Fostering Creation: An Introduction

Welcome to the Fostering Creation blog!

I’m so excited to have you along.

This blog serves as a space for me to share my writing, my voice with an active audience. This is a workshop space for me to create new stories, share old stories, and perhaps branch out to share other things that inspire me and my writing work.

If my audience is not so active and doesn’t have anything to say that’s okay. We’ll just watch the stories unfold together and see what comes from Fostering Creation.

Thank you in advance for being part of this. I hope you enjoy!

Barbara Foster


Storms are often viewed as harsh. They can be dangerous and cause destruction. This can be true and very hard to deal with sometimes.

Storms often involve rain. Rain comes from a parting of clouds. Rain showers the earth and creates growth. Rain allows flowers to bloom, grass to become brighter, and soil to become rich for all the earth. Rain is good because it brings life.

Rain is an expression of life.

So, storms. While storms are harsh and might cause distress, or things to break, or loss, aren’t they part of life too? I think so.

Hard as it may be to grasp sometimes. Storms come and blow through harshly. But then what happens? New life grows and even flourishes. The aftermath of the storms might be very hard for our tender human hearts to take. There may be some rebuilding of our lives and possessions that we must embark on. Some things that were lost in the storm might not come back, but new life grows. Hearts get mended, families come together, trees grow back, and the sun breaks through the dark clouds once more.

All we can do when the storm begins is hold on. We must ride it out, embrace those around us, and know that this too shall pass. The harsh winds and thunder don’t last forever. And when the storm has reached a level of calm, we find some light. It may be faint at first, but nonetheless it is light. We grow, grow together, and become stronger. This is the brightest light that comes through the storm.

Resilience, courage, compassion, love, and emotional stability always make it through the storms. In time, we find each of these for ourselves and these attributes strengthen us for future storms. Storms are unavoidable. Sorry to say. Nature will always have storms, just like our lives do. But like children that imagine they are conquering a great beast, as they play in the rain. We can find this childlike spirit as the storm passes. It is not easy. It will be challenging sometimes, but soon the storms won’t be scary anymore.

Storms force us to evolve and this is an important part of life. So, do your best to embrace the storm. And if you can’t, that’s ok. Just find the people that you can go through the storm with. Soon you’ll be able to go through it on your own.

Did You Know: Maya Angelou

“You may not control all the events that happened to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

Maya Angelou was a great author, poet, performer, artist, and activist who encountered many challenging times throughout her life. And yet, she was never defeated by these circumstances.

Maya grew up with an older brother named Bailey. When Bailey was five years old, and Maya was three years old, their parents got divorced. They were put on a train from Los Angeles, California to Stamps, Arkansas with tags on their arms. Their parents did not go with them, no adults accompanied them on this journey to go live with their Grandmother.

When Maya was around 6 years old, Bailey and Maya were taken to St. Louis to live with their mother. Their mother had a boyfriend, Mr. Freeman. When Maya’s mother left for work Mr. Freeman would wait all day for her return. At night, Maya would sleep with her mother and Mr. Freeman because of nightmares.

One day while the children were left at home with Mr. Freeman he convinced young Maya that he wanted her close to him. She thought it was nice that Mr. Freeman wanted to be near her. So she got in bed with him. Once they got close to each other Mr. Freeman proceeded to molest her. Afterwards, he told Maya not to tell anyone what had happened or he would kill Bailey. Maya being only seven years of age at the time did not understand what had happened and why it would provoke such a threat. For weeks, Mr. Freeman ignored her until he molested her again. Again, for weeks she was ignored. Maya felt rejected and hurt that Mr. Freeman was ignoring her. Once again she was molested and Mr. Freeman threatened to kill Bailey if Maya told anyone.

Then one night Mr. Freeman sent young Maya out to buy milk. When she came home to her mother’s apartment, Mr. Freeman raped her. He threatened to kill her if she screamed. After it happened Mr. Freeman threatened to kill Bailey if she told anyone. She was in great physical pain. That night Maya’s mother had come home. She worried that her seven year old daughter might be coming down with the measles. Later Maya heard her mother arguing with Mr. Freeman and was told in the morning that he left. When Bailey found her soiled underwear under the mattress, Maya was taken to the hospital. She did not confess what happened to her. Then in private nine-year-old Bailey convinced his sister that he was going to be fine, and that he would not tell anyone else. So Maya confessed and gave Mr. Freeman’s name.

Mr. Freeman spent a night and a day in jail. He was released early, though his jail sentence had not begun. A few days later the police came to the mother’s house and said the man was beaten to death. After that Maya stopped talking convinced that it was her fault the man had died. They were sent back to live with their Grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Maya was mute for six years.

