’t make me scared to love or to be vulnerable.

A man that would see me as his equal and partner.

A man that would look at me through eyes that see the good and bad…and still see the best.

See the potential.

See the hope.

See the tomorrow.

Our children have a father that loves them, plays with them, encourages them, spends time with them and KNOWS them.

I don’t take it for granted that this creative life I get to lead is a gift.

I know it.

Kelly gave it to me years ago.

He didn’t realize it but he was the one to continue what my mom started so many years ago.

He spoke life over my dreams.

He listened and asked how could we make them happen.

He told me I was special and different and that my gifts needed to be used.

 He took time away from himself to give me more time to create.

He has packaged and made post office runs.

He has gone without so the business could grow.

He has edited and edited and edited video.

He has bragged over me and to others.

He has told me I “make magic” and that he will help with whatever dreams I have “because your ideas don’t fail.”

He prays with me over our marriage, children and business.

He has never…I mean NEVER…complained about this creative life.

Not once.

Mom, thank you for being my first dream maker and helping me realize my life had value and purpose…even if I rolled my eyes at the time.

Kelly, thank you for being my second dream maker and for this life you have given me.

This life of being a mom, homeschooling our children and getting to live creatively.

This life of creating dreams together.

This life of dreaming of what will be next.

Lord, thank you for being the giver of dreams in the first place.

Thank you for the gifts that I want to use to be a reflection of you.

Thank you for opening doors and creating the desire to keep dreaming more.

I hope you have dream makers in your life.

If you don’t…become one.

Search them out.

Surround yourself with them.

Choose people that will speak words of life over you.

Be a speaker of life.

**********

Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays} begins this Tuesday!

 

 

The Creatively Made Home courses bring your favorite magazine to life.

 

Join me and eight other creative bloggers for interviews, decorating, gift giving and cooking videos.

This course will change how you love on your friends and family this holiday season.

I also hope it will change how you love on your family day to day.

To read more click HERE.

To register click HERE.

You can also pay below.




When Your Gifts Lead To Dreams Coming True {Lara Blair}

Sometimes your path seems so clear and other times your gifts take you on a journey you never could have imagined.

There are times in your life when you know without a shadow of a doubt that you are doing EXACTLY what you were made for…and then you wake up one day and know it is time to move on.

It was perfect at the time.

It was real and needed and fulfilling.

It opened up the whole world to you and now it is keeping you from the new pullings of your heart.

That is the crazy thing about your gifts.

They let you know in so many different ways what is right for right now…and when it is not right forever.

All of this dream and path talk:-) leads me to this gorgeous girl….

My friend Lara Blair is one of the most incredible women I know.

I feel safe with her.

If you have a friend like that you know exactly what I mean.

She is love, faith, joy, creativity and peace all mixed up together.

All I have to do is hear her voice on my voicemail and I think I breathe a little deeper. A little slower.

Whenever I am with Lara (in person, online or on the phone) we openly talk about our struggles, dreams, directions, passions and family.

I have watched her gifts explode and I love when I hear her heart and head fill me in with everything that she is dreaming up.

I always thought that if I were truly following my gifts that it would be a golden road paved out in front of me with a clear path of where to go….and it has been the most opposite.

It curves and twists and takes me places that I could never have imaged.

Right when I think the path will lead one way…it jets another.

I know the same is true for Lara.

All of my rambling leads me to tell you about Lara’s newest adventure.

She is an incredible photographer.

Her photography gifts have lead her to a successful photography business, retreats, classes, mixed media artist and now published author.

I was so giddy when I received her book in the mail.

I read it from cover to cover and loved how it felt like she was right in front of me.

She is funny, open, encouraging and honest.

I don’t photograph animals but as I read I learned so much more about photography, shooting for my business and even capturing our cat Milo:-)

This adventure has opened doors for her next project that actually leaves me breathless with the photos that Lara has captured.

I will share that project as soon as I can!

Whether you take photos of people or take photos of animals (or you do it all just for fun) you will love Lara’s new book.

I have even had the honor of writing a few reviews for her so please read those to hear more of my thoughts.

I have told you all the lovey dovey things about Lara but here are the other details:-)

Artist Bio

Lara Blair is a fine art photographer, photography instructor, writer and artist who lives in the beautiful Northwest. She owns one of the most successful fine art dog and horse portrait studios in the country. Lara has a dog photography book published by Amherst Media that is now available in stores and on Amazon.com

On the teaching front, she loves to help up and coming photographers stand out from the crowd in a fast growing industry. Lara hosts workshops in the Northwest,Texas and Italy for beginning and amateur photographers. These classes are held each season of the year. The next one will be in February 2013.

There are several fine art photography collections in the works for the coming year. “Askew” will debut in the spring of 2013. All of her fine art collections can be seen on LaraBlairFineArt.com

In addition to running the studio, Lara teams up with artist, Elida Field to host “Ignite the Heart” photography & art retreats in the Northwest and Italy. These two creative souls believe in lifting women up to higher places. The best feedback they’ve gotten from retreat attendees is that the experience was “a life-changer”.

You can visit Lara’s planet here: LaraBlair.Com ~ TheIgnitedHeart.Com