About the Author

Now graduated from her role as a homeschooling mom of 8, Dawn Camp devotes her time and love of stories to writing her first novel. She enjoys movie nights, cups of Earl Grey, and cheering on the Braves. She and her husband navigate an ever-emptying nest in the Atlanta suburbs.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. This is what I need. The past days, I’ve been really struggling to know God’s will for my art this season of my life. Now I realize I failed to offer it to Him, except in passing, or when I lacked inspiration. A heartfelt, genuine devotion is what I should give him, not the casual, last-minute offering.

    Thanks for this, Dawn! I’m praying for more God-given inspirations for your art.

  2. I love to cook, usually with recipes. People say my cookies are awesome!
    I also enjoy playing around w/ Pinterest.

  3. This is beautiful and oh-so-true. When I was diagnosed with a rare lifelong illness in 2007, I rediscovered my “crayons” and fell back in love with creativity. I love spending my good days creating art on the stovetop, with words, and in greeting cards. In fact, I joke that when I make cards for people, I feel like a kindergartner with my scissors and gluestick!

    And do you realize that creativity is another way we are made in the image of God? His first recorded action was to create… why then do we try to stifle it in our own lives?

    • Elizabeth, I was thinking the same thing while reading! Why do we stifle our creativeness? Why do we forget so quickly from whom that creativity came? And why do we neglect to offer it back to Him?
      Dawn, I cannot thank you enough for sharing this with us! It never ceases to amaze me how God places the exact right things in front of our eyes at the exact right time to produce the exact right response within us. I NEEDED to see this today. I NEEDED to remember what I’m doing and why I’m doing it and most importantly who I’m doing it for. I too have a blog and a website that are my ministry in His name, I too have re-discovered the art of photography and of writing; gifts that have lain dormant within me for FAR too long!
      Right now I’m praying for wisdom and discernment in how to combine those gifts with my gift of teaching, so I’ll pour them all out onto His altar and then see how He hands them back to me and what shape and form they take from there. Dawn thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to shape your art and your ministry and then sharing your insights with us. God has used you to inspire me! Thank you!

  4. i’ve started painting this year. and it’s been amazing to see what’s happened so far (and it’s only march). i never thought my art would be anything decent, but i’m selling like crazy and painting pictures of children in third world countries to get them sponsors. http://www.artisticdomestic.com

  5. So true! *So* true!! I have rediscovered my creativity in creating cards, although this has really taken a back seat to other priorities the past few years. However, together with my son, we have started nature journals, where we try to sketch animals or things we find interesting. I absolutely *shocked* myself the other day with my image of a robin. I *never*, ever thought I could draw! I always described myself as someone who could draw stick people and that was it! I have the picture open to the page right now and I grin as I look upon what I drew!!! I am encouraged to continue this. Thanks for this wonderful post. I am also encouraged to help my kids continue their amazing creativity. (Right now I am drowning in creative project and drawings, lol, but …. )

    • I’ll bet your nature journal is beautiful! Are you familiar with Edith Holden’s Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady? I’ll bet you’d love it! I teach classes to homeschooled high school students and one of the moms gave me a set of cards at Christmas that had her drawings printed on them. Do you print your drawings on your cards?

  6. We connect with our Creator when we create, the problem is narrowing it down to just a few or one thing, and this is the process we are going through. We started creating just for gifts for family and friends but then when things got rough we tried to make things to sell. What happen was the joy of creating was replaced with the demand to keep up and creating was no longer possible because there was no time left to create new, just keep making the old. Then the bottom fell out of it and nothing sold. So again, we were seeking God for what direction to take.

    We find sometimes we have to de-clutter some mediums to make room for the thing we are inspired to do. And also getting back to what God would have us do in a way that is more faith based as well. So it is back to the crayons and just the basics of creating. Thanks for your openness.
    Mrs. J.

    • Eileen, I understand that need to help financially and sell. It’s there for me, too. I pray you’re able to both find your creativity and help your family.

  7. Oh, you are speaking to my heart today! I’ve been asking for my crayons back for some time, and now I’m seeking the Lord in how to create something beautiful with them. He’s revealing each color to me one at a time.

