Stellar Day Magazine, July Issue, 2017

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July Issue


What is holding you back? Fear? Circumstances? Jess encourages us all to push past it and go for it.

A DESIRE TO CREATE We all have it deep within us to create the things were were born to create!


One writer doesn't feel like she has a creative niche, but shares with us how she created her own creativity.

Images Throughout By Agnes Art & Photo


Stellar Day Magazine


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07 03 32

03 05 07 09 12 15 18 20

Just Go For It Created In God's Image Imagination: The Home of Creativity Out Of The Box If Your Heart Is Happy A Desire To Create Homemade Granola Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

18 21 25 28 31 32 35 37 47

Co-Creating With God 7 Reasons Creativity Is A Staple Of Our Family Culture Created To Create Repurposing A New Me Creating Space To Hear From Him Cultivate Creativity When Fantasy Becomes Your Reality Editors Note

JUST GO FOR IT By Jessica Williams What are you waiting for? Seriously, I want you to think about it and come to terms with what it is exactly that you are waiting for. Is it timing? Money? Support? Is it your age? Are you waiting for fear to subside? Let me tell you something. You were created for and with a purpose, to do great things. You were born with dreams, gifts, and talents and there is intention for you to use them. Do you feel that pull inside your heart? That nudge when you think about your dreams - the drive that wants to take you there? Do you feel it? That is there for a reason, and it’s not going to go away. Our dreams were created inside us so that we would turn around and create in and for the world. There is beauty inside your spirit that God has instilled in you and that He wants to use for his glory. Are you afraid? GOOD. That means its STELLAR DAY MAGAZINE | 03

bigger than you are. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13, NLT I believe this even applies to our dreams. If you have a dream so big and it seems near impossible, it’s not too big for God. Your dreams aren’t a surprise to Him, and they aren’t stupid. They are there for a reason! Sometimes I think we wait for life to line up perfectly. But the truth? Life is never going to be perfect. Time is rarely going to align exactly like what we think it should be. Handing over your dreams to God and allowing Him to design your timeline might be the hardest thing you have to surrender. But I promise you, your dreams are cherished by Him more than they are by you. The depths of your heart, the secret places, the longings and the quiet desires are all a part of you and He created that. He wants your dreams to

WE MIGHT FAIL ON OUR OWN STRENGTH A THOUSAND TIMES, BUT GOD WILL NEVER FAIL US. come true, and He wants you to trust Him enough to take care of them. Rarely will our dreams be fulfilled exactly how we plan. But that’s the beauty of following the Lord and allowing Him to unfold them. Often times, we think we have a dream but our Creator wants to exceed our wildest expectations beyond what we can fathom. Who else wants in on that? I know I do! Girl. Just go for it. Lean into God, listen to Him and don’t be afraid to jump. We might fail on our own strength a thousand times, but God will never fail us. Allow Him to be the one to carry your dreams and to truly fulfill them in His time and for His glory. But don’t wait out of fear or apathy. Don’t wait because you think you aren’t good enough. Don’t give up and give in because the world tells you it’s impossible. Nothing is impossible with the Lord. Not one single thing. In our humanness, we want to run and hide from the impossible because it seems to big and too scary. When really, with the Lord by our side, it’s exactly where we should want to be. Give Him your dreams. Dive in and know that you were created with and for a purpose, one that doesn’t have time to slip you by. So take the first step and see what happens. I believe you were created for this very moment and none of it is impossible!


“This week we learned that we were created in God’s image… can I have some more peas please?” Typical dinner conversation for our family. This was clearly not a big deal to my daughter as she was explaining it to me. Meanwhile, I was frozen somewhere between excitement and terror, wanting to capitalize on this teachable moment and lean in as far as I could. Deep breath and prayer. And clearly, she doesn’t know this is one of my very HOT buttons. So I began the questions. “What does that mean to you? Do you believe that? Like, really believe it?” She was sweet and thoughtful and answered my questions. I could have talked for hours. I wanted to. She was ready to move on. I wanted to shake my girl and tell her how knowing this, knowing that she was created in God’s image will change so much. With every inch of my being I want her to know this truth and let it settle deep in her bones so that she can see how crazy and broken our culture is, instead of trying to conform, fit in, and become something that she is not. I want her to know the truth and be confident in who God made her to be regardless of the many messages she will hear telling her otherwise. This past year she has become aware of her body and her appearance in a very real way. I am not talking about “blossoming” or “womanhood,” but I am talking about noticing that there are a lot of types of bodies out there and our culture has a very narrow view of what is valued and praised. Noticing, evaluating, comparing. Looking around and taking inventory as she looks in the mirror and doing the same. When this began, I began to talk to her about truth and lies. About how the truth is that is she is made wonderfully and fearfully, in the image of her Creator. And that whatever voices she was hearing were lies, plain and simple. As I talked with my daughter about her value and how she was created my heart was breaking and my eyes were filled with tears. I know how it feels to look for value and affirmation based on looks. To try and control your appearance in order to feel in control, to gain some sense of power. Constantly looking, seeking and always trying to do better.


I want better for my girl and for every woman, quite frankly. It has been a journey for me, so these words about being made in God’s image really mean something to me, they are not taken lightly, they carry weight. They speak value and worth, while pointing a knowing finger back at a toxic culture. Casting a bigger vision of what life is supposed to be and how a woman’s worth is so much more than a number on a scale or a pretty face. Wherever you are at, if you have never heard or believed these words let me say them to you…let them wash over you and settle into the deepest part of you. Let the truth found in them speak louder than the lies and let the freedom they bring set you free: You are made in God’s image. You were created for a purpose. You are wonderfully, fearfully, and beautifully made. You are loved beyond measure. Not because of who you are or what you have or haven’t done. You are more than your greatest accomplishment and your biggest failure. You are made in God’s image. And that is more than enough.

