Always Be A Dreamer

Watercolor by Kristi LYnn Studio

Me having a blog is such a terrible idea. Really.

In fact, you could consider me an expert on how to have an unsuccessful blog. Here’s my expert advice:

#1. Never post anything.

#2. Post so infrequently that you forget your own username and password. (everysingletime.)

#3. Write all blog posts in your head where nobody can read them.

Maybe this blog is an exercise in futility, but I feel like I need to finish telling my story.

Last time I wrote I left you hanging…for a very long time.

I’m alive and well, so you know everything turns out in the end, but it was a dark time. God was performing open heart surgery on my life and it hurt. I was angry. I had fought hard for my dreams and letting go felt an awful lot like giving up. Letting go felt like losing. Letting go felt like failure. So I believed the lies and the constant nagging voice inside my war torn head. I believed I had somehow failed. Or worse yet, God had failed me. I threw in the towel. I was so done. Done with dreams, done with faith, done with giving a rip about anything.

You know what’s weird? I was clearly deeply depressed, but in some strange and unexpected way I felt free. The burden of constantly trying to figure things out was gone. Instead of filling my head with plans for some future dream life that was the apparent key to my happiness, I saw no choice but to accept that this, right here, right now, was it. This was my life. I had better learn to live it.

Something shifts inside when you start to live your life right here, right now, as is. It doesn’t happen over night, but gradually you start to appreciate what you have and wonder how you could have missed it. With time and practice, this new thing called contentment settles in and you realize that the life you have going on might actually be pretty darn good. I love the saying, “Gratitude turns what you have into enough.” Let me tell you, this is such a better place to be.

I’m not trying to say that dreams and ambitions are bad. They aren’t! But they can be if we let them take us to a place of discontent and ingratitude like I did. I’ll always be a dreamer. I’m just holding those dreams loosely now, knowing that my dreams, no matter how good or godly I think they are, might need a little remodeling from the Creator and Ruler of the universe from time to time.  Don’t believe for a second that suddenly my life is now just a bowl of cherries and I spend my days in a state of blissful gratitude and acceptance. Nope. Life is hard and I am human. I’m also one of those humans that is wired for perfection and control, who thinks thoughts 24/7, and feels ALL the feelings. I will always struggle to let God take the wheel. Which is actually quite ironic because I hate to drive and will sleep in the car every chance I get. Go figure

I’m rambling. I was telling you a story and then got all preachy on you. Let me be concise:

I had big dreams that would fix everything I thought needed fixing.

God said something along the lines of “Sorry, we aren’t going that route.”

I said, “What?! Are you kidding me?! Why not?!”

I let go, but not without an ugy fight.

He forgave me for that ugly fight.

I no longer felt the soul crushing desperation to fix my life. It didn’t need fixing.

I started making art.

I can hear what you are thinking.

“What the heck does art have to do with anything?”

Well, friends, it has everything to do with everything, but you are just going to have to be patient until I have the time and mental fortitude to tell you why. Apparently the writing part of my brain shuts down after about an hour and the perfectionst in me will need to spend the next three hours picking apart every word. I promise I will be back (even if it breaks rules #1-3) and I will tell you how God started to move when I finally got out of the way.


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Watercolor by Kristi LYnn Studio

(prints available on Etsy!)


“The ninety and nine are with dreams, content,

but the hope of the world made new is the hundredth man

who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true.”

~Edgar Allan Poe

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Mr. Churchill Saves the Day

I saw a pin on Pinterest and I just had to paint it.

I created this  painting the very same day.  My daughter is a big  Katie Daisy fan, and this is very much inspired by her art.  Besides, this time of year I NEED FLOWERS!  I think I shall continue to paint flowers until every drop of snow has melted.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I am crazy about this painting! The flowers, the colors, the texture, the style…YUM!

But those words are what really get to me. Oh, they are good. So good, and yet so very hard to live out.