  8. Great reminder. This post definitely resonated with me. I was too afraid to create and put my words down on paper for many years…too many years. So thankful the Lord kept working on me to step out of my comfort zone and start writing again a few years ago. It’s been a beautiful journey with Him!!

  9. this so spoke to me today. I am such a creative soul, and I know my talents are God given. The problem for me is twofold: finding the time, and keeping my pride out of the way. I don’t have the energy I used to, so after I finish my responsibilities, I have little energy left for creativity. Oddly enough, I am energized by being creative. So I have to do it when I have some energy, in order to make more!! But usually it falls to the bottom of the pile, and by the time I have time, it is at the end of the day when my tank is empty and I can’t even think straight, much less do anything creative. The issue with my pride is beyond enjoying others reactions when I give them something I make. I get so many good ideas, and want to make everything I see other people do and that makes me disorganized and having too much stuff to do what I really want to do. I need to let go of some good things in order to invest in the great things. And then I don’t have to deal with the clutter and have that sap my energy and slow me down. Also, when I see something that I want, and I think: I could make that! I need to evaluate if I really need it, and if I do, then buy it. I will be supporting someone else’s God given gift, validating them, it will provide income that they need, and it will free my time up to do something else that I really enjoy!! Thanks for this post. I was just praying about this this morning, and it has helped me so much!! Thank you God!

    • Leslie, you have a valid point about supporting the creativity of others. There are some things I see that I know I can create, and others—like a Gussy bag or a necklace from Allora Handmade—that I buy from others.

  10. Thank you!! I need to lay down my art of interior design. I fret am “I” good enough , I strive, perfect and cry out for help. My prayer has been, Lord you direct, guide and create for my clients. You know their hearts and what will delight them.
    I need freedom from myself and my need to be approved by men.
    Imagine running with the Lord in a beautiful field . This would be my idea of creating out of love and response to Him. So free…

  11. Wow Dawn! This reminds me of my story. It wasn’t until after I suffered a soul-wrenching depression that I found my creative self again. I am so thankful that God led me back to the gift of creativity that I so love but thought didn’t go along with what the world expected of me. By the way, I have been listening to an amazing sermon series by Erwin McManus titled Artisan that will probably be right up your alley…http://mosaic.org/artisan
    Thank you for sharing!

  12. Thanks so much for sharing!!
    I use crayons on a regular basis….and not because I’m a grandma. 🙂 Words, and capturing His creation on camera are my most frequented mediums used for art.
    Yes, even a smile inspired from God to a stranger on the street can become our art. If it’s from Him – no matter what the medium used – it’s ALL His.

  13. Oh, this speaks to me in so many ways. Now that our triplets are in 1st grade, everyone thinks it “makes perfect sense” for me to return to the classroom after a 7 year absence to begin earning an income that way, in the way I was formally educated, in the way that I should be able to do in my sleep. Yes, at one point in life, being an English and ESL teacher was the love of my life (apart from God and hubby), but now with kids and my creative ideas so close to blooming, I just don’t have that desire to walk backward and find the path that I left when the kids were born. My primary “crayon art” is writing and I’ve been doing it since I was a preteen, but only occasionally on paper 🙂 I blogged through potty training triplets and even thyroid cancer, but set it aside 2 years ago when I began to think that I really should start pursuing a regular career again. Funny thing is, none of those doors have opened and my desire to write for the Lord has only increased. He gives me things daily, sometimes hourly, to write about, to the point where I can’t stuff one more article of clothing in my mind’s suitcase! I’ve started to write at night again and am waiting to discern if the Lord wants me to return to blogging or start the process of submitting to other blogs and magazines, etc. The work doesn’t daunt me, but the waiting does. Am I waiting for something that will never materialize? I could be earning income for the family NOW, by signing up to sub in the school district. And the enemy sure does a bang up job on my soul in the meantime. So I’m staying close to the Lord in prayer and in His word, and being encouraged by others here who seem to “get” what following the Lord looks like in real life 🙂 Thank you for sharing and edifying others who are a little behind in the journey 🙂

  14. Just realized I didn’t answer your question…I love to write, create crafts, create blogs for people, graphic design, etc. etc…there are just not enough hours in the day to do all the creating I want to do. My whole blog is pretty much a testament to how God helped me find the me He created me to be.