Courtney is a wife and mom who lives in Springhill, Tennessee. She co-hosts on Style & Grace, a podcast that brings light and positivity around everyday life topics, including marriage and spirituality, food and entertainment, fitness and parenting. There are fun interviews and awards show red carpet snark, too. All of this is done honestly, with style and grace.



I remember a specific car ride a

there was cake involved. But

begin to tell our imaginations

long time ago with my parents.

you can bet it was the best cake

that the imaginary world we

I was still an only child so I had

ever in the history of the world.

have created in our head will

learned to entertain myself by

never exist. We can’t be safe,

playing with my Barbie dolls.

I could imagine the most

we can’t make anything

Naturally, Barbie and Ken had

amazing things when I was a

beautiful, we just can’t. It

conversations and I was simply

child. I could fly if I wanted to.

breaks my heart to see such an

mimicking through my play

Eat that amazing wedding cake

amazing God reflective

what I witnessed as a child. I

and never gain a pound.

attribute squashed. We

guess the incessant chatter of

Nothing was impossible with

suddenly find ourselves not

Ken and Barbie was too much

my imagination and I could

only filtering out the

for my parents because I recall

create the most amazing world

impossible, but placing limits

a verbal exchange that boiled

that did not exist. Now I totally

on God’s ability to use us for

down to a plea for me to talk in

understand the psychological

His glory. But I refuse to believe

my head only. I don’t remember

purpose of our imaginations

in reality and logic sometimes. I

if I heeded their plea or not but

and its importance on the

may be in my early 30’s but

what sticks out to me are the

developing brain of a child. Our

who says my imaginary world I

adventures my dolls had. Of

imaginations protect our child

create cannot be real? Who

course Barbie never really had

selves from the harsh realities

says we have to stop imagining

that dream wedding but in my

of life. We can run and hide in a

at all? I am always daydreaming

5 year old girl brain she was as

beautiful world we create and

or plotting in my head so my

real as any adult woman and

understand where no can tell

imagination has never stopped

enjoyed the fantasy of a fairy

us we “can’t.” It really is a

but I know so many adult

tale wedding with her prince

beautiful gift God gives us. As

friends whose have.

charming, Ken. Let’s be clear

we grow and our brains

though I had no idea what a

mature, these things called

Yes maturity is a thing and the

wedding really was. I just knew

reality and logic set in and

real world does need our time

and attention. I’m not sure my two year-old would appreciate me simply imagining she could feed herself. She tends to get hangry. Call it daydreaming, spacing out, or having my head in the clouds. When I allow my imagination to occasionally override reality I have found the God-given gifts I have are able to flourish without fear of what others may think. I can create a beautifully styled wedding to inspire brides, put together a stylish outfit I would otherwise never wear, or plan an adventurous date night I might have never thought possible. On a more practical level, allowing my imagination to run wild allows me the freedom to be a child with my child. I don’t care how silly I look playing Star Wars with her or drinking the “foffee” she makes for me because in this world we have imagined together, it is the best “foffee” ever and I am Han Solo. Life is simply more fun when I allow my imagination to create a more colorful and full world around me. And I am a better mother because of it. I’m not saying we should all begin to play with Barbie dolls and build forts, although adult forts with my husband may be a thing after writing this. For me, my imagination runs wild at night when sit outside on my patio alone scrolling through Pinterest. I’m a photographer so I tend to plan photo shoots….a lot. I see one photo and allow my mind to run wild with the possibilities of what I could create from a photo of a dress or a gorgeous waterfall. I don’t let myself tell me no! You can bet I create that board and pin away, not allowing the restrictions of budget or time stop me while I create. I’ll deal with that later. Maybe you need to sit down and begin to write. As Elsa says, “let it go.” Don’t let the limitations of what others may think stop that ink from hitting the paper and creating a masterpiece penned from your own imagination. Pick up that guitar and just sing your heart out to that imaginary audience. Allow your God-given talents, dreams, and aspirations flourish. I never truly knew what I was capable of until I allowed myself the freedom to just dream without limits. Imagine yourself leading other women, writing for a magazine that inspires others, making an impact on others’ lives. I did. And I am. I refuse to allow MY reality and MY logic to stop the incredible things God has planned for me.



Create, creating, creative are all words to define the Latin word "creare" meaning to cause to come into existence, to make, originate, to bring about. Some people create art, others music, or they create in the kitchen. Creativity is decorating a room, designing a garden, or sewing garments. They are gifts which bring beauty and pleasure to the one creating, as well as to those receiving what was created. I admire those people and their gifts. However, I have a brown thumb and I cook out of necessity. I cannot draw, paint, or play an instrument, and I fumble in the sewing room. In my youth, I struggled with not being creative, but with age comes acceptance and thinking out of the box. I realized I can create... moments: moments in motherhood, in my marriage, and for myself.

