Monday Motivation Moment: Why We Must Keep Going, No Matter What 

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram:
Emelda De Coteau
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I woke up Saturday and Sunday morning greeting bleak skies and a thin blanket of ice delicately masking trees and grass. It’s the kind of weather which drives me to retreat under covers (as long as our daughter Nai will let me) and grab hold of leggings and boots.

And, well, friends, these last few years have remained full of challenges and disappointments. I sometimes struggle with gnawing depression and doubt, yet each time these feelings threaten to obscure my vision, God sends a word either through a song, conversation, preached word or a physical sign (mine is deer) I pray to see daily.

Wisdom from an Email 

Yesterday, I heard this message loudly after clicking on a link from an email sent by Jonathan Morrow, renowned blogger and social media strategist: “keep going, pushing, no matter what…”

The longer I ingested his words about following your dreams relentlessly and shutting out negativity, the more determined I became to start blogging again. Yes, school took up lots of time this past month, but let me stand in some truth with y’all. I hit a creative slump.

I could post on Instagram for the blog, but somehow I couldn’t push myself to write here. Frankly, I spread myself thin, and all I craved was sleep or escape in those rare spare moments.

But if this is what I love doing (and I do), being present, communicating and interacting with you all in this space has to become a priority, too.  Writing, for me, is a lifeline. And when I am shut off from it, part of me begins to wither.

Circumstances Do Not Define Us 

Jon has a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which makes his body weak; he cannot move from the neck down, and yet, he founded a successful blog (On Moneymaking), sold it for five figures and is an Associate Editor of Problogger, one of the most popular blogs in the world.

Consider this… He speaks his thoughts into a machine because he cannot type them out. This didn’t deter him from excelling in blogging, social media strategy and developing courses to help his fellow writers. And oh how these words resonate deeply:

Because listen … I know it’s horribly cliché, but if I can quit my job, risk the government carting me off to a nursing home because I can’t afford my own healthcare, convince my poor mother to abandon her career and drive my crippled butt 3,000 miles to a foreign country, and then make enough money to support myself, my mother, my father, and an entire nursing staff using nothing but my voice, then what can you accomplish if you really set your mind to it?

My guess: pretty much anything.

No, it won’t be easy. At some point, I guarantee you’ll want to quit. I guarantee people will treat you like you’re insane. I guarantee you’ll cry yourself to sleep, wondering if you made a horrible mistake.

But never stop believing in yourself. The world is full of naysayers, all of them eager to shout you down at the slightest indication you might transcend mediocrity, but the greatest sin you can commit is to yourself become one of them. Our job isn’t to join that group, but to silence it, to accomplish things so great and unimaginable that its members are too awed to speak.

After I reached the end of his article, I thought, what the heck is stopping me? Me. I am! Maybe you are, too? Far too many of us allow fear of failure and suffocating feelings of inadequacy to stifle our dreams.

The good news?

You and I can get out of our own way.

When the negative thoughts and words come (as they will), counter each one with affirmations, begin to speak the language of possibility, call those things not as though they were (Romans 4:17).

Keep pushing. Keep going.

Victory is already yours.

Inspiration For Your Ears & Soul: Corrine Bailey Rae, Solange and Overcoming Fear with Gabourey Sidibe 

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram:
Emelda De Coteau
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Image from Solange’s music video, Cranes in the Sky

Well, it’s been a while since I shared my fav. inspiration from around the web. It feels great to bring this round up of what is resonating with me lately – lots of music, podcasts and informative articles / books. Dig in, enjoy and please do tell a friend.  In all the madness and chaos of the world, we could all certainly use inspiration!
Corrine Bailey Rae has remained a fav. Her recent concert on NPR Tiny Desk concert is such an awesome way to kick off your day!

Corrine Bailey Rae, Image via NPR Tiny Desk concert series

I’m still rocking out to Solange’s phenomenal album which wrestles with the complexities of blackness and womanhood in such innovative ways.
These dope tracks have my heart: “Cranes in the Sky,” “Don’t Touch my Hair,”  and “Mad.”  The new Alicia Keys song “More Than We Know” about how our abilities far surpass anything we can imagine. Yasss! Life, y’all!

Alicia Keys Photo via album

Are you following Tiffany Huff on Instagram? If not, please fix that ASAP. This sista is an awesome writer / coach.  Her page always lifts me up.

And talking about encouraging IG pages, head on over to Jen’s page of with.giggles.and.gracefellow blogger Drea, her space is full of quotes, faith,  and glam tips!

Taking money out of politics in Maine… Check out this piece in YES magazine.

I discovered this empowering video of Gabourey Sidibe from my girl Kayla, the powerhouse behind the digital marketing and branding agency, I Feel Pretty, Inc. It’s such a poignant message about accepting yourself, and declaring that there is no limit to what can be achieved.

Beauty / Style Finds: Bethany Joy’s Inspiring & Faith-Based Artwork 

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram:
Emelda De Coteau
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I discovered Bethany’s beautiful artwork through Our Words Collaborative, the Christian website I write for monthly. In August, she was the featured artist which means her inspiring pieces accompanied our daily devotionals.  I found my spirit lifted each day as I opened my in-box to mediate on these faith-filled words. I wanted to know more about the person behind the art so I thought, why not interview her for my bi-weekly series?! I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading about this lovely young woman, and her artwork as it uplifts so many of us. Don’t miss the coupon code at the end of this post so you can purchase your own piece of artwork from Bethany!

Bethany, owner of Bethany Joy Art

I absolutely love that your middle name is Joy! How fitting! Your sweet presence shines through social media. How do you cultivate and maintain peace & joy in your life? 

