Success is in Your Hands: Faith for Creatives

And they overcame him [the evil one] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…” ~Revelation 12:11 *Bracets added

The scripture says we overcome by the word of our testimony. When it comes to being successful when it comes to victory, one of the greatest ways to secure this is to tell it, not only for the encouragement of others but to remind yourself when you begin to face other trials.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. ~PSALM 37:4-5

Success and victory go hand and hand. Both are a mark of triumphing over an obstacle or challenge or in the case of this scripture the enemy of our very lives and souls, Satan.

Here is my testimony that I share as a seed of faith for you. In 2015 I was laden with change; change in calling, change in career path, change in vision, change in relationships. Every change brought me to a new level of faith and deeper love for Christ Jesus.

He has always been sweet and perfect, kind and faithful, but it was and is as I overcome and begin to trust His character more that I am able to see and relate to Him in this sweetness.

One of my biggest struggles is in dealing with provision. I have never really lacked for anything BUT I had trained myself to work for everything, leaving very little room for God to show Himself faithful in providing for me.

Even though I am confident of His love for me, I have struggled with the question of will He meet my daily needs.

I have grown much in this area.

Matthew 6:24-30 Jesus expresses His great love for us, instructing us not to worry about our daily needs but to seek first His Kingdom and its righteousness and all our daily needs will be met. He knows we have need of them, but it takes faith in Him, faith in His character to allow Him to prove Himself here.

And what is His Kingdom? As Romans 14:17 states, “ for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Basically and gloriously, to seek His Kingdom is to continuously agree with His word that you are no longer a sinner but a new creation in Him, His Righteousness by faith and then taking hold of peace, and joy that is found in His Holy Spirit now indwelling you.

So in light of my changes in 2015 and beyond, I have started several new business ventures, one of them being transforming ICFTS into a platform that is more a community. The blessing is that as I take steps in faith (and even before I began) I heard and continue to hear Him say, “You’ll have everything you need.”

Hearing is one thing, believing and putting your faith in what you have heard is another. I decided to put my faith in what I heard and did not question Him.

Psalm 37:4-5 Also delight yourself in the LORD, and HE will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD. Trust also in Him…”

But as a test of my growing faith, while I was in the midst of getting a commissioned art piece finished, I reached for my trusty bottle of varnish only to find that it had dried into a lump!

This was not good being that the holidays were right around the corner and I had very limited time. Instead of accusing the Savior, I testified with MY WORDS, reminding myself through faith what HE had said, that I would have everything that I needed. (PSALM 103:20)

Later that day, cleaning up for the day of work and organizing some of my other tools, I came across a can of spray varnish that I had only used once!

I immediately did a happy dance, not because of the can, but because my faith had increased and I had abided in the faithfulness of His Word and received the fruit of faith!

I have learned to trust Him more. I am learning to rest and trust Him more with confidence because I am HIS righteousness and in this, I have joy and peace! I was victorious in my trial then and have been in many since then. I gained success! And the greatest success is found in walking with Him and holding to His hand!

*Revised from November 6, 2015. 

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion


The Measurer of Our Success: Faith-Filled Encouragment for Creatives

Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Each day is a new opportunity to step out in faith and make strides toward your vision. Sometimes, the lens by which we rate our productive success, causes us to lose heart, and even drive, to continue with the work we’ve done or planned to do.

Other times, we find that although we’ve planned to-do a list of specific things, our hearts and minds are driving us to do something totally unrelated, and we struggle to stay focused on the well-rounded plans we set for ourselves.

We want to do our best, after all. We have plans for our future and that future can only be realized if we stick to the task.

Let us remember, that as we walk out of one week, and prepare to enter another, that if we have submitted to the trusting faithfulness of the Lord Yeshua Jesus, that He is faithfully guiding our steps (Psalm 37:23).

Let us meditate on the truth that we are not even in a position to judge our own success, nor are we in the position of being our own Lord. We work for the Lord and not ourselves.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be good stewards over the tasks and time He has given us, rather, that we should be cognizant of Who is guiding and blessing us with whatever measure of success our work produces at a given time.

