Migrating | Check Out the New Diggs!

My dear followers & friends,

I have begun migrating all of my online presence through blogs to their new home. This website will look and feel much the same as this site – except there will be more for you to engage in and all my online writing and happenings will be housed and accessed through the new domain.

Sandi Krakowski encourages those who participate in her coaching and social media programs to bite the bullet and purchase your domain, develop your online presence through a hosted wordpress.org (a paid for blogging platform). I finally decided to make this critical move in my journey. I am really enjoying it. VERY MUCH! I love the new site.

If you are currently following me at www.michellebentham.org, www.michellebenthamcreates.org or www.dream-create-live.com please hop over and subscribe to art stories/gallerymy blog & newsletter at my Home Page. Dream.Create.Live! is up and running HERE! 

Eventually I will get all of my domains transferred over as well, but for now – Hop on over and check out what is happening at Michelle Bentham Creates!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and “Like” my page on Facebook. But, most of all thank you for staying with me and graduating to this new season with me. WORDS of AFFIRMATION is one of my love languages – so feel free to post a comment and show me the love! 🙂


Ownership | Are You Willing to Pay the Price?

This week, my husband and I have confronted an issue I have long sought to avoid. The issue of our finances has always been a sore, dreadful subject. We have robbed Peter to pay Paul and never really been on a budget. We’ve been overdrawn, bankrupt and pressing on – moving right along – trying to make it work while digging a deeper hole to finally fall into.

What are the Keys to Your Success?

What are the Keys to Your Success?

Tuesday morning  greeted  us rudely with the culmination of years and years of poor choices and ignoring the problem. You see the problem has never been money – it is that we have never been in agreement about where we are with our money. And, to be completely honest I’ve made a lot of choices based on fear.

After a full day of grieving and getting discouraging news, I found myself repenting to God and my husband, looking for a way to work things out prayerfully and finding a solution that may benefit us long term. But, because of my choices, and to some extent Scott’s as well, there will be a price to be paid.

You see – I have a destiny to get to, a dream to be fulfilled, but this one thing that so rudely interrupted my life on Tuesday threatened to undo all of it. I knew I needed to unpack the issue with my husband for months. I even told him before Christmas I wanted to lay it all out for him after the first of the year. The more I considered doing that, the more fearful I became. After all, it is my mess and he would have to help me clean it up no doubt. The question, the lingering fear, remained. “What if he doesn’t want to be my husband anymore?”

Today as I spoke to a friend who is counseling me and keeping me accountable she helped me see this is the thing that is keeping me from moving to the next level. Painful and dreadful as it is that this had to come to light this week – I find myself so grateful for the revelation that has come as well.

After the first 24 hours passed, I now find myself thinking this is actually a bit of a relief. Having all this out there – on the table. Drawn into the light, I realize it is bad – it is what it is – but it is not as bad as I had imagined it. All locked up in the closet of my mind this monster of a mess grew bigger and bigger-more intimidating and fearful to me. I was so divided. I wanted desperately to unpack the issues and lay them bare. But, at the same time, I feared the outcome – the unknown. And felt paralyzed. I know God wanted me to move, but I could not find my way to do it. Life patterns and my flesh overruled my spirit at every turn.

That is until Tuesday… When I had the choice. COVER UP. PRETEND. DENY and PROJECT. Or come clean. Confess, repent and move ahead. You know God is often about the process and not just the results. As I have repented, confessed, and laid out what I’ve tried to keep hidden all these years – as I examined myself alongside it – God began to move on our behalf. He reduced the overwhelming to what seems possible and now probable. It is a timing and a patience thing. I am walking the path as one learning to accomplish, but I would not trade this moment for anything. It is a necessary and dreadful thing we do, but it is also the next step to the greatness I am destined to live in and so I press on.

In the last few days I realized God cannot redeem what I will not openly address and present to Him. He cannot work and move and restore until I seek His face and submit it to Him. Until I get real, take responsibility and allow Him to show me what needs to go of my flesh in order that more fully become who He created me to be.

I also have to step back, give up control and let Scott take the lead. I have not ever been in that situation before. So, now I have to release Scott to be who God created Him to be. And release my strangle-hold on my idea of how it should work. Scott and I have to work at negotiating the peace and unity needed in the coming months of work. Still, he is open and I am grateful. So grateful.