I seriously love that my middle name is Joy. I have always been so thankful to have it as a constant reminder that there is always joy to be found in every circumstance. My mom’s middle name is also Joy, so it is an honor to carry on the name and all it stands for!


When I set out to start my art business in January 2015, one of the first things I did after re-opening my etsy shop (I had tried etsy before in college with photography prints when I thought I was going to be a photographer) was creating an Instagram page.

I’m usually quite the introvert, so sharing and selling my art on social media scared me just a tad. I never wanted to sound too “sale-sy.” So I made it my goal (in addition to selling artwork) to share positivity and encouragement through my social media presence also-shining God’s light into the world in my own way. 

I think that the encouragement and joy that I seek to share really plays well with the bright colors that I love to use in my art…the perfect pair!

Many challenges have been overcome throughout my life because of encouragement from my family members and friends, so I always try to keep that all in mind and pay it forward to others during the process.

Tell us details about your artwork. What materials do you work with? What is the price range for your paintings? Can someone order a customized piece from you? 

I work mainly with acrylic paint, but love to use other materials like watercolors, gouache, oil paints, pencil, ink, oil pastels and more in combination with the acrylics! Creating textures within the vibrant colors is a main goal of mine. Using more than one type of medium helps me achieve that goal.

I also use a variety of tools to paint with in order to add texture in addition to paintbrushes as well such as painting combs, palette knifes and even my fingers. I like to paint on a variety of different surfaces as well: canvas, wood, paper, panels, and more. Variety is key!
The price range for my paintings really depends on the size, product and materials used. My art prints are $15 each and are high quality reproductions of my works on paper. Currently, my original artwork ranges in prices anywhere from $30-$300.

Someone can definitely order a customized piece of artwork from me! I love to work with customers to create the perfect painting for them. Contact me via email, on my website, or via social media any time to discuss custom options!

Your mission is rooted in bringing love and positivity into the homes of customers through art. I notice you work a lot with florals. Have flowers held a special significance in your life? What is your favorite flower? 

Oh, I could go on for days about my love for flowers. Isn’t it amazing that God created them all so beautiful, delicate, and unique? There’s so much inspiration that can be drawn from flowers and I love them so.

My first memories of flowers are of my grandfather and I gardening together when I was 4 or 5 years old. We planted lots of sunflowers! He was one of my favorite people in the world and so holding onto those memories even after he’s gone to Heaven is so important to me.

Although sunflowers weren’t his favorite flower (he liked lily of the valley) they still remain one of mine. I still love to garden and have even ventured into arranging flowers as well. I recently got married in 2015 and one of my favorite wedding preparation activities was arranging all of the bouquets, centerpieces and arch decorations the day before we tied the knot.

Some of my bridesmaids and sweet family friends helped and we were surrounded by hundreds of flowers (a dream come true!) I have since done some floral arranging for friends’ weddings and would love to continue doing that in the future-so fun!

I can’t quite settle on a favorite flower however, here are a few of my all time favorites: sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, and cosmos!

What inspires you to keep creating art? What other artists do you admire and why? 

I am really inspired by the outdoors, the children that I teach, and my faith. I believe that God gifted me with the love for painting, so it is my job to carry that out and share with others!

Nature is always a form of inspiration because there are so many colors, shapes, and textures that never cease to keep proving their amazing uniqueness.
Since I also work as the Art Director at my local Boys and Girls Club, I am continually meeting new and inspiring children as well. They keep me on my toes and sometimes end up teaching me more than I feel I teach them. The way children approach art is messy yet beautiful and helps inspire the abstract elements and bold colors in my art.

A few of my favorite artists include Katie Daisy, Emily Jeffords, Mae Chevrette, and Raven Roxanne. Each of these artists really shine and express their individuality in such unique ways and it is truly refreshing to me. I love their uses of color, may it be soft and smooth or bright and bold. Each of these artists have inspired me in different ways and have a presence in the art world that I really hope to achieve in my own way one day.

If you could chose one quote or verse of scripture which summarizes your biz, what would it be? Why? 

“God will yet fill your mouths with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Job 8:21

This verse is probably my all time favorite verse and has been ever since I remember first discovering it in high school. This verse is not only a reminder that God gives us joy, but also a reminder to me that good things take time.

Becoming a successful artist doesn’t happen over night and takes lots of perseverance and patience. This verse helps remind me to keep working towards my goals and chasing my dreams and that joy is always around the corner even during the times when it doesn’t seem like it.

What advice do you have for other creatives who want to share their work with the world but are afraid? 

Don’t be afraid to put yourself and your creations out into the world, and most definitely never give up on your dreams. The world needs your art…remember that!

Social media is a great way to begin creating your “brand” and sharing your creativity and thoughts with others. Make friends! Having a sense of community and other’s who understand what you’re going through is so valuable. I always love making new “insta-friends” it’s all about making connections.

Share 3 random fun facts about you!

I love bees, even though I’m allergic. My family and close friends have called me “Bee” for as long as I can remember. The nickname has always stuck with me, and even inspired me to get a dainty little bee tattoo!

I used to take banjo lessons! Although I can’t play many songs, I love to get my banjo out every so often and attempt to play!

I love the beach, but I’m a mountain girl at heart. Hiking with our fun-loving puppy and a picnic is a perfect weekend date for my husband and I!

Keep up with Bethany Joy!

Shop at Bethany Joy Art and when you get to check out type in LIVEINCOLOR for 10% off your purchase good through October 5, 2016.

Follow the inspiration by following Bethany Joy on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Note: All photos courtesy of Bethany Joy Art