Why? Because being brave with your life also means accepting failure along the way. I mean really, who likes to fail? I’d prefer guaranteed success, wouldn’t you?

The very first art class I offered for children was a complete fail. True story. I didn’t promote it well and I had a very limited target audience. Still, not a single drop of interest? OUCH! I took it pretty hard. Harder than I expected. Harder than I should have.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

A year later, I tried again. The one class I planned filled quickly and I was able to offer a second class to accommodate more. I think I cried happy tears for a whole week.

For the the next session, I offered three classes and filled 24 spots in 24 hours with five more trickling in later. Boo-yah!!! More happy tears!

But for the next three weeks? I have just 9 kids signed up for Monday and 2 kids for Wednesday! WHAAAAAT????? (in my best minion voice)

I contacted the Wednesday families and cancelled that class. Is that a failure? No, not really, but it still FEELS like failure. It’s so tempting to let my disappointment become a stumbling block.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

Providentially, a friend posted a quote on Facebook the same day I cancelled my class.

This quote very quickly changed my perspective as I scribbled it down in a journal:

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  ~Churchill

Why, thank you for timely reminder, wise Mr. Churchill, you are so absolutely right.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I’m totally looking forward to my smaller class. Less people means less crowd control and more connecting. Whether I have 29 kids or 9 kids, I absolutely love what I do, and what they do, and our time together. Kids are so smart and so creative. It’s just such an honor to be a part of a little artist’s life and to provide creative experiences for them to grow.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

So yes, cancelling class was a bummer. I could stress myself over the whys and analyze all the variables. I could take it personally and be blue. The truth is, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m okay with that. I 100% believe in this calling, even if I have to “fail” sometimes.

Besides, with one less class to plan, prepare, and teach, I have extra time for planning something else. Something I’m very excited about.

Something I’ll tell you about LATER!


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Painted Words

Mixed Media Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I recently had coffee with a friend and she shared with me two little words that God has been whispering (and shouting) in her ear.

It seems my friend and I both wrestle with all the things that we’re told we need to do to be “successful” in the online world of writing and art.  Just this morning I was watching tutorials, trying to educate myself on SEO (search engine optimization) and strategies to promote my Etsy shop.  Yada, yada, yada……yawn.  This stuff both bores me to death and drives me to anxiety induced chocolate binges.

Today I worried. Worried about my website’s SEO. Worried about selling my art on Etsy. Worried about filling my classes. Worried about the kids being home for yet another snow day. Worried I would get nothing done.

Mixed Media Collage by Kristi Lynn Studio

Worry is fear. Worry is resistance.

Worry is me staring at the computer, searching for every answer to every question.

For me, the best way to still the wandering worrying mind is to be creative.

So, today I painted. I painted words.

Mixed Media Collage by Kristi Lynn Studio

 Praying these words will sink right down into my winter weary heart … and yours.

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This Is The Day

kristi lynn studio

 The ninety and nine are with dreams, content,

but the hope of the world made new is the hundredth man who is grimly bent

on making those dreams come true.”

~Edgar Allan Poe

This is the day. For the past year, I have been “grimly bent’ on making this dream come true.  I open this place up to the world today with quiet confidence. There will be no fanfare, no big ta-dah’s.  Instead, there will be one giant sigh of relief and the deep down gratitude that comes from winning the hard fought fight for your dreams.

I now know more than I ever wanted to know about web design.  It has brought me to tears and frustration many times, but it has also brought me to Alysa Passage with Passage Hill Designs.  I absolutely could not have gotten here without her professional skills. As an added bonus, Alysa is a dream believer, a heart encourager, and inspiration giver.  Lucky for me, she has become a treasured friend.

I don’t really know what will come of this one little place on the great big world of the web, but I have an open and expectant heart for all the things God has planned.  Have a look around.  Make yourself at home.  Subscribe!  Leave a comment?  Do whatever you like.  Take your time.  No hurry.

I think I’m going to be here for awhile.


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