Wednesday, August 21, 2013

At the Intersection {Vol. 4} Laura Tremaine, Hollywood Housewife

 Today's post is part of a new series I am hosting called 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.

Today's guest is someone whose life is very different from mine.I found Laura via her pal Shauna Niequist and fell inlove imediately.  She is a bonafide Hollywood housewife who gets to attend red carpet events, hobnob with people "in the industry." and she lives in an amazing house that has a dreamlike pool area.  But despite how different our life circumstances may be, Laura is still a gal like me. She is a writer, a mom, a wife, a creative soul, a Christ follower, a daughter, a friend, a sisiter.  And just like me she is on the journey of finding out how to live life in a meaningful way, being present to the moment, and courageous with her words. 

So, with further ado, here she is!




Name Laura Tremaine
Blog Name Hollywood Housewife - http://www.hollywoodhousewife.com/
Art Form (writer, designer,painter, seamstress, baker, etc.) writer/blogger
Kids Ages 3 & 1 (wheeee!)
Relationship Status married
Expression of faith- I don’t currently have a church home. I grew up charismatic non-denominational. 
Where Do You Live? I live in a house in the east Hollywood hills of Los Angeles. 

Questions:

How did you find your creative niche? Was this something you have always done, or did you fall into it by accident? 

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I declared it as my chosen occupation before I started school and never stopped saying it until I graduated from college. I took a career detour through television in my 20’s, and didn’t start writing regularly until I started a blog in 2009. So it’s been a longer road that I would have anticipated, but I’m finally in a place where I feel like I’m doing exactly what I should be doing. 



Where do you create? Office? Kitchen table? 

I’m lucky enough to have a gorgeous “room of my own” in our home. I do most of my blogging in that office, but I like to change it up sometimes. I’m a fan of taking my laptop to the park. I also travel a lot, and I love to write on the airplane or in a fluffy hotel bed. 

Do you create best in solitude or in the middle of chaos

For serious work, I must be in solitude in silence. I like the romantic idea of writing in a coffee shop or with moody music playing, but it doesn’t work for me.

How does your faith influence your creative process?

Honestly, I’m still figuring this out. As my faith changes and my writing changes, I’m trying to understand how it all works together. I know it does.

How does that process influence or enrich your faith?

I do believe my desire and aptitude for writing is a specific gift. Quite by accident, my blog has led to some of the most influential spiritual relationships I’ve ever had. After years of purposefully drifting in LA, it was my writing that brought me back into contact with my love for a faith that sustains me. It’s as if my writing reminds me who I am, and from whom I came. When that happened, people of faith just started showing up.

Several years ago I started reading bloggers like Rachel Held Evans and Sarah Bessey and I felt like I had finally found people - women, in particular - who were asking the same questions I was, writing about the same struggles I was having. I had been out of the church game for so long that I didn’t even know these cultural discussions were really out there. I thought I was alone with my questions and my doubts. These women, these various online communities, made me realize you can be publicly unsure and still love Jesus. This was a break from what I had known.

For the most part, I just read and take in a lot of these discussions. It’s not something I envision writing about much. But threads of my faith are woven into my day, whether I’m fully aware of it or not. At least I hope so. 



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? 

That’s an interesting thought. I’m not sure I’ve ever thought of it that way. In my childhood home and in my family today, my faith is my own. It’s a private, mostly solitary piece. So for me, I don’t tie them up in the same package. I probably compartmentalize this too much. It’s my way.

I do think women underestimate the toll it takes simply keeping it all together. I’m talking heart stuff, but also just life stuff. For each convenience that has been invented, we’ve filled that space with ten more activities, projects, and To Do’s. I’m a productivity junkie, but I’m not sure we were meant to live this way. I’m still learning.



What do you do to recharge, or refill the well

In your creative process?
 I read. No single other thing makes me want to write as much as reading. Lately I’ve found great benefit in taking a break. For years I thought that writing every day was the only way to move forward. And while I do think writing begats writing, a complete break is often the best way to remember your enthusiasm.

In your parenting?
This is the hardest one. Right now I think a solid night of deep sleep would work wonders. 

In the practicing of your faith?
 I don’t currently have a church home, and that has been a void in my life. I should probably say something pious here, like claim a love for contemplative prayer, but that’s not the truth. God reveals himself to me most when I pay attention. Which isn’t enough.


