Monday, July 08, 2013

At the Intersection {vol. 1}- Heather Hamilton of Life Made Lovely

Hello friends!
How are you?
I am fine.
Well I am tired, but what is new?
I have been all over the world this past weekend and we have had a bit of a scare with one of my grandmothers, but as of right now, things are holding steady.

This week is promising to be a busy one (one day I am going to learn!) but I am determined to face it with grace and love - and to find the goodness of God in everyone I meet.

I thought this would be a good time to kick-off a new series that I hope will become a regular feature around these parts. I am calling it At the Intersection, and it is all about how other gals out there -gals like me who are mothers, artist and followers of Christ-juggle all three areas of their lives at once. How they live at the intersection of art, faith, and motherhood.

I chose these three particular categories because they are the very three that I find pull on the same parts of my heart. All three demand of me the following:  time, creativity, the ability to listen, the ability to problem solve, and to think critically. And all three are rooted -should be rooted-in grace.

But instead of just listening to me talk about these ideas, I thought I would invite some friends into the conversation. To see if I was the only one who works to juggle all three, or if there might be others out there who face similar struggles, whose stories might shed a little light and provide a little encouragement for you and me.
I am also hoping that you, my most fab readers, will also offer encouragement to each of these lovely women, who, like you, are doing their best to live authentically in the present at the intersection of beauty and mess.

First up is Heather Hamilton of Life Made Lovely.
Welcome Heather!!


So, let's start with the basics, shall we?

Name 
 Heather Hamilton

Blog Name

Art Form 
 Designer- web design and paper goods/interior design and photo styling

Kids Ages   
Henry is 9 and Piper is 4.  My son Samuel passed away in 2007 when he was 6 weeks old.

Relationship Status 
 Married, to an extremely patient and encouraging man, for 12 years.

Other Job(s) besides blogging/creating:  
 I'm the VBS Director for our church.

Expression of Faith '
We are members of a Lutheran church in our town.

Where Do You Live? 
 We live in the desert southwest, in a college town.  We live in the first house we bought 12 years ago.

Okay, now let's dig a little deeper...

How did you find your creative niche? Was this something you have always done, or did you fall into it by accident?
 I have always loved creating things, but I never would have guessed I'd be using the computer to do it.
 Initially I just wanted to learn how to create a blog design for myself, but the more I learned the more I fell in love with this medium. I've now been a paid designer for 3 years and can hardly believe it!  



Where do you create? Office? Kitchen table?  
We have a small spare bedroom that we were able to turn into a studio space for me.  
It gets crazy hot in the summer and super cold in the winter, but I don't care.  
To have my own space to fill with things that inspire me is something I am very grateful for.

Do you create best in solitude or in the middle of chaos?  
Definitely in solitude!

How does your faith influence your creative process?
 When my son passed away in 2007 I truly felt like my creativity died with him.  After months of feeling like I would never create anything ever again,  God showed me otherwise and what an explosion of JOY it was.  I had always thought that I was a creative person, but I let the world tell me whether I was an artist or not.  After losing Samuel, and feeling certain that I had lost my creative spark too, being able to create again was confirmation from God that I was doing what He made me to do.  Since that moment I have not stopped creating and have worked really hard to block the noise of the outside world.

How does that process influence or enrich your faith?  
I feel the closest to God when I'm creating, so for me it's a very spiritual experience.  Before I begin working I always pray and ask God to guide my hands, so that I can create a design that lets His light shine.  Whether it's a blog design, a card, a sticker or a print I want to make sure that He is the one glorified. I want people to feel Love when they see my work.

Sometimes I feel as if writing, parenting, and the practicing my faith are all drawing from the same well inside me, that they tax the same part of my heart. This means that quite often I find that I have depleted all of my resources pouring into just one of the three, leaving the other two wanting.  Do you have this same issue, or is it just me?  What do you do to recharge, or refill the well…

In your creative process?  
When I need to refill my creative well I seek out other creatives.  Through blogs, instagram and magazines I'm able to easily connect with inspiring creative women and be reminded that I'm not alone in this journey.

In your parenting? 
 I've definitely found that I need a little space sometimes.  Even just a few hours can make challenges feel less daunting to me.  Sometimes that means a night out, but when leaving the house isn't an option (which is most of the time), we put the kids to bed a little early so we can have time to recharge.

In the practicing of your faith?   
I have to find quiet.  When life is the noisiest, which is usually when it's the busiest, I feel the furthest away from God and when that happens everything feels off.  If I can find some quiet then I usually find Him right there waiting for me.

