a Creative
Enter ManyWaters


Vision - Calling people into the creative flow of God.

ManyWaters is a network of believers who inspire creativity and ignite hope.

Our desire is to encourage an environment for creativity and intuitive leadership where people are enabled to receive and respond to the Spirit’s voice, express themselves in the fullness of who they were created to be, and make significant contributions to the betterment of their community.



They Told Their Stories

Everyone knows the value of a good story. I am so thankful for the storytellers.  I don’t consider myself a writer. You writers will surely say, “She’s right about that!”  Even so, we all have a story that should be told. Some of us tell our stories through pictures, songs, or poems.  Whatever the “means or medium”, stories should be told.  This leads me to begin to share my own.  I think it’s what the Spirit wants me to do.

In 2010, I facilitated a gathering in Lancaster, PA with approximately 50 women. It was a “Beauty for Ashes” prayer gathering, a ministry of ManyWaters that had been meeting annually since 1997. The focus was about the importance of telling our stories ~ important for ourselves to express and important for the spread of the gospel message of hope. I was excited to see that the women mentioned in Luke 8 had been so touched by their experience with Jesus and those whose stories they had heard, that they left the comfort of their lives and joined in with all they had.  Our prayer gathering was well received. Many had the opportunity to share their own personal story of how their lives have changed for the better by knowing and growing in relationship with God.

One of the most encouraging insights was that we could see more of God’s love and care for us as we listened to each other’s story.  Professionals might call this encouragement a form of good “pastoral care”. It truly was that!  We heard stories of hearts being softened to forgive, and healing of strained relationships.  We resonated with others whose story seemed to tell our own story.  Most of all, we saw more of the love of God through each other and in many cases, received restored hope.

Some of us felt that the topic, “They Told Their Stories”, would continue on with intention when we went from that gathering back into our ongoing routines and work.  I wondered if the title would one day become a book!   One of the speakers was so inspired that she launched a radio program as a platform for other women to share their stories.  She hoped much needed support might be given to other women, and it was the “means” she had available to her.

So here I am now seven years later thinking about this again and sensing the Spirit prompting me to explore the topic here on this platform.  I am saying “yes” and hope that it’s okay to just begin and see where it takes me – and those who might join in.  It’s my hope that my own story will be of encouragement, and the stories of other women that I share will spark an insight or prompt a story from the reader to pass on, too.  Look for stories to be told in the weeks ahead, and do let me know if something touches you ~ perhaps you’ll be prompted to tell a story of your own.

With anticipation, Carol


Stations of the Cross ~ a focus beyond ourselves…

Stations of the Cross

This creative visual expression of the ninth and tenth “Stations of the Cross” was a group activity of Color Me FRIENDS and some members of St Francis Episcopal Church, Manakin-Sabot, VA this Lenten season. The two stations are part of a series of coloring pages from Illustrated Children’s Ministry by artist, Adam Walker Cleveland.   I wanted to provide a creative response to a presentation I gave on how we hear God through creative expression.  I also wanted the response to deepen a sense of “belonging” and “community”.   In my own experience and what I know from others, as I engage in the creative process, my mind is quieted, my perception opens up, and I awaken more deeply to the Spirit of God.  One might say, “the eyes of my heart are opened”.  Working together as a group on any project, especially an art work, can provide a sense of belonging to something “bigger” than myself, as well as, provide a way for my values to be expressed and more deeply experienced.

“During the season of Lent, the Stations of the Cross are often focused upon – to help us see beyond ourselves, our own egos and agendas, and to walk with God.”   Images of the Stations are found in many forms in churches and gardens throughout the world.  They are associated with Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem by the early Christians who would physically travel to Jerusalem.

The ninth Station on the “left” is entitled, “Blessing”.   Here in Luke 23:27-31, we learn that this is where Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, and he says these strange words: “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore… (Luke 23:29).  I would like to share with you what the authors of “Illustrated Children’s Ministry” have written on this account. “These words are exactly opposite of what we hear at the beginning of Luke’s gospel when Gabriel announces to Mary that she will give birth to Jesus:  “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Luke 1:42).  Perhaps the words in Luke’s account of the Passion are a reminder to us that every moment of our lives, even those places that seem the most forsaken, can be places of God’s blessing.  And it is precisely those most human of conditions that Jesus wishes to bless, to transform, and to take up into the divine life.”