  15. I have been thinking a lot about the topic the last few days actually! I love to write. As early as I can remember I was always writing but about 6 years ago my computer crashed and I lost the story I’d been working on for about 5-6 years. I’d started when I was just 13 or so. I was devastated and have been unable to write any fiction since. While I have my blog I do so greatly miss writing fiction and really want to get back into it! Thank you so much for your post. Just what I needed to read today!

  16. Dawn,

    How I thank you for sharing your heart. This is my story to a tee. I used to lose myself in my art, but the last 20 years have somehow “killed” my spirit. I need to lay my heart and art on God’s alter. He gave me a gift and I am not using it…but I want to change. I am new to your blog and think you do an awesome job of using God’s gifts. He is so mighty and I love the Lord so much.

    Thanks again for sharing….

  17. I think you are reading my heart. Inside there is a rumbling of creativity that is clamoring to get out. I have been feeling lately as if the volcano is fixin’ (that’s country for ‘about to’) erupt if I don’t do something quick. I, too, am logical and analytical, a left-brain thinker. But God is stirring passion deep in my soul to truly create. I have long worked in textile art, and sing a bit. I love to write, but have been extremely hesitant to put myself out there for the world to see. Mostly, though, I really want to paint. I am often moved to tears by great musical compositions, and I want to try to put that passion onto canvas. I have the paint, brushes, and canvas, so now I go! And I will blog. Oh, my:/

  18. Thankyou for pointing my toes in the direction He wants me to go.. I started painting music that moves me or that I feel God is putting on my heart to paint.. I get so busy with the day to day that I push aside the desire in my heart to put on canvas what I feel nudged to paint.. I know He puts the desire in my heart to do the paintings and I even started a blog and writing the testimonies that go along with each one.. I need to focus more on doing the paintings them as they come and not pushing that nudge back.. I’m glad I’m not alone.. 🙂

  19. I’m a folk artist and when I started my blog, I began writing little stories about the people and the families that live in my little paintings. I also did some Bible verse folk art paintings with the verse framing the scenes. God has inspired my artwork in many ways and I’m blown away by how much better I paint when I follow his lead.

  20. Congraulations on opening you own shop! How exciting is that ? Remember to live like you cannot fail, because all things are possible in Him, to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose! ~Di

    • Diane, what a concept – live like you cannot fail. I’ve been trying to set my self up to be willing to fail, but I like your idea that all things are possible in Him.

  21. I appreciate this post on giving our art or talents to God. I think this is particularly important because if we are not giving them to God we are actually withholding them from God. No gift or ability is a mistake, but a divine tool given from the hand of the Creator so we can in our won and unique way glorify, honor, and declare Him to others.

  22. I think my art is lying dormant. I absolutely love looking at art supplies and want to do something creative, but I don’t know what to do with them!

  23. I love all the posts. As a little girl I put crayons to my precious Cinderella coloring book. I was blessed to have a lil girl of my own and my oh my I found and purchased that same coloring book for her…and another for me. Two enormous boxes of crayons provided many hours of pleasure and fun for us. I enjoy photography, (my grand baby loves being phographed, as did I). I,d love to learn how to write books for publication. Do I like too many things? I,ve buried too many dreams. Maybe it’s time to dream again. Hey, even my 31 year old son enjoys watching Mary Poppins with his family (he says it reminds him of our home here in NYC). My little girl (now 29) still loves Cinderella…I wonder why? 😉

  24. My crayons are in the form making handmade greeting cards for family celebrations, and for giving to other organisations for fund raising. I have always done crafty things like cross stitch, and I started making cards on the computer, but found that limiting as I am not able to draw. In 2004 I progressed to handmade cards, engineering my own gift boxes etc.
    It is a gift which I treasure, because I give something of myself and Jesus in every one I make. I enjoy the process of planning, making and finishing with an end product which I like because it has been made for a reason, to bless others.
    It is a joy to make something out of nothing, like an empty tissue box which becomes a keepsake reminder of a wedding day, or a prophetic symbol of something that Jesus wants to say as welcome to another person, all of which I cherish as a blessing. My crayons were out as a child, but looking back I never really allowed myself to put them away, even when others tried to make me, and I am thankful for that fact.

