Watercolour lettering gives off that dreamy, lightly-washed effect..Read More
I had the absolute pleasure of designing for this beautiful bride who was so switched on with her wedding planning. More details to come.
Photos are from the bride herself and Nattnee Photography.
After lunch at The Press Shop, on the same block, you'll see the Green Lane. Enter through the black gates down a narrow strip that is home to an open courtyard of little shops and eateries. We looked around at the antiques, bought some ivy from The Potting Shed, and drank in the warm Autumn sunlight that was streaming into Harry's. Pick a book from off the ceiling high-shelves and sip on another afternoon coffee and there you have it, pure bliss.
April 8, 2017
It's only recently that we've decided to get out there and explore NSW, rather than cosy it up at home and it's been so. good. We packed up the hubby's dusty camera gear and left for the road. First stop, Bowral. Here was one of the best designed cafes we'd been to. The aesthetics, visuals, colour, idea and interior - just amazing. And rightly so. This place was the brainchild of a designer/creator: a letterpress printery behind glass walls + impeccably designed interior space, fresh food and good coffee. Such a dream. I'd been wanting to visit for a long time and we finally made it in time for when the Heidelberg machines were scheduled to run.
The warm Autumn weather was perfect. Lighting and ambience plus a crisp Autumn breeze. Scent, sight, taste and touch. All sensory cues were engaged. Absolutely ingenious. Bowral was a sweet country town accessible via an easy 1.5 hour drive from Sydney - mini road trip done. x
Visit The Press Shop here
I think, out of the close-to 12 weeks of married life, I've been sick for at least 3 of them. Roughly a quarter of my time in this new home was spent in bed and on meds. Tonsillitis, throat and ear infections, stomach bugs, fever, fatigue, colds, coughs, nausea and lots of antibiotics. Not fun!
Business had to wait a little, as did a lot of social commitments. Boo.. While given directives to REST, all this idleness and illness made me feel bored and unproductive.
My husband isn't normally one to surprise with gifts and sweet gestures, but of late, he's been a bit of awesomeness.. Washing loads of dishes when I had fallen asleep sick after dinner, cleaning the kitchen so I wouldn't be stressed when I woke in the morning, bringing home snacks and sweet Zumbo desserts after his long day of work, researching how to make sushi and packing a lunchbox of tuna mayo rolls, bringing warm tea at night when my lymph nodes were swollen, ordering surprise bunches of flowers with a get well soon message during the day. His work days are busy, and yet he wanted me to know he'd been thinking of me. Pretty sweet.
My strongest love language is 'acts of service', so these random actions have spoken very loudly to me. I want to remember this gratitude for when the flowers have wilted, when my patience runs thin and my tolerance for his not-so-best self is low (we recently listened to our pastor's wedding day sermon for us "Put On Your Best, Put Up With Their Worst" - will link it soon).
My husband seems to have a stronger immune system than I. Getting used to his pattern of living and sleeping times (or perhaps just getting used to doing our own individual thing) seems to be the next step. Otherwise, the remaining 75% of our married time has been a good adjustment period - household chores seem to be never ending and building routine around two people quite difficult. Communication blocks must be addressed. Conflicts are quickly overcome by the person who shows mercy first (mercy - undeserving). We've gotten to see more of each others' worsts - and accept it. Hosting community groups weekly at our place has been really good - committed faith family doing life together. Pepper - Dan brought his 5 year old pet. I never knew how much a little dog can add warmth, affection and oodles of cuteness to your day. All good apart from the daily cleaning of soiled doggy pads 😬😬😬. Still cute. Oh, and nagging won't get you anywhere. Instead, pray. Big lessons everywhere.
Thank you @littleflowerssydney 💛 (Visit online here).