As a young mother, I loved to hold my newborn infant, inhale their sweet baby scent, kiss their soft skin, and be still. A simple motherhood moment slowed down time, provided relief from the stress and adjustment to a new season of life, and tied my heart to my child's. I have six children, all grown now, but I still remember holding, rocking, kissing, and falling in love with my babies. Moments with a young child bring back memories of walks in the rain, splashing in puddles, and searching for treasures in nature. I remember sitting on a bench in our back yard in San Diego and watching the sun set over the coastal hills. Sometimes we talked. And sometimes we didn't. We sat together, gazed at the pink hues of the western sky, and were still. I remember our years in the Northeast and campfires in the

backyard and 3 am alarms set for meteor showers snuggled under blankets in our back field. There were moments of jumping into piles of crisp autumn leaves, licking flakes of the first snowfall, and shouting country songs. And we read, and read, and read books in every genre. We were creating moments in time and moments in lives. With my teenagers we swam across lakes, rowed kayaks in the stillness of dawn, held hands ice skating, and read even more. In the winter, my SUV pulled them on their snowboards down country lanes before the snowplow destroyed our playground. After a heavy snowfall, my morning greeting was "It's a great day for skiing and playing hookie from school!" Moments of motherhood, created intentionally, to build a reservoir of memories. Now with my adult children


creating moments are harder to find. They have college, jobs, and some have families of their own. But we work at carving out quality time together: my daughters still enjoy sitting on my lap, hugging, and talking; my sons like a moonlight walk and a heart-to- heart talk; we share books we are reading; and meet regularly at our favorite restaurant. We intentionally have a "no phone at the table" rule in order to connect in the present, reminisce about the past, and share dreams of the future. Creating moments in my marriage is pausing and celebrating important days as well as everyday days. It is leaving love notes on his pillow, taking sunset walks, and sharing our day, it is candles and flowers at the dinner table. I work at listening more than speaking and making eye contact instead of being distracted. It is moments of sharing trials, rejoicing in victories, trusting, supporting, and growing as individuals and as a couple. I could lament about my lack of creativity, but I choose to rejoice in the moments created over the years that brought beauty and pleasure to my children, my husband, and myself. Moments that were created by imperfect people who live together, make mistakes and learn together, and are committed to moving forward in life and creating more moments together.




E N D L E S S .








D O .

If Your Heart Is Happy By Jennifer Stamps

Create. I feel like I was born to create. I sometimes wonder if everyone feels this way. But I imagine that's probably not the case. I remember locking myself in my room so I could create things. I'd write short stories or build a carrier for my stuffed animals out of card board boxes. And even, at one point in time, created my own clothing line on paper (I wonder where those notebooks are?).

basics on digital. But fell head over heals in love with film. It has taken me nearly five years to the create the same, safe environment for myself that I had when I was a kid.

I am thankful that I had an environment growing up where my creativity was embraced and appreciated.

You see. The photos I like to make aren't conventional. They are gritty. Or bright. Or soft. Certainly not ones that photography teacher would give a gold star to. And I knew that. I know how to make the gold star photos, and they were fine. But they didn't speak to me. They were just pretty pictures.

It wasn't until I picked up a film camera as an adult that I knew what my true creative passion was. By that point, I learned the photography

Not too long ago, I was asked, "What inspires you when it comes to photography?" My answer: "I'm most inspired when I don't have an agenda of STELLAR DAY MAGAZINE | 12

You do what speaks to your heart. And if your heart is happy, that's all that matters. JENNIFER STAMPS

what I should shoot, what it should look like, and when I don't care what people will care or think of it."

The words just flew before I even realized what I was saying. My ah-ha moment! And there it was. I needed to give myself permission to shoot this way and not give one ounce of though to what others might say about it.

And so, I created. From the heart. You likely won't see these featured in popular photography blogs. But I don't care. For the first time in my photographic life, I really don't care. Because each image was created from my heart.

Why do I share this? Because I know I'm not alone. It may not be photography for you. It could be music, dance, poetry, jewelry making any creative outlet. You don't have to do it the "normal" way is that's not what you love. You do what speaks to your heart. And if your heart is happy, that's all that matters.

Jennifer is the associate editor for Stellar Day Magazine and a former professional photographer turned lifestyle blogger. Traveling the world with her hubby and toddler. Cooking healthy gluten free meals. Taking tons of photos on vintage film cameras. Then blogging about it all. You can follow her crazy adventures on Instagram @jen_stamps or her blog

It wasn’t until after being a stay-at-home mom for two years that I realized how much leaving my career had affected me. It wasn’t that I missed teaching, I loved it but if I’m honest I was burnt out by the end. What I really missed was the creative outlet that it was for me. Teaching is both an art and a science (seriously, there is even a book titled that!). You could give 100 teachers the same objective and we could all teach it in a different way. On top of the many hours I spent each week planning and creating lessons, I also loved decorating and organizing my classroom. It was important to me to have a warm, nurturing environment for my students. What I didn’t realize at the time was how much creativity that all took. More importantly, I didn’t realize how much I needed that creative outlet. I don’t think I’m alone in this either. We were created by a God who is an amazing artist, just look at the diversity in the human race and nature itself. God is the ultimate creator and artist. The Bible tells us we are created in His imagine so of course we are meant to create! The problem is many of us have a limited view of what creativity is and what it means to create. I love Pinterest, I do. However, I can count on one hand the DIY projects I’ve tried and none of them came out that great. Crafts are not my jam. I’m not that great at them and I don’t really love doing them anyway. I’d rather buy the finished version at Hobby Lobby. When it’s on sale for 40% off of course! For some reason I associated crafts with creativity and therefore concluded I am not creative nor am I a creator of things. However, God’s been expanding my understanding on this subject and showing me that we are all creators of some sort. I often call myself an accidental writer because it seems like I just stumbled into it. It wasn’t

