Proof of Life | Journal Entry No. 12

Welcome to the Proof of Life journal entry series.

Writing more in general, and specifically with you, is something I hope to continue.

Like many of you, life has become clearer over the past few years and there are many things I have dropped along the way that I deeply desire to pick back up. In turn, there are things I never want to pick up again.

From the very beginning, I have always felt like we are on this journey together and I can’t wait to hear what proof of life will come to mean to you.



The Comparison Game | Part Three


You can read Part One HERE.

You can read Part Two HERE.


I am constantly envisioning new art, classes, collaborations, home designs etc. but this next part of the story was different. It hit me like a ton of bricks and I knew immediately it was not only a continuation of how creativity looks in our life, but how it would change our lives greatly too.


Since I have been a little girl, home has had my eye and heart. I would notice those that knew how to home well and my young heart took note. My Grandma Jeanne showed me how to set a long table with mismatch china and crystal, music playing, a tiny library off the living room, family gathered for conversation, collected art that makes you happy, opening your doors often, fresh flowers from the garden, and how to gather your family as the head of your home. My Aunt Jeannette fed us well, created beautiful spaces, welcomed everyone, was truly joyful we were all there and made spaces that felt lived in and beautiful. My mom saw us and used home to play games, watch old movies together, pray and read scripture, pray over each one of us at night, ask questions and start conversations and to allow home to also replace and heal pain.


I have previously shared our journey to our current home and you can read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. The story is really good and worth the read. Promise.


Before I finish up this post I want to reiterate that I do not always hear, see and walk out ideas clearly or perfectly. There is nothing perfect about how I do anything. My heart though is to use what I have and what I have been given the best way possible. My vision is to not get stuck in the confusion of today and see what can be. My strength is to act and do that one thing that is in front of me the best I can. I know that DOING shuts down the voices and the effects of resistance. Don’t think for a second that I am never afraid, not clear or don’t feel vulnerable. I do. A lot. I also know there is incredible power in not talking about what you want to do and just doing it.


Before we moved into our current home we had the whole interior of the house painted and we replaced lighting. We then moved in and got to work on the reason we had moved. The Studio. We didn’t replace the pink sidewalk, the crooked roof of the front porch, or the bathroom with peeling paint and tiles with recliners painted on them. All of our time, energy and resources went into making the shell of a workshop into our studio to gather other creatives.


The biggest and scariest thing we did after we closed on the house (late January) and before we had even moved in (early February) was open registration for our first workshop (late June) in our non-existent studio. It sold out almost immediately. We had work to do but we had a purpose so big and with people counting on us too. We finished the studio two days (really) before our first live workshop. It took all of us. Everyone had to be all in because it was too much work and resources if we weren’t. I have always said it is the studio that love built.


Over the years we have made the studio better and better and we have also made many changes to our home. We believed then as we believe now, that walking this journey out had a purpose and it continues to teach, humble and bless us. What we learned in this part of the journey will be built upon in the next stage of our journey. Nothing is wasted when you show up.


I want you to know I didn’t write any part of the three part series of our home journey until we had closed on our home and that final segment (part three) wasn’t written until we had been in our home for three weeks. We started working on our studio right away doing as much as we could ourselves, hiring others when needed and working within our budget.


Do you know that talking about your ideas, dreams and projects releases the same endorphins as doing them? So often beautiful callings, journeys, purpose and more is sabotaged because we are talkers and not doers. Hold those dreams close to your heart and start walking them out. There will be plenty of time to tell the story later and it will be a good one!

Share this Post


  1. Christina Husted

    Thank you for being present and sharing yourself as well as your art. Your class offerings from other creatives are always so inviting.
    I am late to the game but now have the time and energy to play. What a joy to discover that you are out there in the “ethers” encouraging us to join in without comparison.

  2. Janet Lev

    I just read and re-read parts 1, 2, and 3. You inspired me to begin my journey here in Connecticut after physically moving here over a year ago from the outskirts of Washington DC. Thanks for the gentle nudge to move forward. You are a blessing.

  3. Monique Cronk

    Such good thoughts. You must have been named after that wonderful grandmother of yours!

  4. Angela Sopranzi

    Being a “soon to be 82 year old” I see the wisdom in what you are saying, but, what I would like to add is that even now, you inspire me! I love the idea to do now what is in front of me. I also love that you remind me that there are new horizons out there that I haven’t learned about much less conquered. I’m currently playing with my third Stephanie Lee workshop and am loving Aimee Bishop’s Magpie’s Nest. Always onward and upward is the key for me!

  5. Angela Sopranzi

    I should have mentioned that I’m working my way through your Wandering Muse for the second time. That’s what I love about being in your network. I get to go over all the great classes I’ve taken over the years as many times as I want!

  6. Lacie

    Blessings 🙂 I just shared this story today with a dear friend.
    I am an Artist
    Yet because I wasn’t able to draw “well” I felt as if I really was not.
    JO had a class about working threw your story as you create and she shares the itty bitty basics like the supplies and materials. To be used simply and limited to a select few yielding creative release.

    As I would replay her videos (slow at times am I) I began to hear the truth and see the results.

    Sometime years after I lyed Critically ill, bed bound for months with children in upper grades at that time. I was challenging to look back and look forward to give me hope as it was bleak and almost all avenues were going dim. I prayed to the God of the Bible and sighed and wondered why I was unable to ever follow threw and go to the art retreat. I felt a peace flood over me and that I would meet Jo. Then a couple years later…my husband and I were in Cannon Beach near our home. As we sat down in a little pub-I saw her…it was Jo and her family. I just started crying.. it took me 30 mins to stop and when I finally got the nerve to walk over and interrupt the moment. She was gracious as could be and all I really could split out was tears and 💕. Little did she know how much it meant to me and the HOPe that flows me anew. Faithfulness of 💗

    Yet again 💜

  7. Nancy

    I can’t wait until you put this in a book! I will underline, circle and highlight so much.I can see this Proof of Life book in my lap!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.