product spotlight: customizable thank you stamp

some friends of mine just got married recently, and for their gift, i made the bride a custom thank you stamp to create her own stationery. paired with simple kraft paper and envelopes, this stamp can be used for years to come and on whatever stationery is at hand. if you’d like your own version of a thank you stamp or if you have something else in mind, please don’t hesitate to contact me. head on over to the shop and see what else is new. enjoy!

thank you stamp | #madeinthefold

thank you stamp | #madeinthefold

thank you stamp | #madeinthefold

the path through the valley

#madeinthefold

the path of pain leads us to a path of hope. this is true because it provides a chance for the Creator, the One who loves us most intimately, to simply show us who He really is. in all His goodness.

for the past few years, i have frequently read psalm 23. verse 4 is poignant and causes a moment to pause.

“even when His path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness fear will not conquer me, for You already have! forever close to me, You will lead me through it all the way. the strength of Your authority is my peace, my reassurance. the comfort of Your love takes away my fear. i’ll never be lonely when You are near.”

sometimes He calls us to walk through the valley of deep darkness. it is in this time that there is only one thing for certain. His presence is with us and will never leave us. if we allow it, it can be the place of truest redemption. where our pain and heartache are poured out like dark liquid to Him. He then absorbs our pain and grants healing to our hearts offering life and hope–truly making the valley of trouble (achor) into a “gateway of hope.”

not all pain is damaging, nor does it scare Him. instead, He comes closer to us when we are the most honest with Him, bearing our souls in the truest vulnerability. some pain is necessary. only clean wounds are ones that heal correctly and fully. so instead of despising the pain and causing it to burn with anger and contempt, may we allow it to open the pathway to quicker access to Him and to quicker healing and life.

it will take everything we have to walk through this valley, this path. it will require radical obedience and trust in His character and intentions for our future.  He does not ask us to travel this path alone. instead, there is a chance for a powerful exchange. His presence to us becomes greater than our fears because we are confident that He is with us. it is our reassurance to continue traversing the difficult ground ahead. this perspective helps us lay aside everything we have ever counted more dear to us (to our soul), than He himself. it truly restores right order. we could be left to hold onto all the things our hearts have set up above the place He rightfully deserves. things that we have crafted with our own hands and then began to give glory. instead, He chooses this path to be a path of stripping and tearing away. His closeness becomes our supreme desire. we cannot imagine living without it.

so may the courage be present to strip away all that is unnecessary and fully bare our hearts to Him. may the trust in His character be present to be fully known by Him and to make known fully to Him all that we have kept away from everyone else fearing the rejection it might bring. when we have come to the other side of the valley, our hearts will no longer be held captive, but instead set free. it is then that He will grant us our own song to sing and testify to the goodness of His work in us, telling of His faithfulness and great care for our well-being. (hosea 2:15)

may we be confident of His presence in this valley and find true peace and healing.

recently written: custom work

i’ve had the privilege of creating several custom prints for clients in the last few weeks time. below are images of one of the largest prints i have done to date, an 11×14. if you would like a piece of art created for yourself or a friend, please don’t hesitate to contact me through email or etsy. more items similar to this are coming to the madeinthefold shop soon.

recently written | #madeinthefold recently written | #madeinthefold recently written | #madeinthefoldrecently written | #madeinthefold

in the loneliness

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we cannot know our need until we are in want. i am becoming convinced of this.

sometime in the middle of last summer i quickly journaled a passing thought that threatened to go as quickly as it came – to be alone is to be in want of another. yes, we cannot fully embrace or even acknowledge our desperate state until we realize we are in need. for some this is easier than others. to admit my lack has never been an easy thing.

maybe that is why He is now choosing to strip me of most of what has been known for a time. to allow the brokenness to spring forth and be embraced. to be in a place of vulnerability. to be in need. of Him.