"You get older, a bit tired-er, a little slower, a lot whiter. But friends, I don't want you to grow old and tired and cynical and closed. I want you to grow old and tired and generous and joyful. I want your life to open as you grow older. And I want you to dare to believe this fundamental truth: The grace that you first experienced at 8 or 18 or 28, the grace that set you free, the grace that was the warmth of God, of forgiveness and peace, acceptance, freedom: the grace that turned your world around. That very same magnificent grace is as available to you at 48, 68 or 88. His grace is new every morning. His love never fails. My friends, as you graduate from this college, I pray, Grace and peace upon you all for a life of magnificent and beautiful service in Christ's name." Amen
- Reverend Dr Michael Frost
13. March 2017
Last night, we closed yet another chapter on this journey I'd begun back in Canberra. Part-time grad studies took a lot longer than anticipated but I looked back and saw this overwhelming grace upon my feeble walk. When God called me to know him, caused me to see Him and seek Him.. those days of my passionate youth - that was all grace. He took me from my ignorance, foolishness and sin, and gave me Jesus, my salvation, my righteousness, my hope and future.
Driving home, my husband asked - "I'm proud of you, well done. Now what?" And in the cool stillness of that night drive home, he reminded me to be faithful in the here and now: in my character, in my living and in my daily fruit. In my daily living. If I am failing to strive to live that life of a real Christian - dying daily to self, fighting daily the good fight, to grow in faith and fruit, to love as Jesus did, to surrender in prayer, to rely on the Holy Spirit, to mature in Christ-like character - then, what good is knowledge.
It was a night of worship, prayer and rejoicing congratulations which brought me to remember those younger days of passion; my greatest desire was for my life to be spent on God's work and his kingdom. Despite my wandering, my weaknesses and my failings, I pray, God use me. Mould me, teach me and make me ready and fit to be an empty vessel for Your name. Prevent me from doing harm and give me the boldness to make things right when I fail. Wherever and however You please, may Your will be done in my life.
"...living well depended on the reordering of our loves...the constant soul reorientation of prayer." ▫
▫ 📖 : #Augustine #TimKeller #Prayer (p11)
Our cell group began to read Timothy Keller's book on prayer last week and this just really jumped out at me. It's taken some time to get to this point, but wow, these past 4 days sent me wrestling through this daily 'reordering'. My heart is quickly drawn to many affections, and it was imperative to realign daily, in prayer, as if a matter of life or death.
When Jesus is the centre of my world and my number one priority, all else falls orderly into place. I am content whatever the circumstance. When he's not, I seek other things to satisfy my soul - things that are ultimately dissatisfying. 👑
"God, You are God of my life. ...I raise You and lift You
Praise You and exalt You
You are God, the God of all my life.
Jesus, You are my prime satisfaction
You so satisfy my soul,
You are my priority
You are enough for me
There is nothing more I shall want.
I reorder the loves of my heart this morning and I seek Your anointing as I start the day
Let this be a practice ongoing, a habit and discipline that lasts for the rest of my life." - 22.01.2016 AM #Evernote #journal #lampandlight #bedeeplyrooted #socality #handlettering #typography
During prayers on Friday: I realised that as I was praying, now that I'm no longer single... When I was single, I prayed "God, use my strengths and talents and passions for your kingdom, use all of me." Praying like this was sufficient.
But I realised as I looked forward into marriage, I can no longer just pray for my own calling as a single person but for my family's calling as two people with a joint vision. Now I am praying, God, use US according to your will. There was a shift in focus.. That was a big enlightening moment for me as I realised I can't just be thinking of myself anymore (yes, self-centred me). His life and call will inevitably affect mine now. I need to be praying for him as much as for myself. It's interesting.. Still on the journey.
On other notes, the fiancé will be moving out of his Alexandria home very soon, preparing to go into the marriage home. Will miss being able to meet and stroll over to the local hipster cafes and brunch places. I love that neighbourhood.
Pre marriage sessions: have been so so good but they deserve a separate post.
I've only just realised who the true bridezilla was. 😑
They say that couples fight the most during the engagement period. I think we've had our fair share of easy and difficult days during these past months. We've been good friends for over a decade but we'd never had to plan a big event together. And over the last few formative years of our twenties, I hadn't realised just how much we'd been shaped by our work and environment in the way we approached problems and tasks.
