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    Lent: Space to Play

    Lent: Space to Play

    This one is for the creatives at heart! I have been spending a good bit of time writing light-hearted poetry for my girls simply to make them laugh a little and encourage them in their own walks with Jesus. The one below was written for my middle child, Virginia.  She is intensely creative, always has a new project or idea running through her mind, and is totally and utterly unconcerned with the clock. I have spent a large part of my motherhood standing by the kitchen door waiting for Virginia.

    The process of writing the poem turned out to be a reminder to me that yes, she needs to be held accountable to time, but as a creative, she is also going to need lots of space and time to tinker, wander, and play.  What may seem like aimless wandering to me, may for her be the very thing that causes her to bloom.

    As a creative, I have been attempting to carve out that same kind of space for myself recently.  I would say I am mostly failing at it in the fast-paced life that we live, but I keep hearing God say that for my calling, it is sometimes “a kindness” to withdraw from the busyness and simply play. For a lot of creatives, play and tinkering is often the place where ideas are born and even executed.  

    Recently, I have been wondering if in all our busyness, we, as the body of Christ, have forgotten how to play. And I wonder if in the midst of that forgetfulness, we are missing out on some of the creativity that He wants to impart to us in order to build up the church. So during Lent, let’s dig deep into repentance and remembrance, but let’s do it knowing his burden is light and give yourself the space to play a little.  And give the people in your life the space to play as well. You never know what may bloom in the midst of it!

    - Helen Brooks, co-owner of All Good Things Collective

    “Hold on.”
    She said.
    “I forgot something.”

    So the four of us,
    we waited
    by the door
    while she ran
    to fill her hands
    with more
    of her belongings
    for school.

    We waited patiently
    for her to return.

    We twiddled our thumbs
    and tapped our feet.
    We twisted our hair
    and wondered what
    in the world
    she was doing
    in there.

    Was she humming a tune,
    tying her shoe,
    adjusting her socks,
    unaware of the clock?

    Was she brushing
    one last tooth
    or rushing to find
    a cure for Lyme
    before school

    Did she fall into
    a pool of rhymes,
    find a wonderland
    where time
    does not exist?

    Did she fall
    into an endless
    making lists
    of craft supplies
    for me to buy?

    Was she making
    one more batch
    of slime?
    Did she know
    God made time?

    “I’m coming,”
    we heard
    but no
    twelve year old
    so we left her alone
    to make her home
    in the black hole
    that had grown inside
    her room.

    She bloomed
    in there.

    Lent: Wrestle Whole-Heartedly

    Lent: Wrestle Whole-Heartedly

    For this year’s Lent calendar we collaborated with our new friend Kathryn Schermbeck who created the amazing abstract art that you see on the calendar cards. The word abstract simply means to take away or remove, so abstract art is simply art in which realistic form has been taken away.   Likewise, Lent is a season in which we are asking God to abstract something.  We are asking him to remove anything from our hearts that keeps us from abundant life in Him.

    In January as I began to pray about the Lent season and our family word of the year, God began to open my eyes to see that a lot of the abundant life and energy that had once flooded our household seemed to have somehow been abstracted from our home.  It’s too long of a story as to how we ended up there, but I knew something had to change, and I asked God what it was that was causing it.   He gave me the word “complacency” and led me to the story of Jacob and Esau and also the story of Jacob wrestling the angel until the angel blessed him.  

    Now I know Jacob was a bit manipulative in receiving his blessing but remember Esau was no better in that he settled for less than God’s best and traded his birthright for a fleeting cup of stew.  I am not sure why God chose to bless Jacob over Esau, but I know that as I prayed God made it clear to me that He would rather me be a wrestler than a settler. Jacob endured the pain of a wrenched hip and walked with a limp for the rest of his life because He was willing to endure whatever it took to receive his blessing.  He left his home and his inheritance in the hands of his angry brother in order to receive his blessing. And He went after that blessing with his whole heart.