  25. i guess i let my are lie pretty dormant, i really should do more artistic things with my daughter, but besides coloring on paper with markers we don’t do much art, i feel bad about that. the one creative outlet i have is my blog, it has really helped me through some tough times.

  26. My art lies dormant under layers of indecision. I learned long ago that I could not trust my decisions. My decisions started out as bright happy colors but turned into dark and incorrect shades soon after. Time after time, this happened. I pray to allow myself to chance to take the risk of letting my colors shine through. Maybe this time I will get it right. Blessing to all.

  27. YES! I often worry since I market my speaking to religious and secular if I am turning someone off, either way. Then I just figure, God gave me my gifts, I am giving them back and I won’t worry about a thing! THANK YOU for writing this important thought so beautifully.

  28. Excellent article, Dawn! I know that if I don’t have some sort of creative outlet for any length of time, I’m just not okay – kind of out of sync. When you consider that we’re created in the image of God and He is the ultimate Artist, it makes sense that creativity is an important part of each and every human. How sad that our society purges that from so many. What a beautiful offering to give Him our art. Just as we are called to be living sacrifices unto Him. All we have an all we are is His anyway. We are merely His stewards. Love you, sweet Georgia Peach!

  29. Several years ago when I was trying to memorize a scripture, a tune came into my head that fit the words. God has brought several people into my life who give of their time and talents, adding their voices and instrumentation and recording skills to aid in memorizing with these songs. I would say this is the creative outlet that God has given to me. You can hear the songs at hiswordsmusic.com and download free of charge, with voices or without. Soon I am going to start a series of verses that will partner with a training for my teen daughter. Thank you for your encouraging words…the devotional thoughts God gives you are an inspiration.

  30. This is just what I needed to hear! I made a commitment this year to exploring personal work that is Spirit-led. I’ve prayed to be open to receiving and sharing His message through my art. No sooner did I declare my intention then I was given an opportunity to act on it. I also decided to commit my Friday blog posts (For Heaven’ Sake Friday) to sharing faith*filled creative living. Beautiful!! There are others like me! Hallelujah!

  31. All of my life I thought I didn’t have a creative bone in my body. I longed to be creative! Finally in my 50s God showed me how to make rag quilts. I use them as prayer quilts – I pray as I make them for people. God showed me how to be creative and I gave it all back to Him!

  32. Oh, I love that quote, I think I may have to steal it!! I’ve been in a very dry season for the last 5 years, and last year I began to try the mixed media art. I’ve always been crafty and good at decorating, but I hadn’t found anything where I could express my soul and art did that for me. But I felt like something was missing, and I, too, have been seeking God about my blog, When I began blogging just a year ago I thought it would be a place where I could encourage other single girls, but I got stuck in the “I want to be like everyone else and make stuff like everyone else” rut, and God is now leading me back to the reason I started the blog in the first place. To glorify Him. So, this post is encouraging to me because maybe I can do both….Him first, art second.
    I’m glad I stopped in today, thanks!! I’ll be checking out your store!

  33. My art lies dormant most of the time. If I find some time I create some delicious dishes in the kitchen. Another art I have is sign language with music. I do it for special music at my church periodically.

    Other than that I’m not creative or very artsy. But the idea of being createive because HE created us in His image is imaginative! Never quite thought of it in that way!

  34. A friend posted your link on her fb page so I came to check out the post with such an interesting title! You made me cry! I have been stamping and making cards for almost a year now. I don’t feel very creative but I LOVE IT. As a child I thought I would be an artist but somewhere along the way it just dried up. Since I started playing with paper the spark has lit again. I have prayed that God will grow my creativity and that somehow he will use it. So encouraging to read your post!