He, for one, is an avid pre-planner: a technical-analytical, no-nonsense and risk-averse conservative with a hint of eccentric flair. Back in uni, he would finish his assignments weeks in advance, write up his own exam summaries and people would go to him for help. On the other hand, I was surprised to find that I'd become the laissez-faire, unconventional, free-minded creative whose abstract planning style drove him crazy for lack of understanding. (We do also have many similarities..)
At D-59, I think we can say, we've begun to embrace our differences. I've needed to up my game in many areas, he's had to let go. In the end, I'm glad for a means of refinement as I learn to practice the big A word: ACCEPTANCE. I can only imagine how this will continue on into the rest of our lives so the quicker we learn, the better.
I am reminded that the purpose of marriage is sanctification, rather than happiness.
I am also very much looking forward to the pre-marriage course we are about to start.
It's a little late but we need to start the real prep for married life, not just the practical preparations for the wedding day. (Notice the distinction between the words MARRIAGE and WEDDING. One is life-long, the other but a day.)
Trying not to lose perspective as we get caught up in the flurry of last-minute preparations now.
WEDDING Checklist: dress, invitations and photo/video vendors are finally big ticks. Once this is over, I think I will take a day to put up big lists of all the research we've done and make someone else's wedding planning much easier (so that you can concentrate more on the MARRIAGE preparations).
We stumbled in a little late on Sunday evening to St Paul's Anglican. Dan's family have been running the annual Shine Choral concert for the past 14 years. Sitting in the pews of this magnificent building, listening to the music and song - watery eyes and pulled heart strings. I imagined what it would be like in heaven, where the angels sing and praise God night and day.. How much more glorious their song.
Afterwards, Dan shared with me he'd like for us to have our first dance to this song. That the words moved inside of him when he had sat there in the church. He asked, "What do you think?" I was so moved. God is so amazing, even in my failures..
I wasn't thinking of doing a dance, but now it looks like we might. Uh oh.
Earlier that day: We stopped by at our reception venue for our wedding planner meet and to choose options and centrepieces. So thankful that Dan decided to push for this venue despite my reservations re cost. Everything was taken care of and we had nothing more to really think about on this end.
In other news, the weekend collab at Petal Met Sugar went really well. I had so much fun and met new people. Time flew by and before I knew it, it was already time to close! The guy with the special flowers and message for his lady - the message he chose in the end was so sweet we all 'ahhd' for the surprise she would receive. "I love you more every day". You who wrote, "love always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres" for your man - so special. The girl who came out all the way just to see us - I wish I'd had more time to just sit and chat. I would do it again, but differently, less craziness, more quality face to face. Friends and family came along, and I realised they were the biggest heroes. So grateful to have had so much help and love and support.
I have much to be thankful for.
It's now D-79 and it's time to design and send out my invitations in between searching for the wedding dress. Things have gotten so busy here but I still love that I can create-curate my own stationery. Reminding myself: keep it simple. Strip back perfectionism.
On the business end, I'm excited to be a part of Petal Met Sugar's first birthday week celebrations with my calligraphy services in store this weekend. This will be fun! I hope I get to meet some fresh new faces and eat some cake.. Wedding diet, when shall thy start?
Where: 68 Sir John Young Cres, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
When: Saturday, 22 October 2016 (1-3pm)
These past few weeks leading to October - lots of Spring winds billowing around seeds and pollen for germination, seemingly uncaring for my chapping hands and face. Pages turning, reading writing learning, growing through wrestling. There's another month of long stretching to go and here we head into the second month of Spring.
