Why Showing Up in Small Ways Matters

Sarah Masen - Artists Who Influence

It's hard to put into words what happens in the heart of a seventeen year old girl who longs for life to be poetry and beauty and then finally, someone comes along and says it's true. For years after I first heard Sarah Masen sing that night in the youth group of Highland Park Baptist Church in Southfield, Michigan I titled every email with a line from one of her songs. It's weird, but at the time it was a small form of expression. Quoting her lyrics were my timid first steps into discovering … [Continue reading]

3 Reasons Why Lysa TerKeurst is an Artist Who Influences

Lysa TerKerKeurst - Artists Who Influence at Chatting at the Sky

I first met Lysa six years ago after attending She Speaks, the training conference for writers and speakers that her ministry founded and hosts every summer. Lysa is the author of many books, her last three all landing on the New York Times bestseller list and let me just say to do that, you have to sell a lot of books is all I'm saying. It might be easy to look at Lysa's life and work from the outside and say oh well she's an artist who influences because she has the ear of so many thousands … [Continue reading]

The Artist I May Never See Again

Nurse Melody - The Artist I May Never See Again

I may never see her again, but that day she made a difference for me. She led me to the exam room with a smile and a pat on the back. She was kind, patient, looked me in the eye. She reassured me when I didn't even realize I needed to be reassured. She was gentle and quick to help. Sometimes I have to search hard to find the good. Other times the good walks up next to me and offers me a smile. Nurse Melody was a true caretaker. And that's also what makes her an artist who influences. If … [Continue reading]

Meet Brenda Morland, My Mom

Brenda Morland

I spent a little time in my hometown last May. It was the first time I had visited there by myself as a grown woman. That also made it the first time I had ever driven those old familiar streets. I expected for it all to feel strange and dream-like. What I didn’t expect was at every turn, at every familiarity, I thought of my mom. It wasn’t a particular memory, like Oh there’s where she taught me to finger paint! or That’s where we went out to that fancy restaurant and laughed about all the … [Continue reading]

Why Mister Rogers was an Artist Who Influences

Mister Rogers

If my childhood were a living room, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood would be on the TV. I simply can't imagine growing up without Lady Aberlin, King Friday, Prince Tuesday, and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. But of course the main draw was Mister Rogers himself. It felt like home to watch him put on his tennis shoes, to have him sing, It's such a good feeling, to know you're a live it's such a happy feeling you're growing inside! When he said I was special, I believed him. Back then, though, I … [Continue reading]

Lennon & Maisy Stella :: Artists Who Influence

Lennon & Maisy

 This is day 2 of a 31 day series, Artists Who Influence. Today's post has several videos so you may need to click over depending on where you're reading. Lennon & Maisy Stella are sisters. They started here: And they kept doing what they love together. Of course they are talented with some serious skill. But they are also generous with their gift and with one another. One of my favorite things to watch for is how they look at one another while they perform. It's a sweet … [Continue reading]

Introducing 31 Artists Who Influence

Artists Who Influence - A Series at Chatting at the Sky

I am not a person who is a die-hard fan of much. I don't follow the entire career of any actors or musicians, don't read biography after autobiography of any one author, saint, or hero. I'm not an expert on any one book or movie (although my knowledge of The Wizard of Oz challenges the truth of that statement) (more on that later in the month). Mostly, I dabble. I listen. I watch and read and take from a buffet of inspiration. I invite many different influences into my life and my work and let … [Continue reading]

Let’s Share What We Learned in September

What We Learned in September

I cannot even believe it's already time to share September's lessons but here we go! Remember, this is a place to share all kinds of learning, both the silly and the serious. I lean toward sharing the silly since I tend to share the serious every other day. But any and all learning is welcome. Here are 7 things I learned in September in no particular order. 1. Shark Tank and Sharknado are not, in fact, the same show. Incase there was any confusion in anyone's life. Besides mine. 2. … [Continue reading]

A Peek at My Bookshelves

my bookshelves

Over the last few years, I've become better acquainted with our local library but that hasn't yet stopped me from accumulating all the books. So when Anne Bogel (aka Modern Mrs. Darcy aka The Media Specialist of the Internet) asked me to share my bookshelves, I was happy to. She has a fun series called Other People's Bookshelves that I always enjoy reading and today, I'm sharing mine. So head on over to her blog to see more of my rainbow shelves and what I'm currently reading. … [Continue reading]

For the Days that Feel Gray on the Inside

For When you Feel Like Creation is Over

Even if all your glasses tend to be half-full, if you lean toward Pooh and away from Eeyore, if you tend to be the first to spot the silver lining, there is a cloud that can descend upon you that you did not choose and cannot escape no matter how much you may try to reframe it. Maybe it comes from running a little too hard for a little too long. Or from small discouragements that add up to one big gloom. And you wake up in the morning and realize the hopefulness that usually dances around you … [Continue reading]