Find Where Your Light is Hiding

me

This photo was taken when I was happy.

When the sun was out and my skin was warm and things seemed easy.

The truth is that things are still easy, the sun still rises and even in the middle of this Canberran winter, you can still feel warm if you find the room where the light is hiding.

Find where your light is hiding.

I find solace in the simple things – coffee, spring days, flowers, new haircuts, owning only what you need and golden retriever puppies. Even now I have this large desire to simplify my entire life. To throw everything out and start again because stuff begins to feel claustrophobic after a while.

Find where your light is hiding.

I realised today that I can do whatever I want to do and I feel incredibly late to the game. Take pottery classes, declutter my wardrobe, get up early and do yoga or sleep until lunchtime. If you don’t like your life, it is yours to change. Reinvent yourself, laugh more, read new books and explore. Take the well-worn road or the path less traveled. Tread lightly, be intentional, fill your life with all the things that let the light in. Life is too short to be sad.

Take the well-worn road or the path less traveled.

Choose your own path and be the best version of yourself. Move and nourish your body because you deserve the best and not because you feel you need to be thinner.  Love yourself and love others more. Support causes that you are passionate about. Find things you can pour yourself into, find meaning and passion and fulfillment.

Find what makes you happy and never, ever stop doing it.

You deserve a life you love.

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My attempt at changing lanes

I am tired of all the likes.
or more accurately, tired of perceiving the real-life moment behind the Instagram still to be worthy of experience based on its engagement.

I am tired of feeling like creative expression is a waste of time because it gets hidden by algorithms and everyone else who is just trying their best.

Social media used to be fun and for many, I am sure it still is but I have slowly set up camp amongst the ones who find it draining. Taking the joy from holy experiences, laughter, coffee dates with my husband and the life found in creating.

(I am aware it is what I make it and it is my perception and expectations that have made it so but I want to write about it anyway).

I guess this is my attempt at changing lanes,

at posting whatever I feel like posting,

saying what I feel like saying.

Writing to make meaning out of this wonderfully messy life I lead,

to make sense of grace,

and injustice,

and the way the world, and my world, changes.

More photos of blurry country roads, and quotes and notes, and simplicity.

I hope you will join me for the ride.

Country Roads, Take Me Home via Unsplash

 

My Illustrated Faith Wishlist

I have been posting a lot recently about bible journaling. Both here on the blog, my Instagram and I even wrote an article for the guys over at Elevated Faith! Writing for them was a whole lot of fun and I also I compiled a list of resources to go alongside the post. While doing this research I found so many things I want to buy and thought I would share some of them on the blog! Most of them are by Illustrated Faith and there is also a set of adorable coffee cup paper clips from Bibles and Coffee.

Her Homegrown Life’s Journaling Wishlist

Ultra Thin Washi Tape Bundle

Ultra Thin Washi by Illustrated Faith
This is the most practical washi I have seen yet. I love that they’re made for highlighting scripture and it also makes it super vibrant with zero chance of bleedthrough.

You Are Loved Tabbies

You Are Loved Tabbies by Illustrated Faith
I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t really get the tabbies thing. Bible books taps were one thing but I wasn’t really inclined to tab entries. Then I found this set and realised it would be so convenient to tab entries to make them easier to find especially since I am considering filming flip-throughs and similar videos.

Created to Create Starter Kit

Created to Create by Illustrated Faith
What can I say? This kit is such a good deal AND the pigment ink included in it is to die for!

Homespun Clear Alpha Stamps

Homespun Stamps by Illustrated Faith
This is the part of the post where I confess that I did not realise how many stamps Illustrated Faith had, nor did I really get how they worked. Last week I discovered the wonder that is clear stamps and now I need ALL of them. However, I narrowed it down to these alphas and next item on my wishlist…

Elements Clear Stamps

Element Stamps by Illustrated Faith
As somewhat a newbie to the Illustrated Faith side of the bible journaling world I had no idea a product like this existed. While I would say I am a good illustrator I would get increasingly frustrated that the ‘elements’ part of my journaling wasn’t as perfect as what I saw online. While it is not about making perfect things, I wonder if some it comes down to the use of stamps. I am so so excited to incorporate these guys into my journaling sometime soon!

