Seeing and creating beauty in the small things of life.
A Cultivated Life takes a lifetime to grow. Webster’s Dictionary defines cultivate as, “to prepare… to foster growth… to improve by labor, care, or study.” Much of our lives is about cultivating the gifts and talents in our own life and in the lives of those around us. To cultivate one must adapt to the changes in life through intentional nourishment and trimming the dross. The Lord prunes us and make us that we might bear fruit (John 15:1-17.) As we follow in the footstep of the master gardener, the creator in whose image we are created, we too are called to cultivate.
Besides my own walk with God, my primary joy and garden of responsibility to cultivate is the life of my family. Learning, teaching, pruning and growing have been a daily part of life as a wife and mom of four kids. Homeschooling for over a decade has produced an abundant amount of opportunities with my children I never expected. These joys and challenges have been worth all the sacrifice and work. Cultivating is not easy but growth and change is not only in the garden, it is also in the gardener. By God's grace He has grown and taught me and challenged me to not neglect the gifts he has given me (1 Timothy 4:12-16.)
Sometimes cultivating means tilling new ground and sometimes it means cutting away dead branches. As some our children have moved toward graduating from our homeschool, I have gradually had more discretionary time. With some of this time I serve my beloved by running the marketing and payroll at Sasser Law Firm and with some I serve our church and community through Safe Families for Children. After using my passion for international missions to teach geography during our early homeschool years, I finally got to take two of our children to Agua Viva Children's Home in Guatemala in 2014 and to Tanzania through UBORA in 2018. Teaching the teachers and students (at Siha Leadership Academy in Karansi Tanzania) about critical thinking through literature, LEGO, and logic felt like the culmination of twelve years of homeschooling wrapped up in one week. It was amazing!
Although seasons change, one thread that has woven through each new adventure is ART. God has shown his greatness and power through the waves of the sea and vastness of the stars, his compassion and grace for people in need at home and around the world, and his love and mercy toward me. I have often pondered these images and converted them into art. Some images come through a camera lense, some occasionally have been through painting, and now many are through jewelry designs with silver, copper, wood, and resin. These different art forms ebb and flow as I personally learn, grow, and am inspired.
My purpose in developing The Cultivated Life is to inspire and encourage others through my art and to help fund the things I am passionate about and the nonprofit ministries that are working to impact lives with the love of Christ at home and around the world.