Do you have any advice for other moms out there who are also trying to learn how to live out their callings as artists, mothers and followers of Christ? What is something you wish someone had told you earlier on?

It’s okay to wander a bit. You might find yourself when you’re young and fresh-faced, but then you’ll have to search again. Then later, again. Then dig deeper. Your faith will probably change some. Your parenting, marriage, and art will definitely change as the years go by. 

I’ve made myself miserable by digging my heels in and refusing to budge. I wish someone had given me permission to actually take the journey. 


What are some specific challenges you are facing right now in all three of these areas? 

There’s so much pressure to keep all balls rolling all the time. It’s not enough to be a solid wife and mom, one has to be arm-candy and PTA president and host weekly Bible study. Unknowingly, I fell into some of these traps in the last year while my husband was very busy shooting a movie. I felt like I had to keep up all appearances, look great daily, and impart regular wisdom to my kids and my blog readers. 

I never thought I was the type to fall for these picture-perfect lies, but I did. After a confluence of events, this summer almost broke me. I’ve had to re-evaluate how I spend my days and the priorities of my heart. It’s been a lesson in saying “no” and “delete” and “it’s okay.”



How can I, and my readers, pray for you?

Practically, my extended family is battling disease on both sides. We pray desperately for peace and healing for their bodies.

Personally, I want my words to be more meaningful and I also want them to be enough.

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If anything Laura 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 Laura some love in the comments!



11 comments:

  1. I proud to call this wise woman my friend...

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  2. I already loved HHW and Laura's work, but this made my girl crush stronger!
    I resonate so much with what she said and this idea of faith intersecting womanhood and motherhood. Thanks for sharing Laura with us and thanks for coming up with such a fabulous idea.

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  3. "I do think women underestimate the toll it takes simply keeping it all together. I’m talking heart stuff, but also just life stuff. For each convenience that has been invented, we’ve filled that space with ten more activities, projects, and To Do’s. I’m a productivity junkie, but I’m not sure we were meant to live this way. I’m still learning" My husband and I just had a conversation about this very thing. I was so encouraging to hear that other women battle with "too much productivity." Thanks for this. Love both of your blogs.

    PS. I covet your pool.

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  4. I'm a regular reader of Laura's too, and this just resounded with me. I too grew up with a black and white, dig your heels in and don't budge brand of Christianity. I'm finding that it just doesn't work for me, or really anyone else if they're being honest. Life is messy and beautiful, and I'm learning that not everything is a matter of principle. God still loves you, and you can still love him without having all the answers. Great stuff.

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  5. I'm just thrilled to have read this. I do some blog reading at work (oops) and unfortunately "Hollywood Housewife" doesn't pass the office security codes, so I'm never able to read Laura's blog (I've tried!).

    I'm no celeb nor am I married to one, but I'm an ambitious young professional working in the sports & entertainment industry. Sometimes it's my faith background that makes it tempting for me to hold me back from pursuing bigger dreams and setting bigger goals in the industry, but I'm always encouraged by the faith and depth and creativity of Laura.

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  6. I knew Laura casually as a child attending the same summer camp. I was thrilled to find her blog and have enjoyed following her journey as a HH. She seems real, grounded and ok with admitting her struggles, you don't get that much from most bloggers. My favorite blogs are ones that admit life and parenting is hard work. She doesn't sugarcoat being a parent or her religion and I respect that.

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  7. Always enjoy hearing your thoughts, Laura, no matter what the topic.

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  8. I have been reading Laura's blog pretty much since she started and I adore her. Totally have a friend crush on her. She is a writer that always leaves me wanting more. I loved this interview. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. "I wish someone had given me permission to actually take the journey."

    This! I think so many of us have had that same thought -- it makes me wonder how we can be intentional about reminding others that they have permission to take that journey, too.

    And on a lighter note: gorgeous photos! Laura, you and your family are just lovely. :)

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  10. I totally second Amy's comment. I've been a fan of Laura's for a while and love her blog. This entry from her had so much great wisdom and insight. Thank you for interviewing her!

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  11. LOVE this. Love you, Laura. You are such a girls girl and a real Mom. Your words are inspiring and your honesty is so much appreciated.

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

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