Inspired Desktop: She’s Got Gumption


Last week, I discovered Hilary Rushford’s inspiring online space, Dean Street Society. She’s definitely a kindred spirit (who rocks a lot of polka dots, believes in bowties, wit, and whimsy, and is passionate about making space for God to move)!

I also fell in love with her blog post sign-off with grace and gumption. What a beautiful way to approach each and every day, yes??

Inspired by Hilary, I decided to look up the official definition of gumption (because I’m a word nerd), and I was delighted to discover it is defined as courage and confidence.

Because I’m seeking to live my days courageously confident in His plan and who He created me to be (and because I just learned how to create gold foil text in Photoshop!!), I couldn’t resist designing a little inspired desktop to share with you all.

As we begin the month of December, our final month of 2013, let’s be courageous and confident in Him. Let’s be full of grace and gumption, and let’s make lots of space for God to move.

:: Get your free desktop download, here. Just right click and save. ::

With Abundance


Ever since Natalie posted this scripture, it’s been on my heart and mind. I decided to create a desktop background, so I can continue to absorb this beautiful truth in the days to come.

Thank you, Lord, for everything this year will bring. The blessings. The pruning. The new beginnings. The grace. The ideas + dreams to pursue. The lessons learned. The restoration. Did I mention the grace?  The courage. The adventures. The beauty…All the things yet to be but that are already written, penned by your faithful, loving hand.

{You can download your desktop wallpaper, here.}

Staying Creative // Christy @ My Wings Are Made of Faith

Staying Creative

Hi, friends! This week, I’m excited to introduce you to Christy! I met Christy a few years ago, and I’ve been so blessed by her sweet heart for the Lord. She has such a beautiful way of sharing that heart, too, through her words and her artwork and her God-given passions. I think you’ll be as encouraged and inspired by her as I am.

Take it away, Christy! ;)

Inspirations. Growing up, I’m not sure I ever really knew what inspired me. I was always creative. Making up dramatic plays in my grandmother’s basement. Writing stories. Drawing pictures and in love with colored pencils and pens, crayons, and markers. I’d say that my best friend growing up was my imagination. I could go anywhere, do anything, and be anything.

College years came and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I remember my mom taking me to a career fair. My dad really wanted me to be a nurse. Me, I fainted at the sight of blood and hospitals made me weak in the knees. Even though I didn’t know what my calling was, the one career path that stood out to me that night was that of a graphic designer.

I couldn’t draw. I couldn’t paint like Vincent van Gogh. I couldn’t put together a 3-D object. Sketching models and still lifes, yeah, not so much. And I still can’t do any of those things. The first 2 years of college I struggled with the foundational art classes, and I struggled to understand why my heart fell in love with design in the first place. It wasn’t until my junior year in college that I started to excel. Typography, page layout, color, photography — that was what I was good at, and I saw at that point the true reason why my heart felt called to design.

portfolio sample

It’s been almost ten years since I graduated college and design inspires me, but I now realize that was only a catalyst to get to now. You see, God is changing me. A successful design career carried me financially through four very turbulent years. During a series of trying life events, God revealed to me a new inspiration, a new passion. And while I still love design, and it plays a role in my life, my new calling is helping people heal emotionally.

I share that little background story because I feel it’s important to realize that inspirations of yesterday will lead to tomorrow’s inspirations. I don’t believe for a second that you will always be inspired by the same things, especially as you learn, grow, and seek. What inspires you today will lead you to your biggest dreams — if you let it naturally carry you through the sometimes difficult, yet meaningful lessons in life. That being said, these are the three things that are currently inspiring me …


1. Faith. God’s love for me inspires the deepest part of me. For years, it was the only thing that could get me out of bed in the morning. I was exhausted. Lonely. Heartbroken. Empty. But it was He, through His Word, His comfort, and His encouragement that kept me pressing on. He had a much greater purpose for my life—much greater than the graphic designer that I could see. The way that God gently pushes me past my comfort zone to help me live out my passions energizes me.


2. My husband. Jason is my biggest fan. He supports my blogging, my creative adventures, and my dreams. Sometimes the overly organized house, constantly wanting to take creative photos, and my attraction to all things vintage and pretty drives him a little crazy, but he still helps me find ways to follow where God is leading me.

3. People. Everyone has a story to tell. They want to find meaning and a purpose. They want to know how to move forward in a time of crises. As an EPT practitioner (coaching people through an emotional healing process), I get to see people go from a broken spirit to living a full and joyful life. This inspiration has me embarking on my biggest project yet—52 Weeks of Wholly Healing for the mind, body, & soul.

I know that none of the three things I listed as my inspirations are “creative” in the sense of “art.” If you would’ve asked me four years ago, I would’ve said color, typography, and a good book. Those things still inspire me, but they inspire me to creatively share my thoughts at My Wings Are Made of Faith though typographic elements, photos, and real-life stories of struggle and joy.