He has a way of doing this (especially when we ask it of Him). to come and break through our barriers so that there is no longer anything between Him and us.

i came across this quote in a random sort of way, but it has struck me deeply. it puts words to the relentless cry that is in all of us. the space in us that can only be satisfied by Him is still left up to our choosing. one that has to be made over and over again. it requires us to say no to all the other things that scream at us for our attention and for our affections. the things which seemingly provide us relief last only momentarily, yet He is the only One who can provide true rest and freedom for our souls. (if only my soul could really take hold of this.)

the loneliness is more poignant on some days. it sticks out like a neon sign. this happened for me the other day when i went exploring in the snow around my house. i turned back to see where i’d come from and snapped this picture. only one set of footprints. i felt alone, but i wasn’t. even though i have felt it more strongly in this season than any other, the truth of the matter is – His presence is always with me. whether i feel it or not. it was that very night i reached out for encouragement and a friend’s reply reminded me that “He is right there with you. He has never forsaken you.” my heart needed to hear that, it still does. how quickly our hearts can forget sometimes.

so i long to seek after the crevices, the ones where glimmers of His glory shine through. the evidences of His grace and presence, whether seen, felt or heard. the unresting and tragic loneliness that will, if i allow it, push me towards Himself to be fully satisfied. to remove all hindrances from finding the deepest fulfillment for my being – only to be found in Him. to be rooted in the truth of who He is. because He is truth, and He will stand true for our hearts. always.

so, i am learning to become thankful for the loneliness. because in the loneliness, i find Him.

recently inspired: valentine’s day

just the other day, i decided to put together a little bit of inspiration for valentine’s day. with a little twist on the traditional holiday palette, i combined handmade envelopes, hand-cut hearts and painted valentines. both the handwritten valentine and the painted valentine are samples of new items in the shop. also in store are a few other exciting products soon to come. i hope you are inspired by love. enjoy!

recently inspired: valentine's day | #madeinthefold recently inspired: valentine's day | #madeinthefold recently inspired: valentine's day | #madeinthefold recently inspired: valentine's day | #madeinthefold recently inspired: valentine's day | #madeinthefold recently inspired: valentine's day | #madeinthefold recently inspired: valentine's day | #madeinthefold

product spotlight: baby announcement

this is hopefully the first of many updated products for this new year (look for calendars coming soon!)

this baby announcement can be customized with full name, birth stats, birth date and more if you’d like. for more details and information, please head over to my etsy shop! you can convo me there or email me to begin the process of creating your own. enjoy!

baby announcement | #madeinthefold baby announcement | #madeinthefold baby announcement | #madeinthefold

recently wrapped: christmas gifts

i hope your holidays were filled with warmth and the closeness of friends and family.

in wrapping this year, i largely kept it simple with a few special touches. i also added in some greenery and fun ribbons that were found at a local craft stores. of course it’s always fun to personalize packages with a special written touch, so i hand-lettered favorite phrases or christmas carol lyrics onto a few as well.

here’s to all 2014 has in store. happy holidays!

christmas wrapping | #madeinthefold christmas wrapping | #madeinthefold christmas wrapping | #madeinthefold christmas wrapping | #madeinthefold

recently featured: irrelephant

about a month ago, i had the honor of collaborating with the wonderful joanna ballentine and molly stilley of irrelephant. they were creating a inspirational shoot for a non-traditional thanksgiving table and i was able to hand-letter a menu and placecards. the incredibly talented ginny au styled the shoot and the table was rustic, simple and a beautiful option for the holiday season.

below are a few images of both the place cards and menu, and a few shots from joanna of the day. head on over here to see the rest of the shoot for yourself. thanks so much to all the ladies for the chance to be involved in such a fun shoot!

recently featured: irrelephant recently featured: irrelephant

recently featured: irrelephant

inspiration: thanksgiving favor idea

for me, the special moments of the holiday season are always captured in the smallest details. i styled a simple place setting consisting of copper, kraft, and cranberry. this look is simplistic but full of texture. a kraft paper roll (like the one below) could be woven through pumpkins or other decor to mark place cards for each guest.