Bertha Flowers, a woman that lived near by the Grandmother’s place in Stamps, took Maya under her wing. Maya would go to her house and was introduced to writers such as Shakespeare and other poets. Mrs. Flowers made cookies and lemonade just for Maya. One day Mrs. Flowers told Maya to memorize a poem and at her next visit she wanted Maya to recite it aloud. She sent Maya home with a bag of cookies and the poetry book. For the first time in years, Maya was so excited that she ran to her Grandmother’s store and exuberantly shared details of her visit.

Maya Angelou, who was born Marguerite Johnson, went through many challenging times later in life. She persevered through every one of them. She went on to write about her life experiences in seven autobiographies, the most well-known of these is titled I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She fearlessly and boldly tells of her childhood experiences, the dark days, and the good times she had. Mrs. Flowers and her Grandmother were two of the people that saw her true potential and ushered her through her childhood.

Maya Angelou was later interviewed in Oprah Winfrey’s masterclass. In this masterclass she talks about love, forgiveness and friendship. Maya says, “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” This is what has been the most inspiring thing to me about Maya Angelou. Though she had faced some dark days, she had some good people in her corner that she acknowledges as “rainbows” and they helped her move forward through the cloudy days. Maya Angelou poured her heart and soul into her poetry, other writings and work as an activist.

If you are unfamiliar with Maya Angelou’s work I highly recommend you pick up a copy of her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, or any of her other collections of prose. Find her interview on Oprah’s masterclass, and the documentary of her life titled Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, which is on Apple TV.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” -Maya Angelou


The process of weeding is tedious, backbreaking, and challenging work. In a field or a garden, if we want our crops and flowers to grow we must do the work of weeding first. When we have cleared enough weeds then there is room for the crops to grow. Flowers get the chance to bloom and all that are planted can gain better access to the right nutrients that will allow the plants to reach their full potential.

Imagine a flower in full bloom. How effortlessly it basks in the sun. The lovely flower smiles at the sun with its outstretched petals and the sun smiles back. There’s a lovely flow and communication happening in nature during these full bloom moments. Everything seems to be so easy and beautiful. However, it did not start this way. We did not see all the work and effort the little flower went through to grow. We did not see the full process of evolution the flower had to endure. This is true for people too.

Most of the time, especially on social media, we see the final product. We see someone beaming with joy during a vacation, or a happy new family. It is easy to congratulate someone when we see these pictures. It is easy and uplifting to witness joy. But there’s a lot we don’t know and we did not witness. Someone may be enjoying their vacation, but we did not see them months before when they were tirelessly working a forty hour week at the office and being a full-time caretaker to their grandmother. We did not see the grief they went through when they witnessed their grandmother’s passing and the challenge they had to endure as they did all the work of organizing their grandmother’s assets. And the new family may be smiling now, but we did not see them months before when the mother was struggling to get pregnant. We did not see the many tears she cried when miscarriage would occur, and we did not see the hard mix of emotions the father was going through as he supported his wife full-time during the final stages of her pregnancy.

Those hard moments in life require a great deal of weeding. Unfortunately the weeding we must do is a very intimate process because it happens inside us. So we must do our weeding work as individuals. Spouses, friends, and kind neighbors can help along the way, but the individual is the only one that can really do the weeding for themselves. Although, it is a challenge, this process can also be empowering.

The person who took care of her grandmother, witnessed her passing and then took care of her assets had some weeding she was doing. She was not only weeding through the overwhelm and challenge of figuring out what to do with all her grandmother’s things, how to sell her house, and honor her grandmother’s will, but she also had to work through the many emotions that came with that. She had to weed through many days of grief and heartache. She had to find the resilience to get out of bed and tackle her to-do list. She had to make meals for herself and continue working at the office to support herself. That is necessary weeding.

The couple trying to have a family had some weeding to do. Not only were they working through the challenge of miscarriage and trying to have a child, but they were sifting through various doubts. The mother wondered after each miscarriage if she was supposed to me a mother. She grappled with a feeling of failure and despair. Perhaps there were days she wanted to give up. The father was weeding through his wife’s emotions while also going through his own. He wondered if they do have a child will he be a good father. He wondered will he be a good husband and how he could be a good husband now. He worried about how he grew up and felt nervous that his child might grow up with similar challenges, if he could not keep his fear in check. While it is a grueling process, it is necessary weeding.

Weeds will continue to grow inside us and around us if we do not pluck them. When we do our weeding work the light on the other side is so much brighter. Beautiful things happen when we decide to pluck a few weeds. Some weeds are harder to clear. They have strong roots inside us. They have made a home for themselves. If we are willing to make a mess and get dirt under our fingernails then we can get to the root of the weed. We can clear the weeds and the clearing will prove to be effective. Once enough weeds have been removed we will start to witness the budding of growth and healing. Oh, what a beautiful thing that will be!

And if you want this gorgeous growth and healing to blossom, then we must choose to pluck weeds everyday. This promise will lend itself to the blossoming of a beautiful garden. Oh, what a lovely garden it will be!

