The last two weeks before Shattered Magazine goes to print can get rather crazy in the design department (let’s be honest, I AM the design department, along with our great intern Autumn). We pull in the staff from pretty much all the other departments (i.e. Rachael, Emily and Laurie) to tighten up the stories and make sure they flow well with the layout. It’s never perfect, but that’s kind of the beauty of it, because Shattered is far from about being perfect. And actually we’re getting better at the whole process because we’re learning to attack it in little chunks along the way instead of cramming it all in right before it goes to press. So our sanity is being kept in tact a bit better this go around. Thank goodness.

Of course, we all don’t just drop everything and focus on design, because, well, we’re running a whole company! We hosted our second Connection Brunch last week and had another packed house at Cyn Shea’s! Thirty local business and ministry leaders gathered together to make connections, hear stories from other community leaders, and see how they could connect with Shattered’s mission.

april connection brunch

LeAnn Newsom, director of For Life Ministries, shared her inspiring story of adopting five of their eight children, and how that spurred her on to start their ministry that now impacts the oppressed, the orphaned and the outcast both here in the community and internationally. You can read more about her story in the upcoming summer issue. Then Kellie Andrews, owner of the Huntsville Hub, shared her heart for living out her faith in her mainstream business.

April Connection brunch speaker

Both women are using their stories and platforms they have been given to reach out to others with love and grace. It was so inspiring to hear! And even though I’ve heard Rachael share about Shattered countless times, each time I get something new out of it and see another glimpse of her heart for sharing the hope of the Gospel with others.

In the midst of all that, I got to meet with Monica Yother, a local artist with MY Designs, who we met at our first Connection Brunch. Our meeting was especially encouraging to me, and here’s why.

Sometimes I’m scared to surround myself with other creative-types because I feel I’m not worthy of being around them. That I really don’t know what I’m doing, I’m just making it up as I go, and they’ll find me out and discover the “truth.” But this week (actually over the past month or so, but it hit home this week) as I met with Monica, I discovered this mentality to be a lie!

I’ve been slowly opening myself up, getting to know others who are in creative fields, and what have I found? They are encouraging! They are affirming of the work I do. Yes, they know things I don’t know but it only serves to inspire me, not bring me down! For a girl that thrives on affirmation (I’m working on that too), it’s refreshing for my spirit.

The really neat thing is that when I see the amazing ideas they have and the heart they have to share their knowledge, it puts me at rest and brings me joy. I love seeing how they are putting their talents to use and are encouraging me (even if they don’t realize it) to do the same. All that to say, you never know what can come from connecting with those around you.

So if something’s holding you back this week because you are feeling unworthy, let me take a turn to encourage YOU! Being willing to admit there are things you don’t know and allowing others to share the joy in their work with you can be inspirational. Open yourself up to get to know those who have knowledge you don’t so you can learn and grow from them.  Let’s allow these opportunities to increase OUR joy as we see how each of of us truly does have something of value to contribute, no matter if we’re just at the beginning or years ahead in the learning process.

{Shout out to my first wonderfully creative intern Lauren who helped with our second issue last year and made the sweet, encouraging collage featured in the top photo of this post!}