My wedding planning app says 96 days to go - that certainly crept up on us. Dear hubby-to-be: today especially, I thank you for putting up with my antics and for loving me enough to sacrifice against your grain.. Serving, doing; love in action that speaks louder than words. Not just all 'easy give' but to care enough for my growth and maturation to (sometimes) patiently reason with me and pray for me. You make me a better person.. And Jesus: keep me fixated on you that I may not waver amongst the winds and busyness of life and commitments. Help me to see the hands that are moulding us and your heart that is love, fully committed to see us through..
#trust #October #devotion #bridetobe #lampandlight #goodnewsfeed #socality #christiancreative #darlingweekend #momentslikethese
Monday - day off.
As I was washing after QT - thought:
“I’m not good at the art of people and relationships,
but I do love God and I know how much he loves his people.
They are His, as much as I am His.
He loves His children, as much as He loves me.."
This is what calls me to love people.
And when relationships get tough,
There are times when I still have to hold on
Because of the grace and mercy first afforded to me.
Jesus loved me when I was not lovable,
God sent Him to be my redeemer, even in my sinfulness.
I am learning to be gracious to those who may not love me back too..
To those who may repay my gestures with hurt
I love them because He loves them..
I pray that our love increases,
And that the genuineness of this heart will reach through some day.
But even if it doesn’t and and my love is not received,
That’s okay, because God sees my heart. He sees me..
My life is, first of all, before God.
"Love seeks its happiness in the happiness of the beloved. It will even suffer and die for the beloved in order that its joy might be full in the life and purity of the beloved. This is how Christ loved us, and this is how he calls us to love one another."
#SolidJoys #DesiringGod p206-207
"Our barometer or litmus test for how we love God is how we love people. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and love neighbor. What’s interesting, though, is He says the greatest commandment (singular) is to love God and love people (two commands — plural). So is Jesus a C student who just didn’t get it? Or is He creatively saying it is one commandment because you can’t separate the two. You love God by loving neighbor. ♥ How you love your neighbor is a reflection of how you love God." - @jeffersonbethke #jeffersonbethke
29 September 2015
"As the deer pants for water so my soul longs after you." Lately: my heart is so in love with Jesus; there is a yearning, I feel it when I wake up, an emptiness and a fullness, and at times I am so overwhelmed. But my prayer is this, that I may love Him the same even when I don't feel it. I am learning to become Christ's bride before I learn to love another. So much grace. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
#memories #lampandlight #socalitysydney #wibinawrites
More frequent hours have been spent recently at the law courts and something about the formalities and order have come upon me as quite beautiful. What I had previously put aside as boring and dry has strangely taken on a new meaning. It's funny how realisations come when they do. I've had exposure to this environment for many years, but these thoughts are relatively newfound. It dawned upon me that not everyone gets to see what I see so today, I'll be your eyes in the courtroom.
- Reflections from 20 July 2015
As I sit in the courtroom I notice the court etiquette and language used in tones of honour.
Before a court goes into session, there is a short flurry of preparation. The judge's associate comes in to prepare the desk with material, books, legislation, appearances and makes sure the judge's chair is in a good position for them to be seated. The counsel at the bar table sit facing the judge, and also get ready. When the agreed commencement time comes, the judge is "knocked in" from their chambers. Three distinct knocks on the door with the Officer's announcement, "All stand, the Federal Court of Australia is now in session."
The whole court room rises to their feet as the judge's procession enters, and we bow.
As if it were MAJESTY.
And the language of the court is laden with respect and honour.
For instance, as they address the judge: "Yes, Your Honour"; "If Your Honour pleases."
We use capitalisation in honorification of their title: "Her Honour", "His Honour", "Their Honours".
When parties address the judge, they are to stand up to speak and the lack of doing so is regarded as highly disrespectful. To enter or leave a court in session, one must quietly bow to the judge at the entrance.
As the judge makes Directions, Orders, Rulings and Judgments, these are accepted as passed and received - to which counsel reply, "As Your Honour pleases" or "May it please the court".
On occasion, when self-represented parties are without a lawyer, they are often unaware of court etiquette. All this to say that there are expected norms of behaviour and language that are accepted amongst this legal community. It was commonplace - a standard that didn't have to be enforced, everyone who was involved already knew. They had been taught and were learned in it together.