Fences and Hurdles

The ego is a tricky thing. The ego is a sneaky thing. The ego can either tell you that you are not good enough or create a sense of arrogance in someone. The ego mixes with society like paint colors. Two colors that create a wet and shiny new color. These two things, the ego and society, mix so well with each other that we don’t know what voice keeps slithering into our consciousness and holding us back from living our lives with abandon. Is it ego? Is it society? Or is it both? It could be both.

We all grow up with certain aspirations, things we love to do and things we want to pursue. Then we start on this path of finding who we are. We venture forth into the great unknown with our head and heart full of aspirations. Many times on this journey we get to a fence and come up against various hurdles.

Some fences that we come up against don’t have a gate, no way to get through to continue on our path. So what do we do? Perhaps this pursuit is not for us. Perhaps we cannot do this. So we feel urged to turn back and face the ugly voices that plague our minds and hearts. We didn’t make it, so we settle into our egos and the sounds of society. But sometimes, if our aspirations are strong enough, we manage to work around the fence. We find a way to build a gate, or we realize the gate was just hidden by branches. These hurdles require more from us. It takes courage to venture out into the great unknown without a rule book and carve our own way. It takes work, lots of work, to find the gates in our fences. It can be scary, but it can also be an exciting adventure if we find the thing that we would do anything for.

With our aspirations glowing inside us, we feel compelled and driven to build our own gates. We find the strength to jump the hurdles. We may have to take a running start, and it may take us twelve thousand tries to get over the hurdles. But that’s how badly we want to see the light on the other side. This resilience is how Divine Spirit made us. We just have to tell our egos to take a back seat. We just have to tune out society and then we must jump. Jump with everything you have. Find time to build the perfect gate or just jump over the fence.

This is the process that is needed to get over the fences and hurdles. If we avoid the fences and hurdles then we must not care much about our aspirations, or even ourselves. If we don’t navigate the fences and hurdles then we have let our egos and the voices of society win. Please don’t let those erroneous, odorous voices win. Your aspirations are needed. Your aspirations are part of your hearts and minds. Therefore, whatever your aspiration is it is an important part of you. You are needed in full, living color. So don’t let the colors of you and your aspirations fade. The world needs your beauty, your courage, your resilience. So take a big breath and jump!

Writing Through the Fire

I had to write my way through countless dark days. I wrote my way through days of heartbreak, heartache and despair. It was like sitting in a canoe on a dirty lake and trying to paddle through it alone. It was exhausting…

Although, instead of a dirty lake, I was in my own room. And instead of being in a canoe I was sitting on my own bed. My canoe was my journal that sat in my lap most days and my paddle was my pen. I wrote my way through storms of tears, fits of rage, and days where all I wanted to do was sit in my muddy emotions. My fingers would be covered in pen ink and my mind was sticky with egoistic thoughts. Heart and soul were flooded with tears and layered with cobwebs.

Some people are too afraid to trudge through their messy emotions. Some people think they know how to find the answers they so desperately crave or that they have the answers on how to do life already. This will eventually cause a problem. One small stub of the toe or word said from an outside source will cause a catastrophic reaction. Life as they know it will blow up in their face. Hearts will break, bodies will ache, minds will churn and everything will implode.

It is important that we take the reins of our lives humbly but firmly. If we do not acknowledge all of who we are, including the dark parts-the parts of ourselves that are not perfect, that parts of ourselves that perhaps aren’t as strong, the parts of ourselves that will be the reason self-improvement will always be needed and growth inevitable-then we will always be blindly coasting through life. We will always get stuck in our egoistic thoughts, find ourselves in a storm of tears, wondering why our bodies hurt and why there are so many cobwebs around.

From a young age I saw and felt this from those around me. Some of this was from those I knew and some from strangers. From a young age there was a small, but fiery voice that was inside me. It lay somewhere between my heart and my soul. Everyday I felt it. Many days I heard its fiery call, “You. You must not coast. Humans only fade because they let themselves coast through the world.”

This fiery voice soon started to sound like my voice because it became my deep desire, “I don’t want to coast! I don’t want end up like them. I will not coast. A plane can coast through the sky. A boat can coast through the water. A rock can coast along a trail in the woods from a gentle, absent-minded kick, but I will not coast.”

And so I wrote. Little did I know how writing would save my life and become my life at the same time. Writing is a way to paddle through the muddy waters of that which we do not understand and find a way to make it make sense. Even if just for a little while, it will make sense. Writing can be a way to dissect and zoom into the parts of the human condition that make it so beautifully complex. Writing can be a way to relate to the world without having to live the same experiences. Writing was how I did all of that and paddled my way to understanding Divine Intuition. And then that small, fiery voice came back to me. It came back with more fire.

And now I feel like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego sitting in the fiery furnace unafraid of the fire that lives inside me because Divine Intuition put it there. She sits with me in the fire.