Bible Journaling Paper Clips

Bibles and Coffee Paperclips
What do I need to say other than that these are rose gold paper clips in the shape of crosses and coffee cups?!

If you have an IF/bible journaling wishlist I would love to know what’s on it! I love discovering new products and ways to get more out of my bible journaling time.

You are loved,
HHL
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For All The Days of My Life | Our Wedding Day

I am so excited to finally share some of the finer details of our wedding day! Our engagement was the sweetest and hardest part of our journey so far and I never imagined we would be planning our wedding with a big, giant ocean between us. Michael was in the States for 6 of our engaged months and that just added to the wild ride that is engagement.

If you are thinking of DIY’ing your wedding day I would say it is most definitely possible if you have the time. We are able to do all our own design and printing (big props to my graphic design degree) and also hand painted a few signs for the day. The worst part about DIY’ing was cutting almost everything out by hand but we got there in the end. The other good part was having my mum and mother-in-law wrangle all the extra floral details and having a team of Aunties and Uncles able to help them bump in on the morning of our wedding.

I hope you enjoy this snap shot of our day and a huge thank you to our vendors for making our day come together so easily. Osteria is an incredible Tweed Coast wedding venue and our day there was so very magical. I love talking DIY and weddings so if you have any questions about making anything for you big day, let me know. Between my own and the other three weddings I was apart of in 2017, I feel I have it down to a fine art. and if not, Google always comes to the rescue.

Venue: Osteria Weddings​
Photographer: Anchor & Heart​
Hair: Jesse James​
Make Up: Blushed and Beautiful​
Bouquets + Button Holes: Bunches Gold Coast​
Table Flowers + Arbour: Provided by Hillview Rose Farm. Arranged by Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom.
Wedding Invitations and Wedding Day Stationery: The Bride
Dress: Grace Loves Lace​
Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS
Cake:
 Jacqui Riley – Divine Cakes
Cake Topper: Loryn Loves Partyware
Table Numbers: Funky Laser
Robes: Walkin’ on Air
Coat Hanger Decals: Watts Co

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You Are Loved,
HHL
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Sweet To The Soul | A Bible Journaling Post

There is something about an empty few pages in your journaling bible that is both exciting and intimidating. Bible journaling is not new to me, however using paint is so whenever I dig out my paints box for some Jesus time I am still a little apprehensive as to how it will go. Thankfully this one went well (but real talk, even if it was a massive fail it would still be amazing because it was a process of worship but that’s a whole other blog post).

Just like my recent post from Hosea this entry was also created when I was testing out my new little collection of bible journaling illustrations (that are available for FREE here). I ended up using the baby version in the margins as this is both my reading AND journaling bible but for those of you who don’t mind covering up the words, the full-sized version looks amazing too!

The paint was applied using my absolute favourite technique and material – bubblewrap! There is an instagram post showing how I stacked the colour but you basically just dump your paint onto your bubble wrap and then press it down onto the page and viola! you get the pretty patterns above. I chose this material as it reminded me of honeycomb and, well, Proverbs 16:24 talks about how sweet grace filled words are to us…like honey from the comb.

(Also for anyone wondering, I don’t use gesso in my bible. I wanted to at the start but it was expensive and I never got around to buying any. My bible handles paint fine but if I ever have any ink bleed badly I’ll glue paper on the margin of the previous page and just paint on that. However If I ever had a bible where I painted on the words I would invest in gesso as my paper trick won’t work there)

Let’s talk bible journaling and all things paint in the comments! I’m attempting to get a little more brave with my paint and colour this year.

You are loved,
HHL
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Why I Don’t Use Young Living or DoTerra Essential Oils

For the past two months, I have been looking into essential oils and recently I have begun using them around the home. I have some lovely friends that use them and follow a few incredible people who distribute both Young Living and doTerra and it looks amazing! I was especially interested in YL and while I’m sure both of these companies stock amazing oils, I have a few reasons why I could not bring myself to use or become a distributor for these companies (which, let me tell you, I really wanted to. I wasn’t looking to make it a business but why not make and save and make some money while using a product you already love!).