something I set out to do and it took me a while to actually think of myself as a writer. However, one day I finally realized that yes I do write therefore I am a writer. I’m now realizing that I am creative. A painter uses a brush and paints to create; I use words and a laptop. There is no shortage of materials and tools we can use to create things and the world needs us to use the specific gift we’ve been given. Maybe you’re really good at organizing and stream lining processes. Awesome! I’m sure there’s a company that could use your skills! Maybe it’s because my husband works in marketing but I see even that as being creative. Even after a new product is created, a person (or team) has to create a way to market that product to sell. We have to think outside of the box and not just at the stereotypical artistic things. We are all creative because the One who made us is an artist and He made us to create. We have a desire to create because He made us to. So whatever your tools or materials of choice are, use them. Figure out what inspires you and what you need. Maybe you create best in the quiet on your own or maybe you’re more of a team player and create best in a group environment. I’m learning that while I like to write on my own without any distractions, I often work better with a group for other things. As a verbal processor, dialogue often gets my mind going and sparks my imagination. I can come up with great ideas in a group but on my own I’m at a loss. I’m still learning a lot about myself in this area. It’s fun to see how uniquely and intentionally God made us to fulfill a specific purpose in this specific time. The gifts and passions He’s given you are no accident. Keep creating. Even if nobody else notices, He does. I’m certain that God takes such great delight in seeing us create the things he gifted us for.





homemade granola By Rachel Schroeder Photos by Jenn Schaeffer

Here is my current granola recipe. I say

And you probably don't need as much brown

current, because I'm always tinkering with it.

sugar in here so you could dial that down, but

My goal is to have big sheets of granola that

the honey is important for the mixture to

I can break into whatever size clumps I want.


It's so satisfying to do that break apart thing when the granola is fully cooled, and it makes

Granola is like a blank canvas – you can add

this granola far more portable than most.

cinnamon or other warm spices, you could add some citrus zest, or go to town with other

The egg white at the end of the ingredients

ancient grains and seeds...have fun with it!

looks odd, but it's very important – I learned

Granola also makes a sweet little gift. It's

this trick from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook,

awesome for road trips because it's sweet

one of my all time favorites. The egg whites

and crunchy and the fiber in it keeps you

act as the glue (nothing sticks like protein).

feeling full.

Feel free to add or substitute...dried fruit is so

And it's really yummy with yogurt. And fruit.

delicious to add once the granola is cooled.

And in muffins. And just to snack on. STELLAR DAY MAGAZINE | 18


Ingredients & Methods 7 cups old fashioned rolled oats 2 ½ cups sliced almonds, or a combination of almonds, pecans, cashews etc. toast lightly, then chop very finely. (I do it in the food processor to get like coarse sand consistency. If you like nuts, feel free to leave them chunky. You could also add some toasted quinoa or chia seeds or flaxseeds here) 2 ½ cups coconut (unsweetened flaked) ½ cup dark brown sugar ½ cup honey 1/3 cup pure maple syrup ½ cup neutral flavored oil – I like safflower oil that's high in omega 3s. 1 ½ teaspoon Salt 2 teaspoon Vanilla 2 egg whites, beaten till frothy

Preheat oven to 250. Line two large jelly roll sheet pans with parchment. (Don't skip the parchment paper- this granola is sticky) In large bowl, combine oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar. In liquid measuring cup, combine oil, honey, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients, mix well. (This takes some muscle) Pour egg whites over combined mixture, still to get the egg white evenly distributed throughout. Divide into two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Using the back of the spatula, press mixture down so that it is all the way to the edges of the pans, and is one connected layer. With the oven at 250 degrees, cook 45 minutes, then take out if the oven to stir. Flip all the granola over, and then use the spatula again to smooth it back down into one connected, even layer. Cook another 45 minutes. Place pans on a cooling rack to cool completely. Don't disturb the granola until it's completely cool. (Totally an exercise in self control!) Once it's cooled, break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by Jennifer Stamps There's something about cookies in the oven. The sweet chocolate smell filling the kitchen air, making it's way down the hallway and into every room. You can even smell them from outside. Beckoning, YES!, someone pretending to be domestic lives here!

Directions Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

I stumbled upon this recipe years ago. And let me just say it's as good today as it was then.Â

Spoon cookies onto ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Ingredients 1 cup peanut butter (make sure it's gluten free) 1 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon baking powder (make sure it's gluten free) 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the chocolate chips. Mix very well. Once mixed well, add the chocolate chips.

Let cool for 5-8 minutes before removing from pan (they are VERY soft right out of the oven). This batch makes 20-24. Enjoy!

The sweet chocolate smell filling the kitchen air, making it's way down the hallway and into every room.


Co-Creating With God BY SARAH HUMPHREY

Dreamers dream. Doers do. And

some form of artistic or even linear

artists create. Usually a combination

form of expression.

of both dreaming and doing, creation is often linked together by passion and

We create because He does. He

color. In other realms, it can be linked

made us, intelligent by design and

together by calm and romance. And

brought into existence by breath and

in still other realms, it can be

voice. How beautiful is it that He gives

combined by pioneering and

us the same ability to do so while

reconciliation, or by childlike faith and

partnering in His divinity and in His

joy. There are many layers and

humanity? We respond to His voice by

sources of creativity, but my favorite is

creating. We give birth to new vision,

always the kind that is linked to prayer.

new art, new plans, new structures,

Heaven coming to Earth, a prayer

new buildings, and new sources of

released into our circumstances, God

nurture through our opportunities to

responding to our need through us in

co-create with God.

