Welcome to Over the Brim: a life filled up and overflowing. I'm Shanda, a mama creatively living and loving in Nashville, TN, sharing bits and pieces along the way.  I love Jesus, truth and beauty, books, coffee, and being intentional with my family. I value vulnerability and togetherness and so, I write here and invite you in. 

Creative Parenting {Parenting as Art}

Creative Parenting {Parenting as Art}

All of life is art. But it's not always easy to remember that. Washing dishes and folding laundry and helping a child through a tantrum don't necessarily feel like art, but we can choose to see them as such. Parenting is a beautiful and tumultuous road. Sometimes we (I) get caught up in just trying to survive and forget about the beauty. It's a lot like the Creative Process, if we look at both honestly. The artist's life looks glorious when you go to their opening night in a fancy gallery, but there are many tear-filled-I-can't-do-this-anymore moments that happen pre-opening night.

When I'm in my healthiest place, I delight in the opportunity for deep and meaningful creative work as I mother. I know and remember that creative expression isn't supposed to be easy. I'm writing this as a reminder to myself, and anyone who needs it, on the confusing doubt filled days that I am in survival mode. The creative work of parenting is messy as it is joy-filled and the mess is an invitation to keep going. There's always more to come, more to express, ways to be stretched and grow. Our art (and our children) call you into new lands and as I go, I will choose to see my parenting as art. I will embrace the mess making and the cleaning up that is Creative Parenting.

To help me remember, I have written out what I see as the 6 most important aspects of Creative Parenting...


  • as unique and original as the combination of myself, my husband, my son, and any particular moment in time.

  • imaginative and experimental. We are figuring it all out as we go, not flippantly but purposefully - as we tune into the Spirit of God and His Life and Love in us. We are co-creating with Him. As experiments go, there will be plenty of "failure" and mess making, as well as beauty, discovery, and celebration.

  • filled with empathy, a willingness to step out of our own shoes and to try on each other's. This takes its own brand of creative eyes. We want to honor and respect every member of our family, no matter their age; and as a family, we want to cultivate empathy towards others as we live in community and relate to our surrounding culture. 

  • expressive. That means we don't hold back our own emotions or squelch each other's emotions when they are inconvenient or uncomfortable. We live in a constant flow of expressive love, but we also welcome expressions of frustration, sadness, anger, disappointment, etc. We want to let those be what they are and teach us what we need to learn, and we never want anyone to be forced to walk through their emotions alone.

  • resourceful. We lean on the Lord's Life and glean His wisdom from friends, family, books, articles, research from various fields, history, cross-cultural perspectives, and whatever else we may stumble on. Our lives are a bit of a mosaic of beauty we find along the way and our parenting is no different.

  • inspired. One of the definitions of inspired is "being influenced, moved, and guided by the divine." Creative Parenting is influenced, moved, and guided by the divine life of Christ in us. He is our source of Life, and certainly our source in parenting. He leads us as we decide how and what and to teach our child, and the best ways to love him. 

mosaic parenting
Fully Alive, Truly Present

Fully Alive, Truly Present

finding space

finding space