Then, after I get real and take responsibility – I have to be willing to accept the consequences and pay the price. In my heart – the answer is yes. But, in my mind I have long drawn out conversations and debates about what to do.

You know the lessons in this season are invaluable to my dream goals and my hopes for the future. Because in creating an atmosphere where your wildest dreams come true one must commit to these two things: 1.) They have to own their dream and take responsibility for the actions required to see that dream become a reality; and 2.) You have to be willing to pay the price. Take the risk and sacrifice until you see the thing bear fruit or God releases you from the burden. And in all these things remember, “God brings wealth and adds no sorrow to it.” – Proverbs 10:22.

His ways remain better and higher than my own. So grateful for confrontation, a loving God who cares deeply for us and a husband who lives so gracefully with me.


Platforms | Rising Above the Crowd or Self-Promotion


provided by link from Living Simply In Abundance

“All the world’s a stage.” ~ William Shakespeare

Shakespeare had no idea!

Michael Hyatt begins his book Platform  acknowledging that there has never been a time in history when this is more true. With the viral nature of social media and youtube – there really is a global stage at our fingertips. I have been blogging for several years now and without really trying have developed a small following that sustains itself when my life takes over and I don’t have time to “check in” with a post.

My friend and social media strategist, Colleen Foshee, says you’ve got to have a presence on “the Big Three.” That would be Facebook (fan page, not profile), Twitter and Linkedin. She also recommends that you do short videos (10 minutes or less and post them to youtube). She has done mountains of research and discovered that these four things help you to get noticed in a noisy world. Social Media Maven, Sandi Krakowski, says don’t waste your time with a free blog – get yourself a Hostgator or Godaddy website, plug in WordPress and get to stompin’ on those keyboards.

If you want to be heard – somewhere out there in the vastness of the World.Wide.Web you must find an audience.  

That is front end. Getting yourself out there.  The back end is building the following through with your social media presence to find your audience or you “tribe” as Jeff Goins calls it. You have to be committed. You might have to get educated. You might… You just might be taking the stage and very soon.

TRUE CONFESSION: I have not been so much committed.

I have come at this hit or miss. I’ve switched platforms. And I’ve experienced some really crazy favor from God in the last year or so…

Am I an expert – NO! But, I didn’t come on here to give you expert advice. I came on here to offer some of the benefits of my experience in six years of blogging and coming up in a social media age.

The truth is that world stage Shakespeare alluded to has never been more accessible or more crowded. Auditions are taking place every second with pithy tweets and inspiring status updates, along with the occasions when a blogger hits “publish” and a would be cinematographer splices a bit of webcam video into Youtube.

Yep, it happens just like that.

Unsuspecting authors, public speakers and artists of many varieties stick their toe in the water and become an overnight sensation. At the same time, millions and billions of people get their stuff out and never get heard. The question that remains…


Seriously when I first started reading Michael Hyatt’s book, I sat down on Twitter and immediately met the follow limit. Yep, I broke the first cardinal rule of social media – I followed too many people too fast. The powers that be in Twitterville shut down my following capabilities for a bit. I spent so much time responding, thanking, and tweet retweeting I landed right in the middle of Twitterpated!

Not that lopsided, lovestruck state that Thumper found himself engaging in on Bambi. No, I am talking that data smoggy, foggy state that happens with information overload in the human brain. 

Ya’ll my obsessive-compulsive nature keeps me up at night checking the home screen of my iPhone and responding to those World.Wide.Webbers who are engaging what I have to say.

Auditions are taking place everyday on the internet, and people like Seth Godin suggests that laptop owners of the world have the ability to make their wildest dreams come true. He asserts in his messages like “Poke the Box” that if you own a laptop you have access to everything that major marketing agencies world-wide have access to so get out there and do your thing.

My tips for making the long haul in the chaotic cluster of clammering voices trying to rise above the din of a noisy crowd & be heard.

1. Research. Pay attention to where your social media traffic is coming from – almost every blog and social media tool – short of Twitter – tells you the location of those who frequent your soapbox arena. Think about what you have to say and research the search terms that get you noticed in those arenas through Keywords and Tagging.

