Today's post is part of a series I am hosting called At the Intersection, and it is all about how other gals out there -gals like me who are mothers, artist and followers of Christ - juggle all three areas of their lives at once.
I am so excited to share with you this interview with a new friend of mine. I met Lisa on a very Friday, under a very small tent, when I gave a very poor excuse of a small Homemade Year workshop at the Wild Goose Festival. Luckily Lisa was very gracious despite my complete frazzled self, and the next day we sat and chatted for a long time under another (much larger ) tent. We chatted about kids, and faith, and stewardship, and working, and writing and crafty things, and I found myself wishing that she lived a lot closer to Arkansas. Later that day I had the wonderful pleasure of hearing Lisa and her husband Mark present on their new book Free. I feel inlove with the concept of their book, and the heart of their message, and I knew that I wanted to feature Lisa here on the blog. So, without further, adieu, here's Lisa...
Name: Lisa Scandrette
Blog Name: Farmgirl Creates (My blog has been mostly a private catalog of things that I have made. I haven’t been overly active there lately.) (Lisa and her husband also run https://www.facebook.com/ReImagineSF)
Art Form: I sew, knit, write and try all kinds of new fiber craft forms. I am currently learning to spin. Writing is a resurrected endeavor in the last year or two.
Kids Ages: Mark and I have three children: Hailey (19), Noah (18) and Isaiah (16)
Relationship Status: happily married
Other Job(s) besides blogging/creating: I teach and do administrative work for ReImagine, a nonprofit that seeks to help people integrate the life and teachings of Jesus into every day living. I also homeschool our youngest. (I’ve graduated the other two, who are in college now.)
Expression of Faith: ReImagine has small groups of people who try to live out the teachings of Jesus together and it is through these relationships and others that we find church.
Where Do You Live? We live in the upper flat of an old Victorian in the Mission District of San Francisco.
How did you find your creative niche? Was this something you have always done, or did you fall into it by accident?
Some of my earliest memories are of sitting under a quilting frame, watching the hands of my grandmother, my great aunt and my mother push their needles up and down through the quilt while they exchanged family news and talked about plans for their summer gardens. When I was nine, my mom taught me to sew. The first thing I recall making was a sparkly red polyester pants suit that I wore to the 3rd grade. I come from a long line of women who sew, so I was immersed in it my whole life and many of my clothes were handmade. I took up other fiber crafts as I grew, but I would say knitting is the other major creative outlet for me. I started knitting about 14 years ago because it was portable and I could bring it to the park so that I had something to do while I watched the kids play. I like to keep my hands busy.
I loved writing as a child and all through my teen years. It fell by the wayside when I had kids, but I have revisited my writing in the last couple of years and am exploring and trying to sharpen those skills once again.
Where do you create? Office? Kitchen table?
I work best in a tiny little room off of our kitchen that I call my office--it was meant to be a pantry, but we’ve added some cupboards and a countertop. It holds my computer and has space for me to sew. This is where I write, think and create when I am at home. My knitting goes with me wherever I go and is perfectly portable!
Do you create best in solitude or in the middle of chaos?
I am an introvert, so my creating time is often also a good time for me to get some solitude. I definitely need solitude to write. However, I can have a great time knitting or sewing with some friends if the opportunity arises.
How does your faith influence your creative process?
I believe that we were created to be creative, so that when I am engaging in creative process I am drawing close to the Creator. In addition, I use the things I create to pray for people. Most of the items I make become gifts to others--while I create I pray for the recipient.
How does that process influence or enrich your faith?
Creating beauty mirrors the creation of God and enjoying and being an active participant in that beauty refreshes my soul. I find that when I write, I need to reflect and process a great deal. I often end up seeing where God has been at work in me while I was unaware.
Sometimes I feel as if writing, parenting, and the practicing my faith are all drawing from the same well inside me, that they tax the same part of my heart. This means that quite often I find that I have depleted all of my resources pouring into just one of the three, leaving the other two wanting. Do you have this same issue, or is it just me?
For me, I think it depends on the medium. Writing requires lots of resources. Knitting and sewing, on the other hand, tend to recharge me. I would also say that the landscape of parenting has changed for me in recent years as my kids are reaching adulthood. It is taxing in different ways than when they were younger and perhaps taxing in chunks rather than consistently....
What do you do to recharge, or refill the well,
In the creative process? To feel inspired, I read good stories and blogs of all kinds, spend time in nature, poke around fabric and yarn shops to look at materials, pick up a book or a magazine that has new ideas.
In parenting? I get together with friends who are in a similar place in life and talk. Friends remind me that my feelings are normal and that I’m sane. I take some time for solitude and prayer. I go for a walk--the endorphins and the fresh air do wonders. I do something fun with my family. Sometimes I read books about parenting.
