For all of you who are here because of my BIG NEWS Christmas card teaser, the big news is not another Fleetwood baby!  Sorry to disappoint…maybe in 2010!

No, the big news has to do with a dream of mine.  As a child, we’re taught to dream big, and so we do.  We don’t know any better.  The world is a wide open field and we can choose any direction we please.  I see that beautiful picture play out in my girls’ life.  Audrey wants to be a dress designing, artist, veterinarian.  I tell her to go for it.  Anna doesn’t have such lofty dreams, yet.  She would be very content performing on any stage she comes across.  I’m expecting to see her name in lights.

As for my dreams, I’ve had many.  Over the years, I’ve seen God work in my life through the paths I’ve chosen and the ones that have been chosen for me.  Woven through those paths has always been the desire to create something of my own.  Something with vision and purpose.  Something where I can share my passions with others and help them in the process.    Something that serves God, as well as supporting and involving my family.  Something that uses my gifts and offers the flexibility I need to love and nurture my children and husband.   Just those things and more, that’s all!  Over the years, I’ve had many ideas and even had business plans for a few, but life took over and they just did not pan out.  This time, God has been hard at work in a way that is hard to deny.

A few years ago, I was blessed to meet a woman named Erin.  We became friendly acquaintances.  I started watching her children one day a week, and we became friends.  We realized how much we have in common: from parenting styles, educational goals, creative living and much more. Erin is a talented interior stylist among other things, and she is a dreamer.  She sees opportunity and potential where others do not.  That wide open field still exists for her.

One day, not much more than a month ago, she posed a question to me that went something like this.  What if there was a place where women, men, and families could go to learn about all this stuff we always talk about…expanding our creativity, parenting issues, health, wellness, our spiritual walk.  You, know, I know this building in Augusta that would be perfect.  It’s newly remodeled, but hasn’t been used for anything in years.  The view is amazing.  There could be workshops and time for meditation.  People could enjoy the trails and we could provide a wonderful lunch and time for exploring the antique shops.    I stopped and stared.  I blinked.  My mind raced.  I was in.

Thus, Spark Workshops was born and God continued working.  The concept was so similar to a plan I had concocted about 10 years ago, that I already had the bones of a business plan.  Erin was able to get a story about Spark included in an article in the St. Louis Kids Magazine for the January/February issue.  We scrambled to created a logo, finalize a business plan, create a web site, start the process of forming an official partnership and planning our first workshop.  The article in St. Louis Kids magazine will hit thousands of area households at the first of the year, and we hope to fill our first workshop.  Our brains are swimming with the possibilities for workshop themes.  Everything from journaling, creative parenting, creative interior home design, and others.  All with the foundation of growing closer to Christ, to others, and drawing upon our God-given gifts.  It’s so exciting!

If you knew how wonderfully this endeavor fits with both of our gifts, you would be amazed.  Because we’ve been able to do everything using our own skills, experience, talents and contacts, we really haven’t even had any upfront costs.  It’s a wonderful vision and we’re so very excited and grateful.  Without further adieu, I introduce you to:

Please visit our website at www.sparkworkshops.com and consider joining us for our first workshop! 

Be sure to check out the article in the January/February issue of St. Louis Kids magazine!