I love how the simple inspirations of today blossom into a life of passion & joy …

Christy is a wife, a designer, EPT Practitioner (Emotional Healing), & heart-sharer at My Wings Are Made of Faith. She’s passionate about a naturally healthy home, being the daughter of a heavenly Father, and helping others find healing. Her   biggest project yet is taking her readers on a 52-week journey to getting wholly healthy— a year of slowly getting rid of the baggage we carry— emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually, and creating new, healthy habits. Look for Christy on Facebook  and Twitter.

Thanks for sharing your story + inspirations with us, Christy!

* * *

How are you staying creative these days? I’d love to hear about your current inspirations. (You can use this hashtag to share them on Twitter:  #BeInspiredStayCreative.)


Staying Creative // Jordan of Create Like Crazy

Staying Creative

Hi, friends! I’m excited to be back with the next feature in my Staying Creative series. Today’s guest is Jordan Brantley of Create Like Crazy. Her blog is another one on my must-read list. It’s full of inspiring features that encourage you to live a creative life (right up my alley, right?!). ;) I always find refreshment when I stop by her site. (Be sure to check out her Behind The Blog interviews, Lessons in Inspiration, and all of her great art + design posts!)

And now, I’m turning it over to Jordan, so she can share her current inspirations:


I’m realizing more and more how important it is to have resources of inspiration for those days when it just doesn’t come easily. This is especially true for creative business owners. Our paychecks depend on our creativity! 


The things inspiring my creative process recently have (surprisingly?) been away from the computer. Pinterest is great, of course, but sometimes, the real world can be much more exciting. 

Here are my current top 3:

Publications. Since a lot of my job as a designer is coming up with creative ways to present information, printed resources are a great way for me to get my hands on fresh inspiration. I love tearing out pages and making notes right there on the page! 

“Just browsing.” When I worked at J. Crew, I would often get the “just browsing” response from customers when I offered my assistance. Although this is not so great for the stores conversion rates, it can be an amazing source of inspiration. I often go into Anthropologie just to check out their displays. (And check out the sale rack, of course! ) They always amaze me with their creative ideas and use of everyday material to create something beautiful. I have gained a lot of color and pattern inspiration from browsing retail stores, as well! 


Friends! I’ve been incredibly blessed by so many creative people, especially the wonderfully talented women who contribute to CLC. Every time I am in contact with any of them, I come away encouraged, motivated, and FULL of fresh ideas! It is easy — for those of us who work from home especially — to become disconnected and let our relationships become distant. I encourage you to keep your relationships at the top of your priority list and make a point to connect with other creative people. The blogging community is a wonderful place to find other creatives to connect with and build lasting relationships. That is my favorite part of blogging by far!  


Thank you, Katie, for including me in your wonderfully creative + community-building feature! I can’t wait to meet others through your blog and learn new ways of finding inspiration! 

Thanks for sharing your inspirations, Jordan!

 * * *

Jordan Brantley is a designer living in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Chris. When she’s not doing design work, blogging on Create Like Crazy, or creating new products for her Etsy store Ink + Paper, she’s dreaming up her next crazy endeavor! 

{All photos courtesy of Jordan.}

How are you staying creative these days? I’d love to hear about your current inspirations. (You can use this hashtag to share them on Twitter:  #BeInspiredStayCreative.)


Inspired Desktop

Hi, friends,

I just completed the current She Reads Truth plan on Philippians. I found it encouraging, especially given all that’s been happening in the world with the hurricane. Knowing that His peace will guard our hearts and our minds no matter what is going on in our lives and our world is such a comfort.

I’ve been meaning to start creating free desktop downloads for some time, so I decided to start with one inspired by this study on Philippians. I am seeking to always be full of joy in the Lord, and so I created this desktop as a colorful reminder.

You can save it to you desktop here: Rejoice Wallpaper

Happy weekend!


Note to Self: Take Risks

I haven’t posted one of these in a while, and this one is a great choice for this weekend, because I’m doing a lot of thinking about my goals for the coming year and how I want to stretch myself in many ways.

Taking risks in our creative life and in our artwork isn’t easy, but it’s important, I think.

I read this quote earlier today from Bob Goff, and it sums up this idea wonderfully:

Fear gives us the reasons not to try; love gives us the reasons not to listen.

Have you taken any creative risks lately? I’d love to hear about them.

29 Things

{ photo credits from left to right, top to bottom: 1. mosaic by Designlovefest 2. Elizabeth Kartchner 3. A Beautiful Mess; photo collage design by me }

I’m about to begin the last year of my twenties (eeek!). And I have a pretty ambitious 29 Things list! ;) But I really want to embrace this year. I feel like I’m at such a good place right now…confident in the direction I’m heading, in the prayers I’m praying, and the growth I’m seeing.