Before you read please remember this why I personally chose other oils brands over the two MLM companies I was originally considering. The title is why I don’t use them, not why you shouldn’t. If you enjoy them and they benefit your life then that is all that matters. For reference I currently use a mix of products from Perfect Potions and Fleurette Aromatherapy.

Why I Don't Use Young Living or doTerra Essential Oils

1.  Cost
I am aware that essential oils can be a very worthwhile investment and it was one I was willing to make, so it was not the cost of start-up kits that deterred me. It was the cost of the single vials. I am one that diffuses oils/blends often but not daily  (except for this sleep spray. It is my lifeline and has fixed almost all of my sleeping concerns) so the difference in price between these two bigger companies and my two local ones was a deciding factor for me. I should note that I appreciated being able to find AU price points on online, especially for Young Living. While it didn’t work our for me, it was very helpful and not something multi-levelled companies (oily ones and otherwise) always do.

2. Accessibility/Shop Local
Even though Young Living and doTerra have Australian offices, from what I could tell they only served as pick up points. As I live in neither of those locations, I wanted to find something a little closer to home. While online shopping and therefore shipping would fill that gap, it is nice to know I can walk into a store and back out again with my purchase. I also love that one of the business is a small local one and I can support her journey as well.

3. The Advice (sometimes) Given
Now, I am not a doctor, an aromatherapist or a professional – just someone who has enjoyed the benefits of using essential oils. I am only new to this journey and have a lot to learn however from my personal research (youtube, speaking to the owners/staff of the two companies I do use, general reading) it seems ingesting essential oils is not a wise idea, or at least it is a contested one. In fact it is not recommended at all with the oils I use. I see so many people recommending oils for your drinking water and while it may work for them, I was not comfortable using a brand/s that said one thing when it seems everyone else I spoke to said another, especially when it comes to the health and safety of others.

So for now, these are the three main reasons why I chose other companies over the two larger essential oil brands I found when beginning my research. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic, especially if you are live in Australia. Do you use the big brands, the small ones or a lovely mix of both?

(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in anyway with the brands mentioned in this post, nor do I receive products or payment from Perfect Potions and Fleurette Aromatherapy. They are just the two brands I currently use and pay for and am sharing my personal opinions about)

 

 

Music Monday: Reckless Love

Reckless Love

Every so often I stumble across a song and within a few seconds it ends up on repeat. Sometimes for a few hours and in some cases it is the only song I listen to for days.

This is what happened with Reckless Love by Cory Asbury.

If I am honest 2017 was a hard year. It had many life-changing moments – I moved to a new city 12 hours from home, I started a new job, a new church, I got married and started at a new university. As far as years go, it was big and even draining in some parts. So much was changing and so often it was hard to keep up. Even now, in the new days of 2018, I feel like I need a holiday to reset from how much my life changed in the space of 365 days. It was joyful and exciting but also challenging. A big part of me is still hurt, broken and lonely.

Somewhere in at all, I found it hard to rest in truth and renewing spirit of God. I tried to do a lot on my own, I worried often and I felt as if so many things were my responsibility. Some were, but there were also things I carried, and still carry, that are not mine to load onto my back and trudge around with everyday.

This song simplified the things I slipped into my metaphorical backpack each day.

It reminded me that God is for my good and that my life should be for His glory.

Not for my job, or my degree, or pleasing people, or doing what I feel I should do out of obligation or expectation of others.

The stresses that I carried paled in comparison when I remembered how much, and how recklessly God loves me.

Nothing I can do can make Him love me any more or any less. He will leave the 99 just to find me. and when I don’t want to be found He will patiently wait as long as it takes until I come home again.

If you haven’t heard it, I encourage you to give it a listen as it has become one of those worship songs that as turned into an encouraging anthem for the season I am in. I pray it speaks to you as much as it has spoken to me.

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

You are loved,
HHL
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