In October of 2011 I was with a group of people I had come to call my church family. We met in a home and learned, prayed, fellowshipped, and ministered to each other. One particular night I had asked for prayer and one of the women praying for me received a picture about me. She described me sitting in a folding chair. I was playing the cello but the cello was bigger than me and it was difficult and bulky to hold on to. I could play it and when I did it was beautiful music. She interpreted the picture concisely and briefly. She informed me God had tasked me with something bigger than me (the cello), and though it was bulky, when I played, it was beautiful.
For a very long time I've wandered looking for something to do. I do not mean that I haven't held employment, but even while in a variety of positions, I have always longed to do something that made sense to me. I have held very rewarding jobs, but I wanted something that brought all the things I love to do together. By collecting and intertwining the things I loved, I wanted to use all and find a unique way to serve others. In other words, I needed recalibration to pursue a new sound; a sound of a bigger than my life cello.
I have a B.S. in Political Science (Summa Cum Laude, 1996) from Northern Arizona University. I completed an internship at the Arizona State House as part of my degree fulfillment. I also spent about 6 years in the Washington D.C. area researching topics for clients, groups, and individuals based on where I was employed. What I loved about this time of my life was the opportunities I had to hone fact finding. Granted, I worked with organizations that needed specific facts, but I was empowered to develop my research and analyzation skills to serve others [in this case, my employer and their clients]. The key, I found, wasn't the topic, it was the ability to locate needed information. It is finding the answer that I started to excel. I learned I’m about acquiring revelation, no matter the time it takes.
I also have an M.A. in Counseling (2011) from George Fox University. I completed a 9 month internship as part of that program and then I served in mental health in a community mental health clinic for two years before I left to pursue something different. My main focus at the time was treating mood disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety, PTSD etc.). I also worked an on-call rotation that dealt with suicide crisis and emergency psychosis issues involving a person's desire to hurt others and subsequent needs for hospitalization. I worked with all ages and used therapy tools such as play therapy, sandtray therapy, CBT, and client centered therapy. I no longer do this form of counseling.
What I loved about this point in my life was I learned new ways of how to empower people, especially the vulnerable, the oppressed, and the hurting. I discovered the right word in the right season, along with taking an active listening and non-judgemental stance, could change people's lives. One thing I began to develop was the ability to see even the smallest amount of positive change and reflecting that back to my clients. At this point, I found empowering people to become positive change agents in their own lives uplifting, even in times of stress. I learned I was well geared toward helping others grow and fly.
I have also worked in public education (approx. 6.5 years) in the administrative office as an assistant to three school boards, superintendents, and as an HR specialist [last] in hiring and processing new employee paperwork. At the end of working for a public educational system, I needed a recalibration. While I learned a great deal about helping parents and children at the administrative level, including customer service and helping people feel heard in a system they were a part of but largely had only partial "control" over, I found my creativity taking a significant blow and it was like the color left my life.
However, what I learned was about people systems and how we create them and also get trapped in them. I learned I was more people oriented and less paperwork oriented. I can do detail work, but out of balance, the data entry and reporting work was draining.
All these places helped me to create skills to research, fact find, analyze, to listen, empower, and uplift, and to help others navigate complex systems they didn't exactly create and didn't have a ton of control over. What was missing was the color, Jesus, and His Kingdom design and intention.
It might seem peculiar to put color before Jesus. I don’t really but in this case, it is because what was missing was creativity - that innovative side of my personality that looks to tweak things by breaking boxes. It’s the side of me that uses particular methods to engage others so they can learn to self-govern and thus create Kingdom self-governing as I currently understand it. I need that piece. It could only come from Jesus.
For instance, I have always been a writer. As a child I liked to write fiction and poetry. I usually excelled at writing in college and it was something I truly enjoyed. I have used my writing skills through out my career and education.
I have also always been creative but I let that lag when I was young because I lacked belief and confidence I could make a go of life as either a writer or just doing something creative or finding ways to be innovative about life and work. I found, like I said, career related outlets, but many of those outlets only partially fulfilled my heart's desire to write and just be creative while finding ways to be an effective and hope filled change agent. Several years ago, I was watching a "prophetic" artist (Christianese for someone anointed to paint with the Holy Spirit) and I was very fascinated. In fact, I was so fascinated I asked for that sorta thing to happen to me. It had been forever since I had tried to draw anything. Much to my surprise, the Lord was quite happy to plop a seed of that creative revival in my life that very day. It has been burning a hole in my heart ever since. As a result, the artwork has largely become a focal point for what I do. It was the missing piece in the research and writing - the color piece.
I have come to believe that everyone has something valuable to do. I actually do not confine said belief to Christians. Everyone has something valuable to do and something valuable to give that is unique and specific to each person and we all need that gift. In Christianity, it's called a "ministry."
My ministry is geared to a particular portion of the church who believe the Holy Spirit and His gifts are still active today. That means if you are excessively liberal in your theology and do not believe in the supernatural, or if you are excessively conservative in your theology and believe the supernatural is over, you need to pass me by (unless of course you really feel led here). I'm not afraid of respectfully engaging those who don't believe.
My ministry is to be creative and to use that creativity in researching, investigating, and creating positive and inspired culture. The other part of my ministry is to help others do the same in their own field of dreams.
I do things with God because I believe God is inviting us into a personal relationship with Him by restoring our ability to have that through the Messiah. He dwells in us. Most Christians grab that. If He dwells in you, that's kind of intimate.
The entire website swirls around just being creative and creating space for beauty, peace, fellowship, hope, and positive imagery. It's a place to talk about life and to bring that into my own life and share it with others.
“Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths [or streams] in the wilderness. The beasts of the field, the jackals and ostriches, will honor me because I have put water in the desert and streams in the wilderness to give water to my people, my chosen ones, this people whom I formed for myself, who will recount my praise.”
Isaiah 43:19-21 (CEB)