Some of us may have more tangible skill than others, some of us may be beginners, and some of us may be coming back to a skill we may have left behind. All quantifies as creation. We may do it on our own initiative, and we may have some sense of satisfaction in doing so. But if we desire to bring Heaven to Earth, to release the plans of a Good God into a broken world, then we always start with listening.

It’s in His voice that healing is birthed, that improvisation carries His anointing to settle us, calm us, and bring us into His perfect peace and love. The Holy Spirit playing through us is what truly causes co-creation to manifest.

I have “some” skill in relation to following a plan. I can perform choreography if I need to. If it most fits the season or the assignment at hand, it’s understandable and can be a source of release. But it’s when I listen, when I feel the ground beneath me and Heaven’s sound above me, that I truly start to release myself into Him…which then allows me to co-create.

When the Holy Spirit has room to live and move and have His being in me, then I can truly live and move and have my being in Him. It’s not performance but intimacy. The beginning of authentic creativity is surrendering ourselves to the vastness of God. And here we see light, and stars, and vegetation, and water, and animals, and the world. It’s here where we touch the surface of the feelings and emotions that God must have had as He created us, as He formed us in the womb of His

Sarah is a wife and mom, author and voice over artist. She enjoys spending her time in the stillness of God and also in the joy of passion. She likes to dance and create wherever she goes. You can follow her creative journey on Instagram @shumpdee or her blog at! Her current devotional and adult coloring book “40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood” is available on on Amazon or in Michael’s Craft Stores.

heart, and as He continually prays to reconcile us into that sacred place of freedom again.

We create to release ourselves into prayer. It is the restoration of a dying world back to a loving God. It is a gift, and it is our joy as children of a faithful Father.

Take some time this week to go on a creative date with God. It could be as simple as doodling at your kitchen table or as elaborate as a night out at a fancy restaurant or art gallery. Maybe you just want to visit an old quaint book store and find a bit of yourself in a story. Whatever you might like to do, ask God to open your eyes to His art. Ask Him what part of your heart He might like to move through. Be a little vulnerable, and listen to His voice. You’ll never know what He may have you cocreate with Him!

Click here to order yours!

7 Reasons Creativity IS A STAPLE OF OUR FAMILY CULTURE By Sara Chambers I’ve always felt like I was created to create. I’ve collected hobbies with the best of them. I’ve bought into the DIY craze and I get so much satisfaction when I make something myself. I’m a writer, a designer, a painter, a sewer, a photographer… and the list goes on. Only in recent years have I realized that my innate desire to make something from nothing goes beyond the seemingly unending craft supplies that I’ve hoarded. It has become such an integral part of who I am that I’m not sure who I would be without it. I’ve come to not only appreciate and accept creativity as a part of my identity, but I’ve come to pursue it with ambition and intention. It gives me such life that I’m constantly after the next project, the next idea that will stretch me further yet again, but will make me better; it will give me more depth and intrigue. It will give me the next stepping-stone and keep me

moving because we all know that stagnant and creativity don’t get along. I suppose that it’s only natural that creativity is drawn to creativity and out of that came a family culture that I didn’t really craft intentionally, but just formed organically. Even so, when I look at my little family, I’m so proud to have the chance to instill in it a love for creating and exploring and asking questions. I love the conversations that come from trying new things and seeing where they take you. I love the joy in watching that play out in my own home and I’m honored to help my son discover how to be creative in his own right. While there are many things we hope our kids will learn from us as they grow up, creativity is a means to teach him so many valuable lessons. Once


considered the product of genius or divine inspiration, creativity — the ability to spot problems and devise smart solutions — is being recast as a prized and teachable life skill. “The reality is that to survive in a fast-changing world you need to be creative,” says Gerard J. Puccio, chairman of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College, which has the nation’s oldest creative studies program, having offered creativity courses since 1967. Here are my top reasons for embracing creativity in my own family culture: Failing Failing is inevitable. We’re all going to fall, but creativity gives us a safe space to do so, get back up, and assess. We can learn how to fail and more importantly, how to recover. Innovation There’s nothing new under the sun… at least until someone thinks of something new. Our societal progress is due to the innovation and capacity to create. We saw possibilities where none existed before. We saw a problem and found a way to solve it. Some of the world’s biggest problems are solved through creativity that gives way to innovation.

"We’re all going to fall, but creativity gives us a safe space to do so." Ask Big Questions It’s easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and the daily minutia of life, but being creative asks us to expand our horizons, imagine the perspective of others, and ask big questions. Observation Creativity and art have to be inspired by something. It’s either conscious or subconscious. Either way, it requires observation. You see the world around you and react with praise, criticism or even the catalyst to a dialogue. Opening your eyes to what’s around you and becoming aware is powerful. Take Risks The biggest risk often results in the biggest reward. You’ll never know what’s at the end of the road unless you’re willing to take it. Confidence in what you’re doing and the ability to rebound are byproducts of learning to take risks.


Self-expression Creativity gives us license to express ourselves, which has been important to me for as long as I can remember. Showing yourself to others through creativity is like speaking. You’re giving those around you a chance to see who you are, which almost always creates deeper connections. Appreciate Beauty and Art I know there are many people who fail to see the value in art and creativity, but I find those things to be just as important as academics. The arts help us connect to one another. It creates empathy and gives us a chance to experience the world from someone else’s point of view. Art can inspire us and empower us to move when we’d rather just be paralyzed in fear. Art and creativity gives us mobility and something to live for and look forward to.


