Tammy Helfrich

Encourage. Empower. Connect.

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Chad Allen on Doing Your Art {Podcast Episode #53}




Chad Allen joins me on the podcast today. Chad is a writer, editor, speaker and creativity coach. He is also the Editorial Director for Baker Books. Chad’s mission is to help creative people find their voice and do their art. Chad has incredible insight and knowledge to share with us on the show today.

On this episode, we talk about:

  • Chasing a dream while being intentional with your day job
  • We all have our own unique art to bring to the world
  • Todd Henry’s book, The Accidental Creative
  • Creativity doesn’t just happen
  • Questions can be doors to whole worlds that you didn’t know existed
  • You have to imitate before you can innovate
  • Tell stories whenever you can
  • What can we do in our margins?
  • A time problem is really a priority or value problem
  • Chad’s power statement – Deeply called to help creative people do their best work
  • Developing a clear sense of why
  • Rest is an important part of the creative process
  • Books don’t write themselves overnight
  • Make your creative journey sustainable
  • Develop a creative circle

You can learn more about Chad on his website. You can also follow him on Twitter. Be sure to also check out www.doyourart.net.

How are you doing your art?


As always, I am so thankful for your honest reviews on iTunes. If you have not already done so, would you take two minutes to leave your feedback? Thank you!


Empty Shelf Challenge Books #11-16

Jon Acuff challenged us to read more this year with his Empty Shelf Challenge. I’m joining him and so many others in filling our empty book shelves. It’s been a while since I’ve updated my list, but I’ve been busy reading! Here is a quick recap of my last few books.


empty shelf 11

#11 Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

I really wanted to do an entire post on this book, but I’ve decided to dedicate a podcast episode to it instead. Yes, this book is written for men. And I read it. And I couldn’t believe how much I related to this book.

I have a husband and two boys, so my intent was to learn more about what makes them men. I learned so many things I didn’t know, and that I can now use to help me better understand how the men in my life are wired for adventure. But I also learned quite a bit about myself from this book. It is amazing what you can learn when you are willing to step outside out of what is considered normal, and truly want to learn from a book. I highly recommend this one!



#12 First Impressions by Mark Waltz

This is a book I read for work. It’s about creating great first impressions for your guests. It is a quick read, and intended for churches, but there were lots of great pieces of advice that you can apply to any situation where you are welcoming people.



#13 Plain Faith by Ora-Jay and Irene Eash and Tricia Goyer

I’ve interacted with Tricia online, and she was kind enough to send me a copy of this book. While I typically do not read Amish books, something about this one made me want to read it. It is a true story about an Amish couple who faces a horrible tragedy, but ends up finding Jesus and leaving the Amish faith. I loved the story of grace, and also appreciated so much of the detail behind their religion. My dad was raised Mennonite, and many of the topics they discuss are ones that described my dad’s childhood. This is a good read and was a nice break for me in terms of genre.

Tricia’s team actually sent me two copies of this book, and I’d love to pass them on to someone else. If you’d like a copy, simply leave a comment, and I’ll randomly pick two winners.


#14 Simple Small Groups by Bill Search

This is another book for work. It was a great look at the background behind small groups within a church. It described what works and what doesn’t, and offered great advice about sticking to the basics. This was another quick read full of helpful information.


#15 Dream Year by Ben Arment

I’ve known Ben for a number of years, and am always impressed with his strategy and vision around making your dream a reality. I was honored to get an advance copy of his book, which will be released in August of this year. (Sorry- you can’t read this one yet!) Ben’s book covers how he has helped Dream Year participants make their dreams a reality over the last four years. As always, Ben is full of wisdom and practical, helpful advice to encourage you to stop waiting for your dream to happen and instead take steps towards it.

Ben is hosting sixteen different Dream Year Pitch Nights across the country. Your ticket will get you admission as well as a copy of the book. I highly recommend you check it out and reserve a ticket. I’ll be at the Rolling Meadows, IL pitch night, and would love to see you there! You can learn more at www.dreamyear.net.


#16 Moment Maker by Carlos Whittaker

I’ve followed Carlos for a while, and had the opportunity to meet him a few years ago. It has been fun to watch his family as they have embraced every day moments and make something memorable. This is an encouraging and uplifting read that will push you to look for the beauty in the everyday moments. Carlos encourages you to stop waiting for the big moment, and embrace the ones right in front of you. It’s a great book!


You can read more about Books #1-10 here, here, here and here.

What are you reading? I’d love to hear!


On Opening Up and The Brilliance

Last month, we had the honor of having The Brilliance with us for all of our Easter services. David Gungor and his band are an amazing group of humble and super talented musicians.


We’ve been singing some of their songs for a while during our weekend services, but it was so great to hear them sing their songs live. One of those songs that I have always loved is called Open Up. Take a few minutes and listen to these powerful lyrics.

You heard the cry of our hearts
And You came down
Freely You gave us Your love
Showing us how

Make me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is darkness let me shine light and
May Your love cause us to open up
Cause us to open up our hearts
May Your light cause us to shine so bright
That we bring hope into the dark

All that we do without love
It means nothing
Grant us the courage to give
As You’re calling

Make me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is darkness let me shine light and
May Your love cause us to open up
Cause us to open up our hearts
May Your light cause us to shine so bright
That we bring hope into the dark

Hope for the hopeless, Your love is
Strength in our weakness, Your love is
May we love, as You love
Hope for the hopeless, Your love is
Strength in our weakness, Your love is
May we love, as You love
(As only You can love, oh God)
May we love, as You love
May we love, as You love

Hope for the hopeless.

Strength in our weakness.

May we love, as You love.


Every time I hear this song, I am challenged to open up my heart and my simple ways of thinking. I’m challenged to continually learn to love as He loved. Is it easy sometimes? Absolutely not. But, when we open up our minds and hearts to new ways of loving, it is incredible what God can do.

I loved meeting David, his family, and The Brilliance. Go check them out on iTunes and buy their awesome music!

Do you have lyrics that continue to resonate with you long after you’ve heard the song?

Love People Right Where They Are {Podcast Episode #52}




On today’s episode, we talk about:

  • Loving God and loving people
  • Inspired by my friend Sarah and Neighbors Table (be sure to follow her. She’s awesome!)
  • Learning to love people right where they are
  • Setting aside our own expectations
  • Choosing to love people. Period.


I’d love to hear your thoughts. Who do you need to love right where they are?


Thank you so much for your honest reviews on iTunes. If you haven’t done so, would you be so kind and leave a review? You can do it by clicking here. I greatly appreciate it!


Remodeling Clay Podcast


Today, I have the honor of being a guest on Clay Shaver’s podcast, Remodeling Clay. If you’re visiting from his site, welcome! I look forward to connecting with you.

You can check out the episode here.

Be sure to check out some of Clay’s other episodes. He talks about losing weight, being healthy, and remodeling your life for the better. And while you’re there, be sure to leave him a review on iTunes.

I’d love to hear your feedback on the show. Leave a comment below.



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