12 [Creative] Days of Christmas – Challenge!

Christmas is right around the corner now with just two weeks to go, and I’m looking forward to having some vacation time and a chance to see some family members I don’t get to spend enough time with. And as  you may know from my recent posts, I’m continuing to work on keeping my heart and mind in a good place about the season: not too much hype, not too many unrealistic expectations. It can be difficult!

I recently opened up to a few people about how decorating for Christmas suddenly felt lonely this year. For some reason, decorating as a single person never really bothered me the way it did this time around. The experience reminded me of an article I read around this time last year . . .  so I thought I’d share that here now in case I’m not the only one who’s having some difficult moments:

If This Holiday is Hard, You’re Not Alone

Sidenote: I don’t 100% know if I agree with every single thing in this article, but I’m not trying to dissect it — If you’d like to, please feel free. I was just generally encouraged by the reminder that Jesus knows and can relate to difficult experiences.

And Now For Some Fun . . .

I’m throwing down a challenge! Write or draw something every day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas.

If you’d like, print out this grid and play along. My grid starts on the 14th and goes through Christmas day, but you can shift and do whatever days work best for you. Post your progress on social media with the hashtag #12creativedays . . . I’ll be doing the same.

If you have any problems with the file below, you can also try downloading it as a PDF from this Google Drive link.

Do you have kids or friends who like to get creative? Get them to do this with you!

If you miss a day, don’t stress — you have enough to worry about. Just skip it or make it up and move on! ChristmasChallenge.jpg


I’m looking forward to seeing if any of you will participate in this challenge. Either way, I think you’re amazing & I’ll be back with more next week.

❤ Nicole


Would you like to click “Follow” to be notified each time I post? I promise you’ll never be bombarded with spammy e-mails. My regular schedule is a weekly post [usually] every Monday & sometimes I add a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post about other creative topics.

On My Mind: VAST – Valley Against Sex Trafficking

I intended to post the 3rd part of my “Design Principles” series this week, but I decided to take a pause for something else that’s on my mind . . . 

This week has been a series of complexities: between work, personal life, friends’ lives, and generally lots of obligations, I admit I sometimes find it difficult to juggle.

Despite there being a million things on my mind and “to-do” list, I spent three hours tonight at a Volunteer Training session for VAST (Valley Against Sex Trafficking), an organization that fights for an issue that’s really important to me — for all human beings to be seen as valuable and not to be viewed as commodities or as objects to be used or abused for the pleasure of others.

At the training, I was reminded of a lot of information related to the topic of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in general and learned some new things, too. I particularly appreciated hearing more about trauma-informed care and seeing the way the group shared some thoughts at the end of the session. 

I was thankful for the chance to take my eyes away from all of the swirling things that have been going on in my day-to-day (those things will wait for me) just to acknowledge this topic . .

. . . and be reminded of why I get involved in small ways as a volunteer.

. . . and be grateful for/amazed by all the other members of the coalition that invest so much more time and energy into their programs and services for awareness, prevention, and aftercare.

There is so much need for volunteers and for community members to be informed and aware that sex trafficking happens even here in our own neighborhoods.

This Saturday 9/17/16, there’s a community event called ARISE being held at Lehigh University. Artists and musicians will perform live to support awareness and stand against sex trafficking (I LOVE the creativity of this event). 

If you’re local to the Lehigh Valley, consider stopping by to support the cause. If you’re not local, maybe you can find a group or event in your area that is on the same page and throw some support their way . . .

If sex trafficking isn’t the topic that most grabs your heart, what is? How can you “arise” to take a stand for it even when life seems busy? If you can’t go or volunteer or actively do anything right now, will you pray?

❤ Nicole

Arise.jpg


Hey there! Would you like to click “Follow” to be notified each time I post? I promise you’ll never be bombarded with spammy e-mails. My regular schedule is a weekly post every Monday & then sometimes I add a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post about other creative topics.