To that end, let us do our best with each day and moment we have, to celebrate what we are blessed to accomplish when we step out as good stewards unto the Lord and call our truest efforts ‘good’ as we do them unto Him! (Genesis 1)

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

Waiting Like Bamboo: Learning to Take Life One Step at a Time

I’ve been asked by several people I know ‘what is your plan?’ They ask because they know my dreams. They ask because they have seen my struggle, and from their vantage point and sometimes even my own, it seems like nothing fruitful is happening.

That seeming reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

I once heard Joyce Meyer talking about growth and waiting on God. She talked about how she’d learned bamboo shoots, once planted, will spend up to five years growing deep roots before actually breaking through the surface. But once they break through they can grow a foot in a matter of hours.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” ~Psalm 119:105 

That teaching was so encouraging but the reality is, nobody really wants to wait like bamboo. We want the deep roots TODAY and the foot-by-the-hour growth TODAY.

All of this makes me think about the deceiving phrase of ‘overnight success.’ Again, one sees bamboo stretching to the sky in a matter of hours and they are led to think that its always been that way.

They have no idea the long dark pressing that the roots endured digging deeper into the earth, where no one sees, where no one gives applause, just so when the day comes for their shoots to literaly shoot toward the sky, they have roots deep enough to support the seemingly sudden progress.

I know that over the years I’ve made progress. I know this because of the evidence of the dirt beneath my fingernails and the scent of soil in my hair. I know this because my mind is still set on my goals and I have the sweat stains to prove that I’ve been working, even if only me, myself, the Lord Yeshua Jesus and the dark, are the only ones who know it.

 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” ~Psalms 37:23

I can honestly say that now I feel as if my head is moving about in the upward soil now, that the heat of the sun is kissing my crown. I know that soon I will break through the surface and shoot toward what I’ve been working for all these many years.

I just don’t know when, exactly, the breaking through moment will happen. I just know it is near.

So when people ask me while ignoring the smell of the labor on my skin or the dirt on my face, what is my plan, my answer is, to simply to trust where Yeshua Jesus shines the light on the darkness and there, take the step that is set before me.

That is my plan. Take the next step toward breaking through.

~Poeima, Poetry in Motion

5 Ways to know You are on the Road to Writing Maturity: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

Writing. We don’t just do it because we love it. Most of us do it because we have to. The blessing of this ‘have to’ is that we actually enjoy it.

What I find most enjoyable are the moments I realize I’ve gained a greater level of freedom with my craft as I mature into my craft.

So how does one know they have achieved greater levels of maturity?

Here are 5 helpful hints:

Writing Maturity

1. You are no longer concerned with the timelines of others: So what your writer friend has successfully published 2 books within the last year and you have yet to dish out your debut novel.  A ‘good-for-them’ is not a ‘bad-for-you’. They aren’t your competition.

‘Keeping up with the Jones’ or for Millennials, the  ‘Kardashians’ is NOT an issue for you. You’ve learned to write at your own pace and respect the flow of your creativity, while celebrating the successes and milestones of others.

You realize your only competition is your own potential. Are you achieving it?

2. You no longer beat yourself up for not meeting your projected word count for the day: Sure, you enjoy hitting the nail directly on the head but you applaud yourself for giving an honest effort.

3. You rejoice and are grateful for the words you did dish out in a given day: Good viable words in a novel are NOT a dime a dozen. If you’ve been pursuing a writing career for long, you’ve already learned to NOT believe that hype.

To that end, you are grateful for every pearl that drops from your fingertips.

4. On word count, you realize that quality is always better than quantity: The less rambling you’ve done in your story means the less time it will take to revise it and make it shine.

You are all about good time management. The less clean-up required means the quicker you can move on to your next creative writing adventure.