I want to keep being brave and bold in my pursuit of the Lord and in my pursuit of becoming even more of the woman He created me to be.

Now…on to the list! ;)

  1. Write, design, and publish my eBook.
  2. Be an active participant of She Reads Truth.
  3. Begin each day in prayer (on my knees). Pray for increased faith every day.
  4. Continue to pray boldly. Commit to another 40 days of prayer.
  5. Read Kate Morton’s new book, The Secret Keeper.
  6. Visit a dear friend in California.
  7. Eat brunch at a local French cafe.
  8. Take my artwork to the local coffee shop who said they’d be interested in displaying/selling it.
  9. Start doing more hand lettering.
  10. Attend a creative conference like Luminous or Alt Summit. Take a Blogshop class.
  11. Purchase vintage-inspired specs.
  12. Read Blog, Inc.
  13. Further develop my brand: Create a media kit for my blog, and pursue some new partnerships/opportunities/collaborations.
  14. Pitch my writing/artwork to a few publications I’ve been dreaming to work with.
  15. Start using the manual settings on my camera.
  16. Learn how to shoot and edit video for my blog.
  17. Save for and invest in a new laptop.
  18. Be more involved in the local art/design/writing community.
  19. Attend Weapons of Mass Creation again. Go to more sessions. Hear more music.
  20. Participate in a 5K like this one.
  21. Wear polka-dotted pants.
  22. Serve the local community with my church through art/creativity.
  23. Learn how to create in Illustrator.
  24. Eat fewer processed foods and more fresh in-season foods.
  25. Try at least one new recipe every month.
  26. Watch the first season of Mad Men—AND finally host that Mad-Men-inspired soiree?
  27. Explore my city more — visit one new place (restaurant/shop/area) every season—and take plenty of pictures/videos of my adventures for the blog! ;)
  28. Go on a fall picnic (with hot apple cider, of course!).
  29. See more live music shows! (Fingers crossed The Civil Wars will come back to the area!)

Lots of creating to come in this next year (and lots of travel, too!). :)

I’m excited to see all God has in store, and I’m excited to continue learning and growing even stronger in my walk with Him.

I want to live this life as fully and creatively as I can, giving thanks for each and every beautiful blessing. 

Setting Creative Goals

I love to set goals, and I love making lists, so it’s no wonder I like to dream up new creative goals often. A list of motivating goals helps keep my creative life feeling fresh and pushes me to keep growing and learning.

Because setting goals can be so encouraging and rewarding, I thought I’d share a few of the things I do/think about when making my own lists. I hope after reading this, you’re encouraged to set some new goals of your own!

Make it fun. I love to journal, so I’m constantly using my various journals as a place to keep track of dreams and ideas. This is great, because I can record new ideas constantly and quickly (I always have one of my journals at hand), but sometimes, I like to do things that make the process feel special and inspired. I might enjoy a favorite treat while writing and dreaming (like a latte, mug of cider, or some dark chocolate), or I might get out of the house and go somewhere beautiful (like a park).

Pray. This is something I do all throughout my goal-setting process. I ask for inspiration and direction, as I set goals, and I ask God to bless my creative efforts and use them for His glory, as I pursue those goals. I’m so thankful for the creative heart I’ve been blessed with, and praying through my goals and creative dreams is such a beautiful part of my relationship with the Lord.

Be stretched. Don’t be afraid to set goals that scare you a little bit. Goals should push you to try and learn new things, as well as help you refine the skill set you already have. As a creative, I began as a writer, but over the years, I’ve explored collage making, designing, and photography. I’ve discovered so many new things I love to do, and it’s all because I took risks and set goals to try things I’d never done before.

Be flexible. Know that it’s okay to change your mind about certain goals. When I write my 20-something lists (I’ve done 27 Things and 28 Things), I always accept that I probably won’t do every single thing on the list. I also accept that there are probably a few things I haven’t even thought of yet that I’ll decide to do at some point during the year. It’s okay to add/adapt/remove/replace goals. ;)

* Celebrate! I love my 20-something lists, because they allow me to track my goal-setting and pursuing. When I write my recaps at the end of the year, I’m able to see how my goals shaped me. I definitely recommend recording and celebrating your creative adventures in some way, whether it’s through journaling, blogging, Instagramming, whatever! You’ll be so encouraged to see your progress, and your journey might even inspire some new goals!

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead — start dreaming + goal-setting!

(P.S. If you liked this post, stay tuned, because this a little teaser of the kind of content you’ll find in my eBook!)

Note to Self: Create Honestly & Joyfully

This Note to Self is the result of the reflecting I’ve been doing regarding creative authenticity and originality. After some wonderful encouragement/thoughts from a few creative friends (both online and off), this statement came to mind, and it sums up exactly how I want to approach my creativity.

I really believe that when we create something from our hearts—from a place of true honesty and joy—that creation is going to be a beautiful reflection of who we are and what makes us unique.