2. Be Consistent. Now this may seem a bit like preaching to the choir based on my previous true confession. Most people recommend that you make a point to post regularly and often. Let your readers know how often you will be posting if you are not planning to post everyday. Sandi Krakowski recommends you auto-update Facebook and Twitter hourly with ten minutes of live interaction per hour.

3. Tweet It Up! Develop a Following. Start by following people who inspire and influence you and retweeting what they say. Share pithy comments and quote your best stuff out there on Twitter. Share those funny thoughts and personal reflections in 140 characters or less – link up to Scriptures and other people who inspire you. Tweet-Retweet-Refresh-Reciprocate-Repeat!  CAUTION: Never follow more than 100 people a day. Red Flags will follow if you do. TIP: Become a regular visitor and commentor (make them count) on your favorite public personalities blog. I have developed great friendships in the Blogosphere through Beth Moore’s blog because a sense of community develops there.

4. Get Help from Friends! Facebook Fan Pages start with Friends. Ask your friends to help you achieve your goals and tell them why. Encourage them to share, like and comment on your statuses on your FAN PAGE Share your victories with them.

5. Link Up!  LinkedIn is social media with a resume. It is a place to get connected based on your business acumen and experiences. Here you want to get involved in groups and find others who will endorse you for various items listed in your profile. Again, it is reciprocal. You get what you put into it. Status updates and interaction on the platform is what will get you noticed.

6. HOTLINK! Hot linking is linking to other websites and webpages on the internet. If you read something on a site that inspires a blog post – give credit where credit is due. Hyperlink the website page’s address to the reference in your post. Create hotlinks to your own stuff. If you want to redirect people to another post in your blog or on another website you have – push traffic with links.

7. Share the Love! Be sure to interact with users. If someone posts a comment on your blog or in response to a status or tweet – take some time to give them a genuine shout out. Let them know they are valuable to your journey and how much you appreciate them. Not Gratuitous flattery, but genuine gratitude.

8. Use Auto Posting Apps! I use Hootsuite to schedule everything but my blog posts through this application. Last night I scheduled two days worth of interaction for my Twitter, Facebook Page, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts.

9. Prewrite Blog Posts! If you get inspired to write a blog post late at night – don’t immediately publish it. Schedule it to go in the morning between 9:00 am and Noon your local time. This is an optimum time to capture your followers and readers. Use auto posting features in your blog to link your posts to your tweet and status updates. With WordPress it is Publicize. If the muse strikes and a number of ideas come together in one sitting – break a long, long post into several shorter posts and run a series. TIP: Write about events and link to the event pages and tweet with their @profile name in the update. Women of Faith picked up an excerpt from a blog I wrote about their events.

10. Host Giveaways! If you have a product or have a review for a product – give some of it away through social media. It’s fun, interactive and it promotes interest in your writing and offerings!

Get Over the Lie of Self-Promotion!!!  

For everything God has created is good, and nothing is to be thrown away or refused if it is received with thanksgiving. Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination]. ~1 Timothy 4:4, 14 (AMP)

I have had a number of conversations with friends these last few weeks about the lie against “Self-Promotion.” I’ve heard the arguments that it is prideful, boasting and if God intends for your voice to be heard He will make the way. AND, in certain circumstances where ingratitude and God’s glory being denied exists, it can be true of anyone. BUT…

The exact opposite may also true. When God does something good in your life you are compelled, and would be remiss if you did not share that truth with those around you! Give God praise, Give Him glory and tell people what you have to offer. Every good and perfect gift come from Him – so if there is good in me to share – it is to His glory. He did not inspire that message in your heart so it would get lost in a sea of voices that are crying out the world culture over His glory. Promote what He’s done, and receive the blessing that comes with it. It is not gratuitous self-promotion it is stewarding the gifts and the favor you’ve been given.

“[And I pray] that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours in [our identification with] Christ Jesus [and unto His glory].” ~Philemon 1:6 (AMP) 

In most any arena of public professionalism these days – promoters, agents, publishers and strategists are looking for people whose voices are drawing a ready made audience. YOUR VOICE MATTERS – Do What It Takes To Be Heard!  What steps can you take today to move closer to your dreams. 

Life Fully Alive

100_0277Flyleaf has a song about someone who’s physical existence has been disrupted, but how her spirit and her soul still strive for Life Fully Alive. I think of that with many of us who get bowled over with the seasons of change, traumas and experiences of life and find our way to complain like the Israelites in Exodus 11. Lamenting about going back to the place of bondage for fear of what Life Fully Alive might mean.

