On Receiving Gentle Moments & Finding Creative Direction

The T-Rex kite from Target

looked as if it was signing a signature up high

in the September sky.

Swerving and soaring.

Owen and Oliver

squint into the sun,

not finding it that much fun

to be blinded with the bright afternoon light.

The two moms a bit more delighted,

for a breeze in the day, strong enough to keep the kite up.

At some point I wound all the string around again.

Left the kite in the garage.

We pushed a wagon and a stroller on the sidewalk to the neighborhood park.

Owen stopped to collect leaves.

Oliver fixated on and fidgeting with a Ninja Turtle toy in the wagon the whole way there.

Then we pushed our 3 year old boys on swings.

They smiled and giggled some.

They never decided to be done, so we decided for them after a while.

Then they ran to the slides.

A September Memory

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Last Spring I took a creative course called the Artist Bench led by Emily P Freeman. She advertised the course to help artists finish their projects. Only a few applications would be accepted. Emily was going to mentor nine women, giving us individual feedback each week for 5 weeks.

Can I just say that I might have possibly signed up because I wanted the chance to talk to a favorite author of mine, not necessarily because I had a specific project.

I LOVE to be creative. I have dabbled in poetry, painting, and art my whole life. But I can’t say I have taken it seriously.

I giggled at the idea of this somewhat dreamy opportunity appearing from thin air; getting to talk about creativity and art with Emily P Freeman.

So I filled out the form in a nonchalant way, because I doubted being picked. I did not try to impress with answers or even be too grammatically correct. The questions themselves made me excited though. I think one was similar to this;

Name 3 Artist who inspire you, who make a type of art similar to what you might want to make. My answers:

  1. Emily P Freeman-  because her books and blog posts are kind,  gentle, & light– with deep faith and hope too
  2. LM Montgomery- her children stories are whimsical, fanciful, hopeful and lovely (author of Anne of Green Gables and the Emily Starr Trilogy *my favorite)
  3. Ruth Simons @ gracelaced.com – she paints with watercolor and loves Jesus, successful art entrepreneur

We had just moved into a different home that Fall. So during Winter I found myself in a house full of mauve walls and stained carpet. We were in no place to fix it up yet. I tried to focus on the good. Jeff was tired from finally finishing the house he built (on top of holding a full time job), but the house hadn’t sold yet. I think we both had that weary feeling after a long Winter. Maybe the feeling of being kind of stuck too.

I remember Emily posted this photo on Instagram.

“Today the sticks whisper giddy secrets of hopeful things to come.”

And I thought, that sounds nice. sigh!  A newness. a freshness.

Today the sticks whisper giddy secrets of hopeful things to come.

A post shared by emily p. freeman (@emilypfreeman) on

Well, the next day or two after she posted this picture I got an email from her that I had been picked for the course.

To say I was excited is an understatement.

The course was just what I didn’t know I needed. Emily helped set me on a course for my blogging and future projects. The audio lessons each week were filled with priceless wisdom on the creative process.

Through her course I decided the filter for my writing and art would be gentleness. She affirmed this decision and thought it was the right fit for me.

At the end of the 5 weeks, I asked her for any advice. She felt I would continue to get new ideas for writing and projects, but that gentleness would always be apart of what I create. I felt this in my heart too, and it was nice that someone else thought the same thing.

During the course Emily challenged me to start noticing and writing about the way God shows gentleness to me.

So I continue to do that; often I write about those moments on my blog. The gentle moments that strengthen me are often lighted hearted and lovely, like the September memory in the poem above.

I write.

Then release.

With unclenched fists I let the seeds of gentleness and whimsy fall where they may.

Trusting God with the outcome of every small expressive endeavor.

I am so excited to tell you that the Artist Bench course has been refined and repackaged. Emily is offering this course but a little different. It’s repackaged so many people can learn and benefit from it at one time.

I wanted to tell you about it here because last Spring it was just what I needed. It brought a freshness and excitement into my life. And so maybe it is just what you need for this season in your life. I am not sure, but I want to share, because it was such a gift to me. An unexpected, timely, joyful, gentle gift.

It is called the School for Creative Direction by Emily P Freeman.

Here is a little bit of information about the class, if you are interested.

Hope and Love in Christ,

Melissa

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“The school offers direction for artists who are not sure what to do with their great creative idea.”

“Every work that has ever touched our lives, no matter the medium, has one thing in common: someone finished it. We believe in order to finish projects that matter, three key pillars need to be in place:

a centered soul
the space to create
a supportive community

In today’s fast-paced world, these are more difficult than ever to cultivate. The School for Creative Direction seeks to provide all three of these in our first ever offering, Create + Complete. We want to partner with the artist who values deep connection, curious listening, soul space, and meaningful work.”

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