February 28, 2015

Thinking out loud here

I may have mentioned a time or two on this blog how much I love my job. I am so incredibly thankful for it. I am able to literally pour into hundreds of peoples lives each month. This month we have taught over 700 kids and adults. And while I am so super thankful. I still continue to ask God, whats next. What do you want from me? How can I be a better steward of what you've given me with this business?

I can be more intentional with everyone I come in contact with. I can be sure to always offer a smile, an encouraging word, and some inspiration.

I can give lots of hugs and build kids confidence and self esteem. I can teach them to make decisions and that's its ok to make mistakes. 
There are so many life lessons taught within art. And as much as I truly truly love every thing about this job. I still feel that P'zazz isn't reaching everybody we are suppose to reach. After all, the only people who paint with us are people who can afford it. We are a business and we require money to operate. But what about the sweet kids that are in our AMP ministry ( I will have to do a whole other post on that... basically its a ministry that works with low income children and shows them the love of Christ and that he has a  plan for them and that he  LOVES them! And so do we!). So what about them? What about all the other children who truly desire and need to get their hands messy and create but simply can't afford it. Yes, I bring the AMP kids to our studio twice a year to do a fun free activity. But they really could benefit from more. So how do we make this work. How do I incorporate really making a difference in lower income families with this studio??     

And then Lawrence called. Lawrence is one of our AMP kiddos. I mentioned to them that if they ever need help on a project to give me a call. Our studio has tons of supplies that they can come use. I didn't give this much thought honestly. I just heard them talking about school and threw that option out there. 

So I got a call from Lawrence on Tuesday that he and a project due on Thursday and he wanted to know if I could help. He couldn't remember exactly what he was suppose to do so I gave his teacher a call to find out what he project was and set up a time for him to come to the studio the next day. 

Y'all, this little man made my heart so happy. This was a very simple project. " Draw a planet and write three facts about it". But for a family that doesn't have a computer to look up the facts, doesn't have supplies like poster, paint, brushes, etc, it can be difficult. I love that he took the initiative to give me a call. It only took us about 30 minutes to complete this simple project but to see the smile on his face and to hear him say " I think my class is going to love this" with that big ole grin.. well it just filled me up. I could see that he was taking pride in his work. He took a little extra effort to ask for help and the result was something he was so proud of. He was thanking everybody. He gave his mom and big ole hug for bringing him to the studio and then he started thank Kloe ( my daughter who goes to school with him.. who had nothing to do with this project.. but he was just so happy he was thanking everybody! ) Oh, it made me laugh. 

And it made me think.. what if we started doing this on a more regular basis. What if all these kids from our AMP ministry knew they could come to the studio to get help on projects. What if we got other people involved ( I can't do it all myself ). And people from the community could help invest in these kids lives too. It takes just a small time commitment but the pride the kids  experience from completing a job and doing their best is something they will carry with them. To know somebody cares about them and cares that they are doing their best.

Just thinking out loud here. I think it could be cool. We will see where it goes from here. 
For now I just thank God for answering my prayer that I prayer everyday " Use me God". 
I encourage any and everybody to borrow that prayer for yourself. It's amazing the opportunities that open up when you ask that simple phrase.

February 9, 2015

Extra Special Valentines Project

Here is one of my favorite projects to do around this time of year! I hope you love it as much as I do!

January 11, 2015

Why I do what I do

This moment in these pictures right here... this is what I love! This is why I do what I do. This is the culmination of all the things I love about my job. This is my anchor moment that embodies everything I want to do. 

This was our annual bowl breaking party for "Rice Bowls". All of my students from my after school classes take a bowl and work all month to think of creative ways to fill it. They know that if they can fill the bowl all the way up then it will feed a orphaned child for about a month. 
 We all came together and grabbed some hammers, smashed the bowls, and at the end of the night counted over $1200 in change. It was so thrilling to see the excitement in the kids eyes as they realized they could serve others and make real change in this world.. even though they are just kids!

To see kids and parents feel the joy that comes from giving to others.... wow that's fun! If I can help teach kids early in life that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive..then I think I will have given them a powerful truth to take with them for life.
 And that's what we are about at P'zazz.. not just creating awesome art but also helping mold awesome kids. At P'zazz we teach so many life lessons within our time of creating every afternoon. I want to pour truth into these kids. So this night, this is my anchor moment. In this moment I was over the moon thankful for God allowing me to have a studio that could bring together so many kids and parents, that I could inspire others to give more and to serve others, that I can use art to also teach truth. and that we have so many little world changers right here in our small town.

 I am thankful and overwhelmed at God's goodness. To date, our studio has been able to provide over 25,000 meals to kids around the world through our partner "Rice Bowls".

It is my dream to one day be able to completely provide the food budget for an orphanage. I can only imagine the moment that I walk into a orphanage full of sweet kids and know that this little studio called P'zazz helped feed them for a year! Kids helping kids. I honestly have no doubt that that will happen. Not sure when or how soon but it will happen.