In the practicing of faith? I try to practice consistent rhythms of prayer, journalling, scripture reading and solitude. I meet regularly with friends who share my faith journey to encourage each other. I try to take a day once a month for a time of retreat--an extended time in solitude with God, often out in nature.
Do you have any advice for other mom's out there who are also trying to learn how to live out their callings as artist, mothers and followers of Christ? What is something you wish someone had told you earlier on?
Well, I think someone did tell me, though I couldn’t feel it at the time: There are different seasons of life. You will have sometimes more and sometimes less energy for the different callings in your life at different times. It’s okay. It’ll balance out in the end. Also, when you pursue your callings as a mother and an artist, that is part of your pursuit as a follower of Christ. It’s not a separate thing. Ask yourself, how do I bring the spirit of Christ to my task of mothering or into my creative process?
I am also comforted by the awareness that I am made to be a particular person, with certain gifts and limitations. It is to me, as a package of all those gifts and limitations, that these callings have been given. God knows me and I am enough to rise to the challenge. God will not give me more than I can bear, with God’s help. (Though sometimes I may want to take on more than I am meant to do at any time.)
What are some specific challenges you are facing right now in all three of these areas?
As an artist, I am feeling pulled to develop my skills. I am rusty with my writing skills and need to develop a more regular practice if I plan to pursue writing in the future. In my sewing and knitting, I’d like to branch out more and experiment with original designs.
As a mother, my kids are beginning to leave the nest. It is an exciting new time for us all. Though it is good, it is new territory and I find myself mourning some of the time when they were younger. It is hard to watch them experience adult sized challenges and heart aches and I am just learning how to be a mother at this stage of life.
As a follower of Jesus, I am always growing as life changes and grows. As my kids leave home I find myself asking questions about purpose and calling again. I want to press close and hear what God is saying to me right now. I am finding that some of my personal “shadows” are evident to me and I am in need of some soul care.
How can I, and my readers, pray for you?
I’d like courage, wisdom and confidence for this transitional stage of life for me. It seems like a time for making many new decisions about how I will spend my time and who I will become. It almost feels like the transition from adolescence to adulthood, though I know myself better this time around.
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers regarding the interplay of art, faith, and parenthood in your life? Any experiences or practices you would like to share?
Establishing practices and rhythms helps me to incorporate what I value into my life. When things become a rhythm, I don’t need to think about them quite so much for them to happen.
Here are some of my rhythms:
- a 45 minute walk when I get up in the morning to get some exercise and clear my head.
- Mark and I go on a date every Friday night to connect as a couple. It’s on the calendar and we check before scheduling anything else in that spot.
- We take a Sabbath once a week for refreshing, rest and connecting with the Creator.
- I sit in stillness prayer with a couple other people from our community every Tuesday morning at 7:15.
- I journal, pray and read in the quiet hour of the morning.
- We make pizza and watch a movie with the kids on Saturday nights.
Regular rhythms take intention to develop or change, but once they are in place, they happen nearly automatically--like showering or getting dressed.
Any questions that I didn't ask that you think I should have? If so, what are they and what are your answers? :)
“You and your husband recently released a new book called “Free: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most.” Tell me about that.
We see people longing to live into a life of meaning--doing meaningful work, spending time loving the people around them, making a difference in the world in terms of global justice, living lives of beauty and goodness. “Free: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most” leads readers through a process of defining what matters most to them, aligning their values with their time and money, practicing gratitude and trust, believing they have enough, creating a spending plan, maximizing their resources and living generously. It is meant to be worked through with a friend or with a group of friends. We’ve had the privilege of walking with many groups of people through these steps and have seen people take bold choices to become more free to pursue the life they feel called to. This book is the fruit of those group experiences and our own learning about living a life of simplicity over the course of twenty three years.
When Sweet Man and I went away for our birthday weekend, Free* was the book we begin to read and process together, and I can honestly say that we both really got a lot from it. There is still so much more for us to go through - this is not a quick read, it is a game changer. Figuring out how to be good stewards of our time, money, and gifts is something that we have been discussing for the past year. Discovering Lisa and Mark's book has been so helpful in that process.
Free being good stewards - not in order to receive blessings or wealth - but out of a response of love and gratefulness to God. Free is not about getting more, but about managing what we have, where we are.
Free is a great book to use in a small group setting, between couples, or as a personal project.
Lisa and her publishers have very generously offered to
give away a copy of the book
to 5 lucky winners!
To enter the giveaway leave a comment on this post with your email address and I will draw the names on November 5. Good luck!
*(Disclaimer: I purchased my copy of Free myself and contacted Lisa regarding the interview and the giveaway. All opinions are my own :)