5. (If you are a blogger) You’ve learned the customer isn’t always right, or rather the ‘troll’ leaving harsh, critical comments isn’t worth your emotional energy: You have embraced your right to monitor your comments section. You have  a ‘delete’ button and aren’t afraid to use it!

We all know that “taking out the garbage” makes the room smell better. After all, feeding the trolls does take away from your writing time and again you are all about time management.

BONUS: You are all about creative growth so you celebrate what your real Followers, Fans, and Writing Friends have to say!: These folks believe in your craft as much as you do. They want to see you shine. When they give you a ‘thumbs-up’ or a ‘not-so-thumbs-up’ you take it and learn from it. You grow.

Creativity is growth. And we all grow at a different pace. So enjoy your journey along the way! After all, making the most of each moment is what maturity is all about.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

The Lies We Tell Ourselves: 6 Harmful Creative Writing Untruths & 7 Truths to Keep in Mind

Writer's Table

Being creative is a gift. Whether you are a dancer, a vocalist, a painter or even a landscape architect, you will run into a wall-of-lies that will try to eat away at your creative growth and momentum.

Here are 6 lies that I find most of us writers face in regard to our manuscripts and craft, and 7 truths to keep the lies at bay.

1. My story is too long: Sure, very few people want to read a dictionary but the reality is, you aren’t even close to that large a tome.

Truth to keep in mind: Babies always lose a few ounces just after birth. First drafts will do the same with word count after you begin editing and revising.

So just allow your creative juices to flow, write what comes to mind, and do some trimming later. Build your house first, before you start tearing down walls.

2. My story is too short: Your story may be a novella or even a short story and not a full-length novel at all.

Truth to keep in mind: Respect the identity of your story, no matter how ‘short’ it may be. Quality always overrules quantity. Less sometimes is indeed more.

If your story has finished telling itself in less than 35k words, then let it be done. If you push it further you may just destroy its glory.

3. No one is going to read this:….

Truth to keep in mind: THEY WON’T IF YOU DON’T WRITE IT!

4. My writing is not as good as “fill in the blank”: One can’t argue with poor grammar, but voice and style are something unique to all of us.

Truth to keep in mind: No two snowflakes are the same but they are all lovely. Your creative voice has value and merit. Someone needs to hear. Always practice to make it its very best, but never stifle it by measuring it against someone else’s. Be your own snowflake.

5. I should just quit: If you’ve started writing, you did so because you have a story to tell. Quitting will only haunt you with a terrible song of regret.

Truth to keep in mind:  Some creative projects take longer than others to accomplish. Sometimes taking a break to regroup your creative thoughts is necessary but never give up. You’ll not only regret it, but the reality is, your characters won’t let you rest.

6. I can’t do this: We all get tired. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. It’s worth the struggle. We’ve all seen movies where mothers in labor say ‘I can’t do this!’ But what do they do? They push beyond their own self-consciousness and pain and bring that baby that they’ve been carrying for nearly a year, into the world!

Truth to keep in mind:  Writing is a struggle sometimes. But the moment you type ‘The End’ is a moment that feels far too good to even express in words! Keep pushing!

7. BONUS: Whether you write for publication, blog, or write in a private journal, your gift is worth exercising. Tell your story. Put your words to life. Never stop creating. You were made for it!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Writing Tips You’d Give to Your Younger Self: 5 Words of Wisdom from Blogger Blonde Lucy

Welcome to the Writer’s Journal, a place where creative wisdom and encouragements are shared with all at the table!

Part of developing as a wordsmith or visual artist comes with learning, not only from our own process but gleaning wisdom from those around us. This is what the Writer’s Journal is all about.

ae8f55cd-fe45-4c4a-9684-5d7f5249adbeThis week, we have the pleasure of  learning from a super blogger and brilliant wordsmith: BlondeLucy, the mind behind Blondewritemore blog.

I encourage you to not only eat of her wisdom here but follow her blog as well as these other platforms:




Thank you, BlondeLucy, for stopping in and sharing. The pen and pad are yours!