  35. Dawn, thank you for this encouraging post. I just discovered incourage a few days ago through a friend’s post, and this is the most perfect post to start my subscription to this site. Thank you! For a long time, I desired to have those crayons back in my hands and just couldn’t find an outlet for it…and then I started lesson planning and teaching and my art became alive! My roommates think I’m crazy for taking so much time to lesson plan and for getting SO excited about it, but it brings me so much joy and I know it does the same for the Father. Thank you for the encouragement to really give our art to God. 🙂

  36. Love this post! I never thought of myself as a very creative person. When I started writing, I realized that writing was in fact an art. And that I could be creative with my words. I feel that through blogging the Lord has deposited in me a level of creativity that I never knew existed. I give this art over to Him continually. He is the only one who truly inspires me to keep going!

  37. I tell you what, I am blown away by God’s grace. And I’m totally NOT KIDDING! I just said a prayer this morning asking Him to direct me with my avenues of creative expression: I know the only way for my creative work to speak to others is for me to take a backseat and let God do the driving. I have also spent years relying on my intellect and human decision making process to direct my movements: only to discover in the last few years that I am most fulfilled by writing, and by taking photographs. I am totally blown away that my Daddy hears me and led me to your encouraging words this morning.

  38. It never ceases to amaze me the continual connection that Christian women have in a world of seemingly disconnect. Then of course when I give it a second thought, it’s easy to say “Of course we are connected, we are God’s children”. I have months of inCourage articles waiting to be read and in my attempt to be organized I tell myself to read one past and one present and today after weeks of reading nothing yours was the one.. I’ve been yearning to do something more “artful” with my life of chaos. It’s hard to break the mold of doing day to day work and bring in ray of sunshine of creativity. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me to pay attention to my own children’s creativity and to rediscover my own and do something about it.

  39. A great post, thanks for this. I am always doing something creative, and most of the time have to justify the time I give it! Most of the results are for the joy of others – knitting, cross-stitching, baking, etc. God has blessed me with ministry among children and families as my main outlet for the creativity bug. I love to see them come alive when they understand a new piece of God’s plan for them, or see His love in a new way, and if it’s through the tools I’ve created for the family to use together – that is one of my highest joys!
    Bless you as you share the bounty of God’s creation through the images you capture.

  40. I rediscovered my “crayons” a few years ago during a very difficult season. Who knew God could speak through yarn? I knit a little everyday but it is less about what I’m knitting and more about the prayers I am praying for the recipient and meditating on God’s word. I never ceased to be amazed at how a handmade item can be so precious to someone when they know it is covered in prayer just for them. On my needles right now: a dress for a precious 3 year-old Ethiopian girl that just matched to her forever home with good friends, a sweater for a friend’s first baby, an Easter sweater for my daughter. Knitting is my offering to my King and He can use it for His purposes!

    • Jennifer, I’ve tried to knit and I’m a total failure (a knit wit!). What a blessing you’re able to offer others both in the item itself and the prayer put into it.

  41. Uneasy today 
    I can’t seem to grasp the feeling of knowing I’ll be fine. =
    How to succeed in where my heart is?? 
    Focus on just my needs
    Fix only what is my responsibility 
    Favor myself 
    Find what brings me joy
    as I do that I’ll be a blessing 

    Just last night I penned the above words:
    Then, I felt guilty it was all about me…
    Maybe not! As I read the posts this morning,
    It’s more of finding and using the gifts God has
    Given us. it’s not selfish to focus on ourself, as we
    do the art in our gifts shines through! I am past retirement
    age, single now, job searching for two years. When asked
    the other day: “well, what are your gifts?” I replied
    with no hesitation, Encourager!” last night as I prayer
    request I said how I know I’ll be ok? When then I started
    the list with Friendships, the finding other words beginning
    With the key letter “F” at present my lap top has also
    Crashed. I’m writing this with my iPhone, I have used it
    for months to job search, reach out, and take in blessings
    Of emails. How to survive, how to use the gifts God had given
    me? I did self- publish a 100 page novel in 2006. 1 bought all 7.
    Economy took it’s toll, I lost my home! I had started another
    Novel with hope of earning a living. God never let go.
    As of today; I prayed for a laptop, I will use my crayons
    and hues of encouragement to add to my income And Be A
    Blessing To Others! And even perhaps buy a home again,
    A home is where your heart is! Thank you each one for
    Your Encouragement!