Is there something in your life that is difficult right now?  As you ponder the ninth Station of the Cross, ask the Lord to open the eyes of your heart to hear his words of blessing upon you.  Perhaps as you listen and watch, you may see a picture in your mind’s eye.  Write down what you hear and see, then take one more step and consider how you might visually, musically, or find some other form of creative expression for this blessing that has come to you.  Let yourself rest in this joy.




Winds of Time

I took a trip to Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona and like so many others on this trip, I took many photos. They are one of a kind every time because of the time of day and season of light one visits this amazing place! What you see is truly in the “eye of the beholder”! I have been looking at my photos lately and find myself taken with the beauty of this special place. The more I gaze, the more my soul is at peace. This time as I gazed upon this photo, I saw the waves embedded in the rock that were formed from the sand that the wind gently blew across the rock.

In my art therapy groups and expressive arts coaching sessions, I encourage the participants by asking three questions: What do you see? What do you think? What do you wonder? Then, after reflecting for some time, the journaling begins. Sometimes I will ask for a “title” as a starting point to journal writing. I might say, “give your image a title” and then tell the story. What comes from this kind of reflection can be powerful. It can help us see things and consider how what we see can give us fresh insight and open up possibilities. Sometimes when we feel stuck, this “gazing” can enable the light we need to see the way forward.

I titled this photo, “Winds of Time”…. now to reflect and see what comes. Why not join me?

What do you see? Where is your eye drawn?


Restoring Hope is about the future ~ being able to see a future that is life-giving and realistically know that we have the resources to achieve that future. Unfortunately, many of us are unable to work on creating our desired future because we bump up against the patterns we know work against us over and over again. Everyone does.

Other times we may find ourselves weighed down by grief and resentment over things that have occurred in our past. When we are grieving or resenting we are hope-less.

While we cannot change the past, we can change how we experience our past to inform our future. Restoring Hope focuses on the Nature of Hope and the resources to resolve painful memories, grief, resentment and practice the art of forgiveness.

Coaching Sessions are based upon the goals of the client in a Complimentary Session drawing from the topics below:

• Resources to Create Change
• Resolving Painful Memories
• Resolving Grief
• Forgiveness and Resolving Resentment

An Individual Session of One Hour is $75.00. A 3 Session Plan is $165.00 paid in advance.

Restoring Hope Coaching

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Restoring Hope can help you make significant progress in the transitions of your life. Contact us today to gain new vision and hope for your future.


Art Therapy

Expressive art therapy is helpful to both young clients as well as older ones. It allow for expressing inner thoughts and feelings in ways that frequently cannot be conveyed with words. It fosters emotional growth and facilitates awareness and healthy expression of emotions. Our art therapy programs utilize a variety of art media and techniques encouraging both non-verbal and verbal communication. Art therapy programming can be arranged in private settings one-on-one and in small groups settings.

Art Therapy at Virginia Correctional Center for Women - We are offering 2 art therapy groups currently for approximately 30 women. The offenders say they are benefiting from this expressive therapy and VCCW would like to offer more women the opportunity to participate as funding becomes available. The program is funded by donations through our non-profit, ManyWaters (501c3). Donation are tax deductible.

If you are interested in making a donation for this vital program, please click here.

If you are interested in planning an art therapy program or private session, please contact us here.


COACHING a Creative Culture.....

Carol Maher believes in the value of encouraging a creative culture. Her sense of mission led her in the creation of ManyWaters Ministries in 1998. From art therapy groups to leading retreats, Carol inspires hopes and dreams.  She welcomes creative, out of the box thinking that encourages new connections and expands vision for community growth and development.

Carol’s years of experience as an art educator, spiritual coach, counselor, and community leader equip her to work with individuals and groups.  Carol is a certified coach through The Appreciative Way Coaching founded by Dr. Rob Voyle, and finds this approach invaluable and foundational to her life and ministry.

Who would benefit from Carol’s encouragement?

Artists, Non-profit and Ministry leaders, and Motivated folks who desire to:

• honor & live their values, purpose, and mission
• resolve grief, loss, trauma, and resentment
• explore spirituality through creative expression
• integrate creative expression in personal life & work environments

How to get started?

Contact Carol to talk.

Appreciative Coaching

The Appreciative Way of coaching is a way of “being” and “seeing” in the world that leads to positive life-giving ways of “doing”. The focus is on HOPE and defines it as “the ability to imagine a tomorrow that you would find enjoyable and life-giving; and to know that you have the resources to achieve that preferred future.”