When we create powerful things can happen, both in and around us. The world becomes more beautiful, more fully alive. As creators we become more alive, as well. For most people this is a journey. A select few seem know from a young age exactly what they are made to do, how they are wired, and they chase after it. But for the rest of us, it can take a little bit of time and effort to uncover our own creative purpose. There is an intentionality in this as we are making an effort. Asking big and small questions about what makes us come alive and why. Sacrifices will most likely need to be made. Time. Money. Comfort. The act of creating will often cost us one, if not all of these things. It may mean staying up late or waking up early, while the house is still quiet, in order to have a few moments to create before the busyness and mundane chaos of the day descends. There may need to be an investment in a class in order to learn more or become better acquainted with your craft. This comes at a cost. But like anything that comes with a price tag, you will certainly get something in return. Your investment and sacrifice will not come back void. And for a number of reasons, this journey may take a while. We may dip our collective toes in many pools before we find the one in which we fit best. That’s ok. There is beauty in the journey and celebration that comes with finding our passion. When it would be easier to bow out or give up, continue. Doing the hard work. Asking the questions and mining for the answers. Finding out what makes you come alive is work worth doing, and if there is something stopping you from feeling alive- then continue to do


chances are that some about amount of courage and bravery are needed in order to create something- from beginning to end. Learning and growing. Becoming vulnerable. Creating should call out the best in us, our purest and best selves. Coming alive in bright flashes as we do what we were made to do. Shedding the thick layers and tough shells that we have gathered over time. It takes courage to drop the façade and be truly ourselves, hoping that we are enough just as we are. It takes courage to create anything and put it out into the world for critique, discussion and judgement. Knowing that even the best work will not please or sit well with everyone, but choosing to do it anyway. Creating regardless of the endless sea of critical voices or online commenters and reviewers. This reminds me of a Theodore Roosevelt speech often referenced, ”It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does the work as you untangle and name what is holding

actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great

you back. The world needs people who are alive,

enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends

thriving, and making it more beautiful by being

himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in

faithful to who God created them to be.

the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring

When we create it doesn’t have to be big or

greatly, so that his place shall never be with those

celebrated. We live in a world that loves to rally

cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor

around headlines and followers and notoriety.


Celebrity is not the goal, rather being true to you calling and working hard at it is. We need to be

So every day we wake up and we choose to create.

known, for our people to know and understand us-

To be faithful to who we were created to be and

to get our humor and understand our story and

the work we were created to do. Even though there

struggle. Tend to your garden, make it the most

will be struggles and mistakes, it’s all part of the

beautiful it can be… What are you creating? What is

journey. It doesn’t mean we are doing it wrong,

being created in you?

rather it means we are becoming stronger as we do the work and become more truly the people we

It takes courage to create. Whatever the endeavor,

were created to be.



My husband and I, from time to time, love working on projects where we get to repurpose pieces of furniture. There is just something about being trusted to transform a piece that is so special to a family and make it something brand new. I correlate that so much to what I have been reminded of by the Lord in my very own life recently. This past week we have been refurbishing a family friend’s dresser. I am so excited with how its turning out already. I typically do not let our two-and-a-half-year-old daughter “help” because I want it to be perfect. A couple days ago, I decided to let go of me trying to control everything, and learn to create a special time with my daughter and I. We worked on the project together. Let me tell you, she had a blast. Whenever I go near the dresser, she asks if we can paint it. Every day we have been painting more coats on it. She doesn’t paint the direction I do, but its ok. She and I are spending that quality time together, working

together, teaching her how to use a paint brush, and she is eating it up. When I let go, I see just how amazing the bigger picture really is. I love spending time with my babies. No matter what we are doing, I love that time. Control, and trying to take charge are things I for sure struggle with. The Lord is working in me, gently reminding me of His promises, repurposing me into becoming this confident, and free woman that is strong, and beautiful and amazing. This seems like a lesson He is teaching me throughout certain times in my life. I am so thankful He doesn’t just leave me where I am. That means there is growth, and sometimes that can be hard to accept, but growth is so needed. There is power in growth, and being molded and shaped into who we are is such a gift. Are you going through a time in your life right now where you feel that you are being repurposed? Challenged? Molded? Take a deep breath. Embrace it. Sit in the moment. We are in this together. STELLAR DAY MAGAZINE | 31


Creating Space TO HEAR FROM HIM By Danielle Nesper

We’re constantly creating every single day. We may not know it, but we are. Now some people are more creative than others in certain ways but that’s something completely different. We all have the ability to create and to be creative. We create things all the time whether it be a conversation, a relationship, a thought process, a meal, or even emotions. We’re making things on all levels, all the time. The more you stifle your creative voice the less you hear it on a daily basis. It’s something that I’ve had to work on again to get those creative juices flowing. I needed to cultivate an environment for myself to be creative. I need to be available

and open to listening to my creative voice. Once I’m open to hearing that voice it’ll come around more often. If I don’t turn it away it will know that it’s welcome here. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” - Maya Angelou. I’ve gone through weird “quiet” seasons where I don’t feel creative at all. Some seasons just look harder than others or require me to be focused on other things. Or I just get in really bad habits and don’t put myself in the right mindset that is needed to be creative on a regular basis.

He will never leave me so has He stopped talking to me? NO! I have just stopped listening and allowing myself to hear from Him.

