The past two months a lot of things have been changing. Not things in the kids’ lives (though that too) or in my house (I still have unpacking to do), but invisible things. Inside my head and inside my spirit, there are rumblings. Sometimes just the melancholy sound of a train whistle in the distance and sometimes the clatter and roar of metal screeching across the tracks, blowing back my hair with its wind. I took the month of November off from blogging (which really means that I only posted like 5 times instead of 25) and did some thinking, some watching of sick kids, some writing, and I took an online course.
Online courses are all the rage these days. Roxy of Grrfeisty gifted me a social media course that I can’t wait to start (nerd alert!) and there are writing and blogging courses I’ve been considering. But this course is something totally different and unlike what I’ve seen online. If my thoughts were already clattering around, this course really got them raging and moving in the best of ways. The course is called Make Better and I’m giving away one free pass to the course that starts in January if you want things in your brain to get shaken up as well.
I’m not sure how to describe Make Better. It’s not about blogging. It’s not about writing. It’s not about any specific thing, and yet it’s about EVERYTHING. It is about you and your creative soul. It’s about passion and about roadblocks and about fear and about story. The people taking the course ranged from writers to pastors to people working in a church building sets and stages for events. And that’s what I loved most about it, I think—that it was about the human soul and the need to create and how important and valuable that is, across the board for all KINDS of creations.
Blaine Hogan is the mastermind behind this course. I recognized him from an episode of Prison Break, a show Rob and I loved. Blaine is now the creative director at a church in Chicago. (What a cool job title!) He has spent years making art in various forms and shares some experience and also the experiences of others (like Donald Miller!) through exclusive videos in the course. (Ps- Blaine’s Instagram? A thing of beauty.) During the course he is hands-on: responding to posts and emails and generally being a real person who cares about you and your process. I love that hands-on approach to a course that (unlike so many others) is NOT about making money or growing your numbers. See a little more in this video.
Don’t get me wrong—there is NOTHING wrong with the four walls of a home. I think this course could help you Make Better as a parent. Period. Parenting is an amazing calling, and one I’m also trying to live up to. But for me, there is also this calling that is something Other. It’s not something More, which would imply that being a Mom is something Less, but it’s something outside of my home and outside of my family. I know that it’s been with me since forever. I know that it will be with me til my last breath.
And yet…I’m 37 and what have I DONE? What am I DOING? A lot, really, because raising kids is insane. But am I being intentional in my time with them? Am I making the best everything I can?
It is not really about accomplishment, not really. Not about accolades or awards. But there is a sense of wholeness that comes from fulfilling your purpose. YOUR purpose, not one belonging to someone else. What Make Better did was help validate my passion. It helped me feel a sense of ownership over my desires to create and gave me a wonderful and very real nudging to embrace this sense I have always had to DO. To MAKE. To BE an artist of some kind, whether or not I ever see my name in lights. It also showed me that I’m not alone. That there are other people out there with the same longing, even if the dream is different. As a part of the course, participants connected through a forum and a Facebook group so we could share photos and stories and talk about what we were learning. It’s so nice to feel NOT alone!
This is how Make Better made ME better. I’m not sure what tangibly will come from this, but when the inside changes, so does the outside (just like that parable from Jesus about washing the inside of the cup) and my inside feels changed. Since taking the course I have planned out some big things for my blog and beyond, started a creative journal, signed up for a big-time writing conference, and turned in a book proposal. Things are rumbling and moving and shaking, I tell you.
Does this sound intriguing to you? Do you feel a sense of stirring in your soul as you read this? Try the course for free! You can sign up for email updates and get the first module for free just to see what you’re in for. And this week the course is on sale for $172 down from $297 with the promo code MERRYCHRISTMAS! Or…enter to win a spot in the course through the Rafflecopter widget below!
A super big thanks goes to Adproval and Make Better for the opportunity to try this course! All opinions about it are absolutely my own.