5 Encouragements I would give to my younger writing self on what is most important about writing. By Blonde Lucy

As a fresh faced and eager newbie writer, you need lots of encouragement. Writing is not easy and at times, it can reduce you to a snivelling wreck. 
This is what I would say to my younger self:
  • Forget the Writing Course at the local college. Expensive and a waste of time. 
  • Forget the ‘Writing’ self-help books. Expensive and a waste of time. 
Write! Just sit and write. 
Write until you have nothing left inside you and then wake early to write more the next day. 
Write and write until words dance in front of your eyes. 
Writing every day for a few years is what makes a writer grow and develop.
I would say:
  • Start your blog. Post daily and use this a form of writing training. It is your daily workout. 
  • Grow your Twitter following. Don’t be shy or afraid. Don’t think you are bothering people. Tweet. At first, no one will re-tweet or like your stuff but just keep tweeting and hash-tagging. Be consistent. 
  • Listen to your gut instinct. You know what you want to write. Don’t be led by others. Don’t be persuaded to write for others. Write what you want to write. 
  • Take part in a weekly blog battle or writing contest. This will be hard but it will sharpen your writing and enable you to forge friendships and networks with other writers. Learn from other writers through doing this. Make a point of reading all the entries and comparing them to yours. Look to see how the more advanced writers are describing objects and events. Look at their sentence structure. Soak it up like a sponge. 
  • Enjoy it! Don’t get wrapped up in ‘when will I be published?’ daydreams. They are just a distraction. Be mindful and enjoy the little things about your writing; the mad scribble which starts an idea, the burst of excitement when you think of something new, the first time you hear a character talk to you and that feeling of pride when you complete your first draft. 
Write my friend. Don’t stop! 
Learn your trade and be grateful for your creative gift. 

Shifting Paradigm: A Quote

Your success or lack there of, in all things, is contingent upon your perspective and paradigm. Whether you see a vase or two faces mirroring one another, or the glass half empty or half full is up to you. But once you shift into the necessary paradigm, you will see change breaking forth.

~Candice Coates


It takes time to be a success, but time is all it takes.




Thoughts and Quotes: Mental Framing for Artistic Success

A couple of weeks ago I created a post asking the blogsphere of novelist what their creative process was. Since then I have been really taking stock of my own failures and successes in order to come to a place of “groundedness” as I attempt to take my writing career to the next level.

In short, I have a TON of books yapping about in my head, and I would like to oblige their voices by putting their stories in readable form. That means I need to create a “process machine,” that allows me to create and be fed creatively.

This is what I came up with…so far…really these are the foundation to creating a working process.

  1. If you have time to blog, then you have time to read the blogs of others: It is important to remember the glory of community. A net is only as strong as each of its individual knots. In order to have a supportive community, one must “support” a community by being active in the works of others.
  2. If you have time to write then you have time to read: Reading the completed works of others is extremely edifying. There is a wealth of rewards to reading the works of others that include:
    • Bettering of your grammar
    • Learning new ways to communicate ideas
    • Challenging yourself to do something different with your writing
    • Being Challenged and INSPIRED to complete your own writing
    • Entertains your socks off (I literally read over 9 novels in the last 2 weeks…that is another blog all to itself)
  3. (This goes in hand with point 2) If you don’t have time for one then you don’t have time for the other. You have missed the point of both. You have to be well nourished if you intend to feed others. If you are not being inspired then you can’t inspire others. How do you get inspired? One way is to read!!!
  4. Take time to dream, but wake up in time to make that dream come true: Take it easy but don’t be lazy.
  5. Enjoy what you are doing and don’t take yourself too seriously. If you lose the enjoyment of the craft then maybe you have lost sight of why you began writing/blogging/creating in the first place.

These are the thoughts I have had since a couple of weeks ago, and honestly I feel lighter for having mulled over them as well as more fire up to make magic happen with my imagination and keyboard.

I leave you with this quote about writing by Melinda Haynes

Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.”


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