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Camp Create 2015

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well in case you weren’t sure… Camp CREATE was soooo good!  🙂
we planned and anticipated for months and it was totally worth it!
it was so cool to see what a perfect group God brought together for a week of fellowship, worship & creating.
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kimberlee and i kicked off our 5th year of Craft Weekends and 2nd year of Camps this September.
how can it have been that long already?

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i have had many questions asking “what is the difference between Craft Weekend and Camp CREATE?”
#1 Camp is Wednesday – Sunday and CW is Friday – Sunday.
#2 At Camp we have a speaker that shares about God, her faith and a relationship with Jesus.
#3 At CW we make several craft projects and at Camp we have instructors to teach workshops that focus on a creative skill or technique.
#4 Camp has A LOT of down time to help with rest, relaxing and creativity.

Both are wonderful but in different ways.   🙂
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Our speaker was Stephanie Holden.
she is known by most online as “Honey” Holden.
let me tell you… she was just what this group needed!
she blessed the entire group with teaching us from the bible and through her own stories.
she was open and honest and safe… all with a thick southern accent.
at the end of her speaking time the first night, she read a letter to us that she’d written to her 16 year old self as part of blog project.
and then told us that she would like all of us to write one while we were at camp…and share them!
WOW!
what a powerful tool that was look back on the goodness of God & see all the ways He has worked through our lives!
it was a HARD and emotional project!
but also very freeing to release it all and give God the glory in all of it… the good, the bad, and everything in-between.
if you have never done it… today is the day!
go for it!
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our guest Carol made those cookies for us?!!
i couldn’t even believe the awesomeness!
they were so perfectly made and tasted amazing!
i had like… 8.
for reals.
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our art instructors Stephanie Ackerman taught a workshop on Art Journaling.
and Jenni Horne taught a technique of whimsical painting.
i filled in a gap of time with a fun wood block heart project.
between those three things there was paint, glue, chalk and stickers EVERYWHERE.
the best kind of mess!
everyone enjoyed learning what was shared and having lots of open ended to keep creating as ideas came during the week.
thank you Stephanie and Jenni!
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the idea for the hearts came from @heart_by_cc on IG.

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we were excited to celebrate TWO birthdays during our time together!
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stephanie teaching how she creates her pages in her art journal.
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jenni showing us her painting technique.
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kimberlee always spoils us with her delicious meals and desserts.
this week was no exception… enchiladas, cinnamon rolls, ginger snaps, cheesecake, chicken pot pie!!
it is such a treat for ME to not have to think about food while we are at the house.
she makes the week complete by blessing women with thoughtfully prepared food!

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Dianna (in the blue stripes) was our official “Helper of All The Things” for the week.
she was SO needed and went way over the top in her job.
i love you Di!
thank you for every single thing you did… seen and unseen.
and how great that this time you didn’t even have to fix a toilet?  🙂

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we took our campers out for lunch a sweet new lunch spot in Florence called The Flint Hills Market & Bakery.
if you live anywhere near Florence, Kansas be sure to check it out.
and of course we visited my favorite antique store and barn of antiques!
everyone has to experience those if you come to visit me.
these girls came home with the coolest treasures… even concrete lion statues!barnbarn2IMG_4891
the Camp Create Leaders for the week… Jenni, Kimberlee, Honey, Stephanie and me.
there is a lot of love in that picture.
🙂
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my husband had to hang that HUGE sign from The House of Belonging the night before camp… OY!
it’s GIGANTIC!
but i knew that the women who come through the doors at the Craft House need to hear those words.
it needed to be there as a reminder to them.
and me!
Thanks Tiffani for encouraging every Craft House guest!
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i asked Honey before camp for a word or phrase to sum up what her time of sharing would be.
she texted this back to me:
I’m focusing on a different part of our identity… a different word for each session so it was hard to come up with one word that encompasses them all. (“Warrior”is my favorite individual study for the week. Eeep! )  Abundant, or Abundance is a good summary. When you pile up all the the things we are in Christ, it is an abundance of goodness. Like.. Blow your mind kind of stuff. Because of who we are in Him, because of what HE has done… He’s created us to never lack in any area. He’s not only given us grace to be sustained but He wants us to live an abundant life… Thriving as the woman He created us to be.  
I’m just praying we all leave with fresh eyes of all that we ARE and all that we DO have in Christ. It’s easy to let our circumstances at times make us forgetful or even feel forgotten by the Lord when He was passing out His goodness for the day or month or year. Regardless of whatever season we are in or what we are facing, He has SO much for us.

and that is exactly what shared over the course of the week.
i loved every word.
we felt encouraged, inspired, understood and loved by God in each of her sessions.