Do you have any advice for other mom's out there who are also trying to learn how to live out their callings as artist, mothers and followers of Christ? What is something you wish someone had told you earlier on?
Stop listening to the outside world and just focus on what God is telling you.  Use the gifts He gave you.  He created you to do this, he really did!

What are some specific challenges you are facing right now in all three of these areas?   
Parenting, creating, and spending time with God are food for my soul.  I was born to do all three!  So often though, I feel like I'm not measuring up (with my business, with my kids activities, etc) and I'm not getting enough accomplished.  When that happens, the three things that are vital to my soul seem to get pushed to the back and my priorities get all disjointed.  I hate that I let the opinions of society weigh on my heart, especially when I know what I need!   I work hard to tune out the outside noise, but I'm definitely not successful at it all the time.  I won't give up the fight though, because I know that when I am focused on what matters the result is the unspeakable joy that only God can give.

How can I, and my readers, pray for you?  
 I would ask that you prayer for me to have renewed strength each day to block out the noise of the outside world, so that I can focus on God's voice and the truths He's placed on my heart.


Thanks so much to Heather for answering my questions and for being such a willing guinea pig for this first volume of  At the Intersection!


I am by no means a journalist so if there are questions you would like me to ask future interviewees please leave them in the comments on this post.


Also, if anything Heather said struck a chord in you, please say so! The great thing about blogging is that we can encourage each other, right her in this little online space, from wherever we are, no need to even put on make-up or brush our hair. So please, leave Heather some love in the comments!


xo

J


26 comments:

  1. What a great post! It was great to meet Heather and to read about her challenges and how she meets them daily. I am looking forward to this series "At the intersection"....it really hits home. Thank you!!! It is tough to juggle everything and many times I feel like I satisfy NO area in my life--it is so frustrating, but I plug along and keep trying my best. Thank you for the encouragement and ideas. Wonderful!

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    1. I always think it helps to realize that we are not alone in our struggles!! Soilder on friend!

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  2. What a great series! Heather is so beautiful inside and out and truly a creative inspiration to me. I love that she prays before she designs and lets it flow from that center that is Christ Jesus and uses her talent for His Glory. And goodness, her home truly is lovely!!

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    1. Yes, I loved that part of the interview too! And everything Heather does is ADORABLE.

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    2. Friend, you are an inspiration to me!
      xo

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  3. Great start to this series, Jerusalem. Are you sure you are not a journalist? Could fool me. lovely interview. Hedy

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  4. Oh, joy! Two of my favorite bloggers together! Loved this interview. Love you both!

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  5. Great series idea! I love reading the advice multiple times, to shut out the world and focus in on your God-given purpose. Wouldn't my life be a lot simpler if I'd do just that?

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    1. Right?! It's a constant struggle in this broken world, but one so worth fighting for.
      xo

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  6. I have loved your blog for years now and just recently found Heather's blog. I was so delighted when I saw this post. I too am a blogger, a mom and foremost a Christian. It is inspiring to hear from others out there who have faith and are creative.

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  7. I can relate to her having to fight to drown out the outside noise and to focus only on Christ. Sometimes the world can be a pretty noisy place, though. I will definitely be praying over this area with and for her.

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  8. Love this idea!

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  9. Love your heart and your words here, Heather!

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  10. What a WONDERFUL and heartfelt post!! Heather, when you said "this is what God created you to do"....I feel that as well. I'm 35 and still don't know what I want to be when I 'grow up', but I know God wants me to use the creativity He blessed me with in whatever I do. Thanks for being so open and honest!! Lovely.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Ashley! I really understand the way you're feeling. Keep using your creativity and God will guide your way! That's just what He did for me, too.
      xo

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  11. Oh Dear One...I think the Lord lead me to this blog! I have done art for years that was Christian Art....and in the last few years of downsizing, and moving I have struggled to find my place again....but reading this plus a week of other confirmations has my heart in hopeful glee..."knowing" He still will use me!! I will be back!! Love your heart and your blog!!

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    1. That is wonderful news!! He will use you indeed! xo

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    2. That is wonderful news!! He will use you indeed! xo

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  12. love your heart for your family...for the Lord and for creating.
    You are tangible proof that God gives his peace in the midst of devastating loss and heartbreak. I'm so grateful He has given you joy in creating....

    very much enjoying getting to know you through blogging....

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    1. thank you so much for that Tara! you are so kind and i'm so grateful for your words. :) xo

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ok, really. tell me the truth... do these comments make me look fat?

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