    So in short, God said to me, You are called to be a Jacob, not an Esau. Step out of complacency and start whole-heartedly wrestling for your blessings.  I think for me that looks like whole-heartedly going after my calling which is telling the story of what He has done in my life for this generation and the generations to come, mainly through story and art. So in this year, I will be moving in that direction and asking God to abstract anything in my heart that would keep me from that calling. 

    Helen Brooks

    What is He calling you to this year and what is he asking you to wrestle for whole-heartedly? We would love to hear from you!

    Monthly Giveaway!

    Monthly Giveaway!

    Y'all. We've got some GREAT news to share with you! Like, hands-in-the-air, scream + shout, do a little dance kind of news.

    We're approaching our AGT birthday (HOORAY), and we want to celebrate! Throughout all the change, all the transition, a wild move back to Charleston, a few new staff members, + tons of new product - y'all have hands-down, remained our favorite thing about this business.

    We've always said that we are obsessed with the internet, which is TRUE. But want to know why? Because the internet is filled by you. Let's face it, the online world can be rough, but honestly, OUR online world (the world that y'all have inhabited) is nothing short of a God-dream. It is so beautiful to see you all living out your God-given gifts and callings. Thank you for sharing with us. Thank you for chasing after abundant life. Thank you for saying YES to Jesus.

    Because we feel SO blessed, we came up with a new way to bless you.  Once a month, we will be giving away a goodie basket filled with our favorite products from our shop (over $100 worth of merch, art, + tools oh my!), a note from our team, + a few fun things from around CHS. The winner will be chosen at random from our email list. All you have to do for your chance to win is sign-up for our newsletter by the last day of every month. Already signed-up? Great! You'll be automatically entered!


    Click here, to sign up - we promise to only send you lots of love, goodies, and discounts! Let's keep chasing after abundant life, forever and ever. Amen?

    Lent: Story + Laughter

    Lent: Story + Laughter

    After a year and a half of God calling us to rebuild All Good Things, I (Helen) have recently felt called to step into more of a visionary role within the company. There was a time for all hands on deck and for me to be in the nitty gritty details, but with an amazing staff in place, I now hear Him calling me to get back to my roots, to painting and writing for the remembrance of Christ.

    I have prayed a lot over the last year about how my gifts can best serve our team and community, and the word that God has continually given me over the past couple of months is the word “watchman.”  A watchman is “one who guards against possible harm to people or property, often during the night and who may sound an alarm in the face of danger.”  So I believe I am called to be keeping watch, to keep my eyes open for anything that would threaten our team or community or the church at large for that matter, and in a sense, sound the alarm so we turn toward the direction God has called us to.

    In reality, we are all called to be watchmen over our homes and families, and most importantly we are watchmen for the bride, His Church.  We are called to preserve the word He has given us for the next generation and we are called to stand up against the things that could threaten His church.

    I have been asking God what it looks like for me to stand firm in being a watchman, in preserving truth for my own family and for the All Good Things family.

    God gave me two simple words. Story and laughter.  I believe the next generation needs connection! They need to see how the word of God has come alive in our lives,  and I think they need us to stop taking ourselves quite so seriously and laugh with them a little more.

    So as I step into more of a visionary role at All Good Things during this Lenten season, I will be stepping back into painting and writing for the sake of sharing my story with this generation and the next.  I am praying it inspires others to dig deep into their own stories and share them with others.

    We are all part of one body, and we are all characters in one large narrative that God is writing!  And He has given us the amazing privilege of being the mouths that tell that story!  So let’s go!  So let's go tell our stories and laugh a little along the way!

    February Playlist!

    February Playlist!

    You made it to the weekend! To help you celebrate, we've put together a new playlist! Go ahead and give yourself a high-five, grab a sparkling water, and give it a listen. We promise you'll be praise-dancing in no time!

    Want to see your favorite song on our next playlist? Send us a DM on Instagram!

    To see more of our playlists, and to stay up-to-date with all things AGT, make sure you sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page!