Rethink Creative Group

Rethink in Texas

Before I share about my recent Texas journey, let me tell you a little backstory...

At the beginning of 2014, a really cool thing happened. Through friends and connections that were so perfectly orchestrated by a God who writes awesome stories in our lives, I started blogging for Rethink Creative Group. It was the first time I was blogging seriously, and for a site that wasn't just my own, and I absolutely loved it. I loved the other people on the team, and loved being part of how Rethink was growing.

Last August, as Rethink was growing as a business, we made a change to that blog. We launched a whole new site called The Rising blog, and it became my baby. I wasn't just blogging anymore, but also leading a team of incredibly talented writers from all over the country, editing all content, running our social media, and helping bring everyone's words to life in a new space.

This past May (as in last month), I officially came on board part-time with Rethink as the Chief of Story. I wrapped up nannying the two boys I had fallen in love with this year and my work with Rethink became my sole job. IT WAS SO EXCITING. 

Then, last week, I flew out to Texas for a full week with the Rethink guys. The craziest part of all of this? I had never met David and Mark who are the co-founders of Rethink. The two of them plus Blair (who I had hung out with a few times over the last year when he passed through Richmond) and I make up the whole staff team currently. 

Basically, this past week has been one of the all-time best ever. Getting to finally be in the same place with these men that I've known and worked with for over a year was amazing. We traveled all over Texas, worked together, had many long and incredible conversations, laughed harder than I have in a long time, had a complete blast, and grew so much closer in just seven days than we ever could have spread out all across the country.

Coming home to Richmond on Tuesday was bittersweet. I love this work, love these people, and love what we get to create together everyday. It was so much fun to all be together to do that, but I know we are all coming back to our respective cities ready to make more magic happen for our clients.

Here are some snapshots from my week in Texas!

Traveling from DCA-->DFW (and leaving love letters for strangers)

Austin, TX at Adelbert's Brewery (filming a promo video for them) // Dinner out with the team // Relaxing at our AirBnB // Visiting the State Capitol // More video shooting

 

Grapevine, TX at Redefined Coffee House // Best tacos EVER // Hadassah Valentine (Rachel and David's adorable daughter!)


ps-- if you need any marketing/creative work/websites/social media strategy/etc...check out Rethink! We would LOVE to work with you.

To Say I Love You // A Letter

"I love you" never means the same thing twice. So this is me, saying "I love you" in the form of little letters to the ones that hold slivers of my heart, in all the different ways those three little words take form.

Dear You, all four of you, our family has come out of your love. On both sides, you anchor us all, my parents, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins. That you once lived next door to each other on Flint Tavern Place is one of my favorite stories to tell. That my parents met because you four were first friendly neighbors is such a sweet story. That all four of you are alive and well and making your seventies look younger than ever is such a blessing. That all four of you never cease to remind me I am loved is such a gift. I'm so grateful for you. I'm grateful for every memory throughout all the years of my life made better by your love for our family.

Dear You, I can picture all of your faces now. I can just vaguely remember what it felt like to hug you, to hold your hand, to call you mine. I said I love you, and I know that I meant it, but I know that it was different than what I know love to be now. But I'm thankful for you, for all of you. For the months I spent by your side over the years, for the things you opened my eyes to, for the ways you helped my understanding of love to grow. I'll always be fond of all of you. Little parts of my heart will always be yours.

Dear You, for three years (and ever since), you have been an anchor for me. You loved me at my messiest, held me accountable, drew me back to Jesus time and time again, and made my life brighter and more full with your boundless joy and endless wisdom. You once told me I was a mirror, and I've never forgotten those words. You speak so much truth into my life and I'm so deeply thankful for your friendship and how it changes me.

Dear You, I'm proud of you. I don't say that enough. Ever since I can remember, you've been right there next to me, making everyone laugh with your antics, stealing the spotlight (and also my candy), making life infinitely more fun, and reminding me to just live a little. You'll always be little to me, even though you've shot up to be so much taller than me. You're smart, you're hilarious, you're talented, you're loyal, you're full of fun facts, and you make our family better in every way. I'm so, so proud you're part of us.

Dear You, you three make working feel so much more like fun. That I haven't ever met two of you face-to-face seems hilarious considering how close we all are. It's been a joy to be part of this team from the very beginning, even when it was hard too. You all are so talented and driven, and the work you do really is changing the world little by little. I'm proud to call you friends and co-workers and brothers in Christ.