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we had a quiet time each morning to reflect on what our speaker had shared or for devotions or just purely for quiet.
to further the relaxing we brought in massage therapists.
everyone had the opportunity to sign up for an hour massage and everyone took it!
quiet time AND massage… does it get better than that?
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i just love all these happy faces!
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the rainbow stairs were a huge hit!  🙂

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the whole week was absolutely wonderful!
i sat at the end of the room watching what God has brought together and felt so seen & known by Him.
i felt so loved!
the way He takes our small offerings of what we have and turns it into something so BIG for his glory.
i like to make things, decorate and talk…. He takes those things i have to offer up and has made such a comforting place for women to hear Him, grow in Him, love Him & to be reminded of how much HE LOVES THEM!
and that is such a sweet spot to be in.
i am so grateful for all Christ has done in me…what he has shown me… and for the ways he continues to pursue me in love.
i just love everything about jesus and how He loves me no matter what. (heart eyes! heart eyes! heart eyes!)

i am still on a Camp Create high a week and half later… it was RAD!
(and my pants still don’t fit after all that yummy food!)

Tammy, Mary, Shelly, Gina, Sherry, Katie, Jenni, Carol, Julie, Janie, Kristin, Honey, Jenni, Dianna, Stephanie and Kimberlee… THANK YOU for  camp… for sharing and being open… for being kind to each other… for everything!
I am thanking God for each one of you today.

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i will share this week about our fabulous sponsors that sent fun gifts for us.

 

AND soon i will share about the next Camp CREATE coming in April 2016!!!
woo-hoo!!
I am very excited about it!
🙂

 

Heather Lafter - Anyone know where to get the HAPPY shirt. I need one!!

Lori - Meg- I love the idea of Camp Create and I never get tired of looking at pictures of the craft house! Happy you had an amazing weekend!

Amy Woods - I love everything about this post. And can we just talk about all the tunics in your photos?! You ladies are styling up with the long shirts and I need to find myself some! Ca- UUUUTE!

Gemma - Kimberlee’s food always looks amazing!

Gemma x

Roxann Regenstreif - My sweet friend Shelly Clark just got back from your camp and can’t stop talking about it! I really really want to go this next year! This is such a huge need for women to laugh, pray, create and to connect together in a fun environment. Thank you for making this possible.

Rachel - this is incredible! Totally inspiring, what a blessing you are using your gifts, passion and vision to serve others xx

Jenny B. - Amazing! I actually thought Camp Create was like Craft Weekend, but for kids. How did I get that in my head?? I have no idea. 🙂 So, I’m glad you explained it! It looks absolutely wonderful. I definitely get a sense of what a blessing the time was, and that the whole experience was about glorifying God while digging into your God-given creativity. Love it! <3

Zakary - Oh, that sign in the entryway! *heart eyes*

Debi Meyers - 5 years? FIVE YEARS?!?!

Sheila Atchley - …soIm going old-school, and leaving a comment! 😉 This looks like it was such a soul-restorative time. I think giving women the tools and inspiration to be creative IS equipping them for spiritual battle…because no enemy is going to allow you to win uncontested. And when we, as women, can quiet the white noise in our head, and soak our souls in Truth, and meditate on truth through our fingers and paints and markers and whatever….that is a major tool in the toolkit. You almost can’t overstate its value. I’m so glad I discovered you, Meg!

tiffany day - lovely so very lovely!

would absolutely love to be able to attend sometime – I would be an awesome helper too! 😉

xoTiffany

kellyn - looks like you knocked it out of the park again. a sweet spot for sure. you are a blessing to so many. nice work!

