December 31, 2014

the year in review: what i learned

we're all walking that small but significant bridge that connects us from the edge of 2014 to the untouched path of 2015. it's untouched, but there is a path. a path that's already been made - hewn out of rock, dug out of dirt, paved with footsteps of the One who created it all. there's so much peace in knowing that we don't forge on alone, we are guided and carried and whispered to all along the way.

"for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." ephesians 2:10

do you ever just feel like a certain verse is somehow significant for you, in that specific time, even though it doesn't quite apply to your life right then and there? let me explain...

i first 'got' this verse in april. of course, i've read that verse a hundred times, but for some reason, when a pastor in california was teaching on that verse, it rang in my heart like an alarm clock - "write me down! this is important!" and it wasn't a verse that i necessarily needed at the time. in april, i wanted reassurance and promises that God wasn't going to forsake me because i felt abandoned. i felt nearly left for dead spiritually and physically. that might sound dramatic and i don't mean it to, but it's just how i felt - i felt betrayed by the church, i felt overrun by anxiety and i lost so much weight that i couldn't really leave the house on my own because of how weak i felt.

all that to say, when i sensed bells and whistles going off when i read ephesians 2:10, i was like... ok, Lord... i'll write it down, but you know that doesn't really apply, right? coincidentally, i had just bought a new journal because i knew i was in a night season that i wanted to document and learn from.... so that verse ended up being the first thing i wrote, right in front.

as the year went on, and i continued to write my struggles and prayers, that verse began to sprout up everywhere and became kind of a common thread through all that i was learning, bringing comfort and promise and reassurance that God had a plan. even as i stumbled and crawled through valleys and deserts, i started to believe that i was walking the very steps He had prepared for me instead of feeling like i was being attacked. i knew i was meant to walk that threatening path because i had to rely on Him to illuminate each and every step. i depended on Him completely maybe for the first time ever. i learned what it meant to wholly trust Him even when He seems so silent.

knowing how much time i spend on each painting and how much thought goes into one blog post, the idea that i was HIS workmanship, His to refine and His to tune, encouraged me in such a new way... if i was His work created for good works, then anything He allows in my life is going to equip me and shape me to better fulfill His purpose. He hasn't forgotten the work He has begun in you or me. whatever this has year brought you, whether hardship or celebration, or a mix of both, it's all for good and it's all important.

love you all!

the year in review: paris

two giant highlights of 2014 were: 1) a 3 week trip to california and 2) a 10 day trip to paris.... i still can't believe i was strolling around the city of lights, sketching by the siene and eating baguettes every. single. day. someone take me back!

most people have asked us what had to be our favorite thing about paris... which monument or museum or activity really stood out... and i have to say, just being there. soaking up the romantic vibe along the river, the creative chemistry felt in museums, eating croissants and ratatouille [yes, of course we had to eat ratatouille! thanks pixar :)], sitting at cafes, drinking coffee and people watching, navigating our way through the metro stations, eating ice cream then getting lost in the vast gardens of versailles, trying desperately to sound like locals when we ordered, watching the sunrise above the rooftops from our sixth-story room, walking in the rain at midnight, wishing an old peugeot would appear to whisk us away to the 1920s where we could meet our literary idols...

even as i write those little moments, i'm filled with a sense of wonder and appreciation. i can't believe we were able to walk hand in hand in such a magical city.
c'est belle.

a few snapshots of our dreamy parisian vacation...

the year in review: work + art

it's so crazy to go back through the year's projects... to be reminded of the people i got to collaborate with and the wide range of pieces that bloomed within 12 months. it's humbling and encouraging. humbling to look back on a year's worth of work and art and blogs and know that God completely blessed me through what i considered to be the most difficult year. encouraging to know that when i felt weak, God worked His strength in me, seeing every project to completion and bringing months of hardship to some of the richest lessons i've ever learned...
P. T. L.
praise the Lord for His goodness and strength, His faithfulness and patience to teach me this year... and thank YOU, friends, for joining me in all of it. your words of encouragement have meant so much to me and i hope my little journey has somehow encouraged or inspired or pointed you to Jesus along the way.

i'm so thankful for each of you and i look forward to continuing our adventure together in 2015...  an uncharted land of endless opportunities just waiting to be discovered! yay!!

so now, let's be on our way, light some sparklers, scribble down some resolutions, clank some glasses, kiss our loved ones, and throw some confetti!
hope you all have a safe and sparkly new year's eve!


+ a glance at 2014:


 some paper goods:

December 22, 2014

a romantic fairytale shoot...

it's not every day.... or even every year... that you get to dress up in beautiful princess [wedding] gowns and model with your prince of a husband in the most gorgeous setting, put together by a dream team of vendors.

photography by: jeremiah + rachel
styled by: goldfinch events
florals by: mum's flowers
bridal gowns + pieces provided by: willow bride
gowns by: theia couture
ethereal crown by: melinda rose design

it was a magical afternoon, until the clock struck midnight when my gown turned into jeans and a sweater. speaking of cinderella.... who's excited for into the woods?! i can't wait!


December 19, 2014

grains of sand, guest blog!

my friends over at closer to love photography just revamped their blog and added a new section called grains of sand... where lots of fellow christian creatives will be pouring out their hearts and teaching us what they're learning...

and i'm so excited and honored they asked me to contribute! check it out here if you'd like, and hopefully it encourages you! chatting about our journey through trials, refinement, and God's careful handiwork in every step!

happy friday... and oh my gosh, christmas is in six days!!! yay!

December 6, 2014

yay 30!

29 was a good year.... a very difficult year, but a good year. and yeah, i got to galavant all over paris!! sometimes i equate goodness with easiness, as if something easy is automatically good because it doesn't hurt. this year has taught me that just because something hurts, doesn't mean it's bad. actually, most of the things that hurt me are good for me. 

pruning is necessary for fruit... and severe pruning is necessary for abundant fruit. that picture has been stirring in my heart for the last few weeks and i know God is sharing His heart with me. He doesn't just prune back the dead, unwanted stuff, He prunes back perfectly good, thick branches in order to see the best fruit come forth. does the fruit sprout up immediately? nope. when you prune something, it takes a few seasons before the new growth is even seen. He knows what He's doing and my hurt is only for good whether i see that now or not. i love that hope and promise all throughout His word!

29 was a year of a lot of pruning. A LOT. but i'm so thankful that He is actively pruning in order to bring good, acceptable fruit that will bring so much good and bring Him glory.

so i'm so happy and grateful to be getting older... and as year 30 is added to my heart, i want compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience to clothe me where those branches have been pruned. to bear with the people around me, to forgive like Christ has forgiven me... and let love wrap it all together in a perfect unifying bond. [colossians 3:12-14]

yay 30! you're gonna be a good one! la vie est belle! 


December 1, 2014

meowy christmas tags

with the last few hours of cyber monday upon us, i thought i'd post a little freebie to give your wallets a break :: cat tags [with + without guidelines] for all the gifts you just bought. :)

meowy monday!