Dear You, where would I be without You? Who would I be? I don't even want to think about that, don't ever want to go there. You saved me and You keep saving me. You loved me and You keep loving me. You redeemed me and You keep redeeming me. You gave me life and transform what it looks like day by day, breath by breath. My little heart full of love for You will never be enough, but I want to pour it all out at Your feet every day in every way anyway. Every bone in my body and every beat of my heart sing out "I love You, I love You, I love You." 


I'm linking up with The Letter Link-Up hosted by Amber over at Mr. Thomas & Me -- check out her post and all the other beautiful letters being written here!

Thankful: Feeling or Expressing Gratitude

Thankful: feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.

I'm thankful for freedom. For the kind that comes from living in a country where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are protected and defended daily. For the kind that comes from being washed in the blood of a sinless Savior who died to release my chains and draw me close to His side forever. For the kind that lets me worship, lets me write and speak and publish, lets me love, lets me live as I do.

I'm thankful for grace. For the undeserved gift of extravagant, amazing grace that washes over me and floods me and changes everything about me. 

I'm thankful for family. For all the people that have known me from my first breath and support me unconditionally. For the memories, the traits and the traditions we all share. For the times we can all be close even though we all live far.

I'm thankful for community. For a church that is vibrant, alive, welcoming, growing. For my small group and how we've grown as believers, people and friends over the past year. For my circle of friends who laugh with me, eat with me, adventure with me, do life with me. For the Rethink guys and The Rising team and all of their persistence and dedication to changing the world through their words and their art. For the #fireworkpeople who light up every day with beautiful encouragement and passion and fire.

I'm thankful for change. For a different life and different goals and different dreams today than I had last year, because that means I'm growing. For new circumstances and new challenges, because they mean that life is moving onward and I'm not stuck.

I'm thankful for technology. For being able to make friends all over the world through Facebook and Twitter and blogs. For a platform I can use to share my heart through my writing with anyone.

I'm thankful for creativity. For museums full of art from centuries past to remind us where we came from, what we saw, what we found beautiful and meaningful. For websites full of words that challenge and inspire and connect us. For crafts and for dance and for murals and for music.

I'm thankful for joy. For giggles from children discovering new things in this world. For laughter shared with friends that brings tears to our eyes and aches to our stomachs. For a deeply rooted freedom that bubbles over in trusting faith and lasting happiness and unwavering belief.

I'm thankful for forgiveness. for redemption. for healing

I'm thankful for unity. for shared meals. for solitude.

I'm thankful for the unexpected. for provision. for protection.

I'm thankful for Jesus. for the resurrection. for salvation.

I'm thankful for life.

I'm thankful for love.

I'm thankful.D

Loving Lately: October 24

This art print. It's on my wall at my apartment, and I'm in love. It's of Big Ben and purchasing it helped change the lives of orphans in Zambia. What's cooler than that?!

Know your why. One Questions Businesses Should Be Answering, But Aren't.

This fall weather. PRAISE.  

The Secret of Aslan. This article gave me chills -- I love CS Lewis and love how his stories are still changing us and leading us back to Jesus, even as kids.

"Vulnerability happens when you're brave and start first." Is there ever going to be a time where words from this woman don't resonate with me perfectly and wonderfully? 

This journaling Bible, because come on, that's the perfect kind of Bible for a writing/doodling girl like me!

Dreaming up ideas for card sets and art prints for The RAD Store that I really and truly hope will be launching in the next week or so! Stay tuned!

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. -Psalm 19:14

Ben Howard's new album. Yes yes yes. My favorite writing soundtrack.

"Farther Along" (a song I'm already in love with) with an INCREDIBLE rap in the middle? Yep, I'm all about it. The HOPE worship arts team is out of this world.

How cool it was to share two Story Seeker posts back-to-back about marriage...one from a couple just celebrating their 1st anniversary and the other from a couple celebrating 50 years together. I love their love and their stories.


To see past Loving Lately lists, click here! Any favorites to share? Comment below!

We're Better When We're Together

So much of the work that I do on my little corner of the internet here is work I do alone. I write at my kitchen table with just the clicking of my keys for company, I wander around city streets with just my camera to scout out shots, I doodle and journal sitting on my couch with just a glass of wine by my side.