Really, this sounds very much like God to me in a very cool way. I am confident that He is always with me. I want to always hear from Him, but I don’t always hear from Him like I want to. He will never leave me so has He stopped talking to me? NO! I have just stopped listening and allowing myself to hear from Him. When I allow myself and my heart to hear from Him, then I will hear Him more often! He always wants to talk to us. The question is: Are we always READY to hear from Him? Are we CREATING that space for Him to speak to us? Are we open and willing to hear it? We were created to create! Created to create all kinds of things physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Sometimes we don’t need to try at it at all. Our creativity just comes pouring out to us randomly and it’s awesome and other times we need to work really hard at making a creative space happen for ourselves. Creating creative spaces is so important for our souls and so is making room for God! God can move, and typically does move, in our creative spaces! So be open to all of it! It’s a beautiful thing! Remember May’s theme was Courage? “Creativity takes courage.” - Henri Matisse. It’s coming full circle from months ago and that’s awesome! That is so simple yet so profound to me. We have to be courageous, open and creating creative spaces all the time!


Cultivate Creativity BY MELANIE HUMMEL Oftentimes we hear about a creative person and it brings to mind someone artistic, someone perhaps free spirited, someone able to create magic from what appears to be nothing. An example might be a painting or drawing, a sculpture, or mosaic. It might be jewelry, needlework, or music. And so the list goes on. To create is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “to bring something into existence; to produce or bring about a course of action or behavior.” I believe that every one of us has the innate gift to create. I believe the key for many of us to tap into that creativity is to think outside of the image of the creative norm, and realize that true creativity stems from complete authenticity. When we walk in authenticity, we are true to who we really are, deep down inside. There is no facade, no pretense, and no comparison with others. We live completely in our uniqueness. In order to cultivate creativity, knowing who we are, and living out of the heart of who we are, is the beginning of the creative journey.


I have a sister who is an incredible artist. She majored in art in college and through the years she has worked with just about every medium you can possibly imagine. I have always been envious of her artistic abilities and wanted to emulate them so badly. I wanted in particular to develop the skill of painting, as our mom was a painter as well. As it happens, I don’t happen to be great at painting on canvas. It’s good to try things and see where our talents might lie. Sometimes we don’t know. But to find our true creative sweet spot, I believe it’s a good idea to look closely at what we are good at every single day. Do you love to putter around your yard and plant flowers? How about putting your home together with your own special style? Perhaps you love words and write stories or poetry. Or you might enjoy writing letters to those that you love. Can you see patterns and enjoy playing games that implement those patterns? Maybe you have a flare for putting an outfit together. Or you might create special moments and memories for your family.

"In order to cultivate creativity, knowing who we are, and living out of the heart of who we are, is the beginning of the creative journey."

Are you gifted at putting things in order and organizing? How about trip planning? Maybe you love to snap photos every chance you get. Do you enjoy creating relationships with people and even animals? Can you cook like a fiend or make a mean dessert? Any one of these things makes you a creative being! The key here is to cultivate, or to develop, the things that you already do naturally and then take it a step further, and then another step. If you get stuck in your creative process and cultivation, think back to your childhood. Who were you as a child and what did you love to do? Most of us are our most authentic selves as small children. So that’s a good place to start! I believe that to be truly fulfilled in life, we all need to cultivate the creative parts of ourselves in everything that we do. This can happen in processes in the workplace, or at home. It can happen in the relationships we nurture as friends and wives, how we raise our kids, as well as the time that we dedicate to ourselves. If we are not constantly creating and moving forward, we become stagnant and we lose our sense of self, the one whom only we have been created to be. The next time you are tempted to tell yourself that you did not get the creative gene, reevaluate the way you see creativity. Look for it in the every day that you might take for granted. Listen when a friend mentions something that you are good at. Remember that creativity comes in many forms that you might not have previously thought of as creative, and then get busy opening your mind and allowing the creative process to flow. We are all created in the image of the greatest Creator of all time, and the innate ability resides in all of us. Happy creating!



It’s a lifelong question: what is your talent? When you were in elementary school, you were likely asked to give a classroom presentation about it or demonstrate it at show-and-tell? Maybe you were a hoola-hooping fool or an artist with a knack for painting self-portraits? Maybe after years of practices and rehearsals, it was spiking a volleyball or singing opera? Maybe as an adult, after guinea pig testing recipes on your family, and despite some catastrophic failures (just ask my husband about my purple chicken from our early married years), you’ve finally discovered that your talent is cooking. When I was in third grade, I really did believe I was gifted with creative writing thanks to a class assignment to write a fantasy. Having grown up a TV-junkie, I wrote a spin-off story about Fantasy Island, a popular 80’s TV show where Mr. Rourke, the suave, cultured, Latin overseer of a luxe resort on a mysterious island would welcome filthy-rich guests to live out their fantasies on each episode. I was so proud of that story and it sparked my love for stringing words together to create, escape, dream, provoke, inspire, validate, persuade, and to get into really layered, complex characters like Tatoo, Rourke’s littler person sidekick. If you’re thinking “the plane, the plane!!,” you know exactly what I mean—deep stuff, right? No, I never received literary accolades for that essay or any others and so, my writing ‘career’ came to halt after third grade and didn’t resurface until

about 11 years ago when I started writing a

days; could this still be my creative gift? The little

departmental newsletter at my corporate job.