Kimberlee Jost - That picture of Mary on the porch during quiet time—that’s what it’s all about right there for me. I get a big lump in my throat and teary just thinking about how much this time means to us all.

Suzanne - Meg,
Love this Camp Create post. One day (oh, one day) I would love to be able to afford to do this. But in this phase of my life, I will just thoroughly enjoy your posts. That will have to suffice for now. QUESTION – totally unrelated, what are the leggings you buy? I cannot remember the brand or quite frankly, anything. HELP! and thanks.

Andrea - Simply amazing!

Kathy - You’ve made the house beautiful, colorful, fun and rejuvenating and it looks like your guests had a fantastic and uplifting time. p.s., I hope you bought that chicken picture – it made me laugh out loud. 🙂

Sara - It looks like an absolutely fabulous week!

Jenna - I need this! Such a lovely experience that I hope one day I get to experience!

Amy - How amazing to come as strangers but leave as sisters in Christ! Looks like an amazing time! I’m thinking my girls should enter those wood hearts as a 4-H project this year. 😄

Jen - Your camp and craft weekends always look so amazing! I wish I could participate, but I also wish there was room for those who are not Christian. Oh well…

Ashlea - Thank you so much for blogging about this. This looks like such a fun time! I can’t wait to hear about the next Camp.

Janie - Meg, thank you thank you thank you! I am so glad God gave you the gifts he did so that you could bless us!!!

Heidi - Swoon. It’s almost unbelievably magical. What a great way to serve others too. You totally rock. Maybe one day I will be creating, uplifting and sitting on the rainbow stairs. Cheers to you Meg. And all the other awesome ladies who make events like this possible.

Jaime A. - Just beautiful, and fun, and peaceful, and colorful!

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CAMP CREATE 2014

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i have been hesitant to write this post…it’s taken me an entire month!
camp was SO GOOD and everything i had hoped it would be.
i don’t think my words can describe our time at Camp CREATE well enough.
i don’t want to miss anything.
and during camp i barely took any photos because i was having such a great time i forgot!
so this post is made up of pictures taken by me and the whole group.

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it was an awesome group of women.
i kept smiling when i would remember that this was the group God picked to be here.
He put us together.  That meant something.
God is in all the details.

when you bring a group of strangers together who know they are coming to focus on dreams and God’s plans & desires… amazing things happen.
none of the guests knew anyone before coming.
none of them were able to come with a friend because it sold out so quickly.
AND I LOVED THAT!

these girls were vulnerable and strong.
they were asking God “what do you want me to do next?  what is your plan for my life… right now?”
and that is B I G!!!

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Each evening and morning our speaker, Holley, talked with us about dreams and God’s purpose for us.

Holley Gerth is the author of “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”.
(she has written lots of books and you probably need them all)

she taught us that a “God-sized Dream” means a dream that perfectly fits your heart.  it’s not about how big or small it is, it is about saying YES to the dream God has for you.
she shared with us about “pursuing life with passion and purpose and going with God where he leads.”
those are her exact words.
🙂
i wanted to write down every. single. thing.

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we talked about our strengths and our skills.
we discussed how are we using those to serve others?
and where do our dreams fit into that picture?
we talked about fear – the fear of failing… fear of it not working out…. fear of rejection… fear of success.

Holley’s words were just what my own heart needed to hear.
and i’m pretty sure every one in the room was thinking the same thing.

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Stephanie Ackerman & Michelle Allen lead our creative workshops.
we created art journals, encouragement cards, carved our own rubber stamps and made ornament pillows from our stamps.
it was relaxing… refreshing… and oh so fun!!

they were both fabulous teachers.
i enjoyed how their style was totally different and i learned so much them both!
i am now a huge fan of art journaling AND i want to carve a million more stamps.

we were spoiled with such wonderful teachers.
it felt great to create projects with endless possibilities for hours at a time.
and then go to bed and be able to leave it all out!!
no kids to come & get into our mess or family needing to eat breakfast on the same table   🙂
getting freedom in the time and mess is so nice.
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we shopped at our very favorite barn and antique shop.
some went to other local shops in newton and sonic for happy hour drinks!
some went for a run in the mornings… some went out for evening walks.
we brought in massage therapists for those who wanted massage… oh yeah… ahhhhh-mazing!!!
there was a big focus on RELAXING at camp.