 Thank you God for keeping your hand on P'zazz. Thank you for using us in ways we could never have imagined. Thank you for multiplying our gifts for your glory!

November 9, 2014

What's happening at the studio

Here are a few quick pics of what's been going on at the studio. I feel like so much happens so fast that I rarely sit down to reflect on how blessed I am to have a job where I can pour into kids, meet new adults, and just chat about life while we paint. 
Here are a few highlights from the last week...
Our homeschool class and their pastels!

Birthday parties galore! 

Adult parties ..painting on windows!

More adult parties on canvas.

And getting ready with new designs for the upcoming holiday season!

September 8, 2014

Thanks Jaycob Curlee!

We recently hosted a paint night where Jaycob Curlee from "America's Got Talent" came and played for us before heading off to the semifinals. It was such a fun night and we were able to raise $1200 to give back to his family for spending money while in New York. Since that night I have been on a little guitar kick.. Take a peek!

August 21, 2014

Wait Expectantly

When we plant flowers we do this automatically without hesitation. We wait expectantly. We know they will bloom in time as long as we nurture them. We do this so easily because we've seen it done before. 
As I was creating this piece for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search I painted first and then got stuck on what words I should add. Part of the assignment was to add at least one word. There are so many that just seemed over done.. Bloom, Imagine, Dream, etc. Honestly, I do love all of those words but they don't stop and make you think. 
So I went to the ultimate creator, GOD, and asked him to reveal what he wanted me to know in this moment. I flipped through one of my favorite books "The Circle Maker" and wow did God use that book once again. I want to just touch on a few of the parts of the book that I highlighted. 

Praying is more than words " It means acting on your prayers because you expect an answer"- Hello! Why do we sometimes not expect an answer. Again, we always expect flowers to bloom, why don't we always expect the GOD of this universe to hear us and answer us. We sometimes take a mindset that we aren't important enough for his to care about our dreams but that is sooooo wrong. He put those dreams in us. He WANTS to use us. We just have to believe he is who he says he is and he can make our big dreams a reality plus some. 

" We want to reap the second after we sow, but this isn't the way it works with dreaming big and praying hard. We need the patience of the planter. We need the foresight"

"We want our prayers answered immediately, if not sooner. But the key to dreaming big and praying hard is thinking long"...... Can I get an AMEN! 

And then this...
"Then David declares, ( in Pslam 5:3) ' I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly'. Most of us just wait; David waited expectantly. There is a big difference.
Our biggest shortcoming is low expectations. We underestimate how good and how great God is by 15.5 billion light years. "

When you wait on GOD expectantly your whole mindset shifts.

Psalm 5:3 "In the morning , LORD, you hear my voice, in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. "

What are you asking God for? He doesn't always say, yes, but he does always hear us and answer us. Are you expecting to hear from him?

August 18, 2014

I am Loved so much more than I deserve

Today was a significant day in our household. Today, Kloe, my oldest started first grade. She only did half day Kindergarten last year so this is her first year going all day every day. She is more than prepared and super excited about it. But last night as we were saying our prayers I began thanking God for an answered prayer that started over 7 years ago.

About 7 years ago is when I was pregnant with Kloe. As a classroom teacher I saw that kids came to First grade already having formed their personalities, their work habits, and so much of their personality. I felt a huge tug on my heart to be able to stay at home with my new baby so I could help shape her. I had no idea how we could afford to do that. Through a lot of prayer, self reflection, and just listening to God and the clues around me it soon became apparent that I should try to teach art lessons to kids. After all .. art was a big part of my life, I had been trained on how to teach kids..put the two together and teaching art to kids seemed natural and also much needed in our community.

I started P'zazz while on maternity leave. I wasn't sure if it would last any longer than my year of leave or not. I remember praying and hoping it would last at least 3 years and if I could just make an extra $700 a month, even if I was eating noodles for dinner, we could make it.

When I think of that prayer and I see what God has done over and beyond what I prayed for I am absolutely humbled, thankful, and moved that he loves me that much. P'zazz is in it's 7th year now and we continue to grow every year. We have been able to help so many organizations and charities through fundraisers. We have loved on and encouraged thousands of kids. We are helping feed orphanages around the world. We have a second location that makes a difference within that community. My thinking was so small compared to what God wanted to do and is still doing.

So today, as Kloe went to first grade it was a huge milestone for her but also for me and my God. I felt that he was smiling as he said " I gave you your hearts desire.. why did you ever doubt me"

Sometimes I think that we don't believe that much good can happen to us. We know God 'can' do something but we aren't sure if he 'will' or not. But even when we don't know what he is going to do we can be sure of a few things.. 1) He LOVES us more than we can imagine 2) he wants the best for our lives more than we do 3) and he wants to use us

That's what I felt today. I felt God's love and faithfulness and goodness.

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