Living the life of your dreams is risky. You have to be willing to step out by faith, follow God’s lead and trust Him for every detail of the outcome. AND THEN, you have to be willing to do your part. Life Fully Alive doesn’t just drop itself into your lap and say hello. Life Fully Alive comes to those who abide in Jesus, follow Him and partake of His life giving Spirit.

There are 1-3% of this country’s citizens who are living “the American Dream” from self-made millionaires to billionaires rolling in the family dough. But, how many of these people live truly satisfying and happy lives? Are we willing to lay down our idea of what success looks like as well as our expectations for what that will fulfill in our lives – and absolutely lay it out in surrender to receive the fullness of life that God has promised us through Christ Jesus? John the Baptist wore camel’s hair, ate honey and locusts and live like a nomad in the desert – but he in his darkest moments remained more fulfilled and alive than any one of us in our societies of excess and moral vacancy.

What would success look like if you fully abide in Christ? Life fully alive.

Fully alive
More than most
Ready to smile and love life
Fully alive and she knows
How to believe in futures

(“Fully Alive” as sung by Flyleaf)

What Do You Believe

Believe in your heart you have what you ask for.

Speak life over things that discourage you.

Speak perfect love to things you fear.

Call into existence the desires of your heart.

And then…

Watch the God of the Universe move in those things on your behalf!

“as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.” (Romans 4:17 ESV)

Inspiring Minds Want to Know


Tomorrow morning I get up to go meet my friend, Angie Leigh, at a one day conference hosted by Sandi Krakowski .

I cannot wait to hear from Sandi in person… After all she does bring the PINK!!! (Hollie & Becky Jo, that’s for you)

In all seriousness. I am mostly intrigued by what I see of her on Facebook & Twitter. Her focus on God & building successful businesses in people’s lives is refreshing & empowering.

I made the painting I share in this post for Sandi, and it is called “Crowned.” I love that when I enter into the anointing of His creativity that God will talk to me about who He says that person is even if I never met them before. I am excited to meet Sandi & give her this gift.

I call it prophetic chic!

I will conclude with two questions:

So my first question is what is God speaking over your life right now & what would it really look like to walk in that calling for you?

The second, who is it that is pouring I to your life right now, speaking destiny to you and pressing you toward your dreams?

Is that your final answer? (BTW, I didn’t plan the third question!)

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” – Proverbs 13:12

#KillingMonsters | Who is this Woman?

As women we often suffer from our own vain imagination and the distorted self-perception we carry through life. Last week, I submitted myself to the painful process of capturing a new headshot for my various online profiles. I could not decide if I liked any of them so I let my husband pick the one of me. I got a great response and as I stared at that photo I thought to myself, “Who is that woman?”

A few days later I sat up alone evaluating that picture and something my daughter said that really became revelation to me in that moment. How is God adjusting your self-perception today?


#KillingMonsters began on Facebook one Monday as women from various walks of life responded to an article about being more than “pretty” by posting “#NoMakeupMonday pics on there status updates. It turned into a movement all about taking down the giants in our life that move against us to defeat our faith. Share your stories about #Killing Monsters HERE.

Living for Jesus? | Romans 8:1


If Romans 8:1 assures us there is NOW therefore NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, then why do we continue to try to live our lives FOR Jesus by controlling our behavior around the Law of Moses? We were never called to live or give our lives FOR Jesus by succumbing to the Letter of the Law. The Letter kills, but God’s Holy Spirit brings life to us through Jesus Christ. We are called to live our lives (abide) IN Jesus. This is the law of grace which trumps the Old Testament letter. Through this abiding relationship we come to repentance – (Greek: Meta-nooia- two root words meaning to change and the mind; or change your mind, the way you think)- in the Loving Kindness of God rather than fear of Judgment for sin. We grow in grace & knowledge of who He is and so become like Him being transformed from glory to glory! Happy Easter! Jesus died to redeem you – not your sins. Salvation & Christianity are not behavior contracts – they are an invitation to abide in Christ and find life to the full- the life you were always meant to live. So the only question is: Are you abiding in Christ or just living for Him?