  42. I love to write. I’m not sure if anyone cares for what I write but that’s just the way of it. Every once in a while I can whip up some fabulous blog post, or at least I think, and never get any comments. But I create for me.

    I also enjoy, when I have time, paper crafts…cards, scrapbooking, making journals. I feel like I am honoring Him and the gifts he has given me when I at least attempt to brush up and hone in some of the gift talents.

  43. Such a wonderful post. But my fear….it keeps me bound!
    I need a swift kick in the pants. I want to step out, but I catch myself doubting any abilities that I might have.
    Especially when life puts so many restrictions on us.

  44. LOVE. THIS.

    Over the past couple of years, God has been opening my imagination and my mouth. I have been writing on my blog, but I have also started speaking and in a rare occurrence, combined the two into performing a dramatic monologue that I had written on the woman with the issue of blood.

    I love that I am finding my voice in the worship arts. Speaking, writing, I even dance with our praise dance team.

    Oh, and I am 35.

    God gave me my crayons back, and I haven’t even began to play with all the colors yet.

  45. “God gave me my crayons back, and I haven’t even began to play with all the colors yet.” – Shannon, I love this! Enjoy your colors!

  46. I love this and it’s exactly what I need to be reading. I too need to bring God into my blog. It’s not easy and it’s something I struggle with (with people be offended…) This evening at Church (I’ve been church hopping a bit to find a church home) the speaker talked about being our authentic (even if vulnerable) selves. I feel I owe it to my readers, who have “been there” for me through it all to be more authentic and real. Thanks for this beautiful entry Dawn!

  47. Dawn,
    your post is like water to the thirsty! It makes me want to go to Michael’s and splurge on one of those huge 120 crayon sets…or go on retreat with nothing but a new journal and inkjoys.

    Have you read Madeline L’Engle’s Walking on Water? …Such a gift for a faith-filled artist.

  48. As I struggle in getting my own time in between being a mom to a busy little 5 years kid and wife, my dream to live everyday as a crafter/artist and blogger is still to be consistent to my schedule. I DO believe to be creative is a gift. And I’m grateful to know it and looking for it in myself. God has provided many opportunities and I’ve been blessed to see some of them happening.

  49. Thank you, Dawn. I’ve always seem to have a deep desire to create, but the fear of failure and criticism has kept me from pursuing excellence, whether it’s watercolors or knitting. I’m one who worries about being misunderstood, not wanting to draw attention to myself. But your desires to give your talents and art over to God has really spoken to my heart and I encouraged look for ways to venture out, create and give the glory to Him, as it should have been all along.

    • Oh, Clarinda! I’m definitely a fear-of-failure kind of girl myself, but yes, the motivation and inspiration draws us outside ourselves.

  50. Wow. So thankful God led me to this post. I am stuggling with what to do next and how God wants me to use my art for His glory. Two years ago I read “The Artists Way”, a wonderful work book on reclaiming your God given talents and creativity. It motivated me to start painting again, take classes and have the courage to try and sell some things. Now, I am turning 50 in July, my son is in middle school and I have this strong feeling that there is something more I am supposed to do with my art but I don’t know what. I am praying that God will lead me in the right direction, show me how to balance it all, and contribute to the family income if possible. I don’t SEE the answer right now, so I just keep walking. Creativity is God’s gift to me, how I use it is my gift to Him! Praying for answers and ideas!

  51. Thanks for this great article and for pointing women to allowing the Creator to work through their hands and eyes and hearts! I am a faithartist- God has taken me on a special journey these last 10 years to use my hands to create faithart- (of course that is not a word but I make it and use it) mixed media, art journaling bible studies, teaching others how to express their faith in what ever art form they are given. I am getting ready to have a guest artist at my studio called Adore HIM creations that will be teaching a day of “living life as prayer”. I am involved with The Worship Studio- for any of you who want to meet more Christian artists, check out the FB page here and the blog/site here. http://www.theworshipstudio.org/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/95224191804/ Thanks for this blog and all of the writers, you inspire me each day!