But this year, I learned something. My work is so much better when I don't do it all alone. Even more than that, my heart is better, my soul is better, my life is better when I don't do it all alone. 

It started with Rethink Creative Group back in January. I found myself on the phone with a guy who lived in Texas who had gotten connected to my blog, and he asked me to join a team of several other men who were using their creative talents to glorify the Lord and change the world. 

I had been a blogger before that, but I wasn't consistent, I wasn't very committed, and I honestly wasn't really very good either. But those guys saw potential in me, saw what my heart was after, and they invited me in to their community and I became part of their family. 

My writing improved dramatically over the months that followed, and it's because I had a team backing me every step of the way and encouraging me to grow as a person and as a writer. I wasn't just writing by myself and putting it on my blog without anyone else looking at it, I was now collaborating and brainstorming and working with other people who challenged my work and made it the best it could be.

Now, as the editor over Rethink's new blog, The Rising, I get to be part of building that community even more and taking it to new places and depths, and it's an incredible honor and challenge and gift. The collaborations of our team and all of its members, with each of their individual hearts and gifts and voices, are unbelievable and so beautiful. None of us could accomplish on our own what we can do as a team.


At some point this summer, I caught wind of something on Twitter called #fireworkpeople. If you follow me on Twitter, you've probably seen me blowing up your feed with that hashtag every week. Curiosity got the best of me, and I clicked on the hashtag one day. I was amazed at the positivity, joy and encouragement that radiated from the tweets that filled my screen.

I knew I wanted to be in this group, if for no other reason than I wanted that kind of light in my life. I joined the Facebook group and jumped right in to the weekly Twitter parties (Tuesday nights at 9 pm-- just search #fireworkpeople and join us!) 

Now, again, I'm reminded astoundingly that we are so much better when we are together. People from around the world are joining this group of talented, driven, passionate, radiant creatives of all kinds, and the community is growing rapidly. It's not surprising, really.

We are all hungry to be seen, hungry to be heard, hungry to be loved and appreciated and valued. When we are alone, nobody is there to see us, hear us, appreciate us. When we are together, when we join in, when we live in community,  we have people that see us. They hear us. They wrap us up in love and appreciate everything about us.

I'm better because I'm part of these groups. A better human, a better writer, a better dreamer and believer and passion-follower. These people aren't always necessarily like me, I haven't met most of them in real life, they aren't perfect, sometimes I disagree with them...but they're my people.

They're the ones that I share my heart with, share my words with, dream big ideas with, problem solve with, laugh with, cry with, celebrate with, change the world with. They're the ones that remind me every day that life is a beautiful thing and there is always something to celebrate, even in the midst of overwhelming uncertainty. They're the ones that make me laugh (shout out to my girl Ansley!), that make me feel unstoppable (Ashley, the force behind #fireworkpeople, is the best at this!), that free me to dream big and encourage me endlessly (here's to David, the dreamer behind Rethink!).

We are all so much better when we are together. 

In the early days of my writing with Rethink, I wrote a whole post called "Your Art Needs Other Art." I wrote these words then, and find them even more true and meaningful today. 

Let the art of others inspire you. Let it challenge you. Let it refresh you. Let it make your art better.

The work that you do may be work you've always done alone. I get that. But your life doesn't have to be lived alone. You can bring all that you are and all that you do and make and create into community, and I promise it will be for good.


If you want this kind of a fiery, beautiful, life-changing community to call home, #fireworkpeople would absolutely love to welcome you with open arms and big virtual bear hugs. If you are a writer and want to be part of a team that's changing the world for Jesus, The Rising would love to hear from you.

This post is part of the #fireworkpeople blog tour! To see all other posts on the tour, click here.

Real Talk and Raw Wood

This post originally appeared on Rethink Creative Group.


I hate small talk. It's glossy and shiny and it's all the surface-level stuff, and I just don't like it.

What I like is getting to the core of who people are in conversation. I like getting to see the real heart and soul of somebody, hear what makes them come alive, learn what keeps them up at night. I don't want to just see the poised and perfect outside, I want to peel all the layers away until the raw and real middle is all that's left to discover.

photo credit  PV KS

photo credit PV KS

The past few weekends, my parents have been helping me tackle a major DIY project-- refinishing a dining room table and chairs. (Watching too much HGTV made me think I could handle this...but I quickly learned that this is not my forte.)