There is order in the court - ORDER as opposed to chaos/disorder. A peace - a stability - an arranged set of rules and procedure. The very nature of the process makes it an advantage for those who are in the KNOW - counsel refer to their adversaries as 'my LEARNED friend'.
There is beauty in order; a grandeur in honour.
And I couldn't help but think that God made this order. Order in the family, order in the church, order in the society under authorities. In the beginning, before sin, there was perfected and untainted order. And this beautiful design of courtroom theatrics seemed to model the courts of our heavenly King. Except that God's glory and majesty was so much greater, beyond imaginable.
I thought also: God deserves this kind of honour and exaltation magnified, but not everyone is aware. Not everyone knows it just yet. Like how only those who have been involved in the legal process know the extent of dignity and honour given to a judge. And like how I needed to spend more time in their presence to gain such insight.
Photography isn't usually allowed here so online images should suffice. This is the largest room in the Federal Court (appears to be a conference or special occasion - it's not usually so full).
540+ Evernote entries,
14+ handwritten journals,
7+ years of devotions…and now I finally join the online blogging bandwagon.
Something about doing this and going public both excites and daunts me. Perhaps due to a fear of failure, or not wanting to step out of line, not wanting to act too quickly in case it wasn’t my time.. I have been risk averse. Perhaps there was merit and cause in waiting, learning patience and enduring a period of uncertainty. That was the season then. But recently I have been reminded of a couple of things:
– Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans (Proverbs 16:3). Another morning it was “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Prov 3:6).
– The parable of the talents (Mt 25) – we were given skills and talents to use to invest boldly for the kingdom. And here I was, like the one who dug a hole and buried it all to keep it safe..
Now, more than ever, I feel that the many puzzle pieces are coming together. Cautious and careful as I am, I had waited and asked, probed and prayed, restless and wanting, letting go and forgetting, passively waiting to be affirmed and sometimes actively attempting things on my own. And all the while something was brewing in my heart. God-given desires. Probably the biggest risk I have taken in life was the decision to forgo a full-time career in the business and legal world. Led with conviction, I started bible college and design school whilst working at the courts – what an unlikely combination. People questioned, and I still have many of my own, but I am certain that it will all make sense some day.
I have never considered myself a ‘writer’, but I have been affirmed and encouraged of late to give it a go. Looking back, perhaps the years of processing internal thoughts by journalling, of learning discipline in reading and reflecting on the word, of struggling to birth essays in law school and my love of reading since childhood – perhaps that was all for a reason too.
I’ve also wrestled with the idea of going anonymous.. It would be so much easier to take on a pen name and write as I please.. but I have always prayed for my life and experience to be fully transparent so that others can see God in my life. It will take time, but I hope to get there some day. I also pray that the temptation to make much of myself, rather than His glory never seize me. Here, I share with you a journey in progress – one little story my Maker has so artistically written over and throughout my life. For those who have happened to read through to the end, thank you.. I pray that my humble efforts can be used to turn even one to the Lord. There is much joy there.
Pray also for me. I start this with a pounding and a tremble, but I want to be free. Free from approval of people, judgment, regarding how I am perceived by others. Pray that I be honest and raw all the way. I want to be a risk-taker. It needn’t matter if things fail or succeed – I don’t want to be consumed by results-based thought. Reading this post, I see it dotted with a lot of ‘perhaps’. It suddenly reminds me of Jonathan, son of Saul, the first king of Israel, at the battle at Micmash. Before crossing over to defeat the Philistines he says, “It may be” or “Perhaps” the Lord will work for us (1 Sam 14). I see this as an act of faith. “Faith honours Him whom it trusts…the trusted Giver gets the glory.” (Martin Luther; John Piper in Solid Joys and Future Grace)
So I take this tentative first step.
I want this to be a statement of faith.
Let this be a testament to His saving grace and an endeavour where His love abounds.