Drawing from Appreciative Inquiry and Contemplative Spirituality, this coaching approach helps clients move from negative, fear-driven motivations to positive, loving motivations that lead towards personal and professional transformation.

All Coaching is done by phone or Skype except where the client is within convenient distance.

Introductory Session (30 minutes) is complimentary to assess goals.  Individual sessions are $75 for an hour.  Clients may schedule 3 Sessions as a "package" for $165.  Sessions are paid in advance by check, Paypal or credit card.

Ask About Other Opportunities

Creative Expression & Spirituality ~ Small group settings for 3 or more sessions are planned for each unique group.  Carol leads through spiritually directed focus themes, visual imagery, and creative expression that encourages deeper listening skills and inspires imagination.  Program costs are planned for each individual group. 

Dream Interpretation ~ learn the value of your dreams from a biblical interpretation.  Recording and drawing dreams in a dream journal is recommended.  A donation to our ministry is requested.

Retreats ~ Creative & spiritual encouragement retreats are the highlight of the year!  Often along Indian Pathways or Island Breeze locations that inspire creative energies and new life are our destinations.  Help us plan one that meets your group needs!  We'd love to work with you.  We are currently planning a three day excursion in VA - "Journey on the James". Call for details.



The Art of Listening

The Art of Encouraging

The Art of Imagining

ARTS = Apostolic, Restorative, Transformational Streams

“The Sound of Many Waters” ~ Revelation 14:2

Not only are the Arts extremely important as a vehicle of self-expression and beauty in the world, but the Arts create platforms for restoration and transformation of our communities.

The word “ARTS” can be seen as an acrostic.  Each letter represents a value embedded in ManyWaters, whereby the power of creative listening and engaging with others flows outward as streams of life into the world.

The Art of ListeningWhat do you hear/see?

Listening, tuning an ear to the sound of hope. Looking for a vision of the future.  Where do we hear the sound of life? What do we perceive? An intentional lifestyle of contemplation; taking up a position to see and hear as in Habakkuk 2.  To be "prophetically conscious" ~ What is the Spirit doing among us? What does the Spirit want us to do about it?

The Art of Encouraging ~ What do you think?

The art of encouraging can make all the difference in building healthy relationships that lead to vibrant groups and communities. Asking the type of questions that lead to healing, hope, and future-oriented thinking moves us towards actions that produce growth. 

Consider how our coaching might benefit your life and work.  Coaching for leaders focuses on strengthening character building and leadership skills. Ask about the "huddle" approach. Carol & John partner together encouraging couples and leadership teams.

Contact Carol to learn more and get connected.

The Art of Imagining ~ What do you wonder?

Is there a stream of living water bubbling up?  How to encourage its flow...

What will it become? How will it bless others?

There is no limit to the heart of imagination as we allow ourselves to wonder.....

Recently, Ginny Jackson and I held a creative gathering for 8 women called "Among the Lilies".  We explored the scripture from Song of Solomon 2:16 in conversation and creative expression through collage making.  Participants were asked to bring a childhood photo, simple art materials, and their imagination!  Ginny began the morning with her research on lilies from all over the world.  Carol taught from Songs and led a visualization and asked everyone to journal their impressions. Sharing followed that was very moving.  Then collage making began.  After an hour or so of art, we gathered in a circle to share.  We all discovered things from our art work about our faith journeys and relationships.  I'll be sharing some of their stories on my blog.  Below are just a few of the beautiful collages.





Carol Maher

Carol's Encouragement flows from a deep joy inside. She sees the world full of mystery and beauty... places and people that stimulate her imagination and creativity to find positive solutions to life's questions.  Tap into her art and coaching strengths or collaborate on a community need for fresh insights and intuitive thinking.... or join in on a fun activity she is leading.... You will find yourself encouraged in your own creative ideas and who knows what will open up to you!

Art teacher ~ Art Therapist ~ Appreciative Coach ~ Creative Spiritual Direction & Retreats                                                        

Art Education BS - Kutztown University; Art Therapist at Virginia Correctional Center for Women, Goochland, VA; Masters in Ministry concentration Clinical Pastoral Counseling from Chesapeake Bible College & Seminary, Ridgley,MD; Certificate in Appreciative Coaching & Restoring Hope, The Appreciative Way, Portland, OR. 


Please feel free to contact us!

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14331 Forest Row Trail

Midlothian, VA 23112

Carol Maher



John F Maher, Jr.