girl who had sworn off any dreams of publishing

And in that job, I rediscovered the art that I really

fame asked me to reconsider once again, how I

and truly love; the written word, even in its very

could use this skill set that had gathered a bit of

technical, business-like, templated form that

dust over the years. And then one day, a women’s

gave back to me in the form of a paycheck. Later,

mag, Stellar Day, put a call out for contributing

after giving birth to my fourth child, I made the

writers and I wondered again if my writing

transition to SAHM and my interest in writing

fantasy could maybe become part of my

took yet another shape. [By the way, did everyone

everyday reality. Could the writing projects I’d

else besides me know that SAHM is an acronym

been passing off as just part of my 9 to 5 job, or

for stay-at-home-mom?! I was a SAHM for seven

just something SAHM’s do to pass time and win

plus years and apparently had no idea that this

free stuff, have been preparing me for a new,

was my official title during that time. Thank you

creative outlet; for such a time as this?

to all the hip, mommy blogs out there for giving us a four-letter word that is wholesome and we

I wonder how many of us fall prey to the lies that

can totally get behind. Lord knows, I’ve been

tell us there’s no market for our craft; or because

called worse in my life!] So during the SAHM

our talent is self-taught instead of academically

years while the babes took their afternoon naps, I

or professionally trained, that it isn’t page-turning

dabbled again in writing; submitting entries to

worthy or adorn-the-walls beautiful enough; that

some women’s magazines’ essay contests

our perspectives aren’t as witty as Scary Mommy’s

perhaps a bit out of my SAHM boredom, but also

or as insightful as Brene Brown’s; that everything’s

because of the chance to win prizes. It should be

already been said a million times in a million

noted that this was the same era that I entered

ways and our take isn’t innovative enough, or is

into HGTV sweepstakes and while I didn’t win a

too niche, so why bother anyway? How many of

smart home in the Bahamas, I did win some

us have stopped creating because our “not good

beauty products and baby clothes from those

enough” fears choke us back from putting pen to

essay contests. And when I won, I asked myself a

paper, bow to violin, or eye behind the camera

question I hadn’t asked since my Fantasy Island


"How many of us have stopped creating because our “not good enough” fears choke us back from putting pen to paper, bow to violin, or eye behind the camera lens?"

a writer” but because I am a person who desperately wants to be believe in the value of my words; words that are often clunky, sometimes punctuated poorly; often quirky and sentimental; often tongue-in-cheek and divinely guided but mostly, words that come from a place that wants to believe that I have a Godgiven talent that has a purpose here on this

Every month when I submit my articles for this

page, even if I don’t really know what it is or who

magazine, I fight the worrisome mindset that

it might serve. And that, if we only give our

makes me wonder and second guess too many

minds, bodies, and voices the credit and chances

things; will I come off as pompous and self-

they deserve, that beauty will be in the making;

seeking; will my article be boring? Will my

whether it’s the finished product that you will

perspective even be relevant to anyone? Should I

proudly display on your fireplace mantel or

maybe not share it on social media because my

simply going through the artistic process itself

friends might be turned off? Is what I have to say

and putting yourself out there. What is the

not eloquent or funny enough? But nevertheless,

purpose or place for the talent that you brushed

I choose to hit “send” and take a chance on my

off in your fantasy-eyed, little girl days that’s time

childhood wonder; not too be all, “look at me, I’m

you rediscover now?






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When you dig deep to create something that is FOR another person, you make the world better. When you stop just for a few minutes to write about your struggles in hopes that even one person would be lifted up, you change lives. This magazine is a rare gem, and one that wouldn't be if it you weren't a part of it. Every month, I wait for the articles to come my way and every month I am blown away more and more. Thank you! For everything, thank you. You are creating space in this world for every person who needs to read something good, to come and find just that.Â

Jess xo

Thank You.

You helped create this!

Jessica Williams, Editor in Chief Jennifer Stamps, Associate Editor Nicole Thompson, Publicist Sarah Humphrey, Creative Consultant

Contributing Writers In This Issue Christine Cram Courtney Bareman Danielle Nesper Esther Gallagher Jennifer Stamps Jessica Williams Maria Derminio Melanie Hummel Nicole Thompson Rachel Schroeder Sara Chambers Sarah Costa Sarah Humphrey Tara Chatterton

Special Thanks AFC Chiropractic Agnes Art & Photo Dani Homemaker Honeybook Jay & Jess Photography Kym Ventola Photography Nine Retreat Nu Skin Sarah Costa, Beachbody Coach STAMPS & Co.

EDITORIAL OFFICES Located in sunny Scottsdale, AZ Stellar Day Magazine is published by Issuu and created in Canva.

Stellar Day


Dani Homemaker Young Living Consultant

EDITOR'S NOTE I can't think of a better issue to share this in. Create. That is what we have been doing from the beginning, since the very first issue of Stellar Day Magazine. We have been creating space for women to feel included, loved, accepted, normal, happy, and to hear from God in whatever ways He would choose to speak to them. Humbly, it has been the greatest endeavor of my entire life. This passion, this avenue to reach women has been one of the most creative opportunities that I have ever had, and I imagine doing this for a long, long time. God knows my heart and knew that this would be it's heartbeat, even if I never dreamed it possible until it started to form. It has been the passion of my life. My life's work, besides my own family. And I am so incredibly blessed to continue to create each issue with such an amazing team, and I am ready and feel as though I am being led to take this ministry and movement to the next level. So, we are starting a Go Fund Me for Stellar Day Magazine, for 2018 and all the things we feel like God is asking us to pray over. I personally have prayed about doing a Go Fund Me for over a year, and now my team and I feel like it is time to move into this, to humbly ask those who have loved being a part of Stellar Day to give. To give to this movement as we begin to create new ways to encourage and inspire women everywhere. (Click here to give to Stellar Day.) That's what this is, a movement. And I am so excited and anticipating all that is to come! Jessica Williams Editor-in-chief