Prayers from a Creative

Dear God, (prayer from a Creative)

Thank you for showing me my Creative Gifts. It took me so long to realize how much I need Creativity in my Life. I realize now how much I need it and I thrive when I am in pursuit of it.

Because this gift is so great I tend to want to hold on super tight to it. I tend to be fearful that it will be taken away. I tend to be selfish and not share. When not careful, I tend to be obsessive and self-centered. Promoting my Creative gifts tends to lead to a lot of focus on self.

Here I am holding my talents and creativity to myself: (the flowers represent my talents) (LanaJenae Photography)


lanajenae photography; Melanie Beilner


help me

Open My Hands.


Teach Me Your Ways O God. While I am Waiting Yielded and Still.

I give my Talents to you!


With Joy

and without fear

for I would have no talent or creativity without You.

I offer a most precious gift (from You to me)

back to You.

May You use my talents for Your Glory.lanajenae photography; Melanie Beilner

What I’ve Gained from 5 years of Blogging.

This is the first part of a 3 part series on my Creative/Blogging Journey. (the other 2 parts will come; in time!)

10 personal triumphs; what I’ve gained from 5 years of blogging. (To be sure I have not gained a bit of fame or fortune which were on my goal list!)

{What if I had never blogged???}

1. I discovered what I really liked and who I was. I really didn’t have a grasp on it. Now, I realize my blog was a blessing. Not everyone has the time or way of knowing themselves. Time, tears and energy worth it? Yes. My blog was like a “home-school” education in my field of interest. TO KNOW MYSELF IS TO LOVE MYSELF.

2. Free Therapy. Focusing on a task; on stuff helped me get away from my overwhelming emotions and my “Mommy” life. I decided early on that I felt uncomfortable sharing personal stuff on my blog and when I ever tried it just didn’t “feel” or “sound” right. I think I just needed to know myself more and now I feel more comfortable sharing “stuff.”

3. My blog brought me closer to God. One of my frequent questions to myself and God: “Does anybody care about my blog besides my Mother?!!” Blogging is kind of like “show and tell” except a lot of time there is no one to see or say “how nice.” It’s more like I’m my own “show and tell” audience. I have to become my own cheerleader and I am my worst critique. On my darkest blogging day I ask the universe, “Does anybody care?” Since I did not gain validation from many others besides a few people (you know who you are! THANK YOU!) – I turned to God always seeking Him. What do I do now? Which direction? (In fact, I’m still doing that; it is very humbling.)

4. Increased (and decreased) my sense of value. In the vast universe of Creative Bloggers I am like a tiny dot that does not shine super bright. In hindsight of life circumstances and lessons learned/learning, I realize how much more valuable I am to God that anything I can produce, be or do. My God delights in my creativity BUT my value is a separate value that is higher than gold. I recently read Breanna’s post at the Burma Chronicle that explores this topic more.

I still have yet to grasp a sense of wholeness/value without comments and appreciation. Really, if I had a million fans and more awesome comments than I could read – AT THE END OF THE DAY –

If I can’t be proud of myself…

…if I can’t believe my value is not in what I do or my talent but my value is completely in Christ…

“Melanie’s value is more valuable than gold.” (even if I accomplished nothing and made no money!)

-…THEN a million fans would not make me feel whole on the inside.

5. I haven’t quit blogging. I usually quit most things. Tempted many times to quit. Ready to hit that “delete” button.

6. My blogging developed my writing skills, styling skills, cooking, photography, crafting and canning skills. What if I hadn’t blogged? (will write more about these creative skills in part 3)

7. Met several other talented “Creatives” in my field and look forward to future creative collaborations. Was inspired to start a “Kindred Creatives” group to encourage creativity.

8. Blogging helped turn my weakness into a strength. After getting married and having kids I became controlling and wanted everything to be “perfect” – my home, my kids, our appearances, cleanliness, etc. I burnt out and realized “perfection” was never attainable and all that effort was exhausting! Now, I am carefully using my skills at “perfection” in styled photoshoots. -Capitalizing on my attention to detail but at the same time accepting imperfections.

9. Blogging and Styling Photoshoots showed me my love for picnics! I didn’t really know!

10. Blogging showed me I was good at turning junk and freebies into treasure. (more on this in part 3)

Making this list has been an eye-opener because I’m tempted to believe that my Blog has failed. -when really, what if I hadn’t blogged?! I would have probably never done most of these things or realized I enjoyed them. ;)

I started my blog with the intention of finding a way to make a part-time income on doing what I love; I tried a lot of “creative” ventures; still trying! and haven’t succeeded at making an income. But, I have gained a rich experience along the way.



Pride & Prejudice Kindred Creatives Part 1

Pride & Prejudice event Simply Lovely Photography

My daughter as she waits for the ladies to arrive! We are hosting a Kindred Creatives Gathering with a Pride & Prejudice theme. Our creative activities include: Calligraphy Writing, Hair & Makeup and playing back yard Croquet. We also indulge in scones, lemon curd and whip cream for a snack!

Pride & Prejudice Creative event


AND, iced tea in a fancy tea pot!



Calligraphy writing is harder than it looks! But all the ladies did great!

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”  Mr. Darcy

Make sure to see Part 2!

Blackberry Beach Picnic Part 2

inspired by Selina Lake picnic Simply Lovely Photography

What fun to go to the beach in style!

iced coffee picnic Simply Lovely Photography

Iced Coffee and Blackberry Cobbler Beach Picnic!

blackberry crush Simply Lovely Photography

Why not have 2 special drinks at the beach? Blackberry Crush Cocktail in a Mason Jar!

blackberry crush Simply Lovely Photography

infused with blackberries, mint and lemon

cheers beach picnic Simply Lovely Photography


beach accessories Simply Lovely Photography

Annetta Bosakova Film Photography

vintage film camera

(Annetta’s idea!!)

tea cup Simply Lovely Photography

Love Abby’s smile!

dress detail Annetta Simply Lovely Photography

This dress detail is so beautiful; I will do a separate post of just the beauty of this dress! And Annetta made it beautiful!

coffee teacup Simply Lovely Photography


abby Simply Lovely Photography

Abby is such a sweetie and has a good kind heart! on Instagram @missabbylemon

Abby shoes Simply Lovely Photography

LOVE the shoes Abby! (Annetta for sure took this pic!)

blackberry cobbler picnic Simply Lovely Photography

blackberry cobbler beach picnic Simply Lovely Photography

Whip cream, iced coffee and blackberry cobbler; what could possibly be better?!

The dark vintage-ish purple floral blanket I picked up at a local thrift store. It was pinned to a bed skirt. I used the bed-skirt material to make the napkins, line the suitcase and make the bunting. Again, Selina Lake inspired; dark florals!

blackberry cobbler Simply Lovely Photography

eating cobbler Simply Lovely Photography

blackberry cobbler Simply Lovely Photography

Isn’t this enamel dish the cutest eva? I borrowed it from my father in-law.

Thanks girls for making this day memorable!