this year, i was inspired to create individual favors for each guest to take home. mulled cider is a popular drink of choice during the holidays, and this favor idea has everything that they would need packed in a small muslin bag to make their own warm beverage this season.

to make your own mulling spices here’s what you’ll need:
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 whole star anise (optional)
cardamom pods (optional)

to make cider, break up the larger spices, place them all in a cheesecloth pouch. pour 2 quarts of apple cider into a pot. add 4 strips of lemon or orange zest and the spice mixture and heat until warm enough to serve.

warmest wishes to your family this thanksgiving.

thanksgiving favor idea thanksgiving favor idea thanksgiving favor idea thanksgiving favor idea

every story has a beginning

beginnings

a few months ago, i went back to a well-known beginning. the story of moses.
struggle, doubt, and confusion surrounded the beginning of his calling as a deliverer of the children of israel.

in looking at exodus 3 and 4, i came to several conclusions about moses.

he hid from the Lord and was afraid to look at His face. (3:6)
he questioned his own worth and value by asking “who am i?” (3:11)
he was hesitant to obey because it was uncomfortable. (3:13)
he doubted the Lord’s word to him. (3:13)
he wanted proof and questioned God. (3:18)
he disagreed with God by stating “they will not believe or listen to me.” (4:1)
he made it about his insecurities. (4:10)
he resisted his new identity as a deliverer of people of God. (4:12-13)

in the conversation between God and moses at the burning bush, He was clearly calling moses out of a life of the mundane to do something great. in one of his pleadings, he told the Lord that he was not eloquent or good with words, that he had a tendency to become tongue-tied. yet, God acknowledged He created his mouth and tongue and He told moses “i will be with your mouth and will teach you what to say.” (4:12)

but moses again pleaded with the Lord. (v. 13) he still didn’t want to go.

the One who identified Himself as the God of abraham, isaac, and jacob spoke personally to moses to call him out from the circumstances he was in, to bring about the deliverance of the people of israel. despite the clarity of the call, unbelief and doubt still flooded his heart. he chose fear instead of trusting in what the Lord was saying to him. moses was unsure and untrusting of the words that were spoken over him. continual excuses were how he combatted the powerful call he was to step into.

then the Lord became angry (vs. 14), and said He would send aaron with him.

even though moses struggled and didn’t fully believe at the beginning of the journey, God still delivered through him. He showed grace towards moses and ultimately he (with the company of aaron) led the people of israel out of egypt. when he and aaron came and told the people of israel what the Lord had spoken, and how He had seen their distress, they fell down and worshiped God. (4.31)

what is He saying about us? the very thing that moses battled with the most fiercely was what God had destined him to be from before the foundations of the world. the chance for Moses to be dependent and always attuned to the Lord’s heart was critical. each step he took and each sign he was to perform was only able to be accomplished through obedience to His voice. moses’s dependence upon the Lord was the only way he accomplished his call. it was the Lord’s power, His plan, His purpose and He desired to use moses (and aaron) to do it.

what does the Lord desire to do through us?  where is there opportunity for Him to display His purpose in our everyday? how can we lean into His heart for those around us?

in what potential ways could we begin to walk in more freedom to be able to see the face of God (and not be ashamed), to believe that our value and worth is from Him alone, and have that knowledge empower us with the freedom to be our most full selves? in what places is our obedience being tested, and what does that reveal about the beliefs in our heart? where can we increase our faith and action even when we don’t have the proof that we may desire? what is He saying about us and our identity?

it is these questions that i have been wrestling with in this current season. even though i don’t know exactly what the call on my life is, i do know it is one that is fashioned for me uniquely, and i desire to pursue it with all of my being. even among the weaknesses and times of struggle, times of fear and disbelief, and times of uncertainty and doubt, my desire is still to hear the words that He is speaking over me and take steps (however small) in that direction. to intimately pursue the Lord’s heart. to begin my story.