Choose Joy...

For those who are just coming here to our new website, we want to say HI to you!

Since you may not know much about us and what we do, I thought I would post a few blog posts from our old site so you can get to know us.

In additional to hosting Art & Faith Creative Retreats around the world, we have also recently felt called to move from California to Colorado to build a “Gathering Place” for the Lord’s purposes. This has been an incredible journey that we have been on since the beginning of 2017 and each step of the way has been so evident to us. Not easy… but evident that He has opened the doors and allowed us to see His path for what He is doing.

The picture below if from last Christmas when we were celebrating our last Christmas in sunny California… in our backyard… on Christmas Day. (I have a feeling that may not happen here in Colorado. :)

If you want to follow along with us on this path God has put before us, you can find out more on my personal blog HERE.

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But to get a little glimpse into this move we’ve just made, here is a post from last weekend.

November 10, 2018:

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Today is a big day for us.  A day where decisions on our land will be made. This process hasn’t been easy and this may not go well today.  But even though this week has been really hard and full of trials, the Lord has been so good to listen to my cries and give me His Words that calm my heart.

This week He’s revealed a couple things to me:

First, the Lord is bigger than our rules. Yikes! I know I’ve put “rules or restrictions” on things in my life...  I think back to my teen years and remember how I said “I’ll never go on another blind date...” and I’m married almost 30 years to my 2nd blind date. 😂 Or how I tell the Lord how things are gonna go... “I’ll do this, but I’m not going to do this...” Well, God is soooo much BIGGER than our rules! He can really teach us & bless us through shattering our rules and showing us His ways are higher than ours.🙌🏻

Secondly, we put limits on how God can do things.  We THINK we know how God is going to do something & we set our minds on a “way” that it will work out.  I’ve said this even in this home journey we are on. “Oh, the Lord isn’t going to do it this way...” then it won’t be all Him. 

What a fool I am! I limit God by my OWN limitations. All I can say is He is showing me to lay it ALL down, He has shattered all the limitations I’ve set (in amazing and sometimes hard ways) & He just wants us to come to Him in total surrender & seek out His perfect will.❤️

I can’t go to this meeting on our land today bc I’ll get too emotional... I know that about myself. I am praying for clarity today; in knowing if this is where God is specifically placing us, if this IS His perfect will for our future, and if this is just a trial we need to go through (because the enemy clearly doesn’t want us doing the Lords will here) or if He has somewhere else for us? I am so thankful for His Word that we can turn to and for His peace through hard times that we can cry out for! 

AND, for His Joy... in the Middle.  I find it a tad ironic that I taught in-depth on JOY last month in Italy, and I come home to have to truly lean on those words the Lord gave me to speak to others. I guess He knew I would need them just as much. ❤️

When I was driving this week and the Lord revealed these two things to me, I knew they were for someone else as well...

I know it’s hard to give up our will and trust that God can do things however He wants, but know that you know, that you know... He loves you SO much, and He does know what’s best for you.🙌🏻

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58


Let me ADD to that story…

That meeting I was talking about WAS hard, and I didn’t go. The design committee for our community wanted to see our plans, on our land, and after our changes (b/c the first plans were not approved) it boiled down to the placement of our garage. I know it seems crazy, but it’s what held things up for the last couple months. While we were waiting for their decision though, the Lord spoke straight to my heart the next day at church. He has a way of doing that, doesn’t He?

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Here’s what I posted on my personal IG this past Sunday:

Today it’s snowing here in Colorado and we are starting to get used to this weather. But we stayed home and listened to church online in our comfy clothes. 😍 🙌🏻

Now most of you know I’m an emotional person and cry a lot... but I can’t remember the last time I cried during a message at church.  Today the pastor spoke partly on my favorite verse (Proverbs 3:5-6) so that’s probably why it got me like 😭... but it was also because the Lord spoke straight to my heart.  Are we leaning on our own understanding or the Lord’s? And this: “When you’re going forward doing the Lord’s will, there will always be opposition that comes at you.” Boy my post from yesterday came flooding back! 

We KNOW the Lord has called us to Colorado for His purposes, but things can get messy in all the decisions that that brings.  What really spoke to me was the contrast between my favorite verse and what Joshua did in Joshua, Chapter 9.  He didn’t seek council from the Lord and he leaned on his own understanding and things went south. 

See the enemy knows us... and he’s sneaky, just waiting to destroy what the Lord is calling us to. 

So how do we stay strong in the Lord and lean on Him to show us His ways... to help us in all our decisions? Well, we don’t exclude Him FROM our decisions!  Yes, that sounds simple, right? Idk about you, but I don’t do that ENOUGH. I WANT to bring it ALL before the Lord, but I guess I don’t think to.  Plus there are a LOT of decisions we are making these days.  But I want the Lord to be the CENTER of all of them. 

And then this: “we rob ourselves of the Lord’s sweetness when we don’t bring our decisions to Him.” What a beautiful way to think of it.  What a great message today.  There are still decisions we are waiting on. Yesterday was a good meeting but we aren’t sure which way they will go.  Trusting and knowing God understands and will reveal the answers in His perfect timing. ❤️🙌🏻

Thank you @calvarychurch.co for bringing the Word of God (and my life verse) to me in a fresh way.  Oh, and these are the doors we LOVE for our house, whenever that happens...😂 #calvaryaurora #proverbs356 #lifeverse #leaningonjesus


So there you have a little insight into what we are doing here in our new state of Colorado!

And guess what?!? I haven’t announced this yet, but…

WE GOT APPROVED LAST NIGHT!!

We thought we would have to wait until after Thanksgiving to hear anything, so we are beyond excited so see where the Lord leads us next.

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Lastly, before I end this book… I mean blog post…(sorry this one is so long) I do want to mention my middle daughter who is part of this ministry we feel called to. Rebecca helped create this website and will be contributing to our blog from time to time. She is going to college right now but has felt the Lord calling her into women’s ministry.

Her heart for our retreats, the women who come and the ministry we feel lead to is beautiful and I am thrilled to have her as part of our team! She has been a part of my retreats for the last few years and everyone who comes can’t say enough nice things about her. So you will see her on here, she will share some of what the Lord is doing in her life and she is part of just about every retreat that we do.

Thank you again for coming here to see what we are doing. We hope you will consider joining us at one of our retreats some day.

Hugs to all,

Laura