We started with a table, a perfectly fine table, seemingly good from most angles. It was glossy and shiny on the surface. There were a few dents and dings we could see, but it looked acceptable. I didn't want just acceptable, though. I didn't want the table to still look like it had looked for so long. I wanted to transform it into something totally new and much more bold.

continue reading on Rethink here.

Buy Art and Rewrite a Story

FINAL_AFO_BANNER_FB_city2
FINAL_AFO_BANNER_FB_city2

You, yes you, can help save an orphan's life. And, to make it even cooler (as if there could even be anything cooler than rewriting the story of an orphan), you can get awesome art as well.

How? Here's how.

We over at Rethink are proud to announce a new initiative called Art For Orphans, which we officially launched TODAY!

We are selling digital and physical art from artists all over the country (who graciously donated their work) with 1 goal in mind—rewrite an orphan's story. All proceeds (yes, literally all of them) will be going to aid orphans in Zambia through our friend Katy and her organization, Family Legacy.

Our hope is to raise more than $10,000 over the next few months to help orphans a world away. You can help us get there. You can find out more about Family Legacy by watching this video.

I encourage you to consider buying art from our site afo.rethinkcreative.org. One, because it's awesome artwork, and two, because these orphans are beautiful and incredible, and you can rewrite their story to be one full of hope and life and love, and that's priceless.

If you don't want to buy art (that's okay, not everyone is an art-obsessed person like me), or maybe you do, and you want to do even more than that, here is what we would love.

Help us spread the word.

We are tweeting out all this week about Art For Orphans using #afo.

Join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest—anywhere you connect with others help us get the word out!

If you are looking for something to say, here are a few ideas:

  • Share this blog post. Share Rethink's blog post.
  • Tweet this or post it to your Facebook or text it to everyone you know: Check out a new initiative from @Rethinkcreate to save orphans by selling art afo.rethinkcreative.org #afo
  • Or maybe you would rather say this: Hey friends! @Rethinkcreate is inviting everyone to make their lives more beautiful AND save orphans. afo.rethinkcreative.org #afo
  • Or even this! Want to change the world today? @Rethinkcreate is giving you the opportunity afo.rethinkcreative.org #afo 
  • One more! Buy art and rewrite an orphans story @Rethinkcreate afo.rethinkcreative.org #afo

I (and all of us at Rethink) are so deeply thankful for your support, and are so excited about this opportunity we have to change the world, one orphan's story at a time. Please be praying for this initiative and the lives we can reach and for the Kingdom to come in a mighty, beautiful way through this.

The newest news!

Friends, family, followers--

God is really, really cool. Seriously. I have been absolutely blown away by His goodness and awesomeness lately. I knew God provided, but I've seen provisions in abundance lately. I knew God has more for me, but I've really seen the immeasurably more I was believing would come.

If you're reading this, you know I love to blog. You know that I share my heart best through words, and you know that I'm passionate about my faith and sharing it. I absolutely love it. And now, because God is just incredibly awesome and the greatest Provider, I get to share my words with even more people.

The awesome men of Rethink Creative Group sought me out and invited me to join the group as a collaborator. (MAJOR shoutout to my best friend and small group leader Vianne for giving them my name and just being so awesome and selfless to do so!) You may have seen me announce this on Facebook and Twitter last week, but I wanted you all to hear it here as well.

I am so honored to be a part of this group. These guys (I'm the first female collaborator! Woo! Girl power.) are on fire for the Lord, using all of their creativity and their passions for his glory in their different ways. It has been so cool to come on board with them and be a part of their mission to constantly innovate as we seek to change the world for the Gospel.

I would wholeheartedly encourage you to follow the Rethink blog. You'll get to read posts from me, other collaborators, and guest bloggers as well. The words that fill that blog are fire. They are truth, they are powerful, they are innovative and creative, they are encouraging and challenging and moving. They will change your heart and your life. 

I could go on and on about how incredible it is to be a small part of Rethink-- but go check out the site and the blog and see for yourself.

Please give me any feedback you have! Have a topic you would love to see written about? Let me know. Have someone you think should guest blog with us? Pass their name and info along! We would love that. I (and the rest of the guys) want to hear from you about anything and everything.

While you're at it, like Rethink on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and plug in to all that we're doing. God is moving in mighty ways, and we can't wait for what 2014 is going to bring.

Top