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having shannan as our “official helper” for the week made everything EVEN MORE EPIC!
she is as wonderful as she seems on her blog.
she is the real deal.
i like her so dang much.
she’s a writer so i am positive she really liked that last sentence… it’s very professional, intelligent and well written.
shannan… i am so thankful for you.
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the week before camp we pushed hard and finished out the backyard area.
we gave away our swing set and cleared out the weeds…
my strong sons and husband did most of the hard stuff.
i hung lights and bunting and made it pretty.

it was perfect for a fire and s’mores for dessert!

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kimberlee‘s food was possibly the best it’s ever been.
the way she plans a menu is a creative gift!
we ate like queens.
and in case you didn’t know… kimberlee is the organization behind our events.
she thinks of details in the details.
things i never could come up with and she has ideas and answers.
i love her brain and her giant heart for hospitality.
i am so thrilled we get to work together AND be friends.
she’s rad.

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michelle graciously gave us a new sign for the Craft House kitchen!
definitely time well spent.
it was really cool to watch it come together!
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for part of the art journaling, stephanie had us cut words from old book pages.
any words that caught our eye… those above were some of my words i cut out.
and i also got caught up  in reading my pages.
mine was about a president that was ill and the wife having to hold it together for everyone… i looked up during our workshop and said “my page is making me cry!”
i was supposed to be looking for words not reading!

Holley found the phrase “Great Jumping Mullets Grandpa!”
what??
it stuck.
we said it all week.

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tara took a selfie with everyone at camp.
and i thought it was so adorable to see it all in one collage!

we had some lovely sponsors who sent gifts for our guests………………………………………………..

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Faith & Life Bookstore is my local book shop.
they are in Newton, Kansas.
they wanted to give our guests a gift!  It was so kind of them to do!
everyone at camp was able to go home with Holley’s book!

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CRAVE Popcorn Company.
they sent their popcorn for our girls to snack on.
oh my goodness i love this stuff!
you can order online and have it shipped right to your door!

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Lisa Leonard Designs
Lisa sent this necklace to our guests.
i love that they can wear it and remember their week at Camp and how they ARE loved!
You can order this necklace for yourself too and wear it anytime you need a reminder!

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The Honaker HomeMaker
Lauren made a few of these creative signs for Camp Create.
one gets to live at the Craft House forever and two went home with two of our guests!
We love your shop Lauren!

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i even got to take them to the sunflower field that i love so much!
i don’t think there could be a better backdrop for pictures.
nothing can compare.

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Holley told us that “the Dream itself (whatever it may be for you) is not the point.  The adventure in the relationship with God is what matters. ”
Being together with Him, ready for whatever He asks and brings to you next.
Remembering that we are His, we are loved and we can dream BIG.
Saying your dreams out loud can be a scary thing.
But He has given us what we need to be all that we need to be.

(you should go read Holley’s story about her daughter Lovelle… God is so good!)
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this week for me was about giving these women a time and a place for their creative gifts.
time to rest… dig deeper… make friends…. and to be heard.
we shared together what our dreams were and what the next step was.
everyone encouraged each other in so many ways.

having this camp was my God-Sized Dream.
i was scared… scared it was a dumb idea…. that no one would want to come… that i was crazy…
while reading Holley’s book it was made clear to me that this was not something i came up with but that it was God ‘s idea and HE wanted me to do it.
and then at that point… what choice did i have?
to run away scared or say YES to his plans!

it was humbling to see this group of women come together and hear them share so intently.
it was a w e s o m e.
and i am so happy that they could have time to focus on their dreams.

and this may seem silly to some but i felt like that sunflower field was a treat from God for me.
it was breathtaking.
like God was saying “you did what i asked.  you gave me your fears.  you trusted me.  Look Megan, your favorite flower…. a MILLION of them.”

sometimes God choses to practically knock us out with his goodness.

this camp… was one of those times.
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if you are interested… here are other camp create recaps.  🙂

michelle –  part one and part two
stephanie  – part one and part two
holley
shannan  
carey
beth

Camp Create – part 2 | Allen Designs Studio - […] check out Meg’s blog post that has a lot more details and fun […]

Laura h - I was on vacation in a remote part of the country so I couldn’t read your blog for 10 days. That killed me, but yours was the first one I checked in on when I got back. I love this post about camp create!! xoxo
I remember you once posted a picture off of Pinterest of a backyard with bunting, and you loved it sooo much! You said “someone needs to have a party, and invite me.” Well, you are THAT person! The one who threw the party with the bunting! I think that is adorable! Love your blog, love it!

Heather - Jealous times 10!!

Karina - It sounds like an amazing experience. I really wish they had something like this for atheists. Seriously. I feel *this* close to finding people who like the same stuff I do…but then they open their mouth (or fire up the keyboard) and say God. Ugh. Anyway, I am glad YOU got something out of it – this is not about me! – and I am a long-standing fan of your style and your love of colour.

Camp Create – part 2 | Close2myArt - […] check out Meg’s blog post that has a lot more details and fun […]

KWolff - What an incredible opportunity for everyone involved! I have been patiently waiting for you to post pictures and a run down of the week. It was well worth the wait.
I am so glad that you lived your God sized dream. I know that I may never be fortunate enough to attend Camp Create but just having you share it is almost enough. Almost. 🙂 Thanks so much for all you do!

Rhondi - What an amazing week you had! I’d love to come to something like that!!

Keetha - Camp Create sounds like a dream! Are there plans in place to have another one (or more) next year? Thanks!

Lisa - “the Dream itself (whatever it may be for you) is not the point. The adventure in the relationship with God is what matters. ” Wow! Could not love this more.

Michelle - Could you please share the menus that Kimberlee prepares. I feel very challenged putting together a menu for weekend company and would love to know what she makes. Looks like a glorious time!

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I love watching girls I love have a wonderful, blessed time! Tara is the bomb. That is all.

Flower Patch Farmgirl - What we had was really something special. I loved every second. It’s fun to relive it now. Miss those faces!

Like you so dang much.

julie - What a beautiful post! So happy for all of you!

Jaime ♥ Raising up Rubies - wow Meg. this is beyond amazing. to watch you grow … your His girl, living out your life loud for Him … for us all to see. to be encouraged.
the last part about the flowers got me all choked up girl.
can’t wait to see that Jesus light in your eyes in a few days ♥

Sarah M - Meg, I’ve been reading your blog for about 2 years now, I think. I’m pretty sure you and I are kindred spirits (except for the whole exercising thing lol). I just love all the energy, realness, and encouragement your blog exudes. I’m thankful for you so much! – Love from Ohio (we have fab sunflower fields here too! They are my fave!)

stephanie ackerman - I still don’t have all of the right words to put it together justly. EVERY time I start to talk to someone about our week it turns into a three hour conversation.
It was just
so good.
so right.
so blessed.
My heart still overflows with every moment and I am really FOREVER grateful for the opportunity to be part of your GSD (God Sized Dream) Meg.
It is very easy for me to say that I love the heart of every single girl that was under the Craft House roof and I am a better girl today for the experience.

Kellyn - I know I have said this before to you but THANK YOU. Thank you for following your God-sized dream and making it possible for all of us there to dream with God. It was life changing for me and oh so needed! I miss all of you girls so much and it feels like a dream that we were all there. So thanks again Meg and keep dreaming!!

Mary Beth Hunt - Right now, I don’t HAVE a dream. I’m a semi-retired mom…..and I’m not sure what is next. But this, Meg, is making me CRY UGLEE TEARS….
“and this may seem silly to some but i felt like that sunflower field was a treat from God for me.
it was breathtaking.
like God was saying “you did what i asked. you gave me your fears. you trusted me. Look Megan, your favorite flower…. a MILLION of them.”

Sending you love and encouragement from Nebraska

coralee - *sigh